Water sleuth solves creosote mystery

2011-07-11 00:00

HOW did creosote from the recent accident on the N3 get into the Allerton stream? That’s what many residents in the area wanted to know.

Grant Fryer, the pollution control officer for water and sanitation at Msunduzi Municipality, has helped to solve the mystery.

The accident occurred on a stretch known as Apple Bend.

A resident of Neden Road, Montrose, whose home is directly behind the bend infamous for its many accidents, told The Witness that the name stuck after a truck carrying apples went down the same bend some years ago, spilling apples all over the N3.

Assisted by a curious resident, The Witness drove around the N3 and the stream trying to come up with a sensible explanation on where the entry point to the stream was, since no visible storm water drainage or run-off is visible on the highway.

It turned out that the drain is on the right-hand side verge of the N3 southbound lane and not the left of the highway, as expected.

Fryer said the choice to place stormwater drainage on the right- hand side is because the camber of the road feeds in that direction.

When The Witness visited the scene with Fryer,traces of the runaway creosote were still very visible on the N3 between the drainage point and the accident site, which is about 600 metres away.

“As you can see, the product ran off from the accident scene, down the N3 into this stormwater drain. The pipe goes under the N3 into the river there,” said Fryer.

Part of the confusion was why only the bottom of the Allerton stream was dammed and cleaned when contamination would have started upstream.

Fryer has assured The Witness that the clean-up occurred simultaneously on both ends and will eventually meet in the middle.

“The river up here had to be dammed to stop the product from being pushed further into the system.

“But the clean-up was further extended down the Allerton stream so that the contaminated water would not get into the Townbush stream. But there will be a complete clean-up in between,” said Fryer.

In earlier reports the Department of Water Affairs told the paper that the contaminated product extracted from the stream would be deposited at a hazardous landfill site.

However, The Witness understands that Water Affairs and the municipality’s environmental health department have approved for the extracted product, which lab tests show has been broken down into a clean liquid, to be disposed in a sewer in the area.

Water Affairs has not been able to confirm this.

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.

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

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.