Sewage seeps into Midmar

2012-07-12 00:00

THE main sewage pipe coming from Mpophomeni has burst, and has not only created a foul smell near the township along the R617, but is seeping into a stream that feeds Midmar Dam.

 

Umgeni Water discovered only on Monday that the pipe had burst and then began isolating the pipe, resulting in the valves being shut off to stop the flow of sewage, said the utility’s corporate stakeholder manager, Shami Harichunder.

Contractors were sent to repair the pipe and it was expected that the work would be completed by last night.

Harichunder said there was no risk to the quality of the water supply to Pietermaritzburg and Durban because the water underwent treatment as normal before it was supplied in bulk to municipalities.

The pipe burst near the road a kilometre away from the dam and water leaked into the stream that flows into the dam.

It is believed that the pipe has been faulty since last week.

The stench leads one to a stream with foamy water and signs of pollution.

Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust spokesperson Liz Taylor, said that if the sewage flowed into the dam all the time, it would cause a problem.

Taylor said: “We are working with uMgungundlovu Municipality and are trying to identify the nature of the blockage.

“We are mapping all the sewage pump stations and manholes in Howick, Howick West, Merrivale and Mpophomeni to set up a surveillance system that will hopefully ensure early detection.”

Taylor said there were two problems that could cause the pipe to burst: excessive pressure or misuse.

“Residents flush plastic and other things that block the pipes like nappies, which should not be put in toilets.”

She said poor water and sanitation management in Mpophomeni had already caused significant sewage seepage into the dam.

uMgungundlovu municipal manager Sbu Khuzwayo said he would respond to questions from The Witness today.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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