Media release from Makana Municipality: Monday 27 June 2016
The water outages to Grahamstown East over the past two days are due to a serious event at the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works north-east of Grahamstown. Grahamstown West still has water and thus the Festival will not be affected.
The pump station services the eastern areas of Grahamstown including Transit Camp, Mayfield, Extension 1-10, Joza Street, Vukani Upper, Xolani, Tantyi and Mary Waters, Fingo Village, Lower Makana’s Kop, Newtown, KwaNdancama, Ghost Town and Hooggenoeg.
The problem emerged on Sunday 26 June when a staff member arrived at work to find the pump station flooded. All three main water pumps, as well as five other pumps that form part of the treatment processes were submerged.
Senior officials from Makana Municipality rushed to the scene and emergency measures were immediately set in motion to ensure residents would receive water, ascertain the damage, and effect repairs or replacement of equipment to get the pump station working again.
The three main motors have been removed and taken to East London where they are being dried out in a special baking facility. When they are returned, each motor will undergo several electrical and mechanical tests before and during installation before they are restored to full functionality.
Acting municipal manager Riana Meiring today announced that the necessary disciplinary action are instigated to the relevant officials.
The pumping capacity of the James Kleynhans facility is normally 150 litres a second. By replacing the motor of one of the pumps and reinstalling it officials said they hoped to have it working by 10pm tonight, Monday 27 June.
However, its pumping capacity is 75 litres a second and so while this will allow the supply to build up again in the three reservoirs it feeds – Tantyi, Botha’s Hill and Mayfield – restrictions will remain in place for a while to maintain sufficient levels.
Water tankers have been brought into town to deliver water to residents of those areas.
Plan B is to get one more pump set in operation to meet full supply.
If the electrics in the facility and the motors being baked are sound, the motors could be delivered and installed by midnight 28 June 2016.
“If all goes according to plan, the facility should be back to normal (150l/sec) by Wednesday night,” Infrastructure Director Dali Mlenzana told a high-level meeting this morning to report back on measures taken to address the crisis.
“We are treating this as a disaster,” Meiring said at the scene on Sunday.
This meant no measure would be spared in acquiring resources to deal with it, and also that emergency procurement procedures for essential parts and equipment were in place during this period.
Makana Municipality has called on residents in Grahamstown West to conserve water. Water restrictions are already in place due to the drought and severe penalties will be incurred if these are flouted during the current emergency.
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