Media tour sheds light on Joburg Water's vital infrastructure, showcasing reservoirs and towers

Linden 1 Tower, in Randburg, which stores 0.50 megalitres of water, supplied by Rand Water. Picture: Simon Majadibodu / Independent Newspapers

Linden 1 Tower, in Randburg, which stores 0.50 megalitres of water, supplied by Rand Water. Picture: Simon Majadibodu / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 7, 2024


Johannesburg Water has revealed that it distributes 1.6 million litres of potable water daily, which is abstracted from the bulk supplier, Rand Water, and delivered through a network of water infrastructure consisting of 129 reservoirs and water towers.

The entity disclosed that during a media tour hosted earlier today, at the Joburg Water’s Randburg System, along with its two critical reservoirs and water towers.

The tour was aimed at showcasing the infrastructure serving the local areas and occurs once every three months to highlight this infrastructure.

Addressing the media on-site, Joburg Water’s electro-mechanical operations manager, Gugulethu Quma, said the water system is supplied by the Rand Water’s Eikenhof System, through the extensive network and resources of the entity.

Joburg Water’s regional secretary for Diepsloot and Roodepoort Tumelo Kgakatsi, Ronny Mabophe Randburg depot manager, Gugulethu Quma, electro-mechanical operations manager and operations manager Adama Wilsenach leads the media tour at Randburg Water System. Picture: Simon Majadibodu / Independent Newspapers

Quma explained that the system, totalling 71.30 megalitres in storage capacity, consists of four reservoirs and four towers interconnected within its network, operating interdependently.

“The Randburg System consists of Blairgowrie Reservoirs which stores 6.80 megalitres, Linden 1 Reservoir stores 25.50 megalitres, Linden 2 Reservoir stores 25.20 megalitres, while Kensington B Reservoir stores 11.40 megalitres,” he said.

"The reservoirs are interconnected, relying on each other for water supply. Therefore, if one reservoir experiences a water shortage, it will affect the supply to the others as well," he explained.

He added that the four water towers include, Linden 1 Tower which stores 0.50 megalitres, Kensington B Tower stores 0.50 megalitres, Waterval Tower stores 1.10 megalitres and the Quellerina Tower stores 0.30 megalitres.

Quma said the system distributes 35,000 megalitres of water per day, which is distributed through the reservoirs and towers.

"We provide water to over a billion customers connected to this system every single day, including communities, various customers such as clinics, schools, commercial entities, and high-rise buildings," he added.

Linden 1 Tower, in Randburg, which stores 0.50 megalitres of water, supplied by Rand Water. Picture: Simon Majadibodu / Independent Newspapers

When asked about the construction and operation of the reservoirs and water towers, he explained: "The main purpose of a water tower is to elevate the water supply and generate pressure, whereas a reservoir, situated at ground level, distributes water to areas lower than its level.“

“If you reside in a high-rise building, you cannot be supplied water directly from the reservoir because you are at the same height or higher than it."

He added that for residents in high-altitude areas or those situated at the same level as the reservoir or higher, the water tower is utilised to boost pressure and ensure a sufficient water supply.

According to Quma, approximately 60% of the sanitation process involves wastewater management and reticulation, which is then treated to meet the environmental standards before being discharged back into catchment areas, rivers, and wetlands.

Although the entity is tasked with providing water and sanitation services throughout the city, it faces challenges due to ageing infrastructure, despite having sufficient water storage capacity.

“Even if you go to our business plan you will realise that last year we had R22 million black-log of infrastructure, and that means the renewal rate of upgrading the pipelines underground and building new reservoirs and rehabilitating the existing ones is behind,” he told IOL News.

Quma attributes the presence of bursting and leaking pipes within communities as a result of the infrastructure requiring rehabilitation, and measures will be taken to address this issue.