Poor plumbing leads to problem

2019-08-01 06:01
Sewage comes up from the bathtub in this home in Nomzamo. PHOTOS: Velani Ludidi

Sewage comes up from the bathtub in this home in Nomzamo. PHOTOS: Velani Ludidi

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ANomzamo family has been forced to flee their home at mealtimes as a result of raw sewage causing an unbearable stench in and outside their home.

Nomfundo Maqhutyana, one of seven residents of the home, suspects blocked drains in Ndzuzo Street are the cause of the sewage which has festered in the family’s toilet, bathroom and outside their door. However, the City of Cape Town claims the problem does not lie in its sewerage system, stating it’s a plumbing problem.

“We cannot eat in our house anymore; this has been a problem for the last three weeks,” Maqhutyana relates.

The street behind the family home is also flooded, forcing local taxi drivers to seek alternative routes. “Municipal workers have come here and said they cannot fix this because they do not know how to fix the problem,” the mother of four says. “I have been to the ward councillor to seek his help in reporting this matter to the municipality.”

Councillor Jongidumo Maxheke says he has reported the matter, but fixing blocked drains needs to be executed by the relevant municipal department. “I have been to the depot to report the problem at the house in question, but they have not fixed it. The woman has been coming to my office, but my hands are tied and I do not know what to do.”

Felicity Purchase, acting Mayoral Committee member for Water and Waste, says council has been trying to address the matter. “The problem at Miss Maqhutyana’s house is as a result of the private plumbing work that has been incorrectly constructed,” she says.

“The toilets, bath and basins are directly connected to the sewer system. There is no gulley outside. This means that if there is a sewer blockage on the mainline, sewage will push up through to their toilets, bath and basins as has been happening.”

Purchase further adds that the municipality is engaging directly with the resident to see how best they can help to sort out the problem and prevent this from happening in the future.

“Residents are advised to employ qualified, registered plumbers for any plumbing work they will require to prevent such problems.”

“It’s important to note is that most insurers won’t cover claims for damage that occurs because of work done by a non-accredited plumber.”

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