GEORGE NEWS - The Executive Mayor for George, Melvin Naik today participated in an emergency meeting called to discuss the repair of the 250mm main supply line which burst on Sunday 6 October, in a section running along the Kaaiman’s Railway Bridge.
Following discussions between the Civil Engineering Directorate, safety specialist, structural engineer and Garden Route Disaster Management it has become apparent that the damage is going to take longer than expected to repair.
Intensive repair planning is underway with all stakeholders involved including the owner of the railway bridge, Transnet and a number of pre-safety measures have to be put in place by professional rope work experts to allow for the transport and installation of thirty-four (34) six metre length HDPE piping (high-density polyethylene) which has a high level of impermeability and a strong molecular bond making it suitable for high pressure pipelines. The safety measures need to be in place along the access pathways from Victoria Bay, the railway line along the bridge and the walkway on the bridge to allow for the carrying of materials, welding and installation.
The timeline for this repair project could take up to 10 days due to the safety precautions that need to be adhered to, the specialist skills required as well as the necessity to only work during daylight hours, again for safety reasons.
Status of water supply - fixed capacity
At this point the consumers of Wilderness are experiencing low water pressure issues with areas of Wilderness Heights having no water at all. The Water Works in Wilderness has a fixed capacity and is augmented by the supply of water from George along the railway bridge. With the George supply not in working presently, water trucks are being used to maintain the levels of the reservoir and due to this emergency situation it is imperative that all consumers in Ward 4 (Hoekwil, Kleinkrantz, Kleinkrantz Farms, Pine Dew, Touwsranten, Wilderness, Wilderness Heights, The Dunes, and Drie Valleyen (Portion) please keep water consumption to a minimum to allow water to be distributed throughout the system.
The Civil Engineering Department will use the reduction of water pressure and intermittent interruption of water supply, to attempt to balance the system thereby allowing all areas of Ward 4 as listed above, to have access to water during certain periods of the day, albeit at low pressure, for the duration of the Railway Bridge Repair. The Civil Engineering Directorate will hire in additional water trucks and will also make use of the new fire services truck (35 000 litres) to continue filling up the reservoir.
Mayor Melvin Naik expressed his concern for those consumers affected and stressed the necessity for all water users in the Wilderness area to please reduce their water consumption during the next 10 days. “Our Civil Engineering Department is doing everything possible to resolve this matter as quickly as possible but we really need the co-operation of the water users – if you use less, in fact if you only use what is necessary that is no watering of gardens, filling of pools etc - the department will be able to balance the system of six reservoirs and allow everyone to have water at certain times of the day.”
Interim water supply
The interim water supply measures of three water trucks for Wilderness Heights remain in place and will be available daily from 6 – 9pm for consumers to collect water. Three water trucks remain stationed at the Wilderness Heights shop, on the corner of Silver and Whites Roads and at Remskoen Road for consumers to collect water with their own containers. Please note these water trucks do need to refill at times so if they are not seen, they will return.
Safe storage of water
If storing water in open containers please ensure that it is kept in a cold location or fridge. Use an open container within 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, 1 to 2 days in a cold room, or a few hours in a warm room. After that, purify the remaining water again by boiling it. It is safer to store water in closed containers.
George Municipality apologizes for the inconvenience and assures the public that the repair efforts are being expedited as quickly as is possible given the difficult location of the failure and all safety concerns having to be addressed.
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