28 December 2018
THE Harare City Council (HCC) said the ongoing water shortages being experienced in various suburbs in the capital will only improve next week should they implement the tabled solutions well.
HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme – in a statement – said they have put in place solutions to the causes of the shortages, chief among them the delayed rains and electrical faults.
Despite the continued cholera outbreaks around the country, with Harare recording most cases, residents in most suburbs spent the Christmas holiday with dry tapes, resorting to boreholes and domestic wells.
Chideme explained that the raw water quality has deteriorated due to low rainfall which helps in diluting the source of water – Lake Chivero.
“Over the past few weeks our water production at Morton Jaffray has been depressed, averaging 272
ML/Day against a normal daily average of 450m/day.
“The shortages are as a result of several factors among them, over this period, the raw water quality has deteriorated to an extent that the pH has averaged 9.46 whereas at this same time last year, the average was 8.4, making the treatment process more difficult.
“This has been a result of the delayed rains which normally helps in diluting the lake,” said Chideme.
“The abstraction periscopes are now within the algae zone as shown by the high ingress of algae and fish into the treatment works. This then requires more frequent clarifier dislodging as well as filter backwash which uses purified water and in the process results in less potable water pumped to households,” he added.
Chideme also blamed the shortages to an electrical that was experienced at Morton Jaffray resulting into reduction in production.
“On the night of 26 December 2018, the termination kit for transformer number 4 was burnt. As a result, the plant can only run with a maximum of four pumps, (2 big, 1 medium and 1 small).
“The problem is currently being attended to. Termination kits are required for both transformers number 3 and number 4,”said Chideme.
He, however, said they are hoping for an improvement in a week’s time.
“Since 26 December 2018, the pre chlorination HTH dosage has been increased to 2mg/1. This should
result in improved algae removal through improved settlement, hence reduction in sludge carryover to the filters.
“Management is engaging A.I. Davis to introduce a chlorine gas dosing point for pre-chlorination. Filter nozzles were also flushed using HTH on 26 December to kill algae trapped in the filter beds so
as to improve filtration efficiency. The intake periscopes will be adjusted on Friday (28 December, 2018) so as to abstract better quality raw water.
“The contractor working on the Darwendale Pump Station lift has promised that the repair work will be complete by 07 January 2019. This will allow us to blend the better quality Manyame Dam water with Chivero water.
“By carrying out the above, it is hoped that supplies into the city should start improving by early next week,” said Chideme.