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WATCH: Blairgowrie stormwater drain leaks 6 000 litres of water an hour

Irrigation contractor John Blamey says the water has been leaking since he first moved to Blairgowrie in 2019.

Residents of Blairgowrie are expressing frustration and outrage over the continuous wastage of an estimated 6 000 litres of purified drinking water per hour, flowing down a stormwater drain.

Mark Knocker, a concerned resident, expressed his frustrations with the local authorities for their approach to resolving the issue. “They seem to lack the will to resolve any matters which require a bit of effort and investigation. They are happy for purified water to run down the drain.” Reflecting the growing discontent among the community, he added, “They never provide the people who take the trouble to log matters with any feedback.”

Not mincing words when criticising the responsible authorities. “Nothing gets done, and useless people continue to be employed with our taxpayer’s money. They are wasting the time and resources of the people. I blame poor management right at the top of this department for poor performance.”

Living close to the stormwater drain where he can see approximately 6 000 litres of water lost every hour. “Water runs into it from somewhere which is not visible. We can hear the water running 24/7. In other words, we can’t see where the water enters the stormwater drain system.”


Knocker explained that residents initially thought the sounds of water were coming from an underground spring, However, they soon realised that the source of the water was something else. “It was only when many of the Johannesburg reservoirs ran out of water that this running water in this stormwater drain stopped running as well, which led us to one conclusion. This water is running into the stormwater drain from a Joburg Water supply source.”

Another resident, John Blamey, who also happens to be an irrigation contractor, echoed Knocker’s concerns. Blamey, having heard the water running down the drain since his arrival in December 2019, expressed his frustration at the lack of action despite repeated reports. “I was cycling four days a week and would hear this water every time I went out our gate. The first thing I did was measure it and it most certainly was at 6 000 litres per hour.”

Blamey emphasised that timely repair is vital and that he has actively been trying to bring this issue to Johannesburg Water’s attention. “I first reported this leak in February 2023. Neighbours also reported it. I went to a community meeting at the Blairgowrie Recreation Centre in December and spoke to Nkozinathi, who took my name and contact number. He also made a note to action and nothing positive has happened.”

Blamey shared his thoughts on the issue, saying, “It has been so depressing knowing how short of water Johannesburg has been and witnessing this volume of water going to waste.”

Knocker said that Johannesburg Water had visited the stormwater drain, but did not resolve the issue. “They [Johannesburg Water] sent a team out to look. I explained everything to them. The team did not have any leak detection equipment and left. They said they would report it to the team that does leak detection, but I am not sure they have. Since then, the water has continued to run.”

Efforts to reach out to Johannesburg Water for comment on the matter have so far been unsuccessful. As soon as it is made available to us, it will be published.

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