Home News Sol finds ‘major leak’ on main water pipeline

Sol finds ‘major leak’ on main water pipeline

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The Sol Plaatje Municipality waterworks team is currently on site attending to the matter

Picture: Danie van der Lith

A MAJOR water leak on the two 600mm pipes that run past Roodepan and Kamfers Dam has been found.

The leak could be the major contributor to the low water levels at the Newton Reservoir in Kimberley, which has seen the city having to endure major water cuts for three days now.

A Sol Plaatje Municipality waterworks team is currently on site attending to the issue. The team is busy clearing the veld in order to access the pipes. The water will need to be pumped out to see if the leak is on the old 600mm pipe or the new line.

The leak was identified by a team that was performing inspections on foot along the pipeline from Riverton to Kimberley on Wednesday.

A plane, which was provided by local businessman Mark Robinson to assist with the inspections to determine if there was a water leak on the main pipeline, had spotted a pool of water in the veld.

The site in the veld is close to an Eskom electric cable, which runs parallel to it.

The acting director of infrastructure services at Sol Plaatje Municipality, Phetole Sithole, pointed out that it was not possible to spot the leak directly from the aeroplane or a drone that was being used to survey the pipeline.

“It was almost impossible to see it from above,” said Sithole.

He indicated that the leak was underground and it is suspected that a lot of water has already been lost.

Meanwhile, 13 municipal workers have been served with letters by the Sol Plaatje Municipality, requiring them to explain why they should not be suspended for misconduct or negligence.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said the workers had to explain why they should not face disciplinary hearings in regards to the city’s water crisis.

Matsie assured residents that all major leaks that are contributing to lowering the water levels at the Newton Reservoir are receiving urgent attention.

“We are not only attending to the mainline. All leakages which impact on the bulk infrastructure are currently being attended to by the team – to speed up the process of water allocation,” said Matsie.

The ANC regional office has meanwhile said that it suspects sabotage by certain individuals within the municipality that is contributing to the city’s current water woes.

They called on the acting municipal manager, Boy Dhluwayo, to launch an investigation and to open criminal cases against anybody found to be committing acts of sabotage.

The Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, and his mayoral team are working with the waterworks team to further map the way forward and to ensure that the repair work can proceed uninterrupted.