Though most of the focus of water problems in South Africa landing on the shoulders of people living in the Western Cape, those living in Bloemfontein are also affected. Water availability, water shortage and water quality are three things that are often discussed and disputed. Water restrictions are nothing new and for years people living here have been forewarned about the disastrous problems related to our water supply.
Water Shortage and Water Availability
Bloemfontein is one of the areas that unfortunately struggles with water supply and demand that is caused by infrastructure upgrades and maintenance. In recent times, and lately more frequently, residents of Bloemfontein and surrounding areas have been left without water, and sometimes for days. Just recently water had to be diverted from Arboretum to the Welbedacht-, Brandkop- and Spitskop reservoirs in an attempt to partially fulfil the demand required by residents in affected areas. Transferring water from one reservoir to another is a time-consuming objective. Dam levels are improving although, as recorded on 5 August 2018, the Rustfontein Dam is at low 39% while the Groothoekdam is on 55%. Knelpoort Dam (83%), Gariep Dam (86%) and Welbedacht Dam (100%) are looking strong with high volumes recorded.
Bloemfontein residents have recently seen a surge of brown water flowing through their taps. Originally stating that this was due to repair work on burst pipes, the municipality indicated that people in affected areas should still boil their water before consumption - even after testing concluded that water is safe to use.
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