City aims at water polluters

2018-03-12 13:45
Industries to face R1 mln fine for filth, plus R5 000 a day.

Industries to face R1 mln fine for filth, plus R5 000 a day. (File)

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Industrial water polluters are set to be fined up to R1 million, and R5 000 a day for ongoing offences, as Msunduzi Municipality cracks down on offenders.

Stricter by-laws proposed by the municipality governing the disposal of liquid industrial waste into the drainage system or water treatment plants will mean raising the maximum fine to R1 million and additional daily penalties from R50 to R5 000 for ongoing offences.

According to the draft water services amendment by-laws, anyone who lodges an application to discharge liquid waste must detail how they intend to comply with the relevant sections of the National Environmental Act, in relation to incidents and emergency situations.

The application, which has to be approved by the council, must contain details and results of previous samples of the analysed effluent liquid.

The City intends to analyse the samples taken from applicants.

The council will have up to 60 days to decide on the applications, taking into consideration objections lodged and representations made by interested and affected parties. It can also consult other experts on the application.

The draft amended by-law also gives more power for officials to “execute work on or inspect premises at any time”.

The draft by-law also outlines the accepted levels of concentration for different substances, including heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic.

The special limitations have not changed in terms of the non-acceptance of radioactive waste, yeast or substances that may cause an injury or nuisance to the public.

“No calcium carbide or any other substance whatsoever liable to give off explosive or offensive gases or vapours in the sanitation system,” reads the draft by-law.

Anyone who discharges liquid waste that requires additional treatment costs or causes damage to the sewer or industrial works, shall be liable for costs incurred, in addition to prosecution under the by-laws. Council has also approved the amendment relating to fines to be paid by offenders.

The 2014 by-law states that those found guilty of contravening the water services regulations are liable to a fine, imprisonment not exceeding a period of six months and a further R50 per day in a case of continuing offence.

The draft by-law has determined the maximum penalty of R1 million for a contravention, and increases the additional daily penalty for continuing offences from R50 to R5 000.

The draft will be published for public comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water pollution

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