Oslo beach: Fish die as sewage fouls river

2011-11-08 00:00

SHOP owners in Marine Drive, Oslo Beach, were shocked to see dead fish

in the Mbango River on Friday morning.

The police believe the cause is a spill of sewage from a pipe that was damaged in a veld fire.

The river, which runs through the business park, has previously featured in the media for possible sewerage contamination.

A business owner called Ugu District Municipality to report the matter, but gave up after eight attempts.

Pet shop owner Wayne Brittion said an employee of the nearby garage alerted the pet shop to the dead fish in the river.

“My wife Janet then phoned me and told me to come and have a look at the river,” he said

Brittion found a vast number of fish floating on the water.

“Many of the fish were gasping for oxygen and swimming very close to the top of the river.”

He said the river level was very low and some of the fish, mainly tilapia, were still swimming but very slowly.

Brittion grabbed a fish net and rescued seven tilapia, which he took to his shop and placed in a tank. He kept two of the dead fish for testing.

Brittion travelled upstream hoping to find the cause of the problem.

Ugu District Municipality spokesperson Lindani Mzotho said it is difficult to understand why the fish were dying and the cause might have been external to Ugu.

“Our plant and works have been checked by both Water Services Authority and Umbango Valley Association and they have confirmed that the systems were in good working order, no spillage,” said Mzotho.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Wiid said an inquiry was opened at Port Shepstone police station.

“The inquiry was filed to establish whether a person was deliberately contaminating the river,” said Wiid.

However, after and investigation, police officers found out that a sewage pipe had burst due damage caused by a veld fire, causing the sewage to spill into the river.

“The fish died as a result,” she added.

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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