'Fix the leaks'‚ residents cry‚ as taps run dry in Nelson Mandela Bay

02 December 2016 - 14:48 By Tmg Digital And Herald

Residents of Port Elizabeth's western suburbs and Uitenhage’s KwaNobuhle are fuming about pipe water leaks as their taps run dry.

Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality on Thursday issued an urgent notice stating that parts of the western areas – which included Lorraine‚ Kabega and Rowallan Park suburbs – in addition to KwaNobuhle‚ were out of drinking water as a result of demand on the system which was rapidly depleting both the Kouga and Loerie dams‚ with the Loerie Dam also emptying fast.

Metro spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said yesterday they were already getting calls from residents in high-lying areas‚ saying they were out of water. “Those who have water now can expect it to be off any time‚” he said.

Mniki said they were redirecting water from other sources.

“If there is no water for four hours in an area‚ we will send our [water] trucks [there]‚” he said. “Residents are encouraged to call the customer care line if they are without water.”

Mniki said all non-essential water use must be stopped immediately.

“Residents are requested to use water to drink‚ cook‚ wash in their basins and only to flush toilets when absolutely necessary‚” he said.

“No household should use more than 250 litres of water a day right now.”

City residents took to Facebook to question the municipality about why it was not moving faster to clamp down on water leaks and ageing water infrastructure‚ if the drought situation was so dire.

Adrian May shared‚ "There was a leak for weeks in the road opposite Optimed‚ only yesterday were they working on it. Don't come and talk to us about conserving water. You as the municipality are still failing us. The whole thing is a complete stuff up. We can play the blame game but at the end it's always the ratepayers that suffer."

Carla Patterson asked: "What about all the water leaks?? Litres of water going to waste and leaks are not being repaired even after being reported numerous times!! We must save water yet it goes to waste running down the streets. Please practice what you preach!!"

She added‚ "Here in Uitenhage the water has been leaking for a couple of weeks now and it's all going to waste. It's been reported numerous times".

"Some of the leaks are actually getting worse with each passing day. It's very concerning."

Jurgen Vollweiler also shared‚ "What about all the leaks in the western suburbs‚ 'specially just behind Metlife. Water has been running down that road for more than a year."

He posted this photo:

Nadine Haynes proposed that the city utilise the private sector to restrict water losses.

"Surely NMB metro should be using all the qualified people available‚ including private companies to fix the leaks quicker‚ under these circumstances‚" she said. "I realize it's more complicated than it sounds but even a temporary repair until it can be fixed properly‚ would surely help the situation."

Alban Dunford replied‚ "I agree.. call out of very possible contractor who is qualified to do so... and just pay them.. get it done.. this is a crisis.. drop what you are doing and help..."

Meanwhile‚ infrastructure‚ engineering and electricity political head Annette Lovemore recommended to the council yesterday to approve Part B of the water restrictions with punitive tariffs. Lovemore told councillors the city was in crisis as the Chelsea reservoir was empty while others were at 30%.

“We are in crisis‚ we do not have a choice here‚” she said.

- TMG Digital/The Herald