Water pipe bursts increase

HARARE - Despite an increase in water production at Morton Jaffray (MJ) water treatment works, Harare is still losing the liquid to burst pipes.

Harare City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said MJ had increased water production by 20 megalitres, resulting in some pipes giving in to water pressure.

“Because of the improved water production from MJ, we are experiencing an unprecedented number of pipe bursts in various localities. We would appreciate if people reported burst pipes as soon as they notice them to reduce increased water losses,” Chideme said.

HCC director of water Hosea Chisango said unless the distribution network is replaced, Harare’s water would still to be lost to burst pipes and leakages.

Currently, the city is losing 65 percent of its treated water through among other things illegal water connections and non-functional meters.

He said in areas where there was an improvement in water supply, council had introduced pressure reducing valves to make sure that water losses were also limited.

“From the 5 500 kilometres (km) of pipe network if we can deal with between 2 500km and 3 000km then we would have a system that has integrity. What we want is to reduce the losses to 20 percent. After we have done replacements we will require a leak detection system in our network,” Chisango said.

He added that the bottleneck council still had despite completing MJ was the work that still needed to be done on Warren Control pump station.

“We will still have disturbances in terms of water supply if Warren Control remains unstable because 80 percent of the water that passes through MJ goes to Warren Control,” he said.

Letombo, Alexandra Park and Warren Control were proposed for refurbishment in the $144 million China Exim Bank loan but have not taken off due to delayed disbursements of funds.

Harare also requires $178 million to fund its water pipe replacement and network rehabilitation exercise to avoid losses due to burst pipes and illegal connections.

Once completed, the refurbishment and pipe replacement would reduce physical water losses by 72 million litres per day, increase supply coverage to 72 000 households, reduce non-revenue water by 25 percent and increase revenue by about $21,6 million per year.

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