Ndlambe Municipality went out of its way to investigate and respond to the media frenzy regarding two “sewage incidents” that allegedly took place on successive days this week:
- The reported discharge of sewage into the Kariega Estuary from the sewerage plant in Ekuphumleni, and;
- The reported discharge of sewage into the Bushman’s Estuary from a point on River Road, Bushmans.
KOSRA, with Estuary Care, the Chamber of Business and BRRAG, participated in the investigations. We are relieved to report that the explanations provided by Ndlambe appear to be credible and further planned action is reassuring for future confidence about the quality of the water in both Estuaries.
THE SEWERAGE PLANT INCIDENT
Following claims of sewage flowing from the treatment works at Ekuphumleni, in the light of the media release by Ndlambe, representatives from KOSRA, Estuary Care and COB met Deputy Director, Thulani Maluleke at the site.
The plant is currently being upgraded and is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2021. The contractor is working on the aerating paddles and has consequently shut down part of the aerating operation. However, no sign of sewage flowing towards the Kariega could be observed. There is basically no mess and very little smell; solids are still retained and treated in the conventional way.
Chlorine and bio-activating compounds are being added as normal and the effluent flows to the purifying reed-bed settling ponds, which are not on, or flowing directly into, the Kariega Estuary. Regular sampling is being carried out at the plant, the reed beds and the river. The published results accompany this statement and appear to be well within acceptable limits.
Estuary Care has committed to take regular water samples at strategic points in both estuaries to verify the cleanliness of our rivers.
THE HONEYSUCKER INCIDENT
Again, following the Bushmans discharge incident, representatives from KOSRA, COB and BRRAG, along with the gentleman who witnessed the incident, met with Deputy Director, Thulani Maluleke from Ndlambe Municipality at the site of the “Honeysucker Incident”.
The problem experienced by the driver and crew of the honeysucker arose as a result of a design fault in the discharge valve/clamp on the conservancy tank they were trying to empty. The outlet clamp is actually situated below the tank, therefore always under pressure, making it impossible to open and attach to the honeysucker’s clamp without spillage of raw sewage. Adding insult to injury, the tank was fuller than the honeysucker’s capacity, resulting in the coupling/uncoupling operation having to be done twice. Double trouble!
In future, no effluent will be pumped from any tank unless they are configured in such a manner as to avoid truck drivers having difficulty emptying the tanks. Similar riverside tanks to the one in question will need to be checked by Ndlambe and modified or replaced as required.
KOSRA, COB, ESTUARY CARE, BRRAG
These two issues provoked substantial negative media hype which proved to be largely unnecessary. KOSRA, COB, Estuary Care and BRRAG were immediately galvanised into action. The true facts were established with the co-operation of Ndlambe.
We believe that the concerns of residents, visitors and the public at large have been allayed. There is every reason to think that the Kariega and Bushmans Estuaries will continue to live up to everyone’s expectations. Kenton-on-Sea and Boesmansriviermond will continue to be regarded as environmental treasure troves.
Please don’t hesitate to contact one of the community organisations, whose committee members are dedicated to the good image of these towns and the furtherance of effective municipal action through constructive interaction in response to issues raised by the community.
Kenton Ratepayers Association (KOSRA) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Chamber of Business (COB) – email@example.com
Estuary Care – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bushman’s River Mouth Ratepayers Organisation (BRRAG) – email@example.com