Harare City Council is expecting to start pumping water to the western suburbs tonight allaying fears that the typhoid outbreak reported in the area will spread following a mechanical fault that led to flooding of the pump station at Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant on Monday evening.
Council workers yesterday drained the flooded part of the plant and were busy carrying out repairs on the trunk line that supplies Lochinvar reservoirs.
The city’s western suburbs get their water from Lochinvar reservoirs.
Morton Jaffray senior superintendent Mr Paul Chabata yesterday said at around 4.30pm on Monday evening a power surge was experienced at the pump station and one of the pumps tripped off and that could have contributed to the failure of the joints or cabling on the trunk line to Lochinvar.
“We ended up switching off all the pump lines because the water was now flooding the pump station. We switched off all the pump lines that feed Lochinvar, in order to avoid the flooding.
“We also isolated the inter-connector to facilitate the repair work by our mechanical workshop. I think by 1800hrs we had completed closing the inter-connector and we have now started scouring, emptying the line so that the mechanical workshop will be in a position to start the repair works,” he said.
He said since Monday evening the mechanical workshops were busy trying to rectify the problem and was hoping that by end of yesterday the city would be in a position to pump water.
“We can safely say that maybe around 2100hrs those areas should be in a position to receive water if we don’t encounter any other problems.”
He said during the repairs all water was diverted to Warren Control and this means that suburbs in the east and north are receiving increased water supplies.
The leakage comes at a time when Harare City Council early this month said it had begun a six-month-long rehabilitation of its main waterworks.
It said residents would experience water shortages mostly on weekends until July as it begins the refurbishment of equipment at the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.
Last week the city’s health director, Dr Prosper Chonzi, said popular braai spot KwaMereki in Warren Park D, Harare, was hit by a typhoid outbreak with two cases having being reported.
He said western suburbs such as Hopley, Glen Norah, Budiriro and Kuwadzana continued to be the hardest typhoid hit areas in the city, hence water problems in the areas would fuel an outbreak.