Northern Aqueduct Water Project in South Africa

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The Northern Aqueduct Water Project strives to improve the delivery of potable water to regions for years. However, reports revealed that there had been delays with the fourth phase of the project. The particular phase, as noted by Msawakhe Mayisela, Municipal spokesperson, was from the Waterloo Reservoir to the La Mercy Reservoir.

The project’s delays have been attributed to the pipeline requiring reservoir re-zoning. In addition to the re-evaluation of water demands as well as life-cycle costing. While speaking further about the project, Mayisela said that the water and sanitation department aims for completion by December.

The Water and Sanitation department’s construction included the interconnecting pipe network. Its location is right between the ‘live’ existing Northern Aqueduct network to the new Northern Aqueduct Augmentation pipeline.

Western and Northern Aqueducts Project in Ethekwini Metro | DBSA

Reported On 16 Oct 2015

South Africa: two phases of the Northern Aqueduct water Project almost complete

Construction of US$20.6m (R250 million) worth of bulk water infrastructure in the northern part of the eThekwini region is nearing completion. This confirmation was by Ednick Msweli, the newly appointed head of eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS). Completion of the multi-million rand contracts that make up a portion of the Northern Aqueduct Augmentation (NAA) aims for the fourth quarter of this year.

The portion that is to be completed includes a 6km pipeline running from Duffs Road to  Phoenix 2 reservoir and a 22 km segment of the pipeline from Phoenix 2 Reservoir in Phoenix, which continues to Waterloo, and then to Umhlanga with a feed to the new Blackburn reservoir.

The current Northern Aqueduct is at capacity on various sections of the trunk mains as a result of growth in demand. As a result, although there is sufficient water to meet current needs, there is not sufficient network capacity to deliver it to areas that need it most. Construction of the NAA will resolve this.

An Overview

Msweli said that the NAA, which comprises seven individual projects, would not be built in a linear fashion. Segments in areas of critical need will be put in place first.

Northern Aqueduct Augmentation Project pipeline
The bulk water pipe has been laid in the excavated area in the centre of the Phoenix Highway.

He said that, by the end of the year, the pipeline to the Waterloo Reservoir would be complete.  “This will alleviate the water shortages and rationing that have been a consistent experience in the Phoenix and Waterloo areas.  These areas currently receive water from Hazelmere Dam which is low. We will be able to reroute water to compensate for this.”

Martin Bright, project manager for the NAA, said that the actual construction of these two contracts was complex with special measures being taken to accommodate residents, preserve environmentally sensitive flora, and rehabilitate excavation sites.

Although a large portion of the pipeline has had rerouting, through sugar cane fields, a critical portion does traverse busy residential areas, crossing busy thoroughfares. He urged residents to be patient as EWS continues to alleviate the water shortages that are currently causing concern.

He said motorists could expect traffic interruptions over the next two months along Phoenix Highway. As the road is not wide, construction has to extend into the road

Bright further said that EWS  the consultants commissioned to undertake the Environmental Impact Assessment and design of the link from Reservoir Hills (also known as Durban Heights) to Duffs Road was successful. This will go out to tender in early 2016.

Construction of the 30-month-long contract will start in mid-2016. This, too, will entail an extremely complex construction process that involves excavation and laying of a 1,2m diameter steel pipe along a route of approximately 15 km.


Reported On 11 July 2017

Phase 5 of Durban’s Northern Aqueduct Augmentation to Start August

Construction on the fifth phase of Durban’s Northern Aqueduct Augmentation project aims to begin in August according to eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS).

The phase comprises a new 1 200-mm-diameter continuously welded steel high-pressure pipeline, stretching from the Durban Heights reservoir in Reservoir Hills to Duffs Road and a firm, concrete bridge over the Umgeni River.

EWS head Ednick Msweli said that although there was sufficient water to meet current needs, it could not efficiently get to high-demand areas. This was made worse by ongoing development to the north of Durban.

Bigger And Better

Phase 5 will benefit Newlands, KwaMashu, and Phoenix. Alongside, Cornubia, Waterloo, Umhlanga, and Durban North, are due for completion in 2019. Project manager Martin Bright said that pipeline route investigations were complete. Moreover, engineering consultants, Bosch Projects also completed the design stage.

In addition to the pipeline itself, it will feature a concrete pipe bridge across the Umgeni River above the 1:100-year flood line. Additionally, it will also include a concrete box-type bridge cross-section. Its launch will receive support on five solid concrete piers. Additionally, it will cross the Umgeni River adjacent to the existing pipeline.

The new bridge will be in a similar alignment to the previous steel suspension bridge and adjacent to the existing pipe bridge, about 9.6 km from the river mouth. The level of the bridge deck is on basis of an intricate hydrological flood assessment of the Umgeni River at a height that is above the regional maximum flood level.

A spokesperson for Bosch Projects said river diversion works will feature,  to cater for the river flow during piling and construction of the bridge substructure. Bright said environmental rehabilitation will also be present during and after construction. As a result, EWS appointed Gibb as the independent environmental consultant. They’ll also be the project’s impact assessors for this segment of the project.