City plans to spend R87m on generators, uninterrupted power supply installations

Babalwa Ndlovu and Shamiel Arnold from the Water and Sanitation Directorate inspecting the generator and its functionality. supplied image

Babalwa Ndlovu and Shamiel Arnold from the Water and Sanitation Directorate inspecting the generator and its functionality. supplied image

Published Jun 9, 2024


Cape Town - The City’s Water and Sanitation intends to spend R87 million on generators and uninterrupted power supply installations for sewer and water pump stations as well as water and wastewater treatment plants during load shedding, one of which is The Valyland Sewage Pump Station in Fish Hoek, which has a mobile generator.

This investment will increase to a total of R216m over the next three financial years.

The suburbs expected to benefit include areas such as Century City, Strand, Bloekombos, Melkbosstrand, Plattekloof, Klipheuwel to Tygerberg.

The Fish Hoek Valley Ratepayers and Residents Association (FHVRRA) raised the red flag after they feared the overflow would land in the Silvermine River.

The City confirmed that when the Fish Hoek 5 Pump Station had two sewer spills on May 23 and September 23, last year, a generator was placed there to prevent any further sewer spills from occurring again.

Peter Feasey of FHVRRA said they believed the overflow into the river could have been the reason behind high e-coli counts a Fish Hoek beach.

“The Valyland Sewage Pump Station is fed by two other pump stations downstream. Valyland PS has a sump capacity which can store the inflow from the other two pump stations for a two hour period of load shedding. If load shedding extends to a longer period, the emergency overflow at the pump station will discharge into the Silvermine River,” he explained.

“Recently the City constructed a CofferDam, which is designed to contain the overflow, until it can be treated, before being released into the Silvermine River.

“The FHVRRA believe the overflow into the Silvermine could have been the cause for some high e-coli counts at Fish Hoek Beach.

“In the 2022 - 2023 financial year, the City allocated backup generators for all three pump stations.

“It was later found that there was no space available nearby to locate the generator at the Valyland PS, other than on nearby land owned by Valyland.

“The owners of Valyland do not want the generator on their property, so the standby generator was allocated elsewhere.

“The City has started a process to acquire a piece of land on which to place the generator.

“To prevent further spills, the Directorate has placed a mobile standby generator at the pump station. There is a risk that these mobile generators can be stolen.

“The FHVRRA would like to thank the COCT and the W&S Directorate for their assistance with sorting out a backup generator

The generator that was installed at the Helderberg College Water Pump Station in Somerset West. supplied pic

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, Zahid Badroodien said the generator would be on site until a new one was allocated.

“Load-shedding has affected this pump station in the past. The decision was then made to place a mobile generator until a permanent solution is reached,” he added.

“The cost of a new generator is around R900 000 including installation.

“The mobile generator belongs to the City so we are not paying hiring charges for it, we are only paying for fuel charges.”

The City said the generators together with UPS helped to reduce the chances of sewer overflows and ensures that residents in high-lying areas have an uninterrupted drinking water supply during high, prolonged stages of load-shedding.