Audit to clean up sewerage system

2016-05-17 06:00

While you may not see an ounce of fat on Camps Bay beach, that doesn’t stop it from clogging up the sewerage system.

The City of Cape Town has been carrying out an audit on Camps Bay restaurants to ensure compliance in the disposal of cooking fats, as a measure to prevent the blockage of the wastewater system.

“Inspections conducted for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the Wastewater and Industrial Effluent Bylaw form part of our daily duties. Such inspections are ongoing and non-compliance issues are attended to as found. Inspections have shown that most restaurants do have grease traps installed, but the maintenance thereof could be improved,” says Mayco member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg.

Inspections are necessary as grease in the wastewater system reduces sewer capacity due to formation of greasy solids, causes blockages and failure of pumps, causes overflows in sewer drains posing a nuisance or health hazard, and reduces efficiency of wastewater treatment facilities. This adds to the high operation and maintenance costs of the infrastructure and reduces the quality of effluent discharged into the water bodies, Sonneberg explains.

Restaurants are required to wipe and scrape plates, pans and utensils before washing, as well as collect waste oil in a suitable secure container and arrange for that oil be collected by a licensed waste contractor. They are also required to use strainers in sink plug holes and maintain grease traps, Sonnenberg says.

Violations of the bylaw could see guilty parties paying fines between R2500 and R3000. “The City can block the premises off from the municipal sewerage system or secure an interdict for closure of the business. This will be considered for serious cases,” he says.

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