If it’s yellow, it’s sewerage

2010-10-06 00:00

TO counter the problem of the theft of manhole covers, the Msunduzi Municipality has invested in a new type of cover.

The Witness has carried several reports on the theft of cast-iron manhole covers, including the arrest of two men in possession of more than 100 in the city in November 2009. With the new covers, this problem should become a thing of the past.

The covers are made of polyfibre concrete, which has no value as scrap. They come with a customised locking mechanism and a key. Maverick Trading makes the covers in Cape Town and colour-codes them for different services: sewer covers are yellow and those for potable or drinking water systems are blue.

In addition to installing the new sewer manhole covers, teams from the Msunduzi Municipality’s sanitation section are building new manhole structures and renovating or upgrading damaged ones wherever necessary.

Brenden Sivparsad, the Msunduzi Municipality acting executive for water distribution (water and sanitation), urged city residents to phone the municipality to report missing manhole covers.

“Apart from the safety hazard caused by missing covers, a further benefit is to ensure that foreign objects do not enter sewer systems and cause unhealthy blockages.

“In relation to drinking water, it would ensure that the quality of our potable water systems is not compromised [by foreign objects].”

He said that installation of the new blue covers for the drinking water system will begin “in the next two weeks or so”, starting with manholes at reservoirs first.

Dave Still, chairperson of the non-profit organisation Duzi-Umngeni Conservation Trust (Duct), which supports and assists the municipality, said uncovered manholes are often used as trash pits, which lead to sewer blockages. “The move to polyfibre concrete covers is an excellent idea,” he said.

To report missing manhole covers, call 033 392 2108.

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