Residents worry after pipe bursts

More than 20 Buffalo Flats homes were left without water yesterday when a Buffalo City Metro water pipe burst in the early hours, wasting thousands of clean water and damaging the road.

The pipe burst happened at Buffalo Flats’ April Crescent around 3am according to the residents who live on the street.

DESPERATE: Buffalo Flats resident Errol de Klerk, foreground, with members of the community outside his house where a burst pipe has left some houses without water Picture: MARK ANDREWS

This comes just two weeks after BCM approved and enforced water restrictions and higher punitive tariffs if residents use more water than they are supposed to during the restrictions period.

The restrictions and tariffs were enforced as a result of BCM dam levels’ continued drop.

Residents said workers from TVR Construction, the company on site, only arrived around noon.

However, when the Daily Dispatch visited the area yesterday around 3pm the water was still gushing out and the workers were waiting on the side of the road.

By 6pm residents were still without water as the pipe was still not fixed.

Resident Sheila Gramsord said when she called the metro and reported the burst water pipe, she was told to be patient.

“They are always telling us to save water but look at all these thousands of litres of water wasted here today, going down the drain just like that.

“Who are they going to charge for these wasted litres?” Gramsord asked.

Another resident Errol de Klerk told the Daily Dispatch that it was the fifth time the pipe had burst in just two years, making yet another mess in front of his home.

“So many houses are affected by this. We called all morning trying to get assistance from the municipality but the workers only came at 12pm, nine hours after the pipe burst and thousands of water lost.

“Even when the subcontractor came they just dug up in front of my house and stopped working. They said they were waiting for another person to come and they could not say when the problem will be fixed and when we will have water back,” said De Klerk.

Other residents said they were frustrated by the water outage, especially with the schools closed as children needed to bath and use the toilet often.

“There are children in our homes and no one has even taken a bath today,” said a frustrated Beverley Philemon.

BCM’s spokesman Thandy Matebese said: “The burst could have been caused by pressure on the pipe and not necessarily because it is old. The matter should be sorted out around 6pm today.” — mamelag@dispatch.co.za

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