And Delmas dumps on Bronkhorstspruit
Waste from homes around the Bronkhorstspruit Dam is either treated on site and then released into the dam, or it is sent to a so-called package station. This removes the solid sewage and then pumps the still untreated liquid waste over the mountains to the wastewater treatment plant in Bronkhorstspruit. The plant there uses a chemical and mechanical process to separate and make the waste safe for use as fertiliser and for release into the nearby river. But the plant is not working. An experienced water technician, who has been into the plant and who also does not want to be named, says it is blocked with compacted human waste. Without maintenance, the machines that break down the waste have themselves broken down. Wastewater now flows over the solid waste that has caused the plant to seize up — but, from the outside, it looks as if it is working, according to the technician. “About 95% of that plant’s capacity is now just solid waste. It would take a jackhammer to break it apart now.”
It is the same at the package station next to the Bronkhorstspruit Dam. Overgrown and dilapidated, it stands silent. The tell-tale signs of waste surround the plant — mud and green growth, fed by the nutrient-rich sewage that spills out of a rusted grate in the middle of the station.
Someone who has seen the plant trying to operate says, because of the blockages at the main wastewater plant in Bronkhorstspruit, the waste cannot be pumped there. Instead, it is spilling out of the plant, flowing down the hill and into the dam.
Bronkhorstspruit is doing to people downriver what Delmas is doing to it. —