Aging water pipes replaced, rehabilitated in Joburg

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
By: 
Gabi Khumalo

Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg is currently overhauling its aged water infrastructure to ensure that future generations are provided with clean and safe water.

The city embarked on the project in August last year because it was losing large amounts of water through pipes leaking and bursting.

The Pipe Replacement Project aims to replace 120km of pipeline in ten suburbs identified as hot spots.

"All these projects are aimed at improving and extending our infrastructure and replacing old and outdated infrastructure so as to deliver a better service to our customer across the city," said Johannesburg Water's Managing Director Gerald Dumas.

He said the city would also save a massive amount of water which went unaccounted for due to the aged infrastructure.

An amount of R100 million was allocated for the replacement of water pipe in 32 suburbs across the city following a study done by the municipality on the capital needed to wipe out backlogs in the rehabilitation and upgrading of municipal water infrastructure.

The objective of the study was also to enable Johannesburg Water to prioritise the work required and develop a planned replacement programme.

Phase one of the project is expected to be completed by September while phase two is expected to be completed by June 2010.

An amount of R500 million has also been allocated for the next five years towards the replacement and rehabilitation of ageing water infrastructure.

Johannesburg Water is also currently upgrading the Northern Waste Water Treatment Works, which aims to provide first class wastewater treatment works to cater for current and future increase in capacity and also eliminate any possibilities of spillage into Jukskei River.

Divisional Manager: Investment Delivery at Johannesburg Water, Mtshavheni Mukwevho said there had been huge growth in the city, especially in the northern western area, over the past 10 years, which put enormous pressure on the city's existing infrastructure.

"The priority is to expand waste water treatment capacity to ensure we can accommodate high volumes.

"At the end of the project, the unit will provide an additional capacity of 150 mega-litres per day at an estimated cost of approximately R450 million," Mr Mukwevho said.

He said the project consisted of three phases and each phase will provide an increment of 50 mega litres per day.

The construction of phase one, which started in 2006 is in progress and scheduled to be completed by July 2009, a further 50 mega litres will be added by 2013 depending on whether the current pace of growth continues, accelerate or slows.

He explained that phase three will complete unit five and will be undertaken when is needed, sometime before 2025.

The project had created 381 employment opportunities with 171 of them going to local communities of Diepsloot.