Sewage problem

Keith Alfred Adolph Blake, Ottery

I am now truly gatvol of the City of Cape Town.

I have sent numerous emails and pictures of this leaking sewage drain and it has been in my opinion now just been patched up.

The “shit” is now again about to go into the seawater at “the Broken Road” in Strandfontein, where I and many fishermen fish for the pan for our family.

The councillors and every City official who needs to address this germ warfare should stop doing patch-up jobs.

Fix it properly, as I am so tired of explaining to the other fishermen who depend on me to raise their utmost concerns of this poor service delivery.

I challenge the media to go with me and see it live.

The City of Cape Town should do their duty in a professional manner with quality in mind.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral committee member for Water and Waste, responds:

The City’s Water and Sanitation Department went out to investigate the cause of the spillage. There was no overflow while the teams were on site.

If the spill had been due to a blockage, the overflow would have been ongoing beyond that time, until the blockage was cleared.

Therefore, all indications are that the overflow could have been caused by a power failure at one of the pump stations due to load shedding this past weekend.

The pump station infrastructure is not designed to be switched off and on in the way load shedding forces it to.

As the load shedding is generally for two to 2.5 hours at a time and repeated more than once in the day, all pump stations which do not have auxiliary power and or sufficient holding capacity will tend to overflow either directly into the environment or into the stormwater network and then out into the environment.

Pump stations are fitted with early warning telemetric alarm systems which will notify the depot if a pump station is going to overflow so that measures can be taken to prevent this, for example the use of mobile generators.

However, when large areas are without power due to load shedding it is not logistically possible to prevent overflows entirely.

The team noted that traces of the spill that remained had not reached the ocean.