Council moves to save properties from floods

2008-03-27 00:00

The municipality is devising ways of limiting the flood risk to private properties adjacent to rivers.

Gavin Harrison of the infrastructure services and facilities business unit said the widening of city rivers is part of the municipality’s bridge and culvert clearing project. He said bridges and culverts that have been silted up over time are no longer able to operate efficiently.

"This is always a risky situation to be in because if our bridges and culverts are blocked by silt, vegetation and debris, and are not able to operate efficiently, flood waters are not able to pass …," Harrison said.

The municipality is clearing the watercourse over lengths of about 50 m (within council servitudes) at the entrances and exits to structures in order to allow an unimpeded flow of the watercourse.

In conjunction with the municipality’s bridge and culvert clearing project, a self-funded community group has been active in helping the municipality to ensure that the Dorpspruit is clean and free of debris.

Kim Jones, secretary of the Dorpspruit River and Community Regeneration Project, said that they began clearing the river two years ago after seeing the devastating effects of floods on the neighbouring homes.

"We clear along a section of the Dorpspruit river in the area from the Botanical Gardens to the municipal dump site where we focus on eradicating alien invasive plants, replacing them with indigenous trees and plants," said Jones.

Although Jones applauds the municipality for the project they have embarked upon, she was concerned at the lack of consultation with the group about the clearing project as some of the indigenous plants they had planted on the river banks were destroyed during the process.

"Had we known that this project was happening we would have stored some of the plants for replanting at a later stage," said Jones.

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