STATEMENT: Flooded water abstraction pumps in the Mooi River causes drinking water supply failure

STATEMENT: Flooded water abstraction pumps in the Mooi River causes drinking water supply failure

STATEMENT: Flooded water abstraction pumps in the Mooi River causes drinking water supply failure

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Two raw water abstraction pumps in the Mooi River have been flooded in torrential rains in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands over the past 48 hours.

This has resulted in a situation in which Umgeni Water is unable to convey water from the Mooi River to the Mpofana Water Treatment Plant in the town of Mooi River for treatment and supply to the uMgungundlovu District Municipality. Four bulk reservoirs in Mooi River that Umgeni Water uses to store drinking water are now empty.

The cumulative effect of the current situation is that the uMgungundlovu District Municipality is unable to supply water to the town of Mooi River, the vast Bruntville and surrounding residential areas. The water abstraction pumps in the Mooi River, which are housed in a small brick structure on the bank of the river upstream of the town of Mooi River, failed at 17h00 on Wednesday after unabatingly heavy rains. The river had burst its banks at that time.

Due to strong flow and the high level of the Mooi River, by Thursday afternoon asset management staff of Umgeni Water were still unable to reach the pumps to assess extent of damage. The pumps will be examined once the level of the river subsides. When the pumps are removed, they will have to be disassembled, repaired and reinstalled, a process that could take up to 48 hours.

As an emergency measure to ensure some drinking water is available to consumers in the town of Mooi River, Bruntville and surrounding areas, Umgeni Water has informed uMgungundlovu District Municipality that potable will be made available from its new Rosetta Water Treatment Works, to be taken by the municipality in motorised water tankers.

Three months ago, in January 2022, the same pumps in the Mooi River failed in torrential rains and Umgeni Water was unable to abstract raw water and convey to the Mpofana plant for treatment and supply to uMgungundlovu. The town of Mooi River, Bruntville and surrounding areas did not have drinking water for four days.

Issued by the Corporate Stakeholder Management Unit, Umgeni Water