Africa-Press – South-Africa. Rand Water has restored full pumping capacity to all its systems after powerlines at the Zuikerbosch Water Treatment Plant were damaged by severe thunderstorms around midnight on Tuesday.
Making matters worse, on Thursday, the same treatment plant experienced an internal electrical fault that could be linked to Tuesday’s incident.
In a statement on Saturday, the utility said both incidents had negatively affected the plant’s ability to operate optimally.
“Rand Water is pleased to announce that full pumping capacity has been restored in all its systems, gradually filling the depleted reservoirs.
“This follows water supply interruption to customers because of severe thunderstorms that damaged the powerlines at the Zuikerbosch Water Treatment Plant on Tuesday,” said Rand Water.
The utility has advised consumers to use water sparingly, after observing increased water demand due to high temperatures.
“Potable water is a finite resource, especially in the context of a semi-arid area such as South Africa. High water consumption is discouraged not because of affordability but rather owing to scarcity.”
Rand Water said large consumption from activities such as irrigation and filling of swimming pools causes strain on the system.
“The resultant effect is, therefore, quick depletion of systems. It is significant to mention that uncontrolled, high water consumption has already put a strain on Rand Water’s systems.”
Meetings were held in affected municipalities of the City of Johannesburg and the City of Ekurhuleni to discuss the impact of the power supply failure on the Zuikerbosch Water Treatment Plant and to come up with resolutions.
Rand Water said the meetings yielded positive results as four affected booster stations had improved significantly.
Technical and communication teams attended the meetings and agreed to work together to address the water supply challenges.
“It is important to mention that all three entities are committed to strengthening proactive engagement, cooperation, coordination and communication.
“The latest incident has caused the reduction of pumping at Palmiet and Eikenhof booster pumping stations, resulting in the depletion of the already critically low reservoirs,” Rand Water said.
Rand Water booster stations and reservoirs have been gradually recovering, while water systems in the City of Johannesburg improved significantly overnight.
Johannesburg Water said it would continue to monitor the developments and update residents.
Meanwhile, in the City of Ekurhuleni, the Primrose and Russell Road reservoirs, as well as the Windsor and Churchill pump stations, were affected.
This impacted the Wadeville industrial area, Germiston CBD and Bertha Gxowa Memorial Hospital.
“It is important to mention that water supply is being restored in the City of Ekurhuleni. Rand Water and the City of Ekurhuleni will continue to prioritise the full restoration of water supply to KwaThema and Tsakane townships, which were affected by the failures in the Mapleton supply system over the past weeks,” the utility said.
The City of Ekurhuleni will also continue to monitor the developments and provide updates to residents.