Important new pipe completed

eThekwini Water and Sanitation staff check the final stages of the construction of the new water pipe to the Jerome Drive Reservoir in Kloof

Construction of the new inlet water pipe from the eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) main line to the Jerome Drive Reservoir in Kloof was completed ahead of schedule this year.

The Jerome Road inlet is part of the ongoing eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) Western Aqueduct project. Because it is runs past St Mary’s Girls School, it was commissioned as a stand-alone job over the December holidays to cause as little disruption to traffic as possible. 

"We envisaged at the start that working along St Mary’s Road was going to be the most difficult part but, with careful forward planning, constant correspondence with the school and communication with residents, the work was carried out smoothly with few problems,” said Andrew Copley, Snr Area Engineer EWS.

“We would like to thank St Mary’s Girls School, parents of children at the school, residents and motorists who have been affected by the construction for their patience and understanding,” Copley said. “We know that this route is used by up to 1 000 cars every day and we did everything in our power to keep disruption to the traffic flow to a minimum.”

 “Other challenges were laying the pipe in the 1,2m diameter jacked sleeve across the M13 and in the narrow servitude at Jerome place,” he said.

The decision to lay a completely new pipe was made to minimise leaks and conserve the city’s precious water resources and because the alternative - ongoing repairs – would be both costly and inconvenient to residents.

“The supply to Jerome Drive reservoir initially came from three supply feeds which could be unreliable at times and as well as expensive because two of them were via a pumping system,” explained Leisel Bowes Project Manager for EWS.  ” The new Western Aquaduct would have solved this problem by providing a dedicated cost-effective supply to the reservoir but, because it is only due to be commissioned in 2016/2017, we had to consider an alternate supply.”

It was decided to eliminate one of the possible supplies to the Jerome Road reservoir.  The supply was then designed to come solely from Abelia Road Reservoir, with Mount Moriah Reservoir as a temporary backup if the Abelia Road system was unable to cope or was being cleaned.

“We tested this theory during construction by only using the Mount Moriah Reservoir and were pleased to find that the system coped well for seven months without any disruptions,” Bowes said.

The new pipe is 300mm in diameter and 1,5 kilometres long. It crosses the M13 from Old Main Rd and exits in front of Standard Bank in Village Rd. It then continues down St. Mary’s Rd past St Mary’s Girls School, turns left into Edgecliff Rd, passes through a servitude into Jerome Place and ends in the Jerome Drive Reservoir complex.   

The first phase of the Western Aqueduct - Durban’s largest ever water pipeline - was commissioned in June 2011 and covered 19km from Umlaas Road to Inchanga Station. The second phase of this mega project is progressing well after being unbundled into individual contracts that are being rolled out over a seven-year period. When complete, the Western Aqueduct is expected to significantly strengthen the capacity of bulk water supply to the western regions of eThekwini.

Shirley Williams





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Issue 68