Mkondeni polluter sought

2016-08-25 10:55
Pierre Van Rensburg stands on the cover of the storm water drain in Halstead street which is overflowing with suspected trade effluent.

Pierre Van Rensburg stands on the cover of the storm water drain in Halstead street which is overflowing with suspected trade effluent. (Ian Carbutt)

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Major concerns have been raised over a sewer spewing copious amounts of what appears to be factory effluent in Halstead Road, Mkondeni.

The sewer had allegedly been leaking for three weeks before a white, paint-like substance began pouring out onto the road on Tuesday.

Pietermaritzburg resident Pierre van Rensburg, who works in the area, said he spotted the “massive” leak on Tuesday as the effluent gushed from the sewer. A stream of the liquid has formed, running for over 200 metres, and into C.B. Downs Road. Van Rensburg said the effluent had been pouring at high pressure, lifting the cement cover up.

Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust (Duct) general manager Doug Burden said he had visited the site and was surprised at how “hectic” it was. “It looks like it is getting worse,” said Burden.

“Surrounding businesses have said that the sewer had been leaking for three weeks and that the white liquid only appeared on Tuesday.”

He said Halstead Road businesses had spoken to Duct on Wednesday and said they were worried about people and employees who caught the bus from the road and had to walk through the effluent.

“We have taken samples and they are being tested by Talbot & Talbot. We should have results by Wednesday. We are also investigating where the leak is coming from, but it is definitely industrial effluent,” he said.

Burden said some factories held permits that allowed them to dispose waste into the sewer lines. However, this was not to be done if the sewer line was blocked. “We will know more on Wednesday, but this is really not good,” said Burden.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the municipality would also investigate the leak on Wednesday.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pollution

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