The municipality is running an aged bulk pipeline replacement program which is aimed at replacing AC/Asbestos bulk pipelines with uPVC pipes to try and reduce the rate of burst pipes and leaks that were being encountered. Sections of the Spioenkop supply line was part of the program therefore an uPVC pipe was laid parallel to the existing asbestos line. Upon completion there would be a one day shutdown to connect the newly constructed line to the distribution network/reticulation.
The pipe laying was completed and the 30th of November 2017 was the date scheduled to connect to the distribution lines. This exercise was projected to be a one day exercise but due to unforeseen circumstances it was completed in two days.
A number of burst pipes were encountered due the trapped air within the pipeline. The burst pipes made it difficult for the system to pick up pressure hence even when the water was restored the consumers on the high areas were not getting water. The engineering department have been investigating the possible causes and dealing with them as they arise e.g.:
- Burst pipes - The last burst pipe was fixed on the 7th December 2017.
- Blocked Strainers - The pipe replacement resulted in some of the strainers filled with foreign material.
- PRV adjustment - Pressure were adjusted on the 7th December 2017 for water to reach the high areas.
After all the effort put in to resolve these issues, water was restored on the high areas on the 7th December 2017.
It remains a challenge to merge or connect newly laid pipes with old network pipes. The Council apologises for any inconvenience caused and hereby thank the community for their patience.