DOCRRA Hazelmere Dam Site Visit – 17 August 2022

On 17 August 2022, a delegation of five DOCRRA executive committee members attended a site visit to the Hazelmere Dam; being one of the first organisations to be invited to do so.  Representatives from the Department of Water and Sanitation for KZN, Umgeni Water and Groupfive (the project engineers) were all present, as well as the ward councillor for Mahlabathini and the head of site management, Mr. Ernest Ndlovu. 

The extension to the Hazelmere Dam wall has been a 10-year project and will be fully completed by December of this year.  The wall has been extended by 7 metres which results in the total capacity of the dam being doubled.  This project lays claims to no less than 3 world records for the technical innovations that have been used in its construction and has received international accolades and attention as a cutting-edge facility.  One such innovation is the use of a ‘piano key’ system which requires no manual intervention should there be excessive rainfall.  In such a case as occurred in the most recent flooding, within 4 hours of being warned about the amount of water accumulated upstream, the ‘piano key’ system was already allowing the safe release of water. 

As the Dolphin Coast receives approximately 90% of our water supply from the Hazelmere Dam (via Umgeni Water and Siza Water, the remainder coming from a dam in the lower Tugela River), it’s very comforting to know that we have a world-class facility managing and supplying it. 

The DOCRRA delegation was especially impressed with the thorough nature of the planning that went into this project which necessitated the coordination of data from many water catchment areas and aquifers. 

For more information on the site visit and the Hazelmere Dam, please visit

One Response

  1. It was a great privilege to have worked on the reinforced concrete construction portion of this project from 2015-2018. What a joy to see publish the aerial clip depicting the excellent performance of the PKW system, and current reservoir operating rules smoothly functioning for the first time, during the 2022 autumn floods. Thank you very much to the DOCRRA Team for the update, and extremely positive contribution to our domestic supply reserves.

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