Home News Sol water supply will be stabilised in 3-6 months – municipal manager

Sol water supply will be stabilised in 3-6 months – municipal manager

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Sol Plaatje municipal manager Thapelo Matlala has assured city residents that the water supply will be stabilised within the next three to six months.

Sol Plaatje municipal manager Thapelo Matlala. Picture: Soraya Crowie

SOL PLAATJE municipal manager Thapelo Matlala has assured city residents that the water supply will be stabilised within the next three to six months, as a result of emergency repairs that started this week.

Taps ran dry in the city again on Wednesday as the temperature soared to 41 degrees Celsius, apparently due to low water levels.

While Matlala apologised for the “frustrations and suffering” that residents had to endure due to the ongoing water interruptions, he said that the situation was not as bad as other cities that were left without water for days on end.

“We are working around the clock to end the nightly shutdowns. For the first time, we will be able to repair leaks, without implementing a city-wide water shutdown, through the use of pipeline technology.”

Matlala also explained that silica had to be ordered from Brits or Cape Town to improve the quality of the water.

“If this special sand is not used, the filters become clogged. Backwashing the sediment that enters the pipeline results in large water losses and effects production levels at Newton Reservoir.

“We will report to council next month on the Blue Drop report,” he added.

Matlala indicated that service providers were ready to start repairs to the water pipelines and major leaks detected at Midstation near Roodepan, where large volumes of water have been lost since mid-December.

“A sum of R104 million will be spent this year and R492 million will be spent in the new financial year that starts in July. Sol Plaatje Municipality has never spent so much on the water network.

“The successful service providers were appointed in a transparent manner and are listed on our website.

“The provision of water and electricity is the backbone of the economy and can attract more investments to the city,” Matlala pointed out.

He said that over 50 water infrastructure upgrading projects would take shape over the next five years, through the R2.5 billion grant from the National Treasury.

“There are three major projects including an R18.7 million contract to repair 27 major leaks on the main pipeline between Riverton and the Roodepan Midstation and bulk pipe repairs at the Riverton water treatment plant. The site was handed over to the contractor on February 12 and work is expected to be completed over the next 15 months.”

Matlala stated that the installation of emergency metres, flow and quality monitoring systems, the provision of equipment maintenance services and equipment security services would begin in March.

“The R28.5 million contract will be for a period of 36 months.”

Sol Plaatje municipal manager Thapelo Matlala. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Matlala added that a R41 million contract will be awarded this month for the refurbishment of the new Riverton water treatment plant’s chlorine and chemical dosing system, to improve water quality.

“The power supply and pump stations at Riverton water purification plant will be upgraded. More work will be done during winter when consumption and temperatures are lower. The high use of JoJo tanks also affects the water supply.”

Matlala stated that the municipality had partnered with Ekapa Mine to refurbish the clarifiers at the old and new Riverton water treatment plants.

“Ekapa has contributed R10 million to recommission one of the clarifiers at the old plant that was out of use for the past six years. A water treatment plant specialist, along with a team of engineers from Ekapa, will assist in improving the production and supply of water to the city.”

He indicated that the water that accumulated along the N12 was not a water leak “per se” but had originated from the Homevale wastewater treatment plant.

“A progress report was submitted to the Office of the Premier, Transnet, the Department of Water and Sanitation and Sol Plaatje Municipality. A service level agreement was signed on Thursday with Transnet that will donate R10 million to bring in mobile pumps to reduce the water levels at Kamfers Dam over the next three months.”

He added that there was “a huge difference” in the water levels along the R31 to Barkly West that had risen as a result of leaks from the Gogga pump station.

“The bid adjudication committee has completed work to purchase pipes in the next two to three weeks to be installed at the Beaconsfield wastewater treatment plant, to the value of R10 million. It should be operational in the next two months.”

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