Pupils face sewage threat

2015-02-09 00:00

SEWERAGE leaks since December near Pelham Primary School pose a health risk for teachers, pupils and community members, residents have warned.

Ward councillor Vic Winterbach has written to the Msunduzi Municipality several times raising concerns about the leaks on Oribi and Shackleford roads. His last e-mail detailed a leak on January 27.

The Witness recently learnt that municipal officials visited the area several times and were at sites last month to sort out the problem.

The sewerage leaks are in Oribi Road at the ­pedestrian crossing used by pupils going to the Pelham Primary School as well as into the school’s dam.

The dam was built by the school to sustain the Pelham Park Wetland for the community and is part of the school’s wetland project.

“I’ve just reported the above sewerage leak for the third time this past month. Your staff responded timeously to carry out repairs but, regrettably, a week or so later — usually after a heavy downpour — the self-same problem ­occurs,” he said.

Winterbach said, “I’ve had reports of sewage flowing into the stream in Pelham Park ...”

He said the problem should be solved as soon as possible.

“I have been working with the principal of Pelham Senior Primary School in this regard and ... the school is seriously concerned about the possible health ramifications that could ­result from the existing extremely unhealthy situation in Pelham Park,” he said

School deputy principal Peter Langeveldt said municipal officials attended to the problem last week and he hoped that it has been resolved.

“There are two problems here, the first one is Oribi Road where there is a sewerage manhole. It overflows and the sewage runs across the ­pedestrian crossing and that is where our ­children cross.”

He said sewage had also contaminated the dam the school built as part of its wetland project. “We sent our guys to clean it up and with the rains it has also washed up a bit.”

Attempts to get comment from the ­municipality were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Scottsville residents reported it took over six hours for repair crew to fix a burst pipe on St John’s Road.

Resident Janet Drew said they woke up to clean water gushing down the road and her neighbour called Msunduzi Municipality to ­report the matter just after 6 am.

It is believed that the pipe burst during the night. Drew said she had hoped the municipality would come and fix the matter immediately but after 12 pm, water was still gushing.

“We have recently had a series of pipe bursts here. I suspect the infrastructure is ageing. A lot of water is being wasted,” Drew said.

Another resident, who requested anonymity, said water pipes have burst on many occasions.

“Clearly all the pipes in this area are too old. Every second week we deal with the same ­problem. It is frustrating and ridiculous because it does not solve the problem. We forever have no water,” he said.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka ­Mafumbatha confirmed that the pipe was fixed on February 4.

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