Residents in Menlyn Maine express concern over grey water overflowing from two manholes. Picture: Rapula Moatshe

Pretoria - Tshwane MMC for Agriculture and Environmental Management Mike Mkhari yesterday expressed concerns that sewer water that spilled into the Moreleta Spruit - the river that runs through the eastern suburbs of Pretoria - could harm some aquatic animals.

This comes after residents on the corner of Frikkie de Beer and Tak streets in Menlyn Maine raised the alarm that for almost a week gallons of grey water flowed unabated into the river.

The faeces-infected water overflowed from two nearby manholes after their lids were forced open by the water pressure.

The river flows through two nature reserves - the Moreleta Nature Reserve and the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve.

Mkhari said:"It is a a serious concern because when sewer flows into the river it could endanger different kinds of species that live there. 

Residents in Menlyn Maine express concern over grey water overflowing from two manholes. Video: Rapula Moatshe

"Our responsibility is to make sure that our rivers are not contaminated. I will follow-up with the region responsible and the Utility Services Department so that they can help in terms of fixing the problem and cleaning up the river." 

MMC for Utility Services Darryl Moss promised to investigate the problem before he could issue a comment.

Resident Gavin Thomson expressed worries that grey water flowing into the Moreleta Spruit contaminated the water and posed a risk to both animals and humans.

"The real problem is that there are homeless people living near the river, using that water for washing their clothes and for drinking. 

"This is one of the most unhealthy things I could think of," he said.

He said the problem might have been as a result of the ongoing development in the area.

"The new Menlyn Maine development is advertised as an eco-friendly and green development. The headline in the newspaper must be 'the only green thing in Menlyn Main is the water and everything else is grey," he said.

He said the problem started five days ago when residents woke up to Tak street covered in waste water. 

To date, he said nobody told residents what was actually the cause of it.

"The problem happened regularly. It is not the first time. It happened at least twice in the last year. You phone the council and it takes almost a week for someone to react," he said.