Load-shedding causes water supply backlog

The electricity outages have caused a backlog on the water supply to communities.

Silulumanzi released a media statement showing that the daily outages result in the Regional Water Treatment Plant being off for a minimum of two hours every day.

The statement read that due to Stage 4 load-shedding; they cannot abstract and supply water for up to 8 hours. The power outage disrupts the purifying process and the schedule.

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“The Water Treatment Plant needs to follow a strict ‘Stop and Start Procedure’ to operate safely and optimally. This is necessary while safeguarding the facility from severe damage. It could cause a breakdown. To stop a plant of this size, with a maximum capacity of 60 million litres per day, would normally require 20-30 minutes. To restart the plant again, can take 30-40minutes at a time.”

“If you add 50 minutes to each stage of load-shedding, then it means the downtime for the water treatment plant is 11.5 hours. We cannot supply water out of the plant. The above means that only 50% of the daily water demand can be pumped into the water distribution system.

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The Nsikazi Water Supply System can assume to four days on full capacity,” read the statement. This is the estimated period to catch up. With the water distribution schedule, all areas dependent on this supply from the scheme. Even if load-shedding is cancelled, it will take four-five days to go back water supply scheduled.

“Water tankers are not effective. The cost of using water tankers is quite high and not recoverable. Moreso, because when the plant is off, it means no water from the network to fill the tankers.”

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