Siphon suction pumps will be used to further lower the Middle Lake Dam level in Benoni after part of the dam caved in earlier this week.
Local, provincial and national government worked together to establish the operation to avert the possible loss of lives and serious damage to infrastructure following the caving in of a part of the spillway at the dam in Ekurhuleni.
City of Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina established the Joint Operations Committee (JOC) operation on Christmas Eve after the city was alerted of the imminent danger about the caving in of the spillway at the dam
The JOC is made up of experts from key departments in the City of Ekurhuleni, Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, provincial and national Department of Water and Sanitation, and Rand Water.
Since the incident was reported, the JOC managed to divert the water, then moved on to deploy seven suction pumps into operation to reduce the dam level.
The lowering of the dam level will help to avoid the complete collapse of the spillway which could possibly lead to massive flooding. In addition, the lowering of the dam level will assist in allowing engineers access to the damaged slab for repairs.
In a joint statement on Thursday the City of Ekurhuleni and Department of Water and Sanitation said the JOC will enlist the use of six siphon suction pumps to further lower the dam level.
“This operation is planned to kick start as soon as the siphon pumps are in place. Following the lowering of the dam, then work will start to remove the damaged concrete slab and compacting of the voids underneath the spillway.”
The two said while this is a temporary measure, it is expected that it will take a number of months to complete the refurbishment of the spillway.
The roads around the Middle Lake Dam, including on and off-ramps to N12 via Tom Jones Road and Bunyan Street remain closed while the operation is still underway.
Masina who visited the area on Thursday, has called for patience while repairs are being done.
“This is a necessary operation to avert a major disaster. We are calling on people of Ekurhuleni to exercise caution and be patient. Once the siphon suction pumps are in place, road usage will resume”.
The mayor appealed to the public to steer clear of the operational area, as this can pose danger to them and impede officials on site and disrupt operations. - SAnews.gov.za