STATEMENT: Water shortages in parts of Pietermaritzburg
Thursday, 10 March 2022
Consumers in some parts of Pietermaritzburg’s northern suburbs, Willowton and the industrial area adjacent to Eastwood experienced low water pressure or water shortages on Thursday, 10 March 2022. This was caused by filters at the DV Harris Water Treatment Works being clogged because of high amounts of algae that had made its way into the raw water conveyance system. As a result, the DV Harris plant was not able to treat the full amount of raw water it receives daily and water overflows from this plant became inevitable because of blockages.
Water is abstracted from Midmar Dam and supplied to the DV Harris plant and to the Midmar Water Treatment Works. Production of potable water at the Midmar Water Treatment Works was affected to a lesser extent by the algae problem, which originates from Midmar Dam.
Early estimates indicate that potable water production had reduced by 50% at the DV Harris plant which, in turn, meant that Umgeni Water was unable to supply the full daily quota of potable water that is required by Msunduzi Local Municipality and the uMgungundlovu District Municipality.
Msunduzi Local Municipality reservoirs that were affected by reduced volumes of supply from the DV Harris plant are Claridge, Belfort and Clarendon. The uMgungundlovu District Municipality reservoirs in uMshwathi also began receiving reduced volumes of drinking water.
Umgeni Water staff are working around the clock to flush out the algae from the filters. This is a time-consuming process as it only can be done with one filter at a time. It is expected that this work will be completed by the early hours of Friday morning, after which full production will be restored at the DV Harris plant.
Umgeni Water apologises to consumers for inconvenience caused, assures them that there will be no unnecessary delays in completing the work and that every effort will be made to restore full drinking water supply.
Issued by the Corporate Stakeholder Management Unit, Umgeni Water