Plumbing leaves a stink

2016-10-25 06:00
David Solomons in his flooded backyard that is causing a health hazard for his family and that of their neighbours. PHOTO: gary van dyk

David Solomons in his flooded backyard that is causing a health hazard for his family and that of their neighbours. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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Families in Second Street in Kensington are tired of living with the stench of blocked drains flooding their properties but want to know who’s to blame.

David Solomons is from one of the families who does not know what to do as he points to the sewage bubbling from a drain on the side of his home leading to his backyard.

“This is the problem we’ve been complaining about since July but it’s now worse with my yard flooded and affecting my neighbour’s property as well,” he says.

“We’ve reported this on a number of occasions and when they sent a team to check it on Tuesday 11 October they found the drains in First and Second streets blocked. We were told that they were going to check in the graveyard or maybe a pump needed to be switched on.

“Two days later they checked again and showed us that the road drain was empty but my place was still under water and it’s obvious the drain is blocked.

“I’ve had a plumber check the problem but he assured me the problem is with the council design of the sewage system.

“Both these properties affected were built more than 70 years ago, sold many times over, and we do not have separate systems to flow into the manhole in the street.”

Solomons adds that on another occasion the workers tried using rods and a pressure hose to clear the problem but it seems to have made the problem worse.

“When they used the pressure hose a piece of the sewage pipe broke and now we’re being told that we must sort out the problem because the problem is on private property.

“They’ve sent inspector after inspector and they tell us the same thing but it’s obvious this problem is not of our doing or something that we can hire some plumber to fix.

“But, what do we do in the meantime, the problem persists and its affecting our health.”

Mayco member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg has replied leaving the residents with no solution to their problem.

“The City was called out to the property to attend to a complaint of a sewage leakage. Upon reaching the site, it was found that the leakage was due to a blockage on the resident’s private infrastructure,” he says.

“In order to assist the resident, the City officials went beyond their mandate and offered to clear the blockage, however this is not normally condoned unless there is an immediate public health risk, especially to facilities such as schools, old-age homes and hospitals.

“We will be taking this up with the team in question.

“Upon clearing the blockage it became apparent that the resident’s private infrastructure was already in an advanced state of disrepair, which cannot be reasonably attributed to the work the City did on the property (using a stick and high pressure hose to clear a blockage). As such it falls to the owners to arrange that corrective work is completed.”

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