The Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM) has been overwhelmed with enquiries and reports relating to sewer and water spillages in various parts of the city.
MMM says in a statement it is important that residents realise that the low temperatures that the city has been experiencing recently have put a strain on the underground infrastructure.
As the temperatures near freezing point, additional stress inside and outside old pipes is occurring, and has increased their vulnerability, which has led to pipe breakages. MMM says that these weather conditions have been a true test of the ageing infrastructure and has caused the escalation of the number of pipe bursts.
In order for the city to work proactively to minimise the number of pipe breakages, improve service delivery and coexist with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, they have now have introduced a contingency plan to attend to the sewer and water spillages.
“The administrative team is currently implementing a contingency plan; which among other things, categorises our underground infrastructure in the form of main and ordinary (domestic) pipes. The plan is geared at assisting the city with more internal pipe network that focuses on domestic supply, which is currently a problem.
“They have augmented teams that will be focusing on the spillages we are encountering in the city. These comprise of an added six independent contractors with a total of 16 teams. These teams will also assist with turnaround times since the workload has increased,” reads the statement.
According to MMM they have in the past three financial years replaced some of the ageing main pipes with more durable ductile iron pipes.
“The system was carefully assessed and they targeted pipes for replacement or rehabilitation that would provide the most benefit in terms of improved reliability and reduced leakages. As a result, most of the main pipes are now in good condition.”