Pretoria - The City of Tshwane ramped up its intensive intervention measures to aid residents in need of water as taps ran dry in various communities across the City.
An infrastructure failure at Rand Water's Palmiet Boosters Pumping Station has led to thousands of residents taking to the streets to fetch water from tankers dispatched by the City as reservoirs ran low.
Rand Water on Monday notified the City about the infrastructure failure that meant the City would only be able to supply 55% of its normal daily water supply, and areas like Laudium, Soshanguve, Mabopane and Pretoria North were the first to run dry.
As a result queues increased in length on Wednesday across many townships and suburbs as more communities were affected and residents needed to fill their buckets to cook evening meals, bath and store a surplus for the next morning.
For some people the water supply interruption was a surprise as they missed many of the City's communications to warn them to use water sparingly.
However, as the pressure continues to decline even in some areas that did not have interruptions like Odinburg Gardens, the City reiterated that residents should save water as best as possible.
Spokesperson Selby Bokaba said: "Rand Water has emphasised that, if the call to reduce water consumption is not heeded, there will not be sufficient water to supply municipalities and their reservoirs will run dry.
"In our quest to ensure that our residents get water, we procured 10 water tankers and dispatched them to parts of Region 4, south of the City, and they seem to be covering the area sufficiently."
The City further cautioned some of its residents in Region 1 to desist from preventing tankers from drawing water from a fire hydrant in order to take it to the areas that are currently without water.
Bokaba explained that the layout of the Palmiet system process flow from Rand Water to the City of Tshwane is to two reservoirs: Brakfontein which supplies Region 4 and parts of Region 3, and Hartebeeshoek which supplies Region 1.
Since the Hartebeeshoek Reservoir is at the tail end of the chain, less or no water is flowing to it which is currently the case.
Rand Water informed Tshwane on Wednesday evening that they had managed to get an extra pump up and running, however, their system still has a shortfall of 300 megalitres to be fully operational."
Yesterday the City was still awaiting further updates from the water utility after making enquiries.
Bokaba said: "It must be noted that the City of Tshwane’s system can only recover once Rand Water is back to full operation, or the situation will remain like this, or it might even get worse. The City wishes to apologise to its customers for the inconvenience caused by a situation which is beyond its control."
Nomsa Malete and Enos Mathibe who fetched water at the border of Soshanguve and Hebron said this was indeed an inconvenience but one that was out of the City's control so they had no choice but to wait and hope for the best.
"For me this is better than not having electricity because you can fetch or buy water somewhere but you cannot buy electricity and carry it to your house. It is better than being cold because of load shedding," said Mathibe.