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Day Zero looming in Kouga

Kouga Municipality’s search for much-needed groundwater to increase the fast-declining water supply to local communities in the Gamtoos Valley is now bearing fruit – effectively helping to delay Day Zero.

Over 20 exploratory boreholes have been sunk and tested in Hankey and Patensie, with only four being viable.

“Two boreholes – delivering a combined blow yield of 10l/s – were connected to the existing water supply at the Hankey Water Treatment Works (WTW),” said Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor, Willem Gertenbach.

“Two more viable boreholes were connected at the Patensie WTW – delivering a combined blow yield of 7.3l/s.

“The boreholes produce 0.86 megalitres per day in Hankey, whereas the average demand is between 1.4 megalitres and 1.6 megalitres per day. In Patensie, the average demand is between 1.2 megalires and 1.3 megalitres per day, while the boreholes only deliver 0.6 megalitres per day.”

According to Gertenbach, at this stage there is no provision for reducing the salinity of the borehole water at the Hankey WTW.

“The short-term solution is to blend the water with surface water prior to distribution to consumers,” he said. “Ultimately reverse osmosis technology will be installed to improve the quality of the water supplied from the production boreholes.”

He, however, assured residents that the water is suitable for human consumption.

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Gertenbach said the municipality is grateful that they have found viable boreholes in Hankey and Patensie, as water rationing continues to be implemented due to the limitations that the Department of Water and Sanitation has placed on extraction from the Kouga Dam which is currently below 5% – the only source of potable water for the two towns.

“It will, furthermore, help to delay Day Zero – the day when they will run out of water – which is predicted for middle June this year should no significant rain fall in the catchment area very soon,” he said.

“We encourage residents to use water from the dam only for drinking and for any other hygiene purposes to use the borehole water.”

According to him, the municipality is in the process of erecting five 5 000l designated water points in Hankey to ensure residents have access to clean drinking water – especially if there is no more water left in the dam.

“Water will be trucked in from either Humansdorp or Loerie and residents will be limited to 5 litre of water per person per day,” said Gertenbach.

Viable boreholes were also connected in Oyster Bay (5), Jeffreys Bay (4) and St Francis Bay (1). More boreholes will be connected in Humansdorp and Cape St Francis.

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