20 March 2020
The Oliphantskop Dam is currently undergoing refurbishment which will lead to shutdown of the sand filters. The plant itself is operational but not at full capacity. As a result, the refurbishment of the existing infrastructure will have an effect on the supply of water to the communities of Waaihoek, Mabhekazi, Ekuvukeni, Uitvaal, portion of KwaHlathi and Ezihlabathini.
However, this effect will be minimized by shutting down portions of the WTW at a time, and still allowing water to be processed and distributed to the community. Water shedding schedule will be developed for the affected areas. Umgeni Water and the contractor agreed that before starting with the refurbishment of the sand filters, a trial period of one week must be done and one sand filter was shut down in order to determine the effect on the system.
It was noted by Umgeni Water that the shutting down of a single sand filter has little effect on the supply of water to the community. It only had an effect on the backwashing rate of the remaining sand filters and the filling up of the reservoirs. Thus Umgeni Water confirmed that the contractor can continue with the shutting down and refurbishment of the sand filters from Wednesday, 18 March as requested.
According to the contractors program submitted in February 2020 it was estimated that the refurbishment of all four (4) sand filters will take a total of 124 days (6 months) to complete.