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Camps Bay beaches reopen after sewage problem

Maidens Cove and Glen Beach in Camps Bay have been reopened after they were temporarily closed due to a collapsed collector sewer causing an overflow on to the beach. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Maidens Cove and Glen Beach in Camps Bay have been reopened after they were temporarily closed due to a collapsed collector sewer causing an overflow on to the beach. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 6, 2021

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Cape Town - Maiden’s Cove and Glen Beach in Camps Bay have reopened to the public following their temporary closure due to a collapsed collector sewer last Friday.

The City said the overflow was stopped the same day, while the repair of the collapsed sewer line had started and would be complete within two weeks.

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Camps Bay resident Byron Herbert said it appeared that there was no desire or urgency to alter the practice of using the sea as a city sewage dumping ground of approximately 50 million litres a day.

“So currently everything that goes into the sewers from Woodstock, through the CBD, Atlantic Seaboard and through to Hout Bay is simply ’liquidised’, otherwise referred to as pre-treatment, and then pumped out into the sea.The science tells us that much of this now significantly diluted sewage returns in a never-ending cycle back along the inshore coastline.

“I’m told that this diluted, yet untreated sewage was also a major contributing factor as to why the desalination plant at the V&A Waterfront was not sustainable, due to the filters clogging significantly quicker than they anticipated when they modelled the process without the impact of the sewage in the sea water,” said Herbert.

Co-producer of the Bay of Sewage documentary, Mark Jackson, said there was a need for daily testing of water bodies for sewage contamination.

“Our City continues to use the Camps Bay sewage pump station to pump out almost two Olympic swimming pools’ worth of macerated effluent daily, which surfaces just 700m from Maiden’s Cove.

“As we have seen now, sewage contamination can easily come and go within days, so testing for contamination once every two weeks is practically pointless – this needs to be done every day.

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“And I believe we urgently need a change in management at the Water and Sanitation department. I believe the incumbents are clearly not up to the task. Cape Town deserves much better,” said Jackson.

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Cape Argus

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Related Topics:

Ecosystem

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