Too many leaks

Michael Lightley, Southfield

On Thursday December 8, I contacted the City to report a leaking water main on the corners of De Waal and Kingfisher roads, Southfield.

There is the situation where there is water permanently lying in pools on the surface.

I have now counted about seven such areas over a distance of about 100 metres.

Someone has tried to cover some of the pools with sand, but the water pushes its way to the surface and continues flowing.

Judging by the length of the grass there, this has been going on for some time. At the height of summer with a drought, I do not think that these are seven natural springs.

Several emails later and all I have achieved is: “We will investigate”.

When? Granted it is not the Heerengracht fountain but still, it is quite a substantial leak if you consider it has been going on for at least eight weeks.

Council profess to be trying hard to save water, but in eight weeks, no one can go and even have a look and report back?

Come on, council, do something.

Eddie Andrews mayoral committee member area south, responds: The City thanks the resident for reporting the issue. After investigation, the source was found to be leaking City Parks irrigation infrastructure (rather than a water main as reported by the resident). The irrigation system has now been disconnected.

In terms of the broader criticism of the City’s attitude to leak repair, the City of Cape Town operates in excess of 11 000km of water mains and associated infrastructure (reservoirs, pump stations, water meters, valves, hydrants etc.) and has established itself as a national leader in reducing water losses (as well as user demand) through its water conservation and water demand management programme. Water losses which includes losses through leaks and bursts, as well as water “lost” through meter tampering, general metering inaccuracies, and administrative errors for the overall systems have been reduced from around 25 percent in 2009 to below 15 percent (14,69 percent) according to latest data. This is the effect of various interventions, including extensive water pipe replacements, extensive pressure management of the water supply system, and improved response times. These interventions have also reduced the burst rate from 63,9 bursts per 100km of piping in the 2010/2011 financial year, to 31 bursts per 100km according to the latest statistics, saving millions of litres of water in the process.

The City’s water management efforts were also recognised internationally when the water conservation and water demand management programme was announced as the winner in the adaptation implementation category at the 2015 C40 Cities Awards, in Paris.