STATEMENT: Shaft Pump failure at Durban Heights Water Works and its Impact

STATEMENT: Shaft Pump failure at Durban Heights Water Works and its Impact

STATEMENT: Shaft Pump failure at Durban Heights Water Works and its Impact

Issued by Shami Harichunder, Corporate Stakeholder Manager, Umgeni Water

Tuesday, 16th November 2021

Umgeni Water subscribes fully to communicating with its stakeholders, including communities, in a transparent manner so that they are kept fully informed about major challenges being experienced in water treatment and supply to its seven municipal customers.

On Thursday, 11th November 2021, an emergency shaft pump that conveys raw water from Inanda Dam to the Durban Heights Water Treatment Works failed, causing raw water inadequacy at this plant. Raw water is treated at Durban Heights Water Treatment Works and supplied as potable water to eThekwini Water and Sanitation. This has caused serious water shortages in eThekwini’s Central, Southern and Northern systems.

Umgeni Water fully understands the inconvenience that continues to be experienced by consumers and apologies profusely:

The affected reservoirs and areas are:

  • Umlazi H, G, N, W, C, D, K, J, BB, CC, AA, M, L, R P, Q,
  • Folweni
  • Nsimbini
  • Phoenix
  • Sunningdale
  • North of Durban
  • Trenance 1 Reservoir
  • Trenance 3
  • Elevated Tower
  • Mountview Reservoir
  • Ntuzuma 3
  • Ntuzuma 7

As a result of the prevailing situation – in which there has been a reduction in water supply to eThekwini Water and Sanitation of 50 megalitres per day – the reservoirs and areas above are experiencing water shortages.

An assurance is given by Umgeni Water that everything possible is being done in conjunction with eThekwini Metro to resolve the problem in the shortest possible period.

On Saturday, 12th of November 2021, Umgeni Water appointed an external contractor to remove, repair, refurbish and re-install the shaft pump that failed. This pump is approximately 180 metres below surface. This is one of the pumps that is used to augment the raw water inflow to the Durban Heights Water Treatment Works after Aqueduct 4 developed a leak and was taken out of use due to risk the leak posed to communities residing near the aqueduct in Clermont township. This aqueduct transports raw water from Nagle Dam to Durban Heights Water Treatment Works, causing a deficit of 50 megalitres per day.