MEDIA STATEMENT: 23 MARCH 2021
NDLAMBE WATER CRISIS
Severe drought conditions continue to be experienced in the Eastern Cape, and strict water restrictions are in place throughout Ndlambe. Below is an area report on the current water crisis:
Bathurst: The Golden Ridge Dam has reached day zero and water cannot be pumped from this source. Water is presently being pumped on alternate days from the nearby Nel’s farm via the Mansfield Dam to the water treatment plant in Bathurst. This water source is shared with Port Alfred, who are also in a critical situation. Water is opened in Bathurst between 6am and 10am every second day. The good news is that work has been completed on the new pipeline laid from Lushington river to the water treatment plant, however, as there is no electrical connection point close to the water source, a generator will need to be used as a temporary measure to pump the water until a more permanent solution can be implemented. Urgent procurement procedures are presently underway for the generator and the generator is expected to start pumping water as from the 25 March 2021.
Port Alfred: The Sarel Hayward Dam has reached day zero and no water can be pumped from this source. A temporary submersible pump is being used to pump an average of 1.7ML per day – this is supplemented by the Central Belt Boreholes and East Bank Dune Pumps as well as boreholes on nearby Nel’s farm. Water is currently opened daily from 6am to 10am, however there is insufficient water to get to the high lying areas. Water is still being trucked from Boknes and occasionally from Kleinemonde to Jo-Jo tanks around Port Alfred. As soon as the Lushington project in Bathurst is operational, more water can be diverted from Nel’s farm boreholes to supplement Port Alfred.
Work is progressing well on the new 5ML(2ML sea water and 3ML wastewater) RO plant. 2ML sea water RO plant is anticipated to be completed by end of April 2021, while the rest of the project is due for completion by end May 2021.
In addition, Amatola Water report that work is due to continue soon on the original Amatola Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis plant, and a steering committee will be established by Amatola Water for this project. It should be noted that this Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis plant will not provide additional water for Port Alfred, it’s purpose is to provide more potable water.
Kleinemonde: The Mount Wellington Dam is at 95% capacity and water is currently being drawn from boreholes. Water to supplement Port Alfred’s shortfall is mainly being drawn from Kleinemonde water treatment works and Boknes.
Kenton / Bushmans: Water levels are critically low at the reservoirs supplying water to Kenton and Marselle. This is due to a bust pipe situated at the Bushmans’ Bridge on the R/O line feeding water to the reservoirs. It can be expected that water supply will be interrupted as repairs need to be affected. As there is a recurring problem on this pipeline, due to ageing infrastructure, Amatola Water reports that there are plans to replace the pipeline under the bridge, however, as this is a critical line, a temporary pipeline will have to be laid before the affected pipeline can be removed and replaced. In the interim, water trucks will cart water to affected areas.
Cannon Rocks / Boknes and Alexandria: The 2ML reservoir at Cannon Rocks is presently at 78% and Boknes at 87%. Water is currently being drawn from these reservoirs to cart water to Port Alfred and Bathurst, and excess is pumped to Alexandria. P & S Consulting report that the augmentation process for Alexandria from this source is progressing well with 1.2ML per day being pumped to Alexandria. They also reported a resent burst pipe at Fish Kraals dunes, and whilst this repair is taking place.
The Department of Water and Sanitation have secured water trucks to assist in carting water to all Ndlambe municipal areas.
At the same time, Amatola Water has drilled several boreholes on Pullen farm to augment Alexandria’s water supply. These boreholes need to be tested for suitability in terms of yield and quality, before they can be equipped. Amatola Water have committed to reporting on this process by 19 March 2021. They have also committed to addressing the community of Alexandria with regard to progress.
There is a full understanding and appreciation of the current water crisis in Ndlambe. Hence the progress with various projects is being closely monitored by the Municipality and it’s representatives.
The Municipality wish to thank the people of Port Alfred for their cooperation and contributions during the water crisis. We are most thankful to the communities for their efforts to see us through this crisis.
In the interim, drastic restrictions are implemented to conserve the small amount of water we have available. Drought conditions persist, thus our water situation is worsening. Water tanks placed around Port Alfred and Bathurst are still serviced and residents may collect water from these sources. The municipality wishes to remind the residents that the restrictions that were imposed in December 2018 due to drought have not been lifted and people must adhere to these restrictions. Failure to adhere to the restriction is affecting everyone in regards to water supply.
- Communities are urged to reduce their water consumption by at least 50% in order to conserve the little that we have.
- To adhere to water restrictions.
- To report any leaks to 0466045500
PLEASE USE WATER SPARINGLY
NOTICE: 2021 ROLLY DUMEZWENI
23 MARCH 2021 MUNICIPAL MANAGER