STATEMENT: Cause of Inadequate Water Supply to Ixopo and Remedial Action Implemented
Umgeni Water and Harry Gwala District Municipality
Thursday, 10 March 2022
During the past weekend the town of Ixopo and some surrounding areas experienced water supply interruptions, intermittent water supply or low pressure when taps were opened. This was caused by Umgeni Water being unable to abstract adequate water from the Home Farm Dam for treatment at the Ixopo Water Treatment Works and supply to Harry Gwala District Municipality.
Following extensive investigations by staff of Umgeni Water, the source of the problem was identified. As is known, much of the Home Farm Dam surface is covered by proliferating alien vegetation. The pumps that abstract water from the dam were found to have been clogged with this vegetation, making it impossible to draw sufficient water.
The first pump failure occurred last Thursday night, and staff of Umgeni Water responded immediately by attempting to identify the source of blockage.
When it was discovered that vegetation had been causing the obstruction, staff of Umgeni Water began the process of trying to remove it so that water could flow through it again. It must be noted that this is both a laborious and time-consuming process. In order to expedite full functionality of the pumps again, Umgeni Water is to obtain the services of divers who will remove vegetation from the abstraction pumps through mechanical means.
While full recovery is underway, Umgeni Water wishes to inform consumers that volumes of water being abstracted have since improved, resulting in more potable water becoming available for supply to Harry Gwala DM. The level of the bulk reservoir has also improved and is currently at 60%.
An appeal is being made to consumers to please bear with us while interventions are being implemented to assist in ensuring that raw water abstraction and supply to the plant return to normal as quickly as possible.
As an additional mitigation measure, the plant is shut off from 21h00 to 04h00 daily in order to build the reservoir’s capacity. This will continue until the interventions are completed.