NMB residents left high and dry due to failing water pump station

Issued by Cllr Annette Lovemore – NMB Spokesperson for Public Health
09 Sep 2022 in Press Statements

Large areas of Nelson Mandela Bay have been without water for almost a week while the municipality struggles to respond to the crisis.

The root cause of taps running dry is a pump failure at the Schoenmakerskop Pump Station, which pumps water to the Emerald Hill Reservoir.

In Ward 6 residents of Lovemore Heights, Mangold Park, Walmer Downs and Fairview have been without water for five days, while in Ward 7 areas in Adcockvale, Parsons Hill, Perridgevale, Greenacres and Newton Park have been struggling with dry taps for a week.

These outages followed after a pump broke down at Schoenmakerskop on Sunday, 4 September 2022. The pump station now has only one of three pumps in working order and can only provide 30 megaliters of water to the Emerald Hill Reservoir. (pictures here and here)

This station runs optimally with two pumps, with a third that can be switched on when maintenance or repairs are needed. The third pump has not been operational for more than a year. The Plant Maintenance sub-directorate has been leaderless for longer than the third pump has been out of action. Both need urgent attention.

Taps at the water collection points in the area punted as a Day Zero possibility, can also not be used because they rely on the same pump station to supply them with water.

The DA will write to the City Manager and request an urgent meeting of the Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Committee with a focus on the state of our infrastructure – on plant maintenance, repair and replacement.

The Metro has ordered a new pump from China, but this will only be operational by mid-October and does not solve the current problem. When the new pump arrives, the station will still have only two pumps available. The current situation can easily repeat itself due to the absence of a backup pump.

In the interim municipal artisans have collected old parts at the Linton Water Works in order to temporarily get pumps up and running again. If these interim-solutions are effective, residents could have water in their taps by Tuesday, 13 September 2022.

The DA will not stand by and watch while our residents are left high and dry.

Let’s get Nelson Mandela Bay working again.