No pressure

The blue pipes are the new pipes that replace the asbestos pipes – in the photo the difference in size is clearly visible

LEPHALALE — Many questions about low or no water pressure in areas in Onverwacht were asked at the public meeting held at the Municipal Lapa on Thursday 14 November from 18:00.

Additional information confirmed that the contractors who were responsible for the replacement of the asbestos water pipes earlier this year replaced the pipes with pipes smaller in diameter. The link between the smaller pipes and the poor water pressure was also debated.

Community members made demands on which answers from the municipality were expected.

Rudzani Ngobeli, Acting Executive Manager Infrastructural Services, who is responsible for water and electrical services among others, explained that a programme was installed in Palala pump station on Thursday morning which will ensure better water pressure to up to 5 bar. Sybil Nieuwoudt, DA Councillor for the Onverwacht Ward said she knew they were going to increase Palala Reservoir’s pressure but didn’t think it was done on the same day the meeting was held as they were still getting quotes last week.

Community members gave the municipality the benefit of the doubt and said they are waiting to see if the water pressure gets better.

Regarding water restrictions, Ngobeli said there are no official water restrictions currently, so he cannot forbid anyone to water their gardens.

Community member Chris de Beer said he is relying on a pressure pump and water tank at his home in Onverwacht and that not all residents are fortunate enough to obtain a pump and tank.

Ngobeli was adamant that the newly installed programme will make a positive difference in the water pressure.

Regarding the replacement of the asbestos water pipes, community members said that:

The contract with the contracting company who did the replacement stipulated that the replacement pipes should be the same size in diameter as the asbestos pipes.

The Municipal offices were instructed to contact the contractor and not to pay the retention money before the systems work properly. The contractor (and project engineer) should be called in to restore their mess. Spot checks should be done – especially in Ellis, Herman and Kameeldoring Streets. The findings should be communicated to the public.

At the time of going to print, some residents confirmed that the water pressure was just as poor if not worse than previously. Other residents in Waterbessie Street said they saw an improvement over the weekend, but on Monday the pressure was weak again.

Residents from Skurwerand Street confirmed that there was no improvement in water pressure.
Residents of Kameeldoring Street said there was an improvement over the weekend.

Knoppiesdoring, Waaisand, Ouhout and Krulblaar residents said the water pressure was non-existent.

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