Water utility Rand Water has announced the launch of a new ‘mega reservoir’ in the City of Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.According to the utility, the newly-built Vlakfontein Reservoir is the largest cylindrical and circular reservoir in South Africa, and one of the biggest in the world. Rand Water said load shedding was significantly impacting the water supply and that the new Vlakfontein Reservoir would improve the situation. The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu unveiled the new reservoir in Benoni on Friday, which is part of Rand Water’s plans to augment its water storage. It has a capacity of 210 megalitres and is the largest cylindrical and circular reservoir in South Africa – the reservoir can hold enough water to fill 84 Olympic-size swimming pools, which average around 2.5 megalitres.
Referring to the challenges it had faced in recent stages of load shedding, Rand Water said the pump stations that supply water to the city’s water towers were often affected during electrical outages.It said this resulted in poor pressure or no water at all in some water zones. “We have been impacted by power failures. More especially at our primary and secondary pump stations. We had trips and outages, and [these] affect how we pump water. We are unable to pump water when there is no power. Therefore we’re not able to supply municipalities with water,” said Rand Water spokesperson Makenosi Maroo. The new reservoir will act as a water buffer, helping to provide water to areas affected by power outages. Rand Water said the construction of 13 more reservoirs is in the pipeline.