The DWS remains enjoined to ensure water supply is restored to Queenstown, E.C and surrounds
As per the dictates of the South African Constitution, the National Water Act and the Water Services Act, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is enjoined to ensure the security of water supply to all South Africans, domestic, industrial, agricultural, mining, and all other sectors and facets of the South African populace.
In this regard, the DWS is aware of the difficulties experienced around Queenstown and surrounding areas due to the low levels of the Waterdown Dam, now at around 29% of capacity. The levels dropped below the levels of the valves normally utilised to supply water to the area. As such the DWS attempted to utilise the valves further below, at about 20 metres lower, than the ones usually used.
Due to long periods of inactivity, the DWS technicians found these valves to be stuck and non-responsive. The services of a diver have been procured to go deeper into the dam and (at about 20 metres below as indicated earlier) and release the valve that will allow for the right pressure to release water to Queenstown. The misfortune is that at that attempt, the team working on the valve noticed some oil contamination and abandoned the release so as not to contaminate the resource and risk affecting the quality of water to the town.
The DWS has further procured the services of another team to go even further than the 20 metre depth in order to release the third valve. All of this procurement of services is made in order to secure water flows to the town and is being done within the prescripts of the DWS Supply Chain Management. The PFMA cannot be flouted.
The DWS team from Construction Unit Southern Cluster will be on site today together with the team of divers and the Chris Hani District Municipality will be kept abreast of developments.
The DWS further hopes that the Xonxa Dam Bulk Water Supply Project will be ready for commissioning on the 23rd of September and further bring stability of supply. It is also being investigated whether this commissioning can be fast-tracked considering the low levels of Waterdown Dam.
Source: Government of South Africa