Potable water supply to Umbumbulu and surrounding area.
Umgeni Water was requested in 2004 by eThekwini Water Services to implement a scheme capable of meeting the projected demand of 14,4Ml/d in the uMbumbulu and surrounding area. On investigation, the only feasible solution was to connect a new pipeline to the existing pipeline running from Umlaas Road reservoir to Eston reservoir. This new pipeline would supply water to the uMbumbulu Water Works which would enable Umgeni Water to decommission the works and use the existing reservoirs on site for storage.
The initial design comprised a 450 diameter steel pipeline of approximately 35km from an off-take approximately 3km upstream of the Eston reservoir on the Umlaas Road to Eston pipeline to the uMbumbulu Water Works, where an additional 7.5Ml of storage was to be provided. A route was identified such that it was possible to deliver the required flow under gravity. The analysis highlighted the need for a break pressure tank (BPT) in order to reduce the pressure as the water approached the uMbumbulu Water Works. The position of this BPT became the point up to which Umgeni Water’s responsibility was later curtailed as eThekwini Water Services made use of this site for the additional storage to enable them to supply the uMbumbulu and surrounding area by gravity as opposed to pumping water from the uMbumbulu Water Works to the surrounding reservoirs from where water would be reticulated to the consumers. This decision meant curtailing Umgeni Water’s responsiblity by reducing the length of the pipeline by 10km to approximately 25km and removing the design and construction of the storage reservoir at the works. The initial cost estimate was R68 million. However, with the curtailment in responsibility, the revised cost estimate for the change in scope was reduced to R48m.
Work commenced on the construction of this pipeline in June 2005 with completion scheduled for the end of that year. However, a number of issues resulted in the project only being commissioned in the middle of 2006. The final cost of the project was R41,7 million.