Port Alfred water update Sunday 2 October 2022

Ward 10 councillor Nadine Haynes spent much of her Sunday getting first-hand information about the continuing water outages in Port Alfred. Here is her update. TOTT will continue to share information and updates we receive from reliable sources, including Ndlambe councillors and officials.

Today I set out to firstly find the Standby Water Team, then try to get to the bottom of the reason so many areas have had no water for days in parts of Ward 6 and 10.

To begin with, I learnt that I was missing a few new contact numbers as is bound to happen when you try to stay in contact with the team.

The metal pipe at the Treatment Plant that required welding on Friday, was repaired; however it necessitated that reservoir be emptied first before the work could be done. This then also creates a delay in getting water back immediately and also creates air-blocks.

Then this morning I discovered that Alfred Rd Pump Station was switched off because the pump seal needed to be replaced. Water was squirting out and running across the road into a building.

We sourced the gland packing from an off duty staff member’s tool box, with the help of his family and the pump was duly repaired in about 15 minutes. The pump was switched back on and we then moved on to the bleeding of the air-blockages from the fire hydrants.

We bled several outlets and when no water was flowing from the Sevenoaks hydrant, I then discovered that the Smith Street Pump Station had also been switched off due to the air-blocks and the fear of burst water pipes. We finally left someone to guard the open hydrant while we went back to switch on the Smith Street Pump. Water began to flow from this hydrant as well; however the pump was still not pumping optimally due to other air-blockages.

We checked several hydrants heading through Southdowns, where water was flowing nicely, until we got to the top of the hill where the hydrant was still dry. I’m told it will take some time to fill the pipelines in the various streets before it will reach the hydrant at the top.

I really hope that things start to improve now and we can avoid any breakdowns of leaks until things can get back to normal again.

Source: Ward 10 Councillor, Nadine Haynes