Midmar sewage pollution concern

2015-05-14 10:00
Midmar Dam

Midmar Dam (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - Radio personalities, celebrities, government and environmental specialists ­visited Midmar dam and Mpophomeni township just outside Howick on Wednesday and witnessed first hand the raw sewage spilling into Midmar’s tributaries.

University of KwaZulu-Natal Master of Science student Sanele Ngubane said there was major concern with the water quality of Midmar dam and its tributaries that needed to be addressed.

Ngubane said he has identified four sewage spillages and a suspected 11 more, leaking into the tributaries that lead into the Midmar dam.

On Wednesday, World Wildlife Fund South Africa hosted the second day of their Journey of Water, visiting Midmar dam and the water catchments and wetlands in the surrounding area.

Ngubane, whose master’s dissertation is on the pollution in Midmar dam, said he had run a number of tests on the water quality of the dam’s tributaries and the results were worrying.

“It’s hectic. Some of the water ­samples we have taken from Midmar’s tributaries have shown there is no oxygen present in the water at all.

“Other samples have show that there is little or no life in the water which is also unhealthy. Midmar dam itself is experiencing algae blooms and there are a few water lilies popping up which are sewage-loving plants.”

He said it was concerning and while it presently did not pose a direct threat, it could become a huge problem in the near future if it were to continue.

He suggested that one solution to the problem may be to invest money and time into fixing the Mpophomeni sewerage infrastructure as that was the source of the problem.

He also suggested that a waste water treatment plant be installed in Mpophomeni to take the strain off ­Howick’s water treatment plant.

Umgeni Ecological Infrastructure Partnership coordinator Dr Pearl Gola said the Journey of Water hosted by WWF was the starting point for co-ordinating a solution.

She said most of the issues stemmed from Mpophomeni, where some of the sewage infrastructure was either poorly maintained or not working at all.

“There are a few projects in place within the community to stop the pollution flowing in to the catchments but the partnerships needs to sit down with all its stakeholders and discuss a plan with an end result, and how we will get to that end result,” she said.

WWF Freshwater Programme senior manager Christine Colvin said she was happy with the response to Journey of Water and with the right systems, management and effort from government, NGOs and the community, the problem could be resolved.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  environment  |  pollution  |  water

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

'ANC’s NEC must quit'

2016-10-23 06:00

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.