OPINION: ‘The pipes will keep on bursting’

DEAR Editor,-

A water reticulation system is designed to work under high pressure. When the water is switched off, a low pressure or vacuum is created and air is sucked into the pipes.

Then, as the water is turned on and the system is re-pressurised, these large bubbles of air become like high-speed hammers.

Old pipes become prone to damage, so when these ‘hammers’ hit susceptible spots (like bends and corners) the pipes rupture at the weakest point.

Switching the water off in order to repair the damage repeats this vicious cycle and the next weakest spot will inevitably breach.

So we can expect ongoing burst-repair-burst cycles until all the old pipes are either repaired or replaced.

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This description of our situation is based on a discussion on ELTV on January 30 with water expert Anthony Turton (scientist Water Resource Management www.anthonyturton.com).

We need to know what Ugu plans for the future: a) Will they continue with repairs (with the subsequent waste of valuable water), or b) Replace the pipes which keep on bursting?

NEIL BRAYSHAW

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