Con­cern a­bout pi­pe bur­sts

George Herald - - NEWS - My­ron Ra­bi­no­witz

The­re is a per­cep­ti­on a­mongst Ge­or­gi­ans that the num­ber of burst wa­ter pi­pes is in­cre­a­sing. Cer­tain hou­ses in George South and Loe­rie Park we­re wit­hout wa­ter af­ter two pi­pe bur­sts occur­red at the be­gin­ning of last wee­kend. The main wa­ter li­ne that runs do­wn Mer­ri­man S­treet to the Cor­recti­o­nal Ser­vi­ces, the in­dus­tri­al a­rea and Pa­calts­dorp was rup­tu­red on Sa­tur­day nig­ht, 28 Oc­to­ber. A mu­ni­ci­pal stand­by te­am wor­ked throug­hout the nig­ht to re­pair the pi­pe. The Cor­recti­o­nal Ser­vi­ces fa­ci­li­ty in U­ni­on S­treet was wit­hout wa­ter and the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty sup­p­lied an e­mer­gen­cy wa­ter tan­ker. A small wa­ter tank was pla­ced in Went­zel S­treet, which was al­so af­fected by the pi­pe burst.

On Sun­day mor­ning, a main­te­nan­ce te­am from the George Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty Wa­ter Net­work De­part­ment ca­me on si­te. A secti­on of the old as­bes­tos main­li­ne wa­ter pi­pe had been re­pla­ced with a new blue PVC pi­pe. Most of George South had wa­ter. The­re we­re on­ly a few hou­ses that for unkno­wn re­a­sons had been con­nected to the main wa­ter li­ne y­e­ars ago inste­ad of to the suburbs fee­der li­ne. On the ot­her si­de of town, 16 hou­ses in Boe­ken­hout S­treet, Loe­rie Park we­re wit­hout wa­ter from 08:00 on Sa­tur­day mor­ning, al­so be­cau­se of a burst wa­ter pi­pe. A small wa­ter tank was sta­ti­o­ned in Boe­ken­hout S­treet. The wa­ter was re­sto­red at 14:00 on Sun­day. A sour­ce within the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty said the crux of the pro­blem is that the old as­bes­tos pi­pes ha­ve re­a­ched the end of their li­fe­span and must be re­pla­ced. "Fix­ing it up pie­ce­me­al on­ly com­pounds the pro­blem as we are run­ning from one cri­sis to the next. The en­gi­neer­ing de­part­ment has to guard a­gainst an ai­r­lock in the pi­pe as this can be a pro­blem w­hen it mo­ves through the sy­stem."

Re­pla­cing secti­ons of the old as­bes­tos pi­peli­ne with PVC pi­ping doe­sn't ne­ces­sa­ri­ly sol­ve the pro­blem, sin­ce the pres­su­re point that cau­sed the le­ak of­ten just mo­ves el­se­w­he­re in the pi­peli­ne w­he­re it cau­ses a­not­her pi­pe burst at a we­ak point.

C­han­tel Ed­wards-K­lo­se, George mu­ni­ci­pal spo­kes­per­son, said: "The pi­peli­ne still per­forms a­de­qua­te­ly, as the fre­quen­cy of in­ci­dents is on a­vera­ge twi­ce per y­e­ar. Last week's in­ci­dent was ac­tu­al­ly one ca­se, with re­la­ted work being do­ne to the i­ni­ti­al re­pair work.

The re­ti­cu­la­ti­on sy­stem was rein­for­ced with the in­stal­la­ti­on of the wes­tern pi­peli­ne and the Kraai­bosch pi­peli­ne in the in­te­rim. The wa­ter mains in que­s­ti­on are being re­pla­ced in secti­ons, with the secti­on be­t­ween the rai­l­way li­ne and Cour­te­nay S­treet al­re­a­dy do­ne e­ar­lier this y­e­ar. The next secti­on to be re­pla­ced will be be­t­ween the main re­ser­voirs and the rai­l­way li­ne, to be split in­to two sta­ges. The sche­du­ling of the re­pla­ce­ment is de­pen­dent on pri­o­ri­ti­sa­ti­on and the funds ma­de a­vai­la­ble in the bud­get for net­work re­ha­bi­li­ta­ti­on.”

P­ho­to: My­ron Ra­bi­no­witz

The George Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty Wa­ter Net­work De­part­ment we­re on si­te in Mer­ri­man S­treet on Sun­day mor­ning.

P­ho­to: Pau­li­ne Lou­rens

Re­si­dents in Boe­ken­hout S­treet E­li­zia and Ber­tus Con­ra­die had a ble­ak wee­kend wit­hout wa­ter and said the small wa­ter tank sup­p­lied by the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty was in­a­de­qua­te for the 16 hou­se­holds in the s­treet.

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