Metro working all-out to halt sewage leaks

Four teams have been working tirelessly to halt sewage leaks

The Brickfields pretreatment plant overflowing with sewage.
The Brickfields pretreatment plant overflowing with sewage.

Sewage pollution from the faulty Motherwell sewerage line into the Swartkops Estuary should be brought to a halt soon.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said the authority had been working non-stop to fix the problem.

“Four teams have been working tirelessly to identify where these obstructions are in the underground pipe line, and then excavating and removing them.

“The blockages are now all removed and the site is being prepared, for the final repair to take place,” he said.

“By-pass pumping will commence to divert flow around the site where the repair will take place.

“Once the final repair has been completed, the municipality will ensure that a clean-up of the surrounding environment is carried out.”

Mniki’s response comes after it emerged on Monday that the national Department of Water and Sanitation was investigating alleged non-compliance by the municipality over the Motherwell sewage crisis.

Regional catchment manager Thandi Mmachaka said the department had issued a non-compliance letter to the municipality after it failed to comply with an instruction to urgently address the Swartkops Estuary sewage spill.

When the municipality did not reply, the department called on its compliance directorate to further investigate the matter with an eye to possible prosecution.

Mmachaka said that the department had found raw sewage accumulated in the plant’s emergency ponds.

This effluent was being channelled into the stormwater system and then being discharged into the Swartkops Estuary.

She said the situation contravened section 19 of the National Water Act.

A week after the initial pipe collapse occurred on April 15, the municipality managed to instal a temporary line to limit spillage, Mniki said.

“Unfortunately, this line then became blocked due to foreign objects such as plastic debris and bicycle parts getting stuck in the pipe.”