Joburg water woes a sign of ageing infrastructure

23 January 2019 - 17:13 By Alex Patrick
Johannesburg Water said that most of the unplanned water disruptions that occurred across the city on Wednesday were caused by burst pipes.
Johannesburg Water said that most of the unplanned water disruptions that occurred across the city on Wednesday were caused by burst pipes.
Image: ALON SKUY

It seems the water woes experienced by the northern suburbs of Johannesburg at the beginning of the year may be a forewarning for what is in the pipeline for the rest of the city.

Johannesburg Water said it was aware of water disruptions in several suburbs extending throughout the city, but the problems should be fixed by the end of the day on Wednesday.

The utility reported unplanned outages in Fourways in the north; Bramley North, Witkoppen and Lonehill in Sandton; Lenasia in the south;  Parktown in central Johannesburg; Dainfern in Midrand; Roodepoort, west of the city; and Vlakfontein in the far south. 

Johannesburg Water spokesperson Isaac Dhludhlu said the only planned water outages this week were for Ivory Park Extension 13 in the east of Johannesburg and Jabulani Flats and the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, south of Johannesburg.

These areas had been experiencing disruptions since the beginning of the year.

Dhludhlu said the areas with reported water issues had been attended to by the afternoon.

Despite this, the Tiso Blackstar building in Parktown, home to the state capture inquiry, was still without water at the time of publishing.

Dhludhlu said most of the unplanned disruptions were caused by burst pipes and said the utility and the city were working on solutions to fix water infrastructure.

"There are some challenges with infrastructure but we are working with the city to address such. We have a yearly target to replace ageing sewer and water pipes. Our targets depend on the city budget. Last year we replaced around 200km of piping and the amount will differ from area to area depending on the assessment. 

"This year we are focusing on Sandown in Sandton, the area needs the most maintenance in terms of pipe replacement. 

"Pipe replacement doesn't necessarily mean the pipes are breaking, it can mean the water pressure is low or there is an increase in water being used and we need to increase the water supply," Dhludhlu said.

A partially closed valve at Parktown reservoir 2 meant that residents in the northern suburbs of Houghton; Rosebank; Melrose Extensions; Melrose Estate; Birdhaven; Killarney; Saxonwold; Riveria; Parktown North; Dunkeld and Parkwood had no water or restricted water from January 7 to January 11.


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