Parts of the southern suburbs have been left without water since yesterday, following a bulk water supply problem due to a faulty valve on the Phillipi and Gugulethu water pipeline. Residents have been venting anger on social media, accusing the City of Cape Town of not prioritising the needs of residents on the Cape Flats. The areas affected have been Schaapkraal, Philippi, Pelican Park, Ottery, Grassy Park, Retreat, Plumstead, Southfield and Wynberg.
The City’s Water and Sanitation Department said it has been struggling since Monday to reinstate the water supply and it is a 36 hour operation to repair the fault.
“We had to shut down some valves on the pipeline, which meant that water supply to the reticulation network was also affected. Usually on the bulk water pipeline, depending on where we need to work, in some cases, it doesn’t impact on residents, but in this case it did ,” explained the City’s spokesperson for water and sanitation, Farouk Abrahams.
“We had to drop the level in our bulk water pipe and in the early hours of this morning, we managed to get into the valve chamber, take it out and refurbish it. We then replaced the valve and we are currently busy filling up the bulk water supply line.”
Last night, city water officials rerouted some supply via the Wynberg main and that alleviated the water situation in some of the areas. But Robertson admitted it was a long process and the water supply will only be stored by early evening. He has urged residents to use minimal water.
“We ask residents to ensure their taps are closed during this period to allow us a shorter period of time to fill up the reticulation network. When they use their taps, they should draw minimal volumes and open up the taps slowly. The only thing is that the water won’t have the full pressure that residents are used to.”
Residents are warned that the water coming out of the tap could have a whitish colour.
“These are fine air-bubbles trapped in the water, and if the water stands, it will dissipate.”
Robertson apologised to residents for the inconvenienced caused. VOC