The first water from the Oranjezicht Main Springs Chamber started flowing into the Molteno Reservoir today, the 8th of November 2017. This is part of the city of Cape Town’s ongoing Water Resilience Programme to increase the supply of drinking water. This project will see an additional two million litres per day of safe, clean drinking water added to the city’s bulk water network.
Three springs feed into the main collection chamber in Oranjezicht, where water is collected before being conveyed via a 525 m long existing pipeline to the reservoir. The water is then chlorinated to bring it in line with the South African National Standard for drinking water (SANS 241).
The project entailed refurbishing for drinking water purposes the existing but disused pipeline, which takes the water from natural springs to the Molteno Reservoir. New chlorination equipment to dose the disinfectant along the pipeline linking it to the reservoir itself has also been installed.
When the city started investigating the possibility of using these springs as additional sources of drinking water in 2014, our Scientific Services Branch found that water from some of the springs was of a very high quality.
Previously, this untreated water from the main springs collection chamber was used for irrigation at the Green Point Urban Park, Cape Town Stadium and Green Point Athletics track.
From the commencement of the city’s investigation to this point of commissioning, the cost of this project amounted to around R4,1 million.
The city is committed to doing everything it can to ensure that Cape Town has sufficient drinking water to see us through the upcoming summer months, and beyond.
Last week I also visited the Atlantis Aquifer where refurbishment work by the city’s Water and Sanitation Management Department has increased yield from this source by an additional five million litres a day.
We will continue working on a range of augmentation plans, fast-tracking processes as much as possible to bring alternative sources of drinking water online, including desalination, ground water extraction, and water reuse as we build a water-resilient Cape Town. Together with the great water-saving efforts of residents, we will make it through this unprecedented drought.
Patricia de Lille is the Mayor of Cape Town