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A R23 million plan to help unlock development in Sheffield through the laying of a new sewer pipeline has left some residents more worried than enthusiastic.
This follows the posting of a small notice on the corner of Colwyn and Tiparary Drive.
The notice states that 2km of 200mm diameter pipeline has been proposed between Christmas Bay in the north and Hugh Dent pump station in the south as a ‘connector’ to existing sewer pipelines.
The sewer pipeline will require the excavation of a trench to a variable depth of 1m-1.4m with a working width of “approximately four meters.”
A sewage pump station is also in the works for Colwyn Drive.
The notice shocked many residents, given that four meters is basically the entire width of the road.
Sembcorp Siza Water’s managing director Shyam Misra told the Courier that septic tank and soak-away systems were failing and polluting ground water as well as the ocean.
“New developments require waterborne services and this project, while servicing current consumers to an extent, will also be geared to unlock the development potential of the area.”
However, some residents claim the project is unnecessary.
“I believe that the impact of this extremely invasive operation is not outweighed by the possible connection to a sewer system,” Sheffield resident Wolf Bipp said.
What is doubly troubling is the fact that this stretch of road was recently resurfaced and is now going to be dug up.
“The general benefits of a sewer connection are obvious, although in our area most houses have alternative waste disposal methods already installed. The value in this instance might be questionable for some.”
Misra said the whole four meters may not be needed.
“Four metres is the working width not the trench width – as noted in the advert – and may not be required,” he said.
“As far as practically possible the trenches will be within the road reserve and only where this cannot be done will the pipe, as well as respective trenching, be on the road itself.
Where and when needed traffic control measures will be provided to minimise any potential inconvenience to motorists.”
He said they would only commence the project once they had the respective funding/budget approval, it is expected that work will start on the pump station on October 18 and on the pipeline on July 18.
Misra said the appointed contractor would have the responsibility of repairing the road surface when work was complete.
“While we try to minimise inconveniences it must be borne in mind that we do not have influence on the municipality’s budgets and programs and the same for them on us as a water service provider. The road will only require reinstatement where we cannot place the pipe within the road reserve, hence it is not the entire road that will be disturbed.”