Quickly fix salt water leaks or bursts: Auditor

The Audit Commission has urged the Department of Water Supply to take action to ensure that leaking and burst salt water pipes are repaired as soon as possible.

In its latest report released on Wednesday, the commission said 6,193 saltwater leaks were reported between January 2018 and March last year.

In some cases, it took up to 49 days to close the main valve and supply interruptions lasted up to seven days.

The commission noted that the Department of Water Supply has assessed salt water pipes for their risk of bursting or leaking, and that higher risk pipes will be given priority when it comes to works. of improvement.

But as of March last year – about five years after the department conducted its prioritization exercise – two of the three highest-risk pipes and more than a third of other high-risk pipes had still not been reported. been selected for improvement works.

For the pipes that were selected for improvement works, the contractors also took a long time to complete the task.

Of the 44 sites identified as burst “hot spots”, improvement work was still ongoing for 14 of them, and work had already lasted an average of around four and a half years.

The commission urged the department to ensure that works to improve salt water mains are completed as soon as possible and that water leaks are also dealt with promptly.

He also called on the department to explore the possibility of using advanced technologies to monitor seawater supply systems, as measures such as active leak detection currently only cover freshwater pipes.

The director of water supply said in the report that he agreed with the recommendations of the audit.

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