Nkongweni River mouth opens after spill

2017-03-16 06:03
Nkongweni River mouth opened after sewage spill.PHOTO: Facebook

Nkongweni River mouth opened after sewage spill.PHOTO: Facebook

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NKONGWENI River mouth was opened early on Tuesday after a sewage spill coming from the Nkongweni Pump Station on Monday was reported.

Ray Nkonyeni Councillor, Cllr Dave Watson posted about a sewage spill on Margate Beach after a gasket blew in the main pump well at the lower pumping station next to the Nkongweni River near Margate beach.

Watson said the well filled rapidly and to protect the workers and millions of rands worth of equipment, the decision had to be taken to pump out the well as an emergency measure and was unavoidable. Technical investigation had to be undertaken to ascertain damage and methodology embarked on.

Ugu District Municipality employee Siphele Cele put an urgent notice on Ugu’s Facebook page - Ugu Municipality Talk - saying the spill was a result of a sewage overflow in its pump station due to an technical fault. Cele said technicians were on site working to minimise damage and ensure no effluent is directed to rivers.

It was also said that a clean-up process was under way and internal VTS Services were doing manual draws to avoid further damage to the electrical equipment.

Later Cele updated saying 14 VTS trucks were dispatched to relieve the clogged station and so minimise damage caused by the technical fault.

The trucks deposited the sewage into Ramsgate and Uvongo pump stations.

Cele confirmed the Margate beach is closed till further notice and communities are urged to refrain from swimming and being contact with water from the lagoon. She said currently, a backup pump is in operation at the sewer pump station and the other pump should be connected back online in no time.

On Tuesday morning Watson said the effluent discharge was resolved in the early hours of the morning and the pump station is back on line.

The mouth was breached, as per arranged emergency authority, and the river mouth is now diverted away from Margate Main Beach.

Watson said final tests would be done later, with a view to the reopening of the beach for swimming and recreation.

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