River sewage threat monitored

2019-07-17 06:00

RAW sewage spilling into the Great Fish River in Cradock could affect the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s water supply.

Water from the Great Fish River reaches Nelson Mandela Bay via the Nooitgedacht Water Treatment works.

The non-functioning of the sewerage plant at Cradock’s Waste Water Treatment Works has made headlines recently. Sewage that flows into the plant is channelled untreated into the Great Fish River.

The DA’s Midlands constituency leader, Retief Odendaal, said that construction to improve the situation at the treatment plant was allegedly halted last week. “The contractor appointed by the Chris Hani District Municipality downed tools after working less than a week on the dysfunctional Cradock Waste Water Treatment.

“This is unacceptable. The livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people are at risk,” Odendaal said.

Odendaal has confirmed that the DA had filed criminal charges against that municipality and the municipal manager.

However, according to Barry Martin, NMBM director for water and sanitation, the Bay’s water supply had not yet been affected.

Municipal spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, said that the raw sewage spill did not affect the Bay’s water supply at this stage. However, they would monitor the situation of a possible risk. “The water and sanitation department has taken the necessary precaution and collected samples in the areas where a possible contamination may occur. We want to make 100% sure that our water is safe; hence why the samples were taken.

“However, there is no risk at this stage,” Mniki said.

The Sundays River canal scheme comprises a canal and tunnel system, which supplies the Orange River water from the Great Fish River Valley to the Sundays River Valley.

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