Joburg residents enter second week without water as heatwave strikes

  • Many areas of Johannesburg have been without water since a power supply issue impacted pumping stations last week.
  • This coupled with a heatwave has left City of Johannesburg residents exasperated as water is used before it can fill pipes, reservoirs or towers, many of which still stand empty.
  • Residents have taken to social media to highlight a number of burst pipes and leaks in areas where there is seemingly no water supply.

Despite repairs being complete to the electricity infrastructure supplying water pump station, many parts of Johannesburg sit with little to no water and no way of knowing when the situation will change.

A flash-over event at City Power’s Eikenhoff sub-station cut supply to a nearby Rand Water pumping station last week. Before too long, reservoirs, towers and pipes ran dry as Johannesburg residents used what had been stored up as the temperatures climbed throughout the week. This has created supply problems as Rand Water can’t pump water around the city faster than residents can use it.

The power supply issue was reportedly solved before the weekend but water supply to multiple areas of Johannesburg remains low to non-existent.

Reservoirs in Linden, Blairgowrie and Kensington B appear to still have supply issues and are either low or empty at this stage. Similarly, systems in Yeoville, Parktown, Glen Vista, and other areas were still experiencing supply issues on Sunday evening.

Residents can check the status of reservoirs supplying their area here.

Further compounding the trials of residents, Johannesburg Water told residents that a major pipe had burst in Dunkeld West on Monday morning.

Supply through the 375mm pipe has thankfully been shut down, but residents in Craighall Park, Hyde Park, Dunkeld West and surrounding areas may experience further water supply problems. We should point out that water has been gushing from a pipe in the area for most of the morning.

This system shock couldn’t come at a worse time either. The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has a warned residents that there is a risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration in most parts of Gauteng. This warning will be repeated on Tuesday and given that temperatures will likely remain within the 30-degree mark for the rest of the week, those warnings may apply for the foreseeable future.

While Johannesburg Water and Rand Water have urged residents to rescue their water usage, many have pointed out how many leaking pipes flow into the roads of the City daily.

Johannesburg Water has reportedly reached agreements with Rand Water to pump more water into its systems but with demand for water, and a number of leaks around the city, it feels like a losing battle.

The City has setup water tankers around Johannesburg but based on conversations with residents, the availability of these tankers is too unreliable to depend on.

This has become an unmitigated disaster for City of Johannesburg what with some residents not having water for what is now becoming two weeks. Together with unrelating heat in Johannesburg, the municipality would do well to address this issue and leave the socialising and election campaigning until after residents have access to essential services.

[Image – Holger Schué from Pixabay]


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