WATER UPDATE: Bathurst water shut off for two days

New RO plant in Port Alfred only producing 1.5ML/day

Water in Bathurst has been shut off for two days – yesterday and today – to allow the pumping of water into the reservoir so levels can rise.

Ndlambe Municipality announced this yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon in a notice from municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni dated July 19.

The notice states that the Bathurst community has been receiving water from the Lushington River after the Golden Ridge dam ran out of water due to drought.

“Lushington River abstraction point also ran dry after [the municipality] abstracted water for three months and the municipality had to look for other options of abstracting water from the upstream pool in order to feed the abstraction point,” Dumezweni said.

“The solution was completed on July 17 and on the same day water was pumped to the water treatment plant.”

But Dumezweni said reservoir levels had not been increasing, which made it difficult for high lying areas to get water.

The decision was taken to shut off supply to residents for two days to build storage levels in the reservoir.

“To supplement this interruption, two water trucks have been availed and their duty will solely be to fill the water tanks that have been strategically placed within the Bathurst community and surrounding farm areas. Loud hailing has been done in the Bathurst area to inform those who do not have access to social media and municipal website,” Dumezweni said.


Meanwhile, supply of water in Port Alfred is still a critical challenge.

The 2ML/day seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant, the main source for Port Alfred after the Sarel Hayward dam ran dry, is only producing 1.5ML/day, the municipality said, despite contractor Quality Filtration Systems (QFS) announcing on its Facebook page on July 2 that production had been ramped up to 2.2ML/day.

“We are still having difficulties pumping water to all areas, particularly those in high lying areas due to water shortage,” Dumezweni said.

“However, we expect the situation to improve to 2ML/day of water in the next two weeks while we are getting an average of 0.8ML/day from boreholes.

“In order to assist these areas water trucks are in place to fill tanks that placed at strategic areas. Two water trucks are in place to fill tanks at night in order to ensure water on a regular basis,” he said.


The notice urged communities to reduce their water consumption by at least 50% in order to conserve the little that we have; to adhere to water restrictions; and to report any leaks to (046) 604-5500.


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