Update on water situation in Ndlambe

Sarel Hayward Dam is at a critical 3.7% capacity

The current water situation in Ndlambe is as follows:

Port Alfred: The Sarel Hayward Dam is at a critical 3.7% capacity. Water supply is being augmented through the central boreholes and the East bank dune pumps. Despite a water schedule providing reduced water to various areas in Port Alfred being implemented, consumption remains at approximately 5ML per day. On the recommendation of the Joint Operations Committee (JOC), water consumption levels need to be drastically reduced by at least 50%. Thus a new water schedule has been drawn up extending the length of water cuts to various areas within Port Alfred. This will have the effect of dropping consumption to a more sustainable level of around 2.5ML per day. Any rainfall will be a bonus in that water can be pumped from the weir to the balancing dam. The contractor for the proposed 2ML reverse osmosis (RO) plant has not yet been appointed – the tenders are presently with the evaluation committee.

A complete audit of Port Alfred’s water reticulation system was undertaken by an independent technical team led by Etienne Mouton. Ndlambe’s director of infrastructure Noluthando Vithi reported that key recommendations from the team will be implemented, and this includes upgrades and repairs to existing pumps 1 to 4. Vithi explained that the recommendations do not mean that more water will be available – but it will ensure that once we have sufficient rain, all the pumps will be able to run optimally.

Below is the water schedule for the week, indicating when water will be switched off in Port Alfred:

Note: Due to critically low levels we are implementing the above schedule to reduce water consumption.

Seafield: The Mount Wellington dam remains at 100% capacity. Water for the area is presently being drawn from boreholes on the Van Rooyen farm. Repairs to the water treatment plant have been completed, with one or two minor snags remaining, and these are being attended to by the service provider.

Bathurst: The Golden Ridge dam is at +18% capacity. As levels reduce it may be necessary to introduce water scheduling. The high lying areas near the water reservoir present a challenge in terms of supply, and this factor will be considered before applying scheduling.

Kenton/Bushman’s: Water levels are continuously monitored. Borehole 11 and well point 2 require some repairs and maintenance and this will be attended to by mid-November. An Amatola Water representative assured the committee that the required 3.5ML of water per day is sustainable throughout the festive season.

Alexandria: Mr Fick reported that the reservoir levels are maintained between 60 – 63%, and that 1,400kl is supplied daily to town, including 200kl from the RO plant in Cannon Rocks. Water is still being switched off between 9pm and 4am daily.

Cannon Rocks / Boknes: It is anticipated that work on the RO plant and subsequent pipeline to Alexandria will be completed at the end of January 2021. Contractors are presently on site.

Way forward:

• A strict water schedule has been introduced for Port Alfred, with the aim of reducing consumption by 50%.

• Recommendations from the independent technical specialists will be implemented in Port Alfred.

• Water consumption / production figures will be monitored on a weekly basis.


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