NDLAMBE’S dams were reported full at the end of May, following good rainfall.
The waterworks report by the directorate of infrastructural development at last week’s executive committee meeting revealed the Sarel Hayward Dam, Port Alfred’s main water supply, was at 100%, as was the Golden Ridge Dam in Bathurst and Port Alfred’s secondary supply, the Mansfield Dam, which is also used to serve Bathurst.
The Mount Wellington Dam serving Kleinemonde was at 90%.
Deputy director of infrastructural development Richard Pote said the balancing dam, a reservoir of water piped from the Sarel Hayward, had been drained and was being cleaned.
The poor state of the balancing dam was highlighted late last year as it was choked with algae which made Port Alfred’s tapwater stink. A strain of the bacteria pseudomonas was also found in the water.
Councillor Ross Purdon questioned the transportation of water tanks to residents of farms in surrounding areas.
“It has financial implications to transport water to those far-out areas and on bad roads using our trucks,” he said.
Mayor Sipho Tandani responded that Ndlambe had taken over the responsibility from the old regional services council and transitional local councils.
“If they have no water, it’s our duty to deliver water to them, even on private land,” he said.
“But are we going to provide tanks to every community that asks? This demand will just grow,” said Purdon.
Finance director Howard Dredge, who served as acting municipal manager at the exco meeting, admitted the municipality was “stretched logistically” by transporting water to Alexandria.
Pote sought clarity on delivering water to farms.
“There is a tariff attached to the delivery of water. Who pays?” he asked.
“Do some pay and others get it at council’s cost? Do they have to comply with the indigent policy? We may set a precedent that council cannot maintain.”
Tandani said exco and officials would meet to discuss the issue.