Ricochet News

Uitenhage, Motherwell, Blue Water Bay, Bethelsdorp among areas most affected by collapse of water canal

May 20, 2017
Uitenhage, Motherwell, Blue Water Bay, Bethelsdorp among areas most affected by collapse of water canal

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Friday appealed to local residents to urgently cut back water usage after the collapse of the canal conveying water to the Scheepers Vlakte Dam in the Sundays River Valley Local Municipality area. 

"This incident will have a dramatic effect on water supply to our eastern and northern areas over the next two weeks, until repairs are effected," the Metro warned.

"Although the eastern and northern areas (Despatch, Uitenhage, Motherwell, Ikamvelihle, Coega Development Corporation, Wells Estate, Bluewater Bay, Bloemendal, Bethelsdorp, Chatty and Colchester) will be most affected, it is imperative that all residents in all areas of the Metro immediately cut their water usage to the barest minimum, stopping the non-essential use of water, such as washing cars."

According to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the collapsed canal forms part of the water transfer system from the Gariep Dam  that is owned and operated by the Department of Water and Sanitation.

"Various farmers and municipalities - including the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality  - receive water from this system.

"As a result of this incident, 30% (±90 Ml) of the water supply to the NMBM is at risk, as water is drawn from this Dam, treated at the Nooitgedagt Water Treatment Works, and then pumped to our City for consumption by residents," the municipality said.

"Scheepers Vlakte Dam is a balancing dam and does not store water for long periods as normal catchment dams do. Water storage at this particular dam is for 7 days only. As a result of this collapse of the canal and also the fact that no filling has taken place, only approximately 4 days of water storage is left."

On Thursday, Metro officials visited the site to ascertain the extent of the damage and to determine the impact this collapsed canal will have on the water supply to the NMBM.

"The damage is significant, and with only four days storage left in the Scheepers Vlakte Dam, it is envisaged that as from Monday, 22 May 2017, the water supply to the eastern and northern parts of the NMBM will be affected," the municipality said.

"The estimated time for the repairs is at least one week, to be confirmed only once repairs commenced and the true impact of the ground conditions is understood."

From the above, it is evident that water supply to the NMBM will be in dramatically affected for at least the next two weeks:

  • Firstly, the eastern and northern parts of the NMBM, as listed above, will be without water for at least four days.

  • Secondly, it will take at least a week for the supply system to fill up again.

"In order to mitigate the problem, the interconnecting pipelines will be opened to transfer water from west to east to bring some relief, but this will not be enough to prevent interruptions. Water tankers will be placed in strategic locations during this period.

"Residents are welcome to view the NMBM website and facebook to view photos/video clips of the damage," the Metro said.

"Let us work together to overcome this major challenge and cut our water usage to the barest minimum WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT."