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Day 9 without water and still no good news

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Sol Plaatje Municipality said of Friday it will only be able to assess the extent of the damage on the Gogga pump scour valve once all the water has been drained.

Sol Plaatje municipal manager Thapelo Matlala. Picture: Soraya Crowie

SOL PLAATJE Municipality said on Friday afternoon it will only be able to assess the extent of the damage on the Gogga pump scour valve once all the water has been drained.

Kimberley residents have been scrambling for water as JoJo tanks and other stored reserves have been depleted on day nine of of the taps being turned off in the city

Some residents indicated that they had resorted to bathing in basins with filtered drinking water.

The water supply to the city was scheduled to be restored on Monday evening. It did come on for a brief period but was, however, shut off again. A major leak was then identified on the 965 millimetre pipeline on Thursday, which the municipal manager Thapelo Matlala stated was preventing the Newton Reservoir from filling up.

Bulk Facility for Infrastructure programme co-ordinator at Sol Plaatje Municipality Lucky Moyahi said on Friday that the Gogga pump station fed water from Galeshewe to Newton Reservoir.

“The water has subsided since last night. We will be able to assess the extent of the damage to the pump after the scour valve at Gogga pump station collapsed on the 965mm line from the Galeshewe take-off once all the water is pumped out.”

Picture: Supplied

Moyahi stated that once the repairs were completed it would take some time to replenish the network.

“We have lost some capacity at Newton Reservoir as the network is very dry. We appeal for patience until the water supply is restored,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bigen Africa consulting engineer Rikus Rossouw stated that attempts were made to bring in pipes needed for the repairs on Thursday night, although the terrain was too wet due to the rain on Sunday.

“We have brought a tractor loader backhoe (TLB) to bring in dry material and hope that in the next hour we will be able to install a pump. However, it takes between six to eight hours to pump out all the water. It appears as if the scour chamber fell over and a piece of scour pipe that is connected to the main line in the scour chamber tore out of the main line.”

Rossouw indicated that they would have to cut out a section of pipe between four to six metres long in order to effect the repairs.

“This has unfortunately set us back a bit but we will work late tonight (Friday). Hopefully we can start pumping water by midday tomorrow (Saturday) if all goes well.”

Elsewhere, the CEO of the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sharon Steyn, believed that the water crisis was not being treated with the urgency that it deserved.

“Despite this being called an emergency, the pumps and the TLB only arrived on Friday to remove the concrete valve chamber that collapsed onto the pipe.”

She said the area around the valve chamber was excavated previously for leaks but was never closed.

“The pipe leak caused the ground of the valve chamber to be washed out, which caused the chamber to collapse. It is almost 24 hours after the emergency was called but work has not even begun.

“We need answers (as to) why no work was done during the night with the use of flood lights. The platform could have been laid as there is enough ground to do this.”

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