Residents urged not to use Umbilo River water

2017-07-26 06:03

ETHEKWINI residents are informed that the Umbilo wastewater treatment works, which discharges into the Umbilo River, has experienced the failure of two process units.

These were mechanical equipment failures (syphon failures on the clarifier and centre bearing failure on primary settling tank) that have led to the malfunction of these two units. The units had to be put offline to effect the necessary repairs, resulting in only 50% plant availability and overloading of the remaining primary settling tank and clarifier. This led to the process being compromised, with the remaining units unable to handle the load and partially treated effluent being discharged into the river.

Repairs to the units have been effected and the units are now back online. It should take a further two weeks to recover the process to full compliance standards. The effluent is currently being disinfected to reduce public-health impacts on the river. The river will be aerated to increase oxygen levels and assist aquatic life. It will also be monitored and sampled daily, with samples being sent to the laboratory for testing.

The municipality spokesperson said in a statement: “The community is prohibited from using the river water below the treatment works for consumption or any recreational activities during this period. The affected areas will be demarcated with relevant signage.

“The municipality will undertake all necessary action to rehabilitate the river once the treatment works reaches full compliance. We regret any inconvenience caused by this situation which was beyond our control. We thank the affected communities for their patience and understanding.”

— Supplied.

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