Letter | Guard metro infrastructure

Infrastructure head Walter Shaidi, left, and councillor Marlon Daniels in Zwide, where a leaking sewerage pipe has prevented access to residents’ driveways
Infrastructure head Walter Shaidi, left, and councillor Marlon Daniels in Zwide, where a leaking sewerage pipe has prevented access to residents’ driveways
Image: Werner Hills

Nelson Mandela Bay metro roads and transport portfolio head Marlon Daniels, engineering boss Walter Shaidi and municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki are all guilty of spreading false news via The Herald’s report, by Nomazima Nkosi (“Sewage spills rife in Zwide as old pipes crumble”, July 25).

Unlike water pipes, gravity sewer pipes are not subjected to internal pressure and do not “crumble” because of age.

They may well fail when exposed to actions they are not designed for, such as increased traffic loading and very high-pressure jetting or other improper cleaning methods.

As can be seen in the photograph with the report, the sewer rupture is on the verge of the road, the normal design position to limit traffic load on the sewer and where nominal cover to the pipe is about 1m.

Mniki said that “the project to upgrade the existing road had been delayed by water leaks and sewage spills”.

It should be obvious to most that during the upgrading, cover over the service pipes is reduced and excessive loading on the pipes is induced by heavy construction equipment.

So talk to your appointed consulting engineers and contractors to minimise breakages.

Township residents are notorious for removing sewer manhole covers, allowing entry of debris which causes blockages, let alone the danger to pedestrians.

Sewers are also abused by residents discarding household waste and worse down sewers.

You only have to speak to operators at the treatment works to find out what surprises they find in the screens at the inlet works.

The residents need to value the expensive infrastructure given them.

So, Mr Daniels, there is no reason for your implied racist comment about Circular Drive, nor will the upgrading of Fishwater Flats solve these problems, Mr Mniki.

Also, the sewer pipes may become too small if the NMBM keeps adding new flow to existing pipes.

Stop wasting taxpayers’ funds with your illogical political statements, conclusions, and remedies.

Rather get experienced engineers to oversee and maintain our irreplaceable infrastructure for future generations.

 

Hennie Wepener Walmer, Port Elizabeth

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