Sewage spill, but beaches in Durban get all-clear

2012-12-27 00:00

DURBAN’S main beaches have escaped the worst of a major sewage spill that discharged into the Umgeni River on Christmas Eve.

City officials say they have been monitoring the sea water and none of the key tourist beaches show signs of contamination.

On Monday, a pump station at Kennedy Road malfunctioned and the municipality quickly sounded an alert, warning people to avoid beaches within 800 m of the river mouth.

That put Thekwini, Laguna, Jet Ski and Blue Lagoon beach areas in danger of contamination. The discharge was described as “significant”.

The incident came at an crucial time for Durban, which is experiencing the usual throng of Christmas visitors.

Christo Swart, deputy head of parks, recreation and culture at eThekwini Municipality, said the beaches were unaffected.

But the extent of the environmental impact could not be verified until tests were completed, he added.

“At this stage, we need an update on the environmental impact, but a sewage spill will have a negative impact.

“As to how serious that is, it remains to be seen, but the spillage has diluted significantly.”

Swart said repairs to the pump station were completed on Monday.

As a precaution, he advised against swimming in the river until chemical treatment tests were completed.

The municipality said it would close any beaches if the tests showed there was contamination.


Join the conversation! 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. 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

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 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.