Officials from the eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) depot, in Ottawa, address the Trenance Park Water Crisis Committee. Picture: Nadia Khan
Officials from the eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) depot, in Ottawa, address the Trenance Park Water Crisis Committee. Picture: Nadia Khan

Verulam residents upbeat about proposed resolutions to tackle on-going water issues

By Nadia Khan Time of article published Apr 16, 2021

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Durban - Resolutions and plans to address the ongoing water outages in Trenance Park, Verulam, were met with optimism.

A week ago, members of the Trenance Park Water Crisis Committee, acting on behalf of the residents, met with officials from the eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) depot, in Ottawa.

The POST reported last week that residents did not have water over the Easter weekend. They subsequently protested and set tyres alight outside the Trenance Park 3 reservoir, on Madrona Drive, on Easter Monday.

At the meeting, the residents raised several questions. This included the reason for the recent water outages, the lack of communication between the residents and city officials, and the city's long-term plans to avoid repeat occurrences.

Mervin Govender, the EWS area manager for the northern region, said the recent water outage was due vandalism at the Mountview Reservoir. He said the reservoir pumped water to the Trenance Park 1 and Trenance Park 3 reservoirs. This, he said, then pumped water to the tower that supplied the various areas, including Madrona Drive, Celtis Close, Tangerine Road, Hilltop and Valleyview.

“Because of the pump being damaged and repairs taking close to 16 hours, the other reservoirs were impacted," said Govender.

"Also, due to the supply and demand, residents went without water. We then had to close the valves so that we could fill up the reservoirs, which can take between three to four days and, if there are power outages, it can take a day or two longer. However, this is only one of the challenges that we face. We also have to deal with pump failures and load shedding, which was what we had last month."

Govender said the city completed the project, which saw the tie-in of pipelines last Wednesday, and this removed the strain on the tower which supplied water to a number of areas.

“The tower was servicing a multitude of areas, such as Madrona Drive, Hilltop, Road D50027 and parts of Amoati, but also larger areas such as Valleyview, Buffelsdraai and the Tea Estate. We have now completed the tie-in process, so those larger areas will now get their water supply from water storage at the Trenance Park 3 reservoir. This is enough to service those areas. About 60% of the load has been taken off the tower."

He said they had requested for generators and security at the reservoirs.

“At a meeting with our unit heads and deputy heads last Tuesday, this was proposed. We have requested for security and generators, at the Mountview Reservoir and Trenance Park 1 reservoir. There is also security and a generator at Trenance Park 3 reservoir."

Amith Balgobin, the committee chairman, said residents, where possible, needed to be notified of water cuts so they could collect water.

He suggested that there be direct communication with a community representative and officials, which was agreed upon.

Wade Pakkiri, the committee vice-chairman and public relations officer, said: “Seeing the plans and measures implemented, we feel a bit more optimistic about the future. However, we may still face some shortcomings due to the shortage of generators at the moment. But we are moving in the right direction."

Ricky Naidoo, the owner of Venk-pac, who assisted the community by providing them with water, said a long-term plan was required to address the impact of load shedding, vandalism and theft of the pumps.

“The issue of load shedding is ongoing. It could last for several years, so how are we going to counteract this? Also, how do we prevent damage to the pumps? We need to ensure that there are long-term solutions in place. Water is life.”

The water was restored to the community last Tuesday.

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