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During the period of 03-09 January 2022, Robertson residents experienced considerable inconvenience caused by water supply interruptions. An internal investigation was initiated to determine the cause of the system failures and to put preventative measures in place that would help to avoid a recurrence in future.

Background summary

Reservoir levels dropped from 31 December 2021 due to the filtering system not functioning optimally. By 3 January 2022, the problem with the filter backwashing process was addressed through the refurbishing of sections of the plumbing. This allowed more frequent intervals of backwashing the filters to be done. The challenge to lift water levels in the reservoir remained as the treatment of water could not keep up with the water demand.

Water supply suspensions were implemented from 18:00 – 05:00 on the evenings of 05 - 09 January 2022, to replace filters and clear blocked filter nozzles.  This action improved the filtration process and increased the inflow of water to the reservoirs. Residents were encouraged to practice water saving methods so reservoir water levels could lift to an appropriate level as quickly as possible. This was needed to improve water pressure and to distribute water to all areas of Robertson. 

Feedback and future plans

The municipality strives to resolve complaints and restore service delivery to optimal levels as soon as possible. Our team worked tirelessly to identify the problem at the Robertson water treatment works through a lengthy process of elimination.

The investigation has been finalised and standard operating procedures were put in place to prevent a similar occurrence.

A few internal deficiencies were flagged and further investigation is underway to ensure that not only proper consequence management is in place, but also to ensure for streamlining and centralising communication channels internally and externally. 

The municipal infrastructure is taking strain, the following maintenance issues were identified and will be addressed in the 2022/2023 budget.

  • The Capital Budget allocates R7,58 million for an additional pipeline and reservoir in Robertson Heights as approved by Council on 31 May 2022.
  • Funds are made available for basic maintenance to buildings, structures and the calibration of bulk meters
  • We continue to advertise and fill vacant positions with qualified personnel as they become available in the future.
  • A water safety plan has been completed and submitted to council for approval and submission to Provincial Government.
  • The contract for sampling, testing and monitoring of water care facilities is currently out on tender for a three-year period.
  • The maintenance work tender for Robertson water treatment works has also been advertised.

We encourage residents to report service issues to our 24/7 Call Centre at 0860 88 1111 or WhatsApp line on 065 211 7822.

Residents are urged to register on the bulk SMS database, to regularly visit the official Langeberg municipal social media platforms and website at www.langeberg.gov.za or speak to your Ward Councillor to stay informed about news and service delivery issues.

We thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this investigation.

Yours faithfully,

_____________

ALD SW VAN EEDEN

EXECUTIVE MAYOR – LANGEBERG MUNICIPALITY