River pol­lu­tion traced to city wa­ter treat­ment works

The Mercury - - NEWS/ NETWORK - Tony Carnie

THE source of the sewage pol­lu­tion in the uMd­loti River has been traced to the eThek­wini mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s treat­ment works in Veru­lam.

Re­spond­ing to queries from The Mer­cury yes­ter­day, city of­fi­cials blamed a con­trac­tor who was re­claim­ing old, di­gested sludge from the Veru­lam sewage treat­ment works.

Over the past three weeks, sev­eral res­i­dents had com­plained about foul smells and pol­lu­tion flow­ing to­wards the main beach at eMd­loti.

A spokesman for the city’s wa­ter and waste depart­ment said: “The con­sis­tency of the sludge at the cen­tre stock pile was still fluid, which caused the stock­pile wall to col­lapse – al­low­ing sludge into the river.

“The amount which es­caped was un­der­es­ti­mated by the con­trac­tor. Sub­se­quent sam­pling and clear­ing of the bush re­vealed a much larger prob­lem.”

Of­fi­cials said that the con­trac­tor would now bear the cost of the clean-up and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion work, but no men­tion was made of pos­si­ble crim­i­nal charges un­der the Wa­ter Act.

“Mon­i­tor­ing of the river con­tin­ues and the uMd­loti la­goon, as of this morn­ing, was still in a good con­di­tion,” said the spokesman.

But res­i­dent Danie Rade­meyer said he was dis­ap­pointed that it had taken so long to iden­tify and rem­edy the prob­lems, which he had no­ticed as early as Septem­ber 12.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.