Road works cause of low water pressure, says City

Major road works and cable installations throughout Hout Bay have resulted in a number of water outages as well as a drop in the water pressure.

Luisa Way resident, William Bowler said water pressure has been very low for more than a month and getting an explanation from the City of Cape Town has been a struggle.

He said he first reported the problem on Thursday January 21 after which a water technician came to his house to inspect a valve on the pavement.

“He opened the valve, water gushed out for a few minutes and he closed it again,” he said.

There was, however, no im- provement in the water pressure and Mr Bowler decided to call a plumber to check the internal filters in his house as well as the geyser, but no faults could be found. The plumber also measured the pressure on a garden tap, which read 6.5 bars which is well below the eight to 12 bars that it should be.

Another water technician ar- rived a week later to see if he could find a solution but to no avail.

And so, more than a month after reporting the initial problem, Mr Bowler is still no closer to a solution or an explanation.

The low water pressure also resulted in the sprinkler system not working properly meaning certain areas of the garden have to be watered manually.

Mayco member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg said road works and cable installations was the cause of the drop in water pressure.

He said Luisa Way forms part of a zone that is pressure managed and 6.5 bars is an acceptable pressure for this section of the zone.

However, Mr Sonnenberg said the City’s technical division needed to confirm if there may be internal meter restrictions that could re- duce the incoming flow of water to the property.

“This has been referred to the relevant section for investigation,” he said.

He explained that pressure management systems are installed to manage water pressure so that, during periods of low consumption when the pressure is traditionally highest, the stress on the pipes is reduced, increasing the lifespan of the infrastructure and reducing the risk of bursts.

“A pressure management systems has been in place in Luisa Way for years although this is not the cause for the low water pressure,” he said.

At the time of installation there were many pipe failures due to excessive water pressure in Hout Bay and residents were informed of the pressure management system installations via the media.

Other areas that could be affected by the cable installations and road works are Helgarda, Kronenzicht, Bokkemanskloof, Penzance and Northshore.

Mr Bowler said he was sceptical about the claim that pressure is only reduced at times of high consumption.

“How can it be when consumption is high, say at 7am in the morning that just flushing the toilet in the bathroom and having the cistern refill can result in the water from the basin tap to reduce to a trickle?

“My guess is that the pressure management system is haphazard and very poorly managed,” he said.

Residents can lodge a service re- quest via the call centre on 0860 103 089, or report it via SMS to the Water and Sanitation Technical Operations Centre on 31373.