Parts of Knysna ran out of water again. Owing to it happening in areas where tourists are holidaying, it was more noticeable (imagine having a fill guest house with toilets that can’t flush) but no less important to the regular water shortages in our town’s poorer areas.
It’s not happening in my area but i noticed the brown water when in town yesterday. That always means a pipe broke, has been repaired, and the dirt that got in it is being washed away through your home taps.
This problem was stated on December 22 by Knysna Municipality via their Facebook page:
“Dear residents, we’ve had a major break in our main water feed. Reservoir low. Areas that’s affected are parts of CBD and Welbedacht.”
The problem got amplified the following day, as explained, again, by Knysna Municipality:
“The Knysna Municipality would like to apologise to all our residents, businesses and visitors who have been affected by the water supply challenges. As residents know we do not have a dam to hold water [comment: what about Akkerkloof Dam?] and we are completely reliant upon river flow and pumping to our holding reservoirs. Unfortunately the reservoir at Thesen’s Hill dried up earlier today due to the high water consumption. This situation was exacerbated by a break in the raw water line. Both of these incidents have resulted in a shortage or complete lack of water in certain areas of Knysna Town. A further complication is that once the water comes back on-line the supply may be murky or brown due to the flushing which will occur. This colouration will dissipate in time.”
In between, there were warnings:
“Water usage in CBD, Costa Sarda &Thesen Island too high. Result Thesen Hill Reservoir low. We appeal to consumers to use water sparingly!”
“Northern Areas [they’re referring to the poorer areas] reservoirs also running low. All residents & visitors must please conserve water. Demand exceeding production capacity. No filling of pools and washing cars with hosepipes allowed. Your cooperation is appreciated.”
“Don’t you get tired of the annual Dirty Water crises that happens to Knysna every December?” posted a businessman. “Every year, some pipe breaks down or reservoir runs dry. I believe is a direct result of the ineptitude of the municipality to learn from previous years experiences and to have the necessary foresight to prevent repeats.”
From comments on the municipality’s Facebook, the public are as skeptical and dissatisfied. A guest owner accused the Municipality of lying because they’d been told that the problem was fixed yet they’d been without water for 15 hours. One woman suggested that there should be no developments until our water supply is fixed.
- How much water was in fact lost due to the pipe break and the flushing period thereafter?
- Why does Knysna Municipality not uphold the laws regarding our water scarce area? It’s a regular occurrence to see people washing their cars or watering their gardens on days they’re not supposed to. Not only would that give us extra water but gain fines that can go towards repairs. The extra benefit would be more indigenous gardens needing less water.
- WHY ARE WE SHORT ON WATER WHEN WE’VE JUST HAD OUR RAINIEST SEASON IN YEARS?
We have to understand what we’re dealing with! The simple question our local government has not answered for years is: How many kilometers of water and sewerage pipe exists in Knysna? List it according to age so that we know when they’re supposed to be replaced. Then tell us what the grossly inadequate plans are to replace them.
Knysna deserves water security.