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No water crisis – Sol


“The shutdowns or limitations of supply are only done as and when needed when we reach around 12ft levels at the Newton Reservoir.”

File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

THE SOL Plaatje Municipality is still struggling to meet the water needs of city residents, resulting in continued nightly shutdowns that are expected to continue for most of this week.

Relief is also not on the cards until February next year when the new pump station is commissioned after the December holidays.

Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday that every time the main reservoir station reached critical levels, restrictions were imposed as a measure to buffer the city’s water supply and reserves.

On Sunday the levels at the Newton Reservoir dropped to 12 feet.

“The shutdowns or limitations of supply are only done as and when needed when we reach around 12ft levels at the Newton Reservoir.”

Yesterday afternoon the level was at 13.5ft.

“Shutdowns will continue for a few days this week,” Matsie said.

During the shutdown, the water is switched off at 8pm and switched on again at 4.30am.

“The availability of water in various areas depends on the network layout and operational requirements. Critical areas will be the last to be fully pressurised.”

Matsie denied that the city was facing a water crisis.

“We are not really facing a water crisis. We are putting proactive measures in place to prevent a crisis situation. The current demand is exceeding supply due to a number of known reasons.”

He, however, did not state what the known reasons were.

“Under normal operating conditions, the supply seems to be less than the demand and should the situation be left without any intervention or unattended, the situation will then be regarded as a crisis.”

He assured residents that there were no issues with the municipality’s bulk water supply infrastructure, especially the rising main.

“Despite the hot weather conditions, we encourage our customers to conserve water and use it wisely.”

He added further that the municipality was at an advanced stage in the construction of the new potable water pump station.


“Commissioning of the new pump station will improve the pumping rate, however, this does not imply that our problem will disappear.

“In general, the city has grown and plans to expand/upgrade the infrastructure are gradually turning into reality. After completing the new pump station construction, focus will be on the Riverton plant as well as the bulk water supply mains.”

Although it was due to be commissioned this month, Matsie said yesterday that the pump station at Riverton would now only be connected in February.

“In December most people are on vacation and factories are closed.”

Matsie meanwhile appealed to all residents to reduce their consumption to assist the situation.

“No water restrictions are planned yet by the municipality.”