Burst pipes a pain

Nabawia Akemdien, Lovenstein

I have been living in Camdebo Street, Lovenstein, since August 1 2004.

We experience a few burst water pipes every month. A lot of these burst water pipes have a tendency to reoccur not even a meter from the original pipe burst. During this week we had a burst water pipe on Tuesday (June 27) which was fixed late in the afternoon.

Then a burst water pipe late yesterday, Thursday June 29, afternoon, where the road was cordoned off and another around 8pm last night.

We are experiencing thunderous sounds with our water pipes in the ceiling due to air bubbles and last night our water supply was off from around 8pm until 7pm tonight when the technician came to attend to it.

Our water meter went on the blink last year and was replaced with the new Aqua-Loc water meter which has a tendency to automatically shut off our water supply due to excessive burst water pipes which is a huge inconvenience to us.

Please allow the City of Cape in the near future to install new water pipes for the Loevenstein’s age old infrastructure that has become quite a frustration for all the residents of our area.

Suzette Little, Mayoral committee member for area north, responds:

We are currently conducting a pressure management exercise within our reticulation network in various areas, including Loevenstein. The City does, however, inform residents in which area we will be working.

The main aim of this exercise is to identify and locate zone valves which control the feeds to the areas from our reservoirs. On doing so, depending on the pressure, we may install pressure-reducing valves to certain areas. This has been the main cause of pipe bursts in these areas.

Our reticulation system is also being upgraded and main-tained to reduce pipe bursts (“Pipe maintenance under way”, Northern News, July 13). It must be empha-sised that there will naturally be a major increase in service requests about leaks during a time of drought when public awareness about water conservation is heightened. In general we attend to 745 peak water incidents (these are not necessarily leaks but calls that have been logged) per day as well as 495 peak sewer incidents per day. Work is always done according to priority, for instance the scale and scope of the incident. The effects of some leaks are worse than others. For instance, a burst pipe could lose much more water than a leak at a water meter or fire hydrant. There is almost 11 000km of water pipeline across the metro and thus major leaks are prioritised. Sometimes, what looks like a massive leak to a member of the public is smaller in terms of actual water losses than another leak which the City may be busy fixing in another area. All leaks are attended to but prioritised in terms of the water losses. The City’s Water Conservation and Demand Management Plan has managed to reduce the burst rate from 63.9 bursts per 100km of piping in the 2010/2011 financial year, to 31 bursts per 100km according to the latest statistics, saving millions of litres of water in the process.

Together with more resources and a renewed leak management campaign, we hope to reduce water losses from the system even more and we will work harder to reduce water losses, even though losses are decreasing.