Hursthill Water Supply Challenges
On the 18th of May 2021, Rand Water undertook a pre-isolation shutdown at Eikenhof Pumping Station to prepare for the replacement of the G34/Q2 isolation valve. During this pre-isolation shutdown, a power failure was experienced at the Vereeniging Water Treatment Plant which affected supply to the Hursthill system.
The Hursthill system has following the shutdown and restoration battled to recover to acceptable reservoir levels. The system supplies high lying areas that have historically been vulnerable to fluctuating bulk water supply during high demand seasons. Over the past years, the bulk supply system has been under severe pressure due to the increased water demand.
Rand Water had, from time to time, made operational adjustments to divert water from other areas as a short-term measure to help sustain the Hursthill system after bulk supply interruption; however, this has yielded no significant results of late.
In the past weeks, both Rand Water and Johannesburg Water’s technical teams have been on the ground investigating with a view of finding other options to optimise the integrated supply systems. This joint effort resulted in adjustments being made to the distribution system but unfortunately, before any gains could be realised, the Eikenhof pump station experienced power failures which further affected the system. Electricity supply has since been restored.
Both entities are currently looking at short to medium term interventions in order to address the current challenges. It must be noted that Rand Water and Johannesburg Water have already formulated long-term solutions to this issue. Whilst Rand Water is finalising the construction of Station 5A, Johannesburg Water is finalising the designs of their booster station to the Hursthill Reservoir. Once these projects are completed, there will be enough supply to the high lying areas of Hursthill.
The entities remain committed to resolving these challenges. It is in this context that both institutions are currently supplying water using water tankers to the most affected, especially health facilities in the area – Rahima Moosa and Helen Joseph Hospitals.
Joint statement issued by:
Sipho Mosai, Chief Executive: Rand Water and Ntshavheni Mukwevho, Managing Director: Johannesburg Water
Mr Justice Mohale, Media Relations Manager – 083 417 6999
Ms Nondumiso Mabuza, Stakeholder Relations and Communication – Executive Manager, 060 555 3156