Knysna estuary reopened after sewage spill

Knysna estuary File photo: Independent Newspapers

Knysna estuary File photo: Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 15, 2023


The Knysna Estuary has been reopened following a temporary closure due to a sewage spill that caused heightened levels of bacteria.

Recreational use of the estuary had to be temporarily shut down after bacteria levels “exceeded acceptable recreational levels” and the public were cautioned to use the area at their own risk, with a warning issued against swimming.

Regional spokesperson for SANParks, Phokela Lebea, said a sign was erected to caution the public during the time that water quality tests were conducted in an effort to rehabilitate it to acceptable levels.

“The sign was erected as an interim alert to the public due to a sewage spillage close to the NSRI base at The Heads. This is close to the demarcated swimming area at The Heads.

“The municipality has attended to the spillage. The area is open to the public now,” said Lebea.

Knysna municipal manager Ombali Sebola said recreational areas on the lagoon are safe to swim.

“The management of the lagoon is continuous and regular engagements between the municipality, SANParks and Garden Route District are taking place.

The provincial government is also assisting the municipality in terms of its sewer infrastructure,” said Sebola.

A homeowner in Knysna said the estuary is under threat if urgent interventions aren’t made.

“Due to poor governance, when it comes to oversight of important infrastructure, the Knysna Lagoon and estuaries are under severe threat.

This can also be extremely dangerous to everyone’s health, particularly those who drink tap water (when it rains, sewage mixes with what is supposed to be the clean water supply) and swim in the lagoon.

“Only last week, we yet again had raw sewage running into the lagoon.

Refuse sites have been piling high. This is a regular occurrence.”

Cape Times