WE HAVE good news for the community of oThongathi. You will recall that the oThongathi Water Treatment Plant was extensively damaged during the April floods and as a result could no longer operate. This left many residents without water and as an interim measure, the City increased the number of water tankers deployed to the area.
We are happy to announce that the work of rebuilding this water treatment plant has now been completed ahead of schedule. On 27 October the Municipality embarked on the recommissioning the plant. This will see residents receiving water from their taps. We are also going to use the commissioning period from 27 October to 1 November to fill the onsite reservoirs with treated water. This will include testing the quality of water to ensure that it meets all safety requirements.
Once the reservoirs have been filled, we will be able to distribute potable water to the community. On 26 October we also commenced with the filling of the Hambanathi Reservoir. We urge residents to ensure that all their taps are closed to avoid flooding when testing of the watermains is being carried out. During this period we will also be focusing on fixing all leaks and airlocks in the system to ensure that everyone receives water without interruption. Residents are encouraged to boil the drinking water for the first few days. This is just a precautionary measure since the pipelines were not in use for an extended period.
Vandalism has also been at the centre of the failure of some wastewater pump stations. For instance, 33 of our pump stations have been vandalised to date, resulting in the pollution of rivers and beaches. We are pleased that progress is being made as our teams are working tirelessly to repair damaged infrastructure to prevent the overflowing of sewerage. In the south of Durban, we are finalising repairs of two pump stations which are affecting Amanzimtoti Beach. The contractor is currently onsite and we are planning to complete this work in the next few weeks. Work has also commenced in the north of Durban to repair Ohlange Sewage Pump Station which is responsible for the contamination of uMhlanga Beach. Work is also underway to replace sewer lines. We have noted with concern the misinformation that the SA Rugby matches were postponed in the City due to two cases of gastrointestinal infections that wallegedly caused by our water.
Our team of experts are constantly monitoring water quality to ensure that it is safe for consumption in line with international standards. These experts were able to obtain water samples from the Pearls Hotel to conduct water quality testing. The Beverly Hills Hotel management conducted its own water quality monitoring and found that their water is safe. Additional samples were taken at reservoirs supplying the uMhlanga area and Moses Mabhida Stadium which is adjacent to the Growthpoint Rugby Stadium. All the samples complied with the potable water standard. This has been confirmed by the Chief Executive of the United Rugby Championship Martin Anayi who said there was a great possibility that the players brought the bug into the country.