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FOLLOW-UP: Construction of water tower is finally complete

No date has been set for the filling of the tower.

Six years after construction of the R44m Northmead Water Tower in Hospital Road broke ground, its structural work has been completed.

Ward 27 Clr Lornette Joseph confirmed the onsite contractors concluded the fault-finding processes and removed the crane on April 24.

The construction of the 35m tall tower commenced in May 2018. Countless delays overshadowed its development, including the national lockdown regulations in March 2020 and the changing of contractors.

On February 12, 2022, the Benoni City Times was part of an exclusive site inspection led by the former City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) MMC of Water, Sanitation and Energy, Senzi Sibeko.

At the time Sibeko stated 76% of the tower project had been completed, and all work on the structure was on track and should be done by June 2023.

He, however, cautioned the tower would not miraculously solve the water woes of Farrarmere, Northmead, Goedeburg, Brentwood Park, Airfield and Rynfield.

“The building of this tower will increase our current water storage capabilities from 24 hours to 36 hours, but that is only one element within the infrastructure upgrade we have undertaken,” Sibeko said.

“Once this structure is complete, we will refurbish the existing tower, followed by replacing about 200km of old and redundant feeding pipes.”

On June 6, 2023, the City Times reported the contractor cast the tower’s concrete roof on May 4.

“The remaining scope of work undertaken by the contractor includes testing the reservoir, construction of the guardhouse, installing inlet, outlet, and overflow, scouring chambers and completing the associated pipework,” said CoE spokesperson Zweli Dlamini.

The date for completion was once again extended to the end of September.

In the interim, Joseph was successful in having funds allocated to install a backup generator at the existing pump station on Great North Road.

MMC for Water, Sanitation and Energy Leshaka Manamela approved the installation at an estimated cost of R800 000 excluding VAT, while the actual installation costs were estimated at an additional R400 000.

The MMC further committed that, upon completion of the new water tower, they would install an additional generator to ensure they could guarantee a stable water supply.

“This installation was a game-changer for residents who have been plagued by lengthy water interruptions, because of power outages and load-shedding leading to the reservoirs running below optimum levels,” said Joseph.

With the scope of work on the tower now completed, Joseph said minor leak repairs had to be done, and all that was now needed was to fill the tower.

She said they had not set a date for this undertaking, but she has requested the CoE to give residents no less than 72 hours’ notice.

“Filling of the tower could impact water supply for up to three days. I will ensure that affected residents have ample warning,” said Joseph.

Dlamini, however, said the filling process should take about 12 hours and will not interfere with the running of the existing water network.

He further said that once filled, the tower, which will augment the existing network, increasing its capacity from 1.1Ml to 7Ml, will not operate optimally until the completion of related projects.

“The existing Northmead Pump Station will have to be upgraded to supply both the old and new towers.

“Augmentation of bulk water supply from the Northmead Pump Station to the tower to cater for both the old and new towers will have to be completed, while construction of a bulk water supply pipeline from the Northmead tower to Brentwood Park must be built to address issues relating to low water pressure in the area.”

ALSO READ: Northmead Water Tower to be completed in 2024

ALSO READ: WATCH: Generator finally being installed at Northmead water tower


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