Western Cape municipality asks residents to boil water as load shedding hits treatment plants

Western Cape municipality asks residents to boil water as load shedding hits treatment plants

While the City of Cape Town has warned of water supply shortages and sewage spillages related to load shedding, the Breede Valley Municipality has urged residents to boil water as the electricity outages hit water and waste-water treatment plants.

The municipality has warned residents that water quality and sewage systems are affected by high stages of load shedding.

To help with water quality, the municipality has also urged residents to use household chlorine and certain bleaches in warm water to disinfect water. The municipality includes towns like Worcester, De Doorns, Rawsonville and Touwsrivier.

The notice was a precautionary advisory and is only issued during higher stages of load shedding, according to Chad Malgas, manager of integrated development planning, service delivery and budget implementation, and performance management system, at the Breede Valley Munipality.

“Due to higher stages of load shedding, the water treatment may become compromised, which is why we have advised citizens to boil water as a safety precaution,” he said in written correspondence.

In Septemberthe municipality said that load shedding affected the ability of the municipality to treat, disinfect and pump water effectively, and that residents could experience sewage spills as sewage pump stations would be unable to function above Stage 3.

Issues of water quality were also reported last year in Cape Town when residents in the eastern, central, and southern suburbs discovered discoloured water. The discoloured water was caused by a control fault at the Faure Treatment Plant, according to the city’s municipality.

Speaking to News24, Sisebeko Mbandezi, mayoral committee member of water and sanitation, said that water quality is not an issue currently. However, the municipality has experienced water supply shortages and sewage spillages related to load shedding.

Due to load shedding, a number of the sewage pumps and equipment at plants need to be switched on and off, which makes it faulty, Mbandezi said, adding that such equipment is critical at the pump station to handle the flow of water.

Generators at plants have helped the Cape Town municipality to deal with load shedding. However, the generators cannot supply electricity to all pumps and as a result, pumps are still not operational during load shedding, he said.

City of Cape Town residents have also been advised to monitor their water usage, after the municipality issued a notice stating that water supply could be interrupted due to load shedding. Residents in Somerset West were already affected by water supply over the weekend, said Mbandezi.

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