Hartbeespoort water woes

For years, the communities of Schoemansville, Kosmos and Melodie have been experiencing water interruptions as a result of lack of maintenance at the Schoemansville water extraction site and purification plant.

During a recent oversight inspection by the Democratic Alliance, it was discovered that extraction pumps are exposed and unprotected, one is not even connected to an electrical outlet.

“We found two extraction pumps which are connected unprotected, none of the v-belts protection covers are properly fitted on the pumps, leaving them exposed to any elements that may cause obstruction damage.

The third extraction pump is not connected to electricity and cannot serve as a backup pump. There are only two distribution pumps on-site, one pump is used to feed the two reservoirs in Schoemansville, while the other pump feeds the Kommandonek reservoir that supplies water to the Kosmos area,” said DA councillor, Maritza Du Plessis.

“The plant was designed to have six distribution pumps, two pumps that feed the Schoemansville reservoirs and two that feeds the Kommandonek reservoir, with a back-up pump for each section and to allow for rotation of the pumps. The DA was also informed that a service provider is withholding several pumps due to non-payment by the municipality. We were also informed that the electrical panel at the distribution station has to be upgraded before any additional pumps can be installed,” she said.

“To make matters worse, the plant can’t operate during loadshedding as it has not been declared as an essential service. The DA has started engagements with the City of Tshwane, which supplies electricity to the area, to exclude the purification plants and reservoirs from the load shedding schedule.”

She said the DA will write a recommendation to the acting municipal manager, Noko Seanego, and the administrator, Paul Maseko, requesting that a qualified contractor take over the daily management of the water plant to ensure that the community receives uninterrupted water supply.

“Following several complaints from residents regarding the quality of the water, we had the water tested at an independent laboratory facility and they determined that the water was safe for human consumption. The DA will continue to monitor this.”