Swimming pool backwashing is one of the causes of potholes on suburban roads, the Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) said on Monday. Vandalism and “ageing infrastructure” were other challenges in the face of “diminishing budgets”, the JRA said in a statement. “These actions impact negatively on our plans, since we then have to divert budgets meant for new services into addressing the challenges caused by vandalism and theft,” it said.
Missing manhole covers
The flooding of roads and dangerous, unclosed manhole covers were being caused by people misusing infrastructure. “Our manholes are used as storage space by homeless people and hawkers during the day, leading to manholes being left open and becoming a danger to the general public. “The dumping of building rubble and household waste in the storm water drains and on the river banks… leads to clogging of the drainage system, resulting in flooding during heavy storms,” JRA said.
Theft and illegal roadworks
Theft was also an issue, with cables, manhole covers and even the globes of traffic lights being stolen. Another problem was the digging up of roads to create speed bumps in areas where communities felt drivers were going too fast. JRA said it was prosecuting people who had dug up roads in Soweto.
Public urged to police roads
It asked the public to help by refraining from causing damage with swimming pools and litter, and to report to the JRA people who abused infrastructure. “[The] JRA will not tolerate any criminal act on our assets as these undermine the safety of the road users. “We appeal to communities to support us in the fight against criminal activities on our assets, by reporting all such acts.” JRA said it was launching a project called Letsema to help it tackle deteriorating roads.
Water Rhapsody can install a Poolside Tank, which allows you to save the water that is normally wasted when backwashing. A special flocculent is added to the backwashed water and 24 hours later, this water is returned to the swimming pool. No more having to top up the pool each time you backwash.