Sewage spills in to the Strandfontein Pavilion Tidal Pool and the sea. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Sewage spills in to the Strandfontein Pavilion Tidal Pool and the sea. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Strandfontein Pavilion tidal pool reopened after sewage spill contamination cleaned up

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Oct 6, 2021

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Cape Town – The Strandfontein Pavilion Tidal Pool has reopened after its closure on Saturday following an alleged sewage spill.

Mayoral committee member for Community Service and Health Zahid Badroodien said the pool was closed to ensure the safety of patrons, but was not affected as the spill was contained.

Andre Arendse, a resident who reported the spill said this was the third occurrence they had experienced in the location, since late last year. Arendse said the City was downplaying the situation, while the problem persisted.

“The first incident about a year ago during the lockdown was sewage overflowing into the pool for a long time as no one was allowed out. I alerted the authorities with pictures and video footage,” said Arendse.

“When they come with excuses about the pump station that switched off because of load shedding, and now it is some other excuse, while all the marine organisms died in the pool and they then emptied it.

’’On Sunday, the sewage was overflowing out of a drain cover and ran into the pool and then on the other side into the sea next to the pool. I have engaged the City about these matters and others on numerous occasions, but have seemingly wasted my time,” he said.

Strandfontein Ratepayers and Residents’ Association chairperson Mario Oonstendurp concurred that this has been a recurring problem at the location.

“The fishermen who frequent the area have reported sewage spills on numerous occasions.

’’We are happy that no raw sewerage has entered the tidal pool, however, there is concern regarding the environmental impact this reoccurring problem has on the ocean and the health of those entering the water, as well as the fish consumed that has been caught in the area.

’’Like the rest of the buildings at the Pavilion, there is an overall lack of maintenance, as there is with other facilities on the Cape Flats,” he said.

Oonstendurp said what was of concern was that the facility, even in its current state, was awarded Blue Flag status year after year.

Mayoral committee member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said a mobile generator was currently being used for manual pumping to minimise further contamination.

“The City’s Water and Sanitation Department will continue with this operation until the transformer is fully restored,” said Limberg.

“The portion of the beach from the tidal pool to the NSRI office is affected and not suitable for use. Pollution levels will be monitored by means of scientific sample testing.”

Mayoral committee member for Energy and Climate Change Phindile Maxiti said the transformer was scheduled for replacement yesterday.

“The City sincerely apologises for the situation and we view the upgrade work as a priority,” she said.

Cape Argus

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