Public Entity, Rand Water on Friday unveiled the country’s largest reservoir in Benoni, which is set to provide additional water to parts of the Gauteng province.
The construction of the Vlakfontein Reservoir forms part of its augmentation strategy to maintain storage capacity equivalent to 24 hours water demand.
The 210 million litre reservoir is linked to the Mapleton System which receives water from the Zuikerbosch purification and pumping station via two pipes, which are both 2,100mm in diameter and distributes potable water to various municipalities through two outgoing pipelines which are also 2,100mm in diameter.
The reservoir will provide additional water storage and supply in areas situated in the east of Tshwane and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipalities up to year 2035, and this is based on a compounded growth rate of 2% for the areas.
According to the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Vlakfontein Reservoir is the largest post tensioned reservoir in the country, benchmarked against a reservoir in Saudi Arabia, which is only 200Mℓ in capacity.
It is also registered as a dam with high safety risks, and during its design, stringent safety regulations had to be adhered to.
Construction of the reservoir began in May 2020 and is expected to be completed in April 2023.
National water security
Speaking during the launch, Minister Senzo Mchunu dispelled public notion that the water sector is headed towards a state of disaster and total collapse.
“I accept that the country is facing challenges of power supply and I do understand the impact of this on water supply. But I do think that it is misleading to say the water sector is heading towards that direction and is in shambles …that is incorrect,” he said.
The Minister alluded to the extensive work being carried out by Rand Water in Gauteng and other parts of the country, including the implementation of Infrastructure Development Planning, which entails planning for the refurbishment and augmentation of infrastructure, and the implementation thereof.
“The augmentation I am referring to includes expansion of potable production capacity at the river stations, as well as infrastructure that radiates away from river stations; that is pipework, pumps, reservoirs or associated automation and electrical infrastructure,” Mchunu said.
He also noted that when pipelines, pump stations and additional potable capacity at river stations are upgraded, outright additional capacity can be delivered to customers.