'Normal wear and tear' behind Cape Town's burst water pipes
Jenna Etheridge, News24
Cape Town – The more than 20 water pipes which burst around Cape Town on Tuesday were indicative of "normal wear and tear", a city official said.
"Although it is unusual for so many faults to occur at the same time, this is not indicative of anything other than normal wear and tear," explained acting utility services mayoral committee member Xanthea Limberg.
While it was difficult to pinpoint a cause, she said pipes could rupture due to pressure fluctuations, roots and geological shifts.
"Teams are being dispatched to the areas as quickly as resources allow."
The City of Cape Town's alerts Twitter page first tweeted at about 10:40 on Tuesday that a water pipe had burst in Central Avenue in Fish Hoek. Minutes later it said another had burst in nearby Lakeside.
Then another in Zonnebloem just outside the City Bowl. Then yet another in Wynberg in the Southern Suburbs. And again in Hanover Park on the Cape Flats and Bellville in the Northern Suburbs.
By 11:15, City of CT Alerts tweeted that 21 pipes in total had burst.
Limberg said the city was committed to minimising water loss as much as possible.
However, a certain level of water loss through pipe bursts or leaks was normal and could never be eliminated.
"It is simply a symptom of operating a network consisting of more than 10 000km of piping."
The City said it had a number of initiatives aimed at minimising water leaks.
These included lowering water pressure during times when less water was used, and a 24-hour response when a leak was reported.