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Air trapped in pipe affects water metre reading


Air trapped in pipe affects water metre reading

TEMPERS flared at a public meeting at Chelsea Preparatory School on Thursday night as residents grilled a City official over the nightly water cuts in the area.  The eThekwini Municipality has implemented stage 3 nightly shut-offs in all areas which meant areas would be without water for 11 hours, from 7pm to 5am.

While many questioned why every area had not been affected equally, others wanted to know what caused the havoc with water metres spinning out of control.

A shocking issue raised by the furious residents was that of trapped air causing water metres to run without any water flow. A resident, who did not want to be named, spoke to Northglen News, said the metre had showed he had used 601 litres in a single evening. What’s more a video showing the trapped air affecting a water metre has also emerged. It is believed the video was shared on a Westville WhatsApp group.

Durban North ward councillor, Shaun Ryley, said the issue was clearly not isolated as another Durban North resident raised he same matter at the meeting and this was cause for concern.

“What is happening is as water flow drops because of the shut-offs at night there is a build up of air pressure. When there is a sudden release of this pressure it is causing the meters to run excessively fast making it look as though large quantities of water are being consumed when nothing but air if flowing through the meter. One of the suggestions offered by residents in the area was to have pressure release valves to enable air to escape under pressure. Once the air is out the valve closes,” he said.

Follow the link provided to see the video - WATCH VIDEO

“The issue is not isolated and significantly affects ratepayers who ‘pay for the air’ as if it was water. In the meeting on Thursday evening, the City urged residents to report the issue to me as soon as possible because it takes two months for the amendment to appear on the water bill. I will then put the residents on to the relevant authorities,” he said.

Contact Ryley on 083 974 3500/ email (, or uMhlanga councillor, Heinz de Boer on  083 355 2343/ email ( or ward 110 councillor, Pete Graham 082 881 0082 /email (

Published 19 Feb 2017 / Views -
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