First load-shedding, now nightly water cuts for Polokwane
First it was load-shedding and now daily water cuts are on the cards for residents in Polokwane.
Water supply to the capital city in Limpopo will be cut off every day from 8pm until 4am, the municipality announced on Wednesday.
“The exercise helps in accumulating water quicker, as there will be no usage during the said time frames and, as such, the system will be better pressurised when the water is released in the mornings,” said municipal manager Dikgape Makobe.
Makobe said the municipality was experiencing water shortages, affecting urban and rural areas.
Several challenges were being encountered at two water plants, including ageing infrastructure resulting in regular mainline pipe bursts and pump failures. Power failures had also contributed to the problem, Makobe said.
The department of water & sanitation had also imposed restrictions due to low water levels at the Ebenezer Dam near Tzaneen. The dam is below 20% capacity.
Load-shedding had further contributed to water cuts, said Makobe. “The regular load-shedding affects the purification and transportation of water to the supply areas.
“In the past two weeks we have seen Eskom implementing stage 2 load-shedding, which has led to water-treatment plants and pump stations being affected twice in 24 hours.”
The combined bulk water supply from three water schemes, Dap Naude, Ebenezer and Olifantspoort schemes, cannot meet demand for water in the area.
“To deal with this crisis, the municipality has no option but to introduce a water-shedding or restriction operation that will facilitate water distribution to all areas of supply,” said Makobe.
“The operation involves closing the reservoir outlets at night to maintain the reservoir levels ... and ensuring that all areas have sustainable water supply.”
He said the municipality had interventions in place to add more water to the system, including an underground water project and the upgrade of a manganese plant.
“The Seshego water-treatment plant project has also commenced and 67 boreholes have been drilled so far.”