Drakensberg, Kwazulu-natal
Drakensberg, Kwazulu-natal Margy Sneeden/Pixabay

The eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal province has begun commissioning of two important projects to enhance water supply to northern areas.

The project includes a new Northern Aqueduct Augmentation and a water-rising pipeline from Hazelmere to the Grange Reservoir.

Deputy Head of the Municipality's Water and Sanitation Unit Jabulani Mayise announced the completion of a 600mm diameter pipeline stretching 4.3 kilometers from Hazelmere to the Grange Reservoir.

Since completion, there has been a noticeable improvement in the water supply to areas like Grange, Everest Heights, Redcliff and Osindisweni Hospital. Mayise also mentioned that the commissioning of the new Northern Aqueduct is currently underway and is expected to improve water supply to areas including Verulam and Phoenix.

"The new Northern Aqueduct Augmentation pipeline interconnects to the existing old aqueduct and aims to improve [the] flow of water supply to areas in the north. This will also help cater for new developments," he said, SA News reported.

He added, "For now, we are commissioning for Verulam, Phoenix, and surrounding areas. Once we are done with this part, the pipeline will be commissioned to supply areas such as Cornubia and uMhlanga."

The old Northern Aqueduct is a system of large pipelines that carry water from the Durban Heights Treatment Works to reservoirs in the northern areas.

Due to growing residential and commercial developments, the existing pipeline has been running at full capacity, which prompted the need to expand and improve the aqueduct with new pipelines.

The Deputy Head noted that areas such as Verulam have been struggling to receive consistent water supply as their main reservoir, Mount View Reservoir, is at the end of the old Northern Aqueduct.

He explained that the "Mount View Reservoir supplies other downstream dependent reservoirs namely Trenence 1 and three reservoirs."

Mayise noted that as the city works on medium-term solutions to address the current situation, the ultimate solution to water supply challenges lies in the upcoming commissioning of the Umkhomazi Dam. This project, currently in progress, is expected to significantly boost water volumes across the entire city.

Recently, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) resumed water supply to several areas earlier this week after completing repairs on the Sundays River Canal.