Underground burst pipe may lead to M4 closure

uMhlanga ward councillor, Heinz de Boer shows where the City have had to dig up. The burst pipe runs underneath the M4.
uMhlanga ward councillor, Heinz de Boer shows where the City have had to dig up. The burst pipe runs underneath the M4.

A WATER leak running under the M4 may lead to the freeway’s closure if the City isn’t able to find a solution to the problem. Last week, Northglen News met with uMhlanga councillor, Heinz de Boer who said a burst pipe was flowing into a stormwater pipe causing thousands of litres to pour out onto uMhlanga Beach near Durban View Park. He fears the City may need to excavate under the Ruth First Highway which may lead to a ‘traffic disaster’.

According to De Boer, water flowed for almost 30 hours before it subsided. The water leak also left Ridge Road and Stanley Crescent without water last week.

“I was initially made aware of the problem by chairman of Umhlanga Tourism, Peter Rose. After investigations by the City they concluded someone was emptying out their pool which makes no sense as the water was flowing out the stormwater pipe for more than a day. They then said it’s illegal connections in Stanley Crescent, which I find hard to believe. In all my years as a councillor I’ve never had an illegal connection on that road,” he said.

De Boer added thousands of litres of fresh water spilled onto the beach from a stormwater pipe.

“It took, acting city manager, the head of water department and deputy city manager for the cluster to discover it was huge underground water burst. The pipe from the uMhlanga reservoir at the top of the hill goes all the way down the M4. When it reaches the freeway, two pipes, the stormwater and freshwater pipes are enclosed in a massive concrete pipe. The fresh water pipe, which supplies some uMhlanga residents burst causing it flow into the stormwater pipe.

“The City is looking at two options, either they excavate the whole M4 across the four lanes, which will be a traffic disaster, or they look at trenchless technology, however that might lead to a dip in the road which could be dangerous for motorists. At the moment, both sides of the M4 just before the uMhlanga off-ramp have been dug up and the City are trying to figure out the best route forward,” he said.

Shiraz Habbib

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