Few air bubbles, but the water pressure is building up in Johannesburg

Few air bubbles, but the water pressure is building up in Johannesburg

  • Some areas in Johannesburg only got water on Sunday.
  • The 87th wing was damaged with an airlock that was removed Sunday and the water is improving in the area.
  • Residents of this ward are accustomed to water cuts and the city is adding to the infrastructure to mitigate this in the future.

Johannesburg Water reminded residents that it will take 14 days for the water infrastructure to fully recover after last week’s outage.

Now, the townspeople are well aware of the Rand water outage, which has affected most of the city.

The major maintenance project will ensure that more water can be delivered more effectively in the future.

Some areas in Johannesburg, especially those under the Commando system, which supplies the Horstel, Brixton and Crosby areas, only received water on Sunday because of an air pocket in the system.

The system is provided by the Eikenhof Booster station which had the most downtime with 58 hours in total and an approximate payback of 14 days.

Rand Water provides municipalities with large amounts of water, and Joburg Water has warned residents that those areas fed by the Eikenhof, especially in Randburg and Roodepoort, will take longer to recover.

Bridget Steer, a councilwoman for Ward 87, said, “It’s all things contemplation [the outage] It went well.”

Read | Joburg residents have been warned that equalizing submersibles in water mains can delay taps from fully flowing

Suite 87 includes Greenside, Melville, Auckland Park, Richmond, Brixton, Parkview, Westcliff, Forest Town and Parktown West.

These areas are notorious for being without water for days when there is a power outage or other Rand Water issue.

Parts of the wing had been without water for up to six days.

On Sunday, an airlock, essentially an air bubble, was detected in the system, affecting the bulk supply line to the Hurstel Reservoir.

Rand Water had to perform an emergency shutdown to fix the problem.

Steer said Herstel still has “a long way to go” before she makes a full recovery, but said residents on the ward “know the drill” after frequent interruptions.

“Residents know how to use water sparingly, we shower (instead of showering) and pick up water to use in the tank.

There are still holes in the system [where people are without water]. We need to plan better for this. We need to do a risk analysis and build a well [to use when outages occur].

Steer said the city’s disaster management plan was short of major water outages.

However, she added, a budget has just been passed for a major upgrade to the Commando system which will allow the 26 mega-liter tank to be completed by February 2025.

“This water will be enough to relieve a water outage of up to two days.”

Outages are common in this region due to the high population and altitude of the area.

Johannesburg Water said on Monday that most of its systems are steadily recovering.

However, the higher areas still suffer from low water pressure. The entity continues to supply water tankers to critical areas.

“Although work has been completed, Johannesburg Water customers are reminded that it will take five to 14 days to fully recover. Customers in higher elevations will experience outages for longer as the network gradually recovers.

“Customers who have the supply restored are urged to use water sparingly, only for drinking and cooking, and for hygiene purposes. Please refrain from watering your gardens, filling swimming pools, and using hose pipes to wash cars.”

Read | Rand Water systems are back online, but it may take time for water to reach our faucets

The entity said load shedding continued to affect recovery times.

“This is due to the fact that the system is currently in recovery mode, so any load shedding will affect recovery times because pumping is interrupted during a power outage.”

How does the system recover:


Orlando reservoir levels improved and capacity increased to 16%. Flows are back to normal.

The Meadowlands and Braamfisherville Reservoir regions are struggling, and technical teams are scanning infrastructure in the area to eliminate air locks in the system.

Randburg and Roodepoort

Most of the tanks and towers are recovering.

Blairgowrie tank levels increased and its capacity increased by 30%. The Linden 1 tank has an improvement of 6%, while the Linden turret 1 has improved by 45%. The areas provided by these three systems still suffer from water shortages.

Joburg Water stated that “These three systems are still struggling because they are at a higher elevation in the system. Furthermore, they are fed by Rand Water’s Waterval reservoir, so, as Waterval reservoir capacity increases, so will these systems.”

Commando System (Brixton, Hairstyle, Crosby)

The show Commando Counter continues to recover. At Crosby Reservoir, supply is still picking up and flows are increasing. The Brixton tank outlet is 100% open and the tower is operating normally.

The Hursthill 1 tank has a capacity of 13% with low inflows, while the Hursthill 2 tank has a capacity of 15% and inflows are also low. Hursthill 2 tank should be able to provide high areas of that area.

South Johannesburg and the CBD

Parktown II Reservoir is at 41%, and Berea Reservoir is at 15% and continues to rise. The Crown Gardens tank outlet is 100% open and at 70% capacity.

“The pumping into the Crown Gardens towers was done overnight and the supply in that system should be back to normal. However, the higher areas are still struggling from low pressure to no water.”

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