Kimberley - The Sol Plaatje Municipality has confirmed that most of the city will be without water on Friday in order to allow repairs on the 965mm main line from Riverton.
Nightly shutdowns - from 8pm to 4am - will continue in the meantime to ensure that the levels of the dams at the Newton Reservoir are at full capacity in anticipation of Friday’s total shutdown.
Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said on Tuesday that the pumping of water to the city from the Newton Reservoir would be shut down from 8pm on Thursday night and would not be switched on as usual at 4am on Friday morning.
“This is to allow municipal workers an opportunity to repair the two major holes on the 965mm main pipeline from Riverton on Friday,” he said.
While the main pipeline from Riverton will be emptied, water will continue to be pumped from Riverton via the smaller 600mm pipeline. “Areas that are fed directly from Riverton and not via the Newton Reservoir will still have water on Friday and will not be affected by the shutdown.”
The pumping of water from Riverton to the city via the 965mm pipeline will also be stopped on Thursday evening. The section of the pipe that will be worked on will be drained.
According to Matsie, the work on the damaged pipeline is expected to take around six hours.
“The work involves mainly welding, which will be done inside the pipe in order to patch the hole.”
He explained that the leakage, due to a tennis-ball sized hole, was located at the bottom of the pipe.
“The intention is to cut the pipe open from the top so that our workers can get inside the pipe, weld a piece of metal over the hole and then close the opening at the top again.”
Matsie explained that in order to do this, the affected section of the pipe needed to be dry.
“We anticipate that the water will be restored later on Friday, although it can take some time for the network to fill up again. Because the dams at the Newton Reservoir will be full, however, we do not anticipate any problems filling the network once pumping from Newton has resumed.”
He added that besides the repair work being done on the main 965mm pipeline from Riverton, the opportunity will also be used to undertake the necessary repairs and maintenance at Riverton.
“It is important that the pipeline is repaired as it is the main water feed to the city from Riverton. We are also heading to the summer months and the hot weather and we do not want to sit with problems when it is so hot.”
Matsie said the municipality would not be utilising JoJo tanks during Friday’s shutdown.
“We do not expect the shutdown to last very long or cause any major inconveniences. We are giving residents advanced notice so that they can ensure that they have sufficient water for the duration of the shutdown.”
This is the third time already that the water supply to the city has been interrupted in order to repair leaks on the rising main from Riverton.
Diamond Fields Advertiser