ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
02 July 2015
For immediate release

Water rationing extends to uThongathi to manage drought situation

EThekwini Municipality is implementing water rationing in uThongathi from Friday, 3 July 2015, to address the drought situation the Province of KwaZulu-Natal is currently facing which has reached a critical stage.

Water rationing has already been implemented in other areas in the North that are supplied with water from the Hazelmere Dam. Water level at the Hazelmere Dam is at a critical 28 percent.

Water rationing in uThongathi will affect the following areas: Emona, Vanrova, Hambanathi, Metcalfe, Ghandi’s Hill, Tongaat Central, Plane Street, Watson Highway, Brake Village, Belvedere, Rajkomaar’s Farm, Flamingo Heights, Watsonia, Belgate, Gwala’s Farm, Chelmsford, Buffeldale, Mitanager, Watsonia, Trurolands, Ghandinager, Amanzinyama offices, Walter Reid Road, Jon Roz, Wewe, Maidstone, Fairbreeze, Sandfieds, Pringle Village, Noodsberg Road, Magwaveni, Sandfields and Magwaveni area.

The City has been working around the clock to minimise impact to consumers and we are doing our best to follow the published water schedules; however we have encountered the following challenges which are being addressed:
  • Consumers in the lower lying area tend to draw and store excessive amounts of water, as water flows down to them first. This has caused prolonged interruptions to some areas of Seatides, Westbrook, Southridge, Verulam, Waterloo, Riyadh Township and Ottawa.
  • The reticulation mains are extensive and system takes time to fill up therefore consumers in the higher lying areas get water after a long time.
  • Consumers leave taps open in anticipation of the water supply returning. They will only close their taps when they return from work and in the event that water returns while they are away taps run uncontrolled resulting in a lot of water being wasted.
  • Consumers make use of water from their geysers. When the water supply returns, geysers start to fill up automatically thereby increasing the demand on the system. Most geysers should not operate this way if properly installed.
  • Some areas are supplied directly from the uMgeni Water System (the La Mercy Airport Reservoir) which means that if uMgeni Water stops pumping after we have reached our quota, the system will then drain until the next day’s quota is released. Water tends to flow to the lower lying areas first therefore consumers in higher lying areas are affected even further. Water outages are therefore prolonged.
  • The reticulation mains are also not designed to be operated by opening and closing as were are forced to do currently. This causes air entrapment which results in bursts and leaks and repairs delay the supply, especially when water leaks are not reported so that they can be repaired timeously.
Planned interruption times have been scheduled for during the day and some at night. With the high consumption together with un reported water bursts and leaks, the water supply is interrupted beyond the stipulated times. Repairs are also being prioritised to minimise losses and down time. This sometimes coincides with times when consumers are meant to have water.

The City has prioritised sending water tankers to all affected areas, however, the water tankers are in high demand. Areas with prolonged outages will be prioritised with the available resources. Tankers are frequently bogged down by residents at the entrance of affected areas and most often cannot make it through to the end as they are empty by then.

The City is also trying to curb the pipeline bursts, and the conservation of water has always been a priority. Interventions that are currently being implemented are:-
  • The reduction in pressures in various areas, where possible;
  • As a further measure, the Municipality is looking into installing individual restrictors which will be installed at each water meter. In this way consumers in lower lying areas will receive a limited amount of water at a reduced rate of supply. This will allow reticulation systems to fill up faster and get to the consumers on the hill tops. Once all the restrictors have been installed in each area, the reticulation mains will be left fully charged as all consumers will be receiving a continuous supply of water but at a much reduced flow rate. This will avoid the opening and closing of the system every day.
Please download the following link to view timetable for water rationing in uThongathi.

We can all do the following to save water:
  • Fix leaking taps or report them to local authorities immediately. A dripping tap (one drop per second) wastes up to 30 litres of water an hour.
  • If you take a bath do not fill up the bath tub. Preferably take a 5 minute shower.
  • Close the tap when brushing your teeth or use water from a cup.
  • Do not rinse glasses and cutlery under running water.
  • Avoid washing vegetables under running water. Use a bowl to do this.
  • Hosepipe usage is prohibited during this period. Wash your car using a bucket.
We appeal to the residents to continue saving water by 50% during this period to avoid extension of water interruptions. Industries with high usage are urged to reduce consumption.

The Municipality urges residents to continue reporting water leaks, illegal water connections, vandalism or theft of Municipal infrastructure to the number 080 13 13 013, they can email: eservices@durban.gov.za or use the number 43554 to sms or fax 031 311 82 20.”

ENDS

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.
For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email:gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za