Water sports boost for North End Lake

2015-06-03 06:00
Owner of Port Elizabeth-based sporting events company Zsports Events NPC, Michael Zoetmulder (right), and MD of water solutions company Rhino Water, Sarel Bam, look forward to enjoying the city’s North End Lake towards the end of the year. The landma

Owner of Port Elizabeth-based sporting events company Zsports Events NPC, Michael Zoetmulder (right), and MD of water solutions company Rhino Water, Sarel Bam, look forward to enjoying the city’s North End Lake towards the end of the year. The landma

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NELSON Mandela Bay’s water sports fraternity is getting a much-needed boost with the rehabilitation of the polluted North End Lake alongside the city’s showcase stadium – a move lauded by sports companies.

The clean-up, which got under way recently under the watchful eye of NMB Stadium operators Access Management, will see gabions and reed bed systems constructed at the various water entry points around the lake, to filter debris and prevent it from reaching the lake.

Then from September, in a first for the region, a large-scale natural rehabilitation of the lake will take place at the hands of Bay-based water solutions company, Rhino Water, in partnership Stellenbosch-based probiotic company Probio.

Using probiotics, the companies will treat the polluted lake water and lake bed sludge. The good bacteria emitted by the probiotics will naturally eradicate the bad bacteria in the water.

Rhino Water MD Sarel Bam said his company would treat the sludge on the lake bed surface by dropping “bokashi clay balls” to the bottom of the lake. Bokashi balls are manufactured by impregnating benonite clay with Probio’s unique probiotics. The water body will be treated by dosing the same probiotics in liquid form to the lake, he said.

“We will disperse 74 000 litres of the probiotic solution, and 25 tons of bokashi balls, into the lake over a period of two months, while monitoring the improvement of the water quality to quantify and verify the effectiveness of the dosing,” said Bam. “This process is entirely natural and not harmful to the environment.

“It is important that the clean-up process, is all natural; that it is not harmful to humans or aquatic life and that it enhances the environment,” he said, adding that 10 additional jobs would be created during the project’s roll-out at Rhino Water’s headquarters near to the lake.

“Finding unique solutions to challenging problems such as this is what we strive for at Rhino Water,” said Bam.

According to owner of Bay sports company Zsports Events NPC, Michael Zoetmulder, the clean-up is a major boost for sports enthusiasts, as well as for sports tourism in the region.

“We have been a campaigner of North End Lake as a top water sports venue for many years,” Zoetmulder said.

“We are confident that a clean North End Lake will become the country’s premier water sports venue and to this effect, together with Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics and Access Management, Zsports Events NPC is trying to secure a three-year contract to host a leg of the World 10km Open Water Swimming Championship – a first for Africa.”

The development of canoeing, sailing, wakeboarding, powerboats, stand-up paddling, triathlon and open water swimming is just some of the water sport activities which would benefit massively once the lake has been cleaned, he said.

Probio MD Rupert van der Merwe said North End Lake had been surrounded over time by urban development, which has resulted in its being used to channel storm water from streets.

“Urban storm waters tend to accumulate dead organic matter in the forms of leaves, food waste and faecal matter overflowing from block sewers. This organic matter has all flowed into the North End Lake,” he said

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