ABERDEEN NEWS - For well over a month now, residents in Aberdeen have been experiencing problems with the water supply.
Those in the highest areas of town have been without water for long periods of the days, as have those in the upper part of Thembalesizwe.
According to one resident, most days they have had no water from about 10:00 until often 21:00 at night. During Christmas week, there was no water at all from 06:00 on the Monday morning until the end of the week!
In areas where there is water coming out of the taps, the pressure is very low, and many people have been complaining that the pressure is too low to fill washing machines or use showers.
A water truck has been taking supplies to Thembalesizwe for residents in the township to collect drinking water.
The acting communications officer for the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality reported on facebook on Wednesday 26 December that there was a problem with a borehole pump, and that the service provider, from Cradock, was on the way to Aberdeen on Wednesday morning to assist with the pump.
On Thursday 27 December, residents were told by the ward councillor Rudy Jacobs that it is in fact two pumps that are out of commission, one near the hospital and one at the electricity substation in Parliament Street.
This information was relayed to him by the acting Director of Engineering. The motors in both boreholes have burnt out, possibly because the water level has dropped too low.
That same day, the service provider from Cradock went to Port Elizabeth to collect two new borehole pumps. Installation of these started at 06:00 on the next morning, and by 10:00 the one in Parliament Street was up and running. The other pump, near the hospital, was working for a short period later that day.
However, this relief was short lived. Last week, the top areas of town were once again without water, and workmen were seen at the borehole near the hospital.
Local contractor Daniel Williams and his assistant Boy Jaar told the Advertiser that they had been working for over a week to try to retrieve tools that had been dropped into the borehole by the municipal workers who installed the new pump! A length of piping, about 1.3m long, seems to be the cause of the trouble. Residents are up in arms about this – and there are questions raised as to whether it is incompetence or even possibly sabotage.
There have also been many questions raised in the town as to whether the indiscriminate use of borehole water by those residents fortunate enough to have access to private boreholes has caused the water table to drop even further. Farmers who rely heavily on borehole water use this resource responsibly, allowing all to have their fair share, but according to many complaints received, the majority of those in town seem unconcerned and in some cases even aggressive towards any suggestion that their usage is adversely affecting others.
A question was sent to the municipality mid-November concerning the regulations on the sinking of new boreholes, but no response has been received despite repeated requests.
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