Umgeni Water warns riverside communities of sewage contamination

2015-07-03 07:48


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UMGENI Water has warned residents living close to the uMsunduzi and ­Umngeni Rivers to keep away from the rivers for at least a week following an accidental sewage spillage.

It said people in Sobantu, Enkanye­zini, KwaXimba and other areas should avoid drinking or swimming in the river and should use tap water that has been treated.

Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harrichunder said there was construction related damage of a pipeline at the Darvill Waste Waterworks on Tuesday.

The pipeline is used to convey pre-treated sewage from the pump station to the main reactor.

“The immediate response was to isolate the damaged pipe and use the other pipe as there are two separate pipelines,” he said.

However, Harrichunder said, the sluice gate failed and the sewage started draining back through the damaged pipe.

The plant had to be immediately shut down to completely isolate the damaged pipe.

The plant was offline all of Wednesday and the storm dam was overspilling untreated sewage into uMsunduzi River.

Work on the isolation of the damaged pipe was completed at around midnight on Wednesday.

“The plant is currently operating and the storm dam has stopped overflowing or spilling into the river,” he said.

It is expected the sewage will make its way out of the river by tomorrow.

“In the meantime, Umgeni Water is making an appeal to communities downstream of the river to ensure that water from it is not used for irrigation purposes or for drinking by animals

The water must first be treated before it is used for these purposes,” Harrichunder said

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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