Cape Town – More health horrors due to sewage in the Grassy Park area are emerging after residents living next to the Lotus River canal reported sewage spilling into the river (“Foul flow fears”, People’s Post, 4 April).
A reader, who did not want to be named, who also lives near the canal in Parkwood, says his neighbour has regular problems with a drain on his property that spews sewage.
“This happens at least once a week and then the stench for all the surrounding houses is terrible,” he says.
“I don’t know if it is caused by blockages or the system just can’t handle the flow in this system. It was installed a long time ago and there’s been a lot of further development in the area and
I wonder if they improved the sewerage system as well.”
Thurston Munnik is one of many in Pelican Park who has also noticed foul smells coming from Zeekoevlei.
“We live quite near to the vlei and sometimes there’s this smell in the air when the wind blows in this direction,” he says. “Reading the story last week it now makes sense but I wonder what kind of damage it causes to the vlei if the sewage can just flow into it unchecked.”
Eddie Andrews, Mayco member (South), explains that the blockages in the area at the moment are virtually all caused by the illegal dumping of inappropriate objects such as rags, paper, sticks and rubble into the sewerage system.
“To give you an example: The most recent blockage was caused by a large block of concrete which was illegally dumped into a manhole, and then entered the sewerage system,” he says.
“The water and sanitation management department will continue to service this problematic sewerage line, which will be prioritised for cleaning before the winter rains.
“In addition, the department continues to roll out educational and awareness drives in communities to explain the importance of not abusing sewerage infrastructure.
“During heavy rains, the sewerage system is overloaded as a result of stormwater and this causes surcharges in the sewerage system, which result in the flooding of low-lying properties by a combination of sewage and stormwater.
“To prevent the flooding of the low-lying properties, an overflow was installed about 25 years ago to give relief to the sewerage system. The overflow only operates in emergencies such as a blockage in the sewerage line, an overloaded sewerage system as a result of heavy rains, and the malfunctioning of the sewerage pump station serving the area.”