The City of Bulawayo will this year replace and install 18, 000 domestic and non-domestic water meters in 27 District Meter Areas (DMAs) in the Magwegwe and Criterion Reservoirs zones.

The project is being implemented under the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) whose objective is to improve municipal water supply and sanitation services contributing to the improvement of the health and social well being of the population of Bulawayo.

One of the key components of the BWSSIP project is the water mains upgrading, mains renewal and Bulk and Domestic Meter replacement project which is being conducted in various parts of the city. The main objective of the water supply component is to ensure improved access to municipal water supply in the identified project areas by improving the efficiency of raw water pumping, treatment and distribution networks in areas supplied by the Magwegwe and Criterion reservoirs.

“One of the components of the work that falls under the mains upgrading project is the installation and replacement of approximately 18,000 water meters in all 27 District Meter Areas (DMAs) in the Magwegwe and Criterion reservoir zones,” said Engineer Simela Dube, the City’s Director of Engineering Services.

Engineer Dube said the works will include supply and installation of domestic water meters to replace the existing non-functional meters.

“The City will be conducting the meter replacement project in a phased approach, with the first phase having started in November 2019 and will run up to July 2020,” he said.

He added that the target was to replace the meters in accordance with the following priority order;

  1. Non meter (inclusive of Good or bad water service connection)
  2. Industrial or commercial stands with no meter and non-functional meters
  3. Non-functional meters with bad service connection
  4. Non-functional meters with good service connections
  5. Functional meters with bad service connection
  6. Meters currently measuring in Gallons

“The meter replacement programme is being done on properties identified during the Customer Information Update Survey which was conducted early 2019 in the project wards,” said Engineer Dube.

He added that during the meter replacement there would be minimal disruption of water supplies of not more than (two) 2 hours as the teams will be striving to minimise disruption time as much as possible.

The main aim of meters and house connection replacement is the reduction of the overall Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in the targeted District Metering Areas (DMAs) and consequently city wide.  The high NRW in these DMAs is mainly caused by the physical leaks in the house connections due to age of infrastructure and apparent loss due to meter inaccuracy and unavailability of meters in some cases. The meters replacement will be beneficial for both the residents and the Bulawayo City Council.