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Water cuts set to be suspended

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“The consumption is currently at 90ML/day which meant that the volume being pumped was not sufficient to meet the needs of the city”

THE NIGHTLY shutdown of water in Kimberley is expected to be suspended from tomorrow, with the Sol Plaatje Municipality in full swing to meet the city’s demand for water.

Over the weekend, however, water problems continued to plague city residents with large parts of Galeshewe, as well as other areas, experiencing a dry weekend with no water.

According to municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie the weekend’s issues were due to an interruption of pumping from Riverton on Sunday to allow the municipality to fix the 965mm pipeline, next to 3SAI military base.

Fixing the leaks on the pipelines, which has resulted in a massive fresh water pan, is but one of the interventions currently being undertaken by the municipality to end the city’s water problems.

“Although we continued pumping water to the city via the smaller 600mm pipeline, Galeshewe and Roodepan are fed from the 965mm line, which meant that these areas did not have water while the line was being fixed.”

By yesterday, however, the repair work on the line had been completed and the team managed to fix six leaks on the rising main.

The municipality has been plagued with a plethora of problems that have negatively affected the water supply to the city and resulted in water shutdowns from 2pm until 4am daily.

According to Matsie, the municipality was only able to produce 90ML/day of treated water to the city, while about 82ML/day was being pumped to Kimberley.

“The consumption is currently at 90ML/day which meant that the volume being pumped was not sufficient to meet the needs of the city,” he added.

In order to improve production at the treatment works, the municipality was forced to deviate from the normal operational treatment process.

“For example, backwashing is normally done three times a day, this has now increased to six times a day. This has improved the production capacity to 97ML/day from the plant. Due to the fact that more water is produced, we then had to increase the pumping capacity. This was achieved by pumping with two new high-lift pumps instead of using one old vertical pump and one new pump. The pumping capacity, as a result, increased from 82ML/day to 95ML/day, which is more than the current consumption.”

Matsie pointed out that, as a result, the water levels at the Newton Reservoir have already improved and “it is anticipated that the nightly shutdowns will be suspended as from Wednesday”.

The municipality is also busy with the installation of the 10MVA transformer at the new pump station at Riverton. “The construction of the plinth (platform) started yesterday and the scheduled completion date for the installation is November 29.”

A further intervention will see the commissioning of the old treatment plant.

“Sol Plaatje Municipality has two water treatment facilities, namely the old treatment works with a 54ML production capacity and the new 108ML plant,” Matsie explained.

The old facility is currently out of operation, while the water being produced from the new facility gives on average a production of 97ML/day.

Matsie added that production could be increased by commissioning at least half of the old treatment facility.

“The filters at the old treatment facility have been refurbished and a blower system has been procured and is awaiting commissioning. Work is currently under way to commission a section of the old facility in order to improve the current production capacity. The scheduled completion date for the commissioning of the old treatment works is this Friday, November 15.”

As a result of the interventions, the water levels at the Newton Reservoir complex have already started stabilising.

The complex comprises of four reservoirs (102ML, 91ML, 23ML and 45ML), with a total capacity is 261ML.

“The operational requirement of the reservoir is that they must be at 16ft at all times to ensure that there is no water supply shortage,” Matsie said.

By yesterday, the 102ML reservoir was almost full and it had been closed off and isolated to secure reserves. “The 45ML, 23ML and 91ML are currently in operation and need to be filled up to 16ft,” Matsie said.

“The water supply shutdowns will continue until all reservoirs are at 16ft. We therefore anticipate to fill all reservoirs by Wednesday and suspend all water supply interruptions permanently.”