GEORGE NEWS - A week-long struggle to repair bulk water mains at the Ebb and Flow bridge near the Wilderness Water Treatment Works eventually yielded success on Tuesday. Residents of Hoekwil and Touwsranten had to negotiate trips to water tankers stationed within their neighbourhoods to refill their supplies, while the municipality battled with the task at hand.
At long last residents welcomed back water in their homes shortly before 21:00 on Tuesday night, 20 April. Water pressure was restored at full strength by yesterday morning.
The problems faced at the site included continued pipe bursts along the pipeline and couplings that kept failing due to the high pressure required to force the water uphill through the system.
The team had to work with very old steel pipelines which are no longer manufactured or kept in stock. They attempted to modify couplings and manufacture gaskets to facilitate the repair, but the variable high pressures and unstable ground conditions caused repeated failure.
For a permanent solution, the full length of the failed sections had to be manufactured in steel.
The work entailed the cutting and assembling of precise lengths of steel piping, including a number of specific sized bends and modified or newly manufactured couplings. After a failed attempt to get the system going, high pressure gaskets had to be sourced and installed.
Meanwhile a 35 000-litre water tanker was used to refill five water tankers which serviced Touwsranten and Hoekwil throughout their ordeal. Throughout the process, the municipality provided frequent updates on the repairs and the location of the water tankers on various media platforms. George Municipality apologised for the inconvenience caused.
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