Sunday Tribune

Less pressure on saving water

- MATTHEW SAVIDES

WHILE it might take you longer to fill up your bath or water your garden, the eThekwini Municipali­ty’s plan to reduce pressure in the city’s water pipes will save water and guard against the need for water restrictio­ns.

Pressure reducing valves have already been installed in the city centre, and water department officials are currently working their way across the metro to install these devices. In total, about 350 valves will be installed.

Head of the water and sanitation department, Neil Macleod, said this week that “for the foreseeabl­e future”, about 18 months, the municipali­ty did not see a need for water restrictio­ns. Recent above-average rainfall had helped the situation.

However, measures were needed to ensure restrictio­ns were not needed in the future.

“Reducing pressure has an exponentia­l benefit in reducing leaks. If the water pressure was halved in an area, the leaks would reduce to less than a quarter of the current leakage rate,” he said.

The reduced pressure means that even if a pipe rup- tures, the water will not burst out with the same force as it currently does.

For residents, it also means that taps and cistern washers will last longer before leaking, and that household leaks will reduce.

Apart from the installati­on of the valves, the municipali­ty has another 16 water demand management meas- ures in place. The most significan­t are the massive AV pipe replacemen­t project currently underway, and the proposed tracing and removal of illegal electricit­y connection­s.

According to the municipali­ty’s budget document, about 35 percent of the city’s water is lost each year.

For more informatio­n, call Nischal Nundlall on 031 311 8645 or e-mail tnischanu@dmws.durban.gov.za.

matthew.savides@inl.co.za

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