CoE Firm Strategies Ensure Security of Water Supply
Ekurhuleni has managed to weather the storm in the face of the global pandemic COVID-19 by providing uninterrupted water supply to its customers.
While the pandemic has come with many trials and resulted in disruptions in operations of many organisations and conglomerates the City still stands with water pipes and water taps running.
The Water and Sanitation Department stands on firm pillars as part of its strategy to secure water supply. These include water resources, quality of water, management capacity, infrastructure stability, operational resilience and assurance risk.
The availability of water resources is important for consistent supply to community and businesses. The department has explored other water resource options in addition to the supply from Rand Water through 186 bulk water connections throughout the City. These options include reclamation, recycling of water, groundwater, rainwater harvesting and acid mine drainage.
Quality of Wate
Collaborating with the Department of Environmental Services, the City manages the river catchment areas to avoid pollution of the water bodies. Polluted water reduces the amount of water available for supply purposes. The department is replacing and upgrading sewers to avoid capacity related overflows.
Drinking water quality is monitored in accordance with the requirements of SANS 241. The water quality is tested at the accredited East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT) laboratories. The City continues to maintain the Blue Drop standard status of above 95% and is currently performing at 99% with regard to water quality compliance placing its drinking water among the best in the world.
A sound technical capacity has been built by ensuring that the people with the right technical qualifications, skills and experience are employed in technical positions. Training of depot staff to NQF4 level is on-going. The department is pursuing the introduction of the apprenticeship programme and, at the same time, giving opportunities to its staff to go for trade tests with the SETA accredited institutions. A graduate training programme will be introduced to build technical capacity.
The implementation of the infrastructure stabilisation programme code named “Quantum Leap” is continuing. The programme seeks to increase reservoir capacity by 476ML, replace, upgrade 621KW of water pipes, and replace and upgrade 307KM of sewers.
Sewer and water infrastructure upgrading have since being developed by the department. The addition of the 29 water reservoirs will secure water supply in the long term. Maintenance, repair and replacement of the aging infrastructure is ongoing.