Zandvlei: 'We want the E coli figures for all the 10 weeks the vlei has been shut'
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Cape Town - Marina Da Gama residents are demanding the results of the E coli levels on the Zandvlei Nature Reserve waterbody following its 10-week closure.
Resident and activist Charles Whaley said they were told the results were above the threshold, but not exactly how high they are.
“We are concerned that no figures have been released so we can understand exactly how polluted the vlei has become. We have requested these figures from various sources to no avail.
“We want the E coli figures for all the 10 weeks the vlei has been shut as well as any other test results about the state of the vlei which they may have received. As residents of the marina and as citizens we have a right to know in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000. It affects our daily lives,” he said.
Zandvlei Nature Reserve manager Kyran Wright said up until last week the reserve had not received any direct requests for the actual results. He said the actual E coli numbers were withheld not for any clandestine purpose but because they required “certain contextual and technical” knowledge to interpret.
“High readings do not necessarily scale in a linear fashion. I, however, am unable to release as I see fit as Catchment Management are the custodians of the data, and as such, I require their permission,” he said.
Meanwhile the City said it was continuing with monitoring the water quality of the Rietvlei and the Zeekoevlei which were also currently closed.
The City’s said the poor water quality at Rietvlei was showing that the heavy rainfall and stormwater ingress into sewers in recent weeks, and resultant sewage overflows, was likely behind continued elevated levels of E coli in Rietvlei.
The City said ongoing maintenance efforts were underway to help pump stations in the area cope with high volumes of stormwater and foreign objects while a barrier wall was constructed last month to prevent the Table View West pump station from flooding during rainfall. It said efforts to unblock sewers are ongoing.
The City also said due to the high E coli count, the water quality in Zeekoevlei remained above levels deemed safe for intermediate recreational contact.
It said sandbags were being placed around overflowing manholes in an attempt to mitigate and divert the flow from entering the vlei while manholes which were a likely significant contributor to the sewer overflow were being identified and repaired.