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Municipal Pipeline Replacement Programme Explained

Pipe bursts are unfortunately a common occurrence for a number of reasons and can occur due to pressure changes in the network, degradation of pipe due to aging materials, changes in soil conditions, manufacturing defects and poor installation. Once the water network is disturbed, pressure changes can expose further weak areas in the pipe network creating a cascade of failures which are unpredictable.

An analysis of the George water pipe network is updated annually, and end of life pipelines were identified, formalised and presented in a Pipeline Replacement Programme. Apart from the network analysis, George Municipality keeps data on pipe bursts and ongoing maintenance and replacement work is prioritised based on existing data of pipe bursts, the Pipeline Replacement Programme and the available budget.

George Municipality has approximately 920 km of pipeline and due to changing technologies and materials, some of the historic water supply network is not up to standard in terms of pipe diameters, which requires special fittings in the event of pipeline failures. It is not possible to simply replace the entire George Municipality’s water pipe network due to logistical and budget constraints. The estimated cost to replace the identified priority (immediate replacement) pipelines is R 181 642 000 and the estimated cost to replace aging pipelines (number of years left in terms of design specifications) is R 500 000 000 over a twenty-year period.

In the previous Financial Year, the Municipality has spent R62 832 964 (Water Distribution Capital Expenditure 2022/23) on replacing water pipelines, stabilising the water distribution and supply network, and ensuring service delivery for the citizens of George.

The George Municipal Civil Engineering Services departments deals with on average 400 service requests per week ranging from pipe bursts, mainline leaks and no water. Seventy cases of priority work (pipe bursts, mainline leaks and no water) were attended to from 22 September to 25 September 2023 exacerbated by the storm surges that severely damaged the water and sewer infrastructure in Herold’s Bay resulting in repairs costed at over R1 million (excluding road, generator and retaining wall repairs). Teams spent 13 days including after-hours and weekends working to restore water/water pressure to the area.

A major bulk supply pipeline supplying water to the Kraaibosch and Groenkloof areas failed in September 2023 and repairs were complicated by the pipeline being constructed from GRP which required fittings not kept in stock by the municipality. Water was restored completely within two days.

George Municipality relies on citizens to alert us when there are problems with the water supply, and we thank those citizens who provided information and insight to the problems experienced.

FAULT REPORTS: Water leaks, pipe bursts, sewerage: 044 801 9262/6
SWITCHBOARD: 044 801 9111 (7.45am-4.30pm)
GENERAL PUBLIC QUERIES (not emergency related):