Contractor blamed for sewage spill

JON HOUZET

NDLAMBE municipality has blamed negligence by a contractor for sewage spills in Marselle.

TotT reported last week how there were widespread spills in Marselle which began in December. Sewage overflowed from several manholes around the township and pooled in residents’ yards.

Ward 3 committee member Julius Mabutsana called TotT about the situation which was creating a health hazard. He criticised the municipality’s slow response to attend to the crisis.

The municipality repaired the problem on January 5.

This week municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa said: “The sewage overflow in Marselle was caused by negligence on the side of a contractor appointed to install services.

“A bulk discharge pipe was severed by an excavator and was not reported nor repaired. The resultant blockage caused the sewage to backup and to overflow into the built environment.”

Mbolekwa said the system was operating normally since the repairs.

But Mabutsana felt this would not solve problems in the long-term.

“The carrying capacity of the pipes is still a problem. They need to be replaced by bigger pipes,” he said.

Mbolekwa said a R16,4-million MIG grant allocated for Marselle sewerage three years ago was insufficient to attend to all the technical work required.

“The priority was to improve the Marselle Waste Water Treatment Works. Secondary to this was the amendment of the existing reticulation network from the original design, being a small-bore system, to that of a fully water-borne system,” he said.

A pump station had needed to be decommissioned and replaced, and there was not enough money to replace all small-bore systems.

He said the municipality was continuously engaging other government departments for financial assistance.

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