Johannesburg water does not repair non-municipal pipes

Johannesburg Water confirmed on January 23 that the company was unable to repair pipes causing blockages in a resident's home in Lyndhurst.

Taryn Holmes (homeowner's daughter) contacted the newspaper on January 13th. “I am contacting you regarding a long-standing sewage issue on our property that has existed for over three years and is posing serious health concerns to residents. We initially reported a burst pipe to the water authority after consulting a private plumber who concluded that due to its location on shared property, the repair was within the responsibility of the council or community.”

Gray Holmes is outraged by the clogged drains in his backyard. Photo: Asanda Matlhare

Johannesburg Water spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala said the team was aware of the problem caused by tree roots on the line that had already been removed in 2020.

“An investigation was carried out and it was determined that the pipe experiencing the problem belongs to the customer (i.e. it is not on or located on municipal land). In addition, the pipe is made of pitch fibers, while the municipality does not and never has used such pipe material. This means the company is not obligated to make repairs and it is the resident’s responsibility to repair the pipe.”

Gray Holmes is outraged by the clogged drains in his backyard. Photo: Asanda Matlhare

Shabalala added that the sewerage operations manager was on site and informed the customer that the repair was not the responsibility of Johannesburg Water for the following reasons: The connection was rerouted within the property to the connection at the foot of the residents' stand. Therefore, the resident must request a relocation of the connection where the pipe was installed or ask their plumber to repair or reroute the pipe within their property.

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