What Desraye Auret’s yard looks like when the sewage flows into it. The City is monitoring the problem. Picture: Supplied.
What Desraye Auret’s yard looks like when the sewage flows into it. The City is monitoring the problem. Picture: Supplied.

City of Cape Town team visits sewage-hit Table View home

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Apr 14, 2021

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Cape Town - The City has blamed excessive fats in the sewerage system for the sewage flowing on to the Table View property of Desraye Auret, whose story was published in the Argus last Wednesday.

A team from the City visited Auret’s home in Sunridge the day the Argus published her story regarding the City’s lack of action over her long-standing complaints about the sewage.

Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said the City conducted an inspection at the property and the municipal sewers in the area.

She said: “The inspection included a CCTV camera inspection which observed excessive fats inside the sewers.

“To combat these excessive fats in the sewers, the City will conduct a cleaning process which will involve the application of a fat remover. This cleaning process will be followed by routine regular check-ups in the area.”

Limberg denied the problem was caused by developments within the area putting a strain on the already poor sewerage system in the area, as claimed by Auret.

She was backed by Mayco member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt, who said: “Developments are only approved if there is sufficient capacity at the waste water treatment works (WWTW), and once all unallocated spare capacity has been utilised.

“No new developments will be supported until such time as the WWTW capacity is expanded. However, there are latent land use rights in the area that have been approved in the past, therefore construction in these areas will still be noticeable.”

The City said in a statement: “Generally, the majority of blockages across the city, including in the Table View area, are caused by misuse of the sewer system, as well as the build-up of cooking fat/oil into the sewer system.

“When these are poured or flushed down the sink and drain, they harden and build up on the inside of the sewer pipes and act like glue, attracting rags, hair, paper and other debris.”

With regards to a permanent solution using a non-return valve as advocated by Auret, the City said: “A non-return valve is not always a preferable intervention. It depends on the root cause of the incidents. The disadvantage of an in-line, non-return valve is that it obstructs the sewer main when operations need to push their equipment inside the sewer mains.

“If other interventions can resolve the issue these will generally be prioritised.”

Commenting on the City’s visit, Auret said: “I am still not happy with the course of action to date, as I believe a non-returnable valve is the solution that will prevent any further sewerage blockages from overflowing onto my property again.

“I do not have faith in the City’s services and the promise to maintain the sewerage line. It has happened too many times in the past yet, I am the one who sits with the mess. I appreciate them coming out however.”

Cape Argus

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