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Water interruptions continue to plague Joburg

Northern Johannesburg residents' water woes appear to be far from over as Johannesburg Water struggles to restore supply to several suburbs.

It said water supply was cut on Tuesday due to "challenges with our Bryanston reservoirs. The reservoir levels are low and therefore we had to close the outlet". Areas affected by the outage include Bryanston, Epsom Downs, Palmlands, Douglasdale, Fourways, Lonehill and Magaliessig, and surrounds. Residents rejoiced on Wednesday when the water utility tweeted that water supply was being restored but on Thursday, taps were still dry. Spokesperson Isaac Dhludhlu told News24 on Wednesday morning that the cause of the outage was unknown and was being investigated. On Wednesday evening, Johannesburg Water announced on Twitter that "the investigation has revealed failure of pressure reducing valves at the reservoir, a decision has been taken by management to replace all three in the next seven days". "The valves will be replaced individually at night with an aim to limit service interruptions, and as and when the reservoir levels drop the outlet will be closed to preserve the infrastructure." The water utility said water tanks would continue to be at all listed areas and appealed for patience. "It needs to be done. Please continue to use water sparingly until we pass this phase." Water tanks have been made available at Nicolway Shopping Centre, Epsom Downs, Douglasdale, Fourways/Fourways Mall, Pineslopes Shopping Centre, Leopard Frog and Lonehill Boulevard. Johannesburg Water also tweeted that the Bryanston and Brixton towers were empty and the outlet was closed again to build capacity. "This process will take a while as the valves are faulty and will be replaced individually over the next seven days." On Thursday morning, Johannesburg Water announced a number of planned water outages owing to various problems experienced with its Brixton reservoir. These include the entire Diepkloof extension on September 20 from 08:00 to 19:00; End Street in Westdene on September 20 from 08:00 to 20:00; Chiawelo and extensions, Protea North and South, Dlamini, Klipriviersoog and the N12 to Chris Hani and Wanderers Street to Elias Motsoaledi Street on September 27 from 08:00 to 17:00; and the entire Diepkloof and Orlando reservoir, Baragwanath Hospital and Dr SK Matseke Memorial Hospital on October 2 from 08:00 to 20:00. Last month, a substation that provides electricity to the Rand Water infrastructure that pumps water to approximately 40% of Johannesburg, as well as parts of the West Rand and Rustenburg, caught fire in an apparent act of sabotage. Water supply to many suburbs was interrupted. Isaac Mangena, City Power spokesperson, told News24 at the time that the damage was so severe that under normal circumstances, it would have taken at least 72 hours to repair. Supply was however restored within 32 hours. DM

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