Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council has confirmed that Bulawayo residents will have to endure a little bit more without reliable water supplies after the installation of defective non-return valve (NRVs) at the city’s major pump stations.
As reported by Sunday News last week, the local authority purchased and installed the valves with “significant design and manufacturing” defects.
The new pumps were purchased and installed under the US$33,6 million Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In statement, the local authority’s acting town clerk, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou on Wednesday said the commissioning of the pumps which had been set for December last year had to be rescheduled due to the failure of four out of the six NRVs.
“The NRVs have an important function in that they protect the pumps; when a pump is switched off or when there is a power outage, the NRV prevents backflow from the water in the rising main.
“Under the terms of the contract, the Contractor has a contractual obligation to rectify the challenges and deliver a fully functional pumping system to the City of Bulawayo. The Contractor
is replacing the failed Non-Return Valves at no cost to council,” said Mrs Zhou.
The acting town clerk said as the local authority and the contractor work towards rectifying the matter they had come up with a progressive solution that will see the pumps being operational in stages.
“The first stage will see one pump at each pumpstation in operation by the end of January 2021 which will deliver an average of 52 megalitres a day of water to Criterion Water Treatment Works. This forms part of the incremental solution, progressively working towards a fully commissioned pumping system, which will deliver an average of 82 megalitres day of water to Criterion by 15 March 2021.
“This being the case, residents are advised that the City of Bulawayo will therefore continue with
the intermittent supplies up to the end of January and normal supplies dependent on the available
water in the City’s Dams from mid-March 2021 when the Contractor will hand over the equipment
to the City of Bulawayo. Council will do all it can within the contractual provisions of the contract
to ensure the new commissioning deadline is met,” said Mrs Zhou.