Burst water pipes in street
Burst water pipes in Gauteng. Picture courtesy

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  1. I have a serious problem related to new standpipe water meters installed in Naledi municipality. paying exorbitant price for air. That means many consumers are paying for air to our municipalities. When the valve on the municipal meter is opened keeping the stopcock on the main line to the premise from the municipal line is closed, meter runs with high speed and reading changes rapidly., but When the valve on the municipal meter is closed, running of the meter stops. Is it a miracle meter??? Quality of these meters are really questionable.

  2. What an interesting article. I have experienced exactly what you have covered in your article. My water bill for 4 people per month would average around r700 until I received a bill for 2500. It was an estimation. Yet upon reporting this astronomical bill to the council and advising that there have been pipe bursts in my area I was told to pay as the pipes were not on my property and would not affect my bill. Yet what you covered in this article is exactly what I experienced with air pressure bursting from my taps whenever I opened it. It is freaking absurd.

  3. Robert Bull says:

    I have often thought of this and experienced it when we have water bursts.

    As a plumber here is my advice. When you notice your water pressure dropping or being shut off for repairs then don’t flush any toilets or use any washing machines or dishwashers or automated sprinkler systems. These valves only shut off once enough water has come in. So they will let lots of air into your property before the water comes through to allow them to fill and shut off.

    Let the council bleed the air out first then start using the toilets and washing machines as usual

  4. I had exactly the same problem at a property that I rent out in
    Century City. The municipality had dug up the road in the area on
    about four occasions to repair the water pipes and sent accounts of up
    to eight times the normal water consumption. After getting responses
    such as that they did not work there, but they had to sign in through
    security gate so I could prove that to them, to threatening to deduct
    the amount that I refused to pay from the prepaid electricity. I then
    managed to get to Ernest Sonnenberg the MEC’s secretary who was
    really very very helpful and went out of her way to resolve the
    problem. It took 11 months to get a credit which included the interest
    on the account as well!!
    My theory is the same as the one which you were given that the air in
    the pipeline is compressible and water is not and will give seven
    times the volume of water if the flow is low and the water pressure is
    7 bar. If however there is a high flow rate there would be no
    resistance and the impeller could spin at a much higher speed and
    generate any volume as a reading. The first house in the street to
    open a tap would get all of the air so one would not expect the
    neighbouring properties to have a similar problem.

  5. Generally it only happens when there are burst water pipes. So really all you can do is note the times when water is off because of this and if your water is unusually high (not just a little bit higher) then approach the council. If it happens and you have problems, let us know.

  6. Thank you for the great article. Is there any way to tackle the issue of air before it gets to our water meters for we know the councils we are dealing with. Very hard hearted people.

  7. Yip … I think a lot of people have had the experience and frustration! We did, and it was only by chance that we discovered the possible answer. Spread the word.

  8. I had a similar experience about three years ago when I could personally see the meter running while no water was being delivered. I spoke to a reporter of the Rosebank-Killarney Gazette and an article was published. It was immediately poo-pooed by a functionary of the city council. Since I had not taken a movie of the meter running I was unable to prove my point.

    Vindication after thee years!

    Dr Ralph Wortley