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Low water pressure leaves residents dry

Residents in the Duynefontein area are at their wits’ end after complaining about low water pressure for months, resulting in little to no water.

This after numerous concerns and complaints have been raised to the City of Cape Town in recent months.

Leigh Armstrong-Langenhoven, a resident in Duynefontein, said they have been struggling with water issues in their area for years.

“The municipality put in a new meter without my permission a couple of months ago. Since then we have had little to no water. Also the pipes are bursting in our area. Since before lockdown my bill increased even though I had no water for hours each day.

“They finally came and replaced the meter two weeks ago. It took nearly four months to resolve.

“This seems to be the new normal in South Africa. I am sick and tired of the constant issues in our area,” Armstrong-Langenhoven said.

Other residents in the area are experiencing the same problem, claiming that their complaints are falling on deaf areas.

Early on Wednesday 22 July, the City’s water and sanitation department did urgent maintenance work on its 150mm diameter water supply main feeding the Duynefontein area, which resulted in a water supply disruption in the area.

The City mayco member for waste and water, Xanthea Limberg, said they acknowledge that the area has experienced more frequent pipe bursts in recent months, as well as instances of low water pressure.

“Over the previous few months, the City has been undertaking upgrades in the area to alleviate the pressure issue. These upgrades at times necessitated that the pipe on which the pressure reducing valve is fitted (PRV - manages water pressure in the area) be taken out of service and water brought in from a different section of the network. This resulted in water pressure in the area increasing at times, which in this case caused some pipe bursts,” Limberg said.

She added that pressure changes generally cause stress on pipes.

“This is one of the reasons the City has in recent years put so much effort and resources into installing pressure management infrastructure throughout our network.

“This infrastructure is one of the reasons our water losses are at such a low level compared to other municipalities. Necessary upgrades (at Otto Du Plessis and Dunker Streets) have now been completed and water to Duynefontein is again being supplied through the PRV, and pressure in the area has stabilised. This should also resolve the problem of bursting pipes,” she said.

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