City of Joburg takes action to resolve water crisis

City of Joburg takes action to resolve water crisis. Picture: File

City of Joburg takes action to resolve water crisis. Picture: File

Published Mar 12, 2024


Johannesburg Water spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala says about 50% of the systems in Johannesburg are supplied or fed by the Rand Water Eikenhof pump station, which explains the impact of what Joburg is experiencing.

The current water supply challenges in some sections of the city were caused by two events at Rand Water’s Eikenhof pump station as a result of City Power outages. One on Sunday, March 3, was followed by another on Monday, March 4. These two incidents affected the stability of various reservoirs in the Johannesburg Water System.

Shabalala added that their systems will take time to recover. Randburg, Roodepoort, Soweto, Johannesburg South, and Johannesburg Central have all been affected. The majority of areas have recovered; however, the Linden 1 and Blairgowrie reservoirs, which supply some portions of Randburg, are still recovering.

“This is because water is not like electricity; you can’t simply flip a switch and it turns back on. Water flows through a 12 400km pipeline that connects several systems around Johannesburg.

“While alternative water supply cannot replace the convenience provided by constant and normal supply, as an intervention and to assist our residents, we have 35 water tankers providing emergency water supply to affected areas.

“The Linden 1 reservoir and tower are the highest in terms of elevation, meaning water will fill up low-lying areas first and high-lying areas last. The water systems are complex in nature with many variables, like pressure, flow, and gravity.

“The technical teams from Rand Water and Johannesburg Water are currently reconfiguring the system. This is in order to boost supply, as the supply pressure is poor and cannot reach the Linden 1 reservoir and tower, including Blairgowrie, until supply pressure improves substantially.

“However, this is the function of the bulk supplier system, which has not recovered enough to provide adequate pressure and flows into the Johannesburg Water system.

“Johannesburg Water, together with Rand Water technical teams, conducted a site inspection on Monday afternoon, March 11, as part of investigations into the poor water supply going into the Linden 1 and Blairgowrie systems in Randburg.

“The reduced flow into Johannesburg Water’s Linden 1 and Blairgowrie reservoirs is mainly due to the increase in demand caused by hot weather conditions as well as reservoirs being critically low to empty. Furthermore, airlocks have been flushed out of the network to improve water flow,” Shabalala said.

Shabalala further stated the steps that will be taken to bring some relief to the two systems:

1. Pipework modification will be done to boost water supply in the lower-lying areas of Blairgowrie.

2. Johannesburg Water has requested Rand Water to reconfigure its systems to boost water into the Linden 1 reservoir supply feed.

3. The teams will also reconfigure the system to boost supply into the Kensington B tower zone so that customers can have improved supply.

The above-mentioned solutions will not only bring some relief to Johannesburg Water customers, but will also assist Rand Water systems to recover quicker.

Updates will be provided to customers.

• Areas supplied by Linden 1 and 2 reservoirs.

• Areas supplied by Blairgowrie Reservoir.

The Star

Nobukhosi Tshabalala