Oatlands dams safe in the rain

2011-11-25 00:00

CONTINUOUS rain on the South Coast has caused the contaminated stormwater dam and leachate pond at the Oatlands landfill site to overflow again, but this time no downstream contamination will happen.

Hibiscus Coast Municipality spokesperson Simon Soboyisa said the 103 mm of rain that fell in the last eight days since November 16 have increased the water levels in the stormwater dam and leachate pond to the point of overflow.

The Port Shepstone region gets an average of 114 mm during November, typically spread over 18 days.

Soboyisa said the municipality is pumping the leachate pond to lower its level below the spillway and is pumping stormwater to a temporary holding tank on site.

The situation is under control and closely monitored to ensure that no contamination happens as it continues to rain, he added.

On October 26 the Water Affairs Department issued the HCM with a notice to deliver a plan of action within 30 working days after a spill at the site on October 5 contaminated the Ibilanhlohlo River.

Said the department’s Zanele Mabuza, “The notice required HCM to investigate and implement short-term and long-term or permanent measures to be put in place to prevent pollution of water resources.”

Water Affairs is the custodian of the state’s water resources and is responsible for ensuring that they are protected.

“The department would like to see the best practice environmental options and measures put in place at the Oatlands landfill site to prevent pollution of water resources, as mandated by the National Water Act.”

Mabuza said Water Affairs has not yet received an official response from HCM about the proposed plan of action.

“We are meeting a consultant advising the municipality.

“The department is not aware of any work currently taking place at the site,” she said.

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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Leachate: how does it work?

WIKIPEDIA describes leachate as “any liquid material that drains from land or stockpiled material”.

The leachate could contain “significantly elevated concentrations of undesirable material” from the material it has leached through. Leachate collection systems can experience many problems, including clogging with mud or silt, which can be exacerbated by the growth of algae or slime moulds.

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