Coast KZN

16 Oct 2016

Sewage leak causes a stink

Dave Savides (Zululand Observer)


Repairs done despite torrents of effluent flowing into canal

In a major environmental incident, tens of thousands of litres of macerated sewage poured into the Mzingazi Canal on Tuesday afternoon from an apparently botched municipal maintenance action.

City staff had been instructed to replace worn flanges at either end of the macerator pipeline attached to the cement bridge over the canal.

Amazingly, this was done without the flow from the macerator station being disconnected, and for about three hours the effluent discharged directly from the pipe into the canal.

And despite the furore when the first flange was replaced, the team continued with the second repair.
Besides polluting the natural environment and posing health hazards along the canal and into the harbour and beach area, worst affected were construction workers on the Medway road extension project.

They are completing a coffer dam for the foundations of a second bridge to accommodate the doubling of Medway Road.

Following the sewage contamination, KZN Wildlife District Conservation Officer, Frans Mthembu, personally drove to each of the amenities along the canal to warn of the risk to water users.

This included the yacht, canoe and skiboat clubs.

The volume of sewage was so great that early Wednesday morning bathing at Alkantstrand and Newark Beach was banned after a heavy smell of sewage was detected.
Water sampling and testing continues to be conducted and there will be no swimming until the ‘all clear’ is given.

City officials said on Wednesday an internal investigation was taking place and their response to the Zululand Observer was still awaited at the time of going to press.