Northern Joburg enters day one of two-day water outage

Maintenance is part of seven-year project to replace ageing water system

Gill Gifford Senior journalist
Northern Johannesburg will have two days of water outages as Joburg Water shuts down supply to connect newly replaced pipes to the existing system. Stock photo.
Northern Johannesburg will have two days of water outages as Joburg Water shuts down supply to connect newly replaced pipes to the existing system. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Marinos Karafyllidis

Many parts of Johannesburg are without water on Wednesday, and supply will only be restored at 10pm on Thursday as Joburg Water technicians work on a large-scale maintenance project.

Parts of Johannesburg North, Cedar Lakes, Chartwell, Farmall and Northriding  are impacted, and water tankers have been stationed around the areas to assist. While the cut-off began at 7am, many suburbs are expected to have water supply for a few hours — the length of time depending on demand — as they are fed by a back-up supply from reservoirs that will quickly run dry.

Joburg Water spokesperson Eleanor Mavimbela said the shutdown is necessary for technicians to tie new pipelines to those areas into the existing mainlines.

Maintenance is unfortunately a necessary evil.
Eleanor Mavimbela, Joburg Water

“We will have tankers in those areas. People who want to find out exactly where they are stationed can go to the Joburg Water Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to find the lists,” she said.

The maintenance is part of a seven-year project to replace the city’s ageing water system. It is something that has to be done every 60 years, with much of the old pipe system failing and in dire need of repair.

An overview of water outage reports since July 20 shows:

  • nine burst pipe reports;
  • 22 suburban water outage or “unplanned interruption” reports;
  • two reports of empty reservoirs;
  • one reservoir running very low;
  • one case of water lines in need of bleeding to release air; and
  • two planned interruptions.

“Maintenance is unfortunately a necessary evil. If we don’t maintain the pipes and reservoirs we run into danger of cuts lasting much longer than 37 hours that we need,” she said, adding that the city could not allow a backlog of maintenance jobs to develop.

“Joburg is a very old city so a number of areas need to have pipes replaced. We are making good headway in some areas and we are seeing a reduction in interruptions,” she said.

The next planned outage is coming up on August 3 when Crown Gardens, Robertsham, Winchester Hills and Ridgeway will all be without water from 6am to 10pm.

TimesLIVE

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.