Table View pool soiled by sewage overflow, City called out on repeated drain spills

A raw sewage spill flooded Desraye Auret’s Table View property, contaminating her pool and backyard.

A raw sewage spill flooded Desraye Auret’s Table View property, contaminating her pool and backyard.

Published Mar 20, 2024


Cape Town - A Table View family are at wits’ end after yet another raw sewage spill on their property flooded their backyard and flowed into their swimming pool.

Homeowner Desraye Auret said that they were now left to find a quote to fix the stink while the City would “see what it could do”.

After years of ongoing issues with the overflow of two manholes, Auret said the spill at the weekend was by far the worst.

Speaking to the Cape Argus just a day after being told by City of Cape Town officials that they would not drain the pool, Auret said she had had enough.

The family moved into their home at Circle Road several years ago and first experienced problems in 2019.

“There are four manholes on the property and two are always overflowing,” she said.

“As we live on the lowest point of the road, we are always affected.

“Each time the City says it’s due to fat and other objects in the sewer system, but we cannot pay the price for that.”

A raw sewage spill flooded Desraye Auret’s Table View property, contaminating her pool and backyard.

Auret said that in just one year, the family suffered up to seven spills.

“We have teenagers and my elderly parents, who live on the property, had to walk through it to get inside.

“Over the weekend we reported the spill and were told they could not attend to it. The water then spilled into our pool, contaminating it.

“On Monday morning they arrived and the one truck that was sanitising the garden ran out of water and they had to stop.

“My father questioned one of the workers about why she was seen sweeping the sewage into the pool as opposed to the manhole and she said it’s because it was closer – adding to the damage already caused.”

Auret said she was shocked as officials then informed her she would have to pay for the decontamination of the pool, and immediately objected.

“I refused, because first I don’t have that kind of money right now and this was caused by the spill.

“I was told to have the work done and then claim from the City and I refused. James from the mayor’s office advised that I should get a quote in the meantime and they would see what they could do. So far just the cost to refill the pool will be about R7 000. I am really fed up.”

Mayco member for water and sanitation, Zahid Badroodien, said the team responded within the 24-hour period, as required.

He said the City apologised for the inconvenience to the resident and her family, and said the team disinfected the affected area.

“The directorate is looking into the additional request for assistance from the resident.

“She has in the meantime been issued with information regarding the City’s public liability claims process.”

He said according to the City’s records, there were only two cases reported – one in 2020 and another in 2023 – and teams found the sewer pipeline was blocked with fat.

A raw sewage spill flooded Desraye Auret’s Table View property, contaminating her pool and backyard.

However, the Cape Argus established that former Mayco member for the same department, Xanthea Limberg, stated publicly that in 2021 they were aware of three reported incidents.

Badroodien said the sewer pipeline was unblocked and the team was planning to service and clear the fat in the rest of the sewer network in the area.

Karen Davis of the Greater Table View Action Forum said they were aware of the sewage spill and tried to get assistance for the resident.

She said while blockages were an issue, the increased densification of the suburb was at the heart of the problem, as infrastructure could not cope with the increased population.

“We have been informed that there has been a moratorium placed on developments until the upgrade to the Potsdam Sewage Works is completed.

“We have raised this time and time again with the City, and if you drive through the areas of Dunoon and Joe Slovo, you will see manholes continuously spilling sewage in the streets as the services cannot keep up.”

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Cape Argus