City sweeps up sand

2017-03-07 06:01

Fish Hoek beach’s sand levels are due to be lowered.

The City of Cape Town maintains sand levels on beaches to reduce sand build-up on hard infrastructure, explains Mayco member (South) Eddie Andrews.

Fish Hoek beach has two sections. The first, from the lighthouse towards Clovelly Corner, has a back beach dune system which acts as a trap for wind-blown sand. In the second section, from the lighthouse to the start of Jager Walk, the back beach is highly altered and there is a sloping a revetment structure between the sandy beach and hard infrastructure, explains Andrews.

“In areas where a sandy beach abuts hard infrastructure such as in Fish Hoek, there is no sand trap and sand builds up on or along this infrastructure. Wind-blown sand is experienced mostly during times of strong south-easterly winds during the summer months.”

Sand levels will now be lowered to reduce damage to infrastructure.

“By lowering beach levels, the high water mark is brought closer to the hard infrastructure and therefore a larger portion of the sandy beach remains wetter for longer, in turn reducing the area contributing to mobile sand,” he explains.

“Sand management may take different forms, either mechanical or manual, including but not limited to the extent of the sand build-up, access to the site and sand cleanliness. Sand is not lost to the beach unless it is contaminated, in which case it will be removed. Examples of sites where wind-blown sand management would be required include Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Strand beaches.”

These activities are monitored by City environmental management staff, Andrews says.

“The public is requested to monitor notice boards and heed cautions from beach staff during times of sand management operations as they could pose local risks, particularly to free-running dogs and small children. Should mechanical interventions be undertaken, the site will be cordoned off.”

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