Keep it clean

Siseko Mbandezi, acting mayoral committee member for water and sanitation, City of Cape Town

In response to the story “Tafelsig residents fed up with stink”, Plainsman, December 7.

The blockage was cleared on Saturday November 5. Work has since been completed and the issue has been resolved.

The blockage was caused by rags, debris and towels being discarded in the sewer system.

Generally, the majority of blockages across the city are caused by the misuse of the sewer system. In addition, our teams regularly have to remove builders’ rubble, nappies and tyres, along with general litter from the system when clearing blockages. These blockages are exacerbated by the disposal of cooking fats into the system, which hardens as it cools and acts like glue for the other materials in the line.

To reduce the possibility of sewer blockages, the City’s Distribution Services Department is currently undertaking proactive maintenance.

Tips for residents and businesses to help prevent sewer blockages and overflows as a start, residents need to remember that flushing anything other than human waste, toilet paper and wastewater or grey water can cause a sewer blockage and overflow.

In terms of basic tips, residents need to put a strainer in the sink to catch food or other waste before it goes down the drain and creates blockages.

Wipe cooking fats, oil or grease off the pan, and don’t pour it down the drain because it becomes hard and clogs up and blocks the sewer pipes.

Don’t flush nappies and sanitary products, they absorb water and expand, which causes blockages.

Check that rainwater gutters don’t flow into the sewer system, as it overloads it when it rains.

Visit the City’s drop-off facilities to dispose of things like recyclable items, electronics, garage waste and builder’s rubble.

What residents should do when they see a blocked sewer or overflow and missing drain covers, they need to report sewer blockages, missing manhole covers, and dumping of objects into the sewer system through manholes should they see this happening, by logging on the City’s online website or email or SMS 31373 or call 0860 103 089 or visit a City walk-in centre.

Please provide the street address, and get a reference number so they (residents) can follow up on their query.