Pumping of floodwater sparks erosion concern


WATER levels in flooded Hards Street and Medolino Caravan Park have been dropping slowly but steadily since the marina dredger and three temporary pumps were put to use, but concerns have been raised about the discharge causing erosion.

GOUGED: A resident has raised concerns over the erosion to a secondary dune caused by the discharge of floodwater being pumped from Hards Street and Medolino Caravan Park Picture: JON HOUZET

Muirfield Avenue resident Steve Harris noticed how a secondary dune in a valley behind Medolino had been badly eroded since the dredger had begun pumping sewage-tainted floodwater from Hards Street.

Harris said pumping of stormwater from Medolino in past years had already created a hole at the foot of the dune, but this hole had expanded from the current discharge.

He suggested the problem might be alleviated by adding a few metres of pipe to the pipes spewing the water so that they lay flat on the valley floor rather than dropping water from a height.

“(Sunday) morning the pipes again fell into the hole caused by the collapsing of the sides of the dune. After salvaging them they merely pointed the pipes sideways and continued. This will have the aggravated effect of washing away further pristine dune vegetation,” said Harris.

He said his calls alerting the deputy director of community protection services, Fanie Fouche, to the situation “remain unanswered and ignored”.

“We all agree that the tragedy that occurred at Medolino must be speedily resolved, however to cause avoidable needless damage and scarring is in my opinion a sin.”

Municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa has not responded to requests for comment, but Medolino owner Derek Victor expressed disappointment in Harris’ complaint.

“Has Steve Harris considered the 30 families who lost their homes and possessions? I have lost everything,” said Victor.

“Is he more concerned about damage to some dune and bushes than the loss suffered by all these people?”

Victor said it was not just Medolino that had been affected by the flooding, but it was spread over a 17.2ha area.

“Medolino comprises a tenth of that,” he said.

Visiting the site with TotT, Victor pointed out that much of the erosion had been caused by a broken municipal water pipe beneath the pipes discharging the floodwater.

“The solution to the erosion of the dune is not to add a few more metres of pipe, it’s for the municipality to fix a fatally flawed stormwater system,” he said.

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