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The massive weir stretching across the Tugela River with its abstraction point on the south bank and water purification works on the north bank.
The North Coast long-term water shortages will soon be over, when the Lower Tugela Bulk Water Supply Scheme (LTBWSS) starts supplying water to KwaDukuza and Ballito by mid-2016.
The Courier visited the site of the massive weir across the Tugela River on Monday and spoke to Umgeni Water CEO, Cyril Gamede and a number of engineers involved in the project.
Funded by the department of water and sanitation and Umgeni Water, the R1.4 billion project will initially supply 20 million cubic meters per year (about 55 million litres per day) but that figure will be doubled when the need arises and the second 55 mega litres per day purification plant is built.
The project will supply all Ilembe areas from Mandeni to Ballito, and all major settlements inbetween, which includes KwaDukuza and Groutville.
The Tugela River has a lot of sand in it and to prevent sand from being abstracted with the water, the abstraction works on the south side of the 171 metre long weir across the river has been fitted with sediment traps.
From there the water will be pumped to the 55 million litres per day water treatment works on the north bank where it will be purified before being pumped up to the 30 million litre command reservoir.
Because the command reservoir is at the highest point between the Tugela and Ballito, water will flow to distribution areas via a 29 kilometre-long gravity main that, as the name suggests, uses gravity as opposed to electrical water pumps.
Umgeni Water said that the project has been and will continue to benefit the Ilembe district municipality through employment and job creation, increased expenditure on accommodation, rentals, local water and electricity.
They said the project has also brought increased expenditure to local shops and hardware stores and most importantly, will bring long term water supply security to the district.