MMC for Utility Services Darryl Moss at the site of the Ashlea Gardens water pipe replacement project.Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
MMC for Utility Services Darryl Moss at the site of the Ashlea Gardens water pipe replacement project.Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Ageing asbestos pipes being replaced

By RUDZANI MATSHILI Time of article published Jul 25, 2018

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THE deteriorating water infrastructure east of Pretoria is undergoing a major facelift.

Yesterday, Utility Services MMC Darryl Moss handed over the construction site to Agisanang Township Developers (Pty) Ltd, which will replace asbestos cement pipes with oriented plasticised polyvinyl chloride ones.

The Ashlea Gardens Water Pipe Projects, worth more than R17 million, are expected to be complete by June next year.

The contract was awarded last month, and work is already under way in Alphen Park, Ashlea Gardens and Maroelana.

The purpose of the project is to replace the most critical sections of the existing water reticulation system that has deteriorated to such an extent that it has become unserviceable.

Moss said the water reticulation network in the three areas was collapsing due to the age of the asbestos pipes, installed about 50 years ago.

“The existing water reticulation system is about 50 years old and has reached the end of its design lifespan," he said.

"The pipes around here are made out of asbestos - now the problem with asbestos cement is that as it gets older it starts cracking, and it cracks along the pipes.”

He said residents started getting regular pipe bursts and leakages as a result.

He said it was important to replace the pipes to save water.

“From a technical perspective, the whole issue is that we will cut down on water wastage and leakage, and we really need to do that because we are a water-constrained city.

“There will be some disturbances, inevitably, and we have a budget to fix should contractors damage anything. But people must be aware that there will be construction and it is messy,” he said.

A total of 4400m of water network pipes will be replaced with various sizes of new pipes.

Isolation valves, fire hydrants and chambers will also be installed.

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