Cape Water Crisis: Weekend water cuts as desalination pipeline tests begin

2017-11-10 08:07 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - The Mother City's preparation for an emergency water programme will begin on Friday, 10 November as the City of Cape Town will shut down water supply to a number of areas.

The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Department says it will shut down the Tygerberg Molteno bulk water pipeline which feeds water into Cape Town central area on Friday night from 22:00 for a period of 12 hours.

According to the City, water supply interruption will occur in "Maitland, Paarden Eiland, Cape Town Harbour (Transnet), Lower Woodstock, the Cape Town CBD and possibly Green Point and Sea Point".

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"This forms part of a pipeline condition assessment in preparation for the Cape Town Harbour emergency desalination plant," says the City of Cape Town.

This assessment will look at a stretch of 2km of pipeline and will evaluate and prepare it for the connection of the desalination plant into the bulk water main. It involves assessing the valves and general conditions of the pipeline, and will ensure that the water coming from the desalination plant can reach the bulk water system safely and securely.

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Some affected areas will experience low water pressure or reduced water supply during this time, while a "water supply cut may only occur in an emergency or unforeseen situation".

"We ask all affected water users to keep up to 10 litres of drinking water per day for essential usage during this time. Please ensure that all taps are closed when not in use to prevent damage or flooding when the supply is restored," advises the City.

The City apologises for any inconvenience caused, but says that - with the help of residents - "this is a necessary step" in its efforts to deal with the drought.

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In an attempt to alleviate the water crisis, the City is also reducing the number of public swimming pools that will open for business this summer - with only 12 of the 35 municipal swimming pools expected to be operating, and has activated water rationing in high-lying areas of Cape Town.

"We are doing everything possible on our side to ensure that the water-saving efforts of 51% of our water users have not gone to waste," says Cape Town Mayor is Patricia de Lille, urging the City's residents to help get "all water users on board to save while the City works on supply plans".

“The sacrifice that residents in the affected areas will be making for this period of time is to allow progress with our plans to secure up to 50 million litres per day from the Cape Town harbour desalination plant,” she adds.

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