By NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has approved plans to decommission KSB pumps at its waterworks after investigations showed that they posed a risk to the quality and water security of the city.
This came as the local authority invited the wrath of residents and other stakeholders over diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid outbreaks which are linked to rolling water shortages being experienced the city.
The three waterborne diseases claimed 13 lives and infected nearly
2 000 people recently.
A report by council’s environment, management and engineering services committee shows that city fathers were concerned about the KSB pumps pumping untreated water into reservoirs.
“The director of engineering services (Simela Dube) reported that KSB pumps stationed at Ncema and Fernhill stations pumped untreated water into the raw water reservoir at Criterion Waterworks.
“In addition to the KSB pumps, there are Sulzer pumps that are conveying untreated water into the raw water reservoir at Criterion water treatment works,” the report read in part.
“Currently, Sulzer Pump stations were operating with two pumps at each station and without stand-by pumps. These stations are also in relatively bad condition. This current situation at all raw water pumping stations pose a great risk to the water security of the city, especially with the current drought condition and decommissioning of almost half of the supply dams.”
In July, city fathers admitted that residents were exposed to sewage-contaminated water.
The council said mud and sewage could have contaminated potable water through leakages linked to pipe bursts. The leaks are blamed on ageing water reticulation infrastructure.
Council was recently dragged to court over the outbreak of diarrhoeal diseases in the city.
“The current unfortunate water scarcity and lack of raw water pumped by the KSBs strongly encourages and supports the decision of removing the working pumps so that the contract would be completed and commissioned before the coming rainy season in October 2020,” the report
“It was proposed to fully decommission the two raw water KSB pump stations at Ncema and Fernhill for a period of between eight to 10 weeks.