Reservoir problems cause concern

Some of the water streaming from the base of the Khutsong Extension 3 reservoir during the past week.
Some of the water streaming from the base of the Khutsong Extension 3 reservoir during the past week.

Two of the area’s large water reservoirs are currently being threatened by sinkholes that have not been attended to for years.

The newspaper visited the reservoir at Khutsong Extension 3 with a councillor and municipal official last Friday. At the time, water was leaking from several places at the bottom of the reservoir. The water seemed to push through seams in the reservoir’s base, with so much water streaming out in places that it caused small fountains of water bubbling out.

“The water has been leaking here for a long time because the reservoir is very old,” Mr Jomo Mogale, the member of the mayoral committee responsible for electricity, gas and water, told the Herald at the site.

Further enquiries by the newspaper brought to light that there has, in fact, been a sinkhole under the reservoir for years. The treacherous ground conditions at the site were, according to sources close to the municipality, used as one of the motivations for the Khutsong Relocation project. Despite this, the reservoir is still in use and the sinkhole has not yet been repaired.

In the meantime, a sinkhole within metres of one of the reservoirs supplying Carletonville with water has also not been repaired for years. Another problem pointed out by knowledgeable sources is the fact that a telemetry system purchased by the municipality for a large sum of money is still not in use. Once in use, this system will electronically maintain the water levels in reservoirs.

The Herald asked questions about these issues on Tuesday. “The reservoir was leaking on the day of the Herald’s visit due to it overflowing after the repairs to the first pipe were affected and other areas had to be fed from the reservoir. The municipality’s team is monitoring the level of water at the reservoir so that it does not overflow again. Investigations were done with regard to the Khutsong Extension 3 Reservoir. The problems faced with the operation of the reservoir will be appropriately addressed as soon as funding is available.

The municipality applied to COGTA for funding for the rehabilitation of existing sinkholes in the municipal area. Once funding is approved the sinkhole at the Doornfontein reservoir will also be addressed. Council replaced the telemetry system which monitors the water level in the reservoir at used cost. It was in use and it was – again -vandalised. The municipality is currently using a manual system to monitor water levels.

Processes are currently underway to repair the system,” a municipal spokesperson replied to the questions on Tuesday afternoon.

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