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Durban - Animal intestines which blocked a neighbour’s sewerage system has left a Durban North couple with an expensive and smelly headache.
Ian and Anette Barnard of Ranleigh Crescent returned home after Tuesday evening’s storm to find their entire backyard, pool and outbuilding flooded with sewage.
The downpour flooded stormwater drains and spilt over into sewers, forcing up manhole covers and releasing sewage that gushed onto the property, said Bongani Shabane, head of the municipality’s clean-up team.
“We got home on Tuesday evening and were left shocked when we found the entire backyard and outbuilding covered with foul-smelling sewage water. There was a stream of dirty water pouring through from the neighbour’s yard,” said Anette.
“It was really disgusting – the pool, my garden and the entire landscaping area were damaged. There was the disgusting sight of faeces and toilet paper floating around. The smell was awful,” she said.
The Barnards contacted the municipality’s health department, which dispatched a clean-up team.
Shabane said the team were surprised at what they found.
“One of the cleaners noticed a huge amount of cow intestines that had blocked the neighbour’s drain.
“He cleared it up, and we then drained all the sewage and started removing the dirt. This was followed by the washing-up process, which included disinfecting the entire area,” said Shabane.
Ian estimated the damage to be in the region of R40 000.
“A lot of equipment kept in the outbuilding got damaged. This included microwaves, heaters and camping equipment, valued at about R18 000. The pool also looks like it has been damaged, which could be a further R20 000,” he said.
The neighbours were away on holiday at the time of the flooding and have yet to return.
It is not clear how the intestines came to be in the drain, but a city health department official has reminded the public that a “special permit is required for ritual sacrifices, be it for religious purposes or a wedding”.
Superintendent Aubrey Ndlela of the municipality’s wastewater department said the city was considering flushing drains more regularly to prevent blockages.