POLOKWANE – Low water levels in the Polokwane Municipality have been an ongoing problem and reports of water shortages in the city have been appearing in the news since 2011 with an average of around four cases of water shortages a month reported.
The main causes of water shortages as notified by the municipality was maintenance at plants, pipe bursts and in some cases water shortages was reported due to low reservoir levels and turbulence after heavy rainfalls.
Lepelle Northern Water is the agency responsible for the bulk water supply to the municipality.
Simon Maponyane, Communications and Stakeholder Relations Unit Spokesperson of Lepelle Northern Water (LNW), replied to Review’s queries about the frequent challenges regarding water supply from Olifantspoort Scheme.
• Due to old dilapidated pipes, that have run their lifespan, there are regular breakages on the pipeline.
LNW has appointed a contractor to replace the identified area of the Specon pipeline. The project is to replace a portion of the raising main pipeline from Olifantspoort Plant to Specon Reservoir and to be completed on 31 July 2018.
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• Water from the Olifantspoort Scheme is pumped directly from the river and needed more chemicals to be treated to meet the approved standard. It is mostly during rainy seasons where some communities complain about the colour of water.
LNW has a full registered laboratory where samples are taken and analysed on a regular basis. It is the aim of LNW to always provide safe water to its customers
• LNW is currently implementing a package plant at Olifantspoort Scheme of 10Ml/day capacity and when done it will provide water to Fetakgomo Municipality in the Sekhukhune District Municipality.
The completion of that package plant will increase the volume of water delivered to the Polokwane Municipality.