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11 August 2022

Engineering News

Joburg Water

Last week, Joburg Water technical teams completed an assessment of problematic sections of the network with asbestos cement piping and will be initiating an urgent project to replace these sections in the current 2022/23 financial year. Work has already started and is being closely monitored by the Environment and Infrastructure Services Department (EISD).

A large section of piped infrastructure in places like Craigavon, Bloubosrand, Maroeladal, Chartwell and surrounds is asbestos cement.

“This replacement project is going to be rolled out urgently in the north of Johannesburg, as well other flash points like Randburg,” says Environment and Infrastructure Services MMC Councillor Michael Sun.

Sun explains that the decades-old infrastructure is not designed to withstand the rapid opening and closing of the water system that occurs during upgrades and routine maintenance. Last week, residents in Fourways and surrounds experienced severe water interruptions as Joburg Water attended to several planned and emergency outages.

“A planned outage owing to scheduled piping upgrades in Craigavon caused incessant outages in the immediate vicinity for several days owing to asbestos cement pipe bursts,” he says, adding that asbestos cement piping is particularly susceptible to bursts in winter owing to its rigidity.

“We understand outage to any service is a major inconvenience and even minor water stoppages are a true disaster. This is why we, as part of the new financial year projects, will be replacing these asbestos pipes with either UPVC or steel pipes which will bring a permanent solution to the problem,” Sun says.

“The Joburg Water teams will do their best to ensure this is a seamless exercise. Johannesburg residents must please be patient as this is going to be short-term pain for long-term gain as we upgrade the water system,” he concludes.

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