Es­tu­a­ry pro­blems net­ted

A new car­go de­vi­ce stops rub­bish al­ong all the cul­verts

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Nuus | News - Ya­seen Gaf­far

In an at­tempt to ad­dress the di­re si­tu­a­ti­on of was­te spil­la­ge in­to the Knys­na la­goon, San­parks has te­a­med up with the Knys­na Ra­te­pay­ers' As­so­ci­a­ti­on (KRA) to c­re­a­te a sim­ple but ef­fecti­ve was­te cap­tu­ring de­vi­ce that is in­stal­led at cul­verts and col­lects rub­bish be­fo­re it can pol­lu­te the es­tu­a­ry.

The de­vi­ce ba­si­cal­ly con­sis­ts of a sock­li­ke car­go net that is tied o­ver the mouth of the out­lets and then al­lows wa­ter to flow through w­hi­le si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly trap­ping plas­tic bags, bott­les and ot­her rub­bish. It works par­ti­cu­lar­ly well af­ter rains w­hen wa­ter flow at cul­verts is sig­ni­fi­cant­ly in­cre­a­sed. S­cott Ro­nald­son of San­parks sta­ted that for o­ver two y­e­ars the rub­bish was col­lected by hand on­ce it had al­re­a­dy flo­wed in­to the es­tu­a­ry.

“Two te­ams of 22 pe­op­le in to­tal ha­ve been em­ploy­ed for the past four mont­hs to pick up lit­ter. At le­ast 190 pe­op­le will be em­ploy­ed in Fe­bru­a­ry. T­his de­vi­ce will con­si­de­ra­bly in­cre­a­se the c­le­a­ning ca­pa­ci­ty of the a­rea, and most im­por­tant­ly, it will col­lect was­te at the sour­ce, be­fo­re it gets to the es­tu­a­ry,” he says.

The i­dea was s­par­ked o­ver a cup of Se­att­le cof­fee be­t­ween Ro­nald­son and KRA mem­ber Mark Wil­li­ams. Wil­li­ams said he had seen a si­mi­lar con­cept in Aus­tra­lia and was im­pres­sed at how sim­ple yet ef­fecti­ve it was.

“We ex­plo­red the practi­ca­li­ty of such an i­dea, we took me­a­su­re­ments and fi­gu­red that t­his could re­al­ly work. We just nee­ded fun­ding," said Wil­li­ams.

But be­fo­re col­lecting funds, t­hey wan­ted to see the fe­a­si­bi­li­ty of the de­vi­ce, so Wil­li­ams spon­so­red the R6 000 re­qui­red to obtain such a net and ma­ke the re­qui­red ad­jus­t­ments.

“With the as­sis­tan­ce of the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, we in­stal­led t­his net three weeks ago and it's wor­king in­cre­di­bly well,” said Wil­li­ams.

Ro­nald­son ad­ded that du­ring last week's rains, at le­ast four black bags of lit­ter was cap­tu­red al­ong the par­ti­cu­lar cul­vert we­re the net has been in­stal­led. "Three of tho­se bags we­re sent for re­cy­cling,” he said.

San­parks sta­ted that the net ser­ves as a sig­ni­fi­cant tool for the re­ducti­on of pol­lu­ti­on en­te­ring the es­tu­a­ry and it has had talks with the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty re­gar­ding the in­stal­la­ti­on of the de­vi­ce at at le­ast fi­ve ot­her cul­verts in Knys­na.

“The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has com­mit­ted to rol­ling out t­his pro­ject to ot­her cul­verts but no ti­me­li­ne has yet been gi­ven,” Ro­nald­son said.

P­ho­to: Ya­seen Gaf­far.

S­cott Ro­nald­son (San­parks), Mark Wil­li­ams (KRA) and Gar­den Rou­te Na­ti­o­nal Park ma­na­ger Pad­dy Gor­don at the cul­vert w­he­re a car­go net has been in­stal­led.

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