Ongoing repairs to Southfield’s old pipes

Earlier this month, the City was called out on an emergency repair to a collapsed sewer pipeline four metres below ground in Concord Street, Southfield.

Emergency repairs to ageing water and sewage pipelines in Concord Street, Southfield, are ongoing after the contractor found two more sections of broken pipe that had collapsed.

Earlier this month, the City was called out on an emergency repair to a collapsed sewer pipeline four metres below ground.

Mayoral committee member for water Zahid Badroodien said this kind of deep-trench maintenance was complicated because of other underground utilities such as water pipes and electrical cables. The extent of the second sewer repair was much larger than anticipated but was completed.

The water and sewer pipelines in Concord Street were many decades old and were quite brittle and fragile. “Unfortunately, some can break at the slightest movement. In the process of doing the sewer-pipeline repair, the very old water pipeline broke. This was repaired, but further sewer-pipe repairs were then also needed. While this second repair was being done, again the old water pipe also broke with multiple failure points,” he said on Tuesday May 31.

Dr Badroodien said the team was doing a CCTV survey on the sewer mains in Concord Street. “This will include determining the merits of the third sewer repair. Further planning regarding both the sewer and water mains will take place once the CCTV survey has been completed,” he said.

“Currently the sewer line is operational and does not require any pumping to help manage the flow of wastewater via the network. Also a temporary bypass has been installed in Concord Street, so the City does not anticipate any further unannounced or unplanned water-supply disruptions.”

Residents of Concord and Wolmarans streets had understandably been frustrated with water-supply disruptions, noise, dust and a generator working until 10pm, he said.

“The water pipeline will now be replaced before further sewer pipeline work can continue. A plan for the remaining work will be shared with Ward 72 councillor Kevin Southgate who has been monitoring this closely and communicating with residents,” said Dr Badroodien.

Mr Southgate did not comment on the situation when the Bulletin asked for an update.

“As part of the City’s pipeline replacement programme, the water and sanitation department will evaluate whether a longer section of the sewer pipeline can be replaced,” said Dr Badroodien.

At a meeting in Kirstenhof, on Thursday May 19, Dr Badroodien told residents of City plans to replace 50km of pipes in 2022, 100km in 2023 and 114km in 2024, at a cost R300 million. Pump-station upgrades were also planned (“Water woes bubble to the surface in Tokai, Kirstenhof”, Bulletin, May 26).

Dr Badroodien advised residents to store tap water in clean, sealed containers to prepare for any further disruption to the water supply. They should also keep taps closed when the water was cut to prevent any water loss and or damage when the supply was restored.

The water and sewer pipelines in Concord Street are many decades old and can break at the slightest movements, says mayoral committee member for water Zahid Badroodien
Residents in the vicinity of the repairs have been advised to store water.