The vlei’s water body was closed last Tuesday because of compromised water quality caused by damaged pumps at the Clifton Road pump station, which led to a sewage leak. File picture: Rogan Ward/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
The vlei’s water body was closed last Tuesday because of compromised water quality caused by damaged pumps at the Clifton Road pump station, which led to a sewage leak. File picture: Rogan Ward/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

City of Cape Town responds to Zandvlei sewage petition

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published May 31, 2021

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town said the newly upgraded Retreat Pump Station, to ensure improved reticulation of the sewer system in the area, was scheduled to be completed next month.

This was in response to the petition by the residents of Marina da Gama and surrounding areas to save Zandvlei Nature Reserve.

Last month, the residents started a petition to Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg, demanding, among other things, a written undertaking outlining the short-term achievable actions of the City to protect the vlei from future sewage and industrial spills, plans that it will implement to resolve silting and sedimentation, and confirmation that a contract for the clearing of the canals would be finalised before the end of the month be renewed on an annually.

In the petition, the residents demanded an explanation why the harvester has been inoperative for months. They said the vlei was in a desperate state because of litter and weeds, as well as the stench caused by sewage spills, rotting weeds and detritus.

The vlei’s water body was closed last Tuesday because of compromised water quality caused by damaged pumps at the Clifton Road pump station, which led to a sewage leak.

The City said the areas with the most incidents were the Sand River Canal and the storm-water outlet below the Coniston Park litter trap.

“The Water and Sanitation department was already in the process of implementing a significant intervention to address challenges confronting the reticulation system, which entailed the upgrade of low-lift pump station in Retreat and the replacement of specific pipelines,” it said.

It also said that over the past two years, Zandvlei was fully closed to recreational activities because of sewage spills on four occasions.

“The continued and numerous sewage spill incidents into the Zandvlei water body have been a long-standing concern, with particular apprehension around the cumulative impacts on the water quality and ecological health of the system,” the City said.

The City said the weed harvester had been inoperable for some time because of a few mechanical faults, and repairs have now been completed, and the harvest was currently operating.

It said the tender for the new weed harvester has been awarded, and the anticipated delivery date was between December this year and January next year.

The City said test results from the recent spill currently affecting the vlei were being processed.

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Cape Argus

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