Local stream runs red due to mysterious effluent

2019-05-28 16:37
Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust’s Sanele Vilakazi takes samples of the red water at the stream under the Murray Road railway bridge, which was still running red when samples were taken by the municipality and Duct on Monday.

Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust’s Sanele Vilakazi takes samples of the red water at the stream under the Murray Road railway bridge, which was still running red when samples were taken by the municipality and Duct on Monday. ( mark burnett)

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Mystery surrounds the source of industrial effluent that has turned the stream under the Murray Road railway bridge blood red.

Pietermaritzburg local Mark Burnett said he was busy training for the Comrades Marathon on Saturday and ran over the bridge when the bright red water caught his eye.

“It did not have a smell. I am not sure whether it is algae or effluent but it is still very concerning.”

Burnett said it was still red yesterday morning.

Sanele Vilakazi of Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust (Duct) said he suspected the red colouring is from industrial effluent.

He said he first thought it had come from a surcharging manhole.

He said one of the Duct riverside monitors had walked up-stream to try and find the source but had no luck. He said tests would determine what the effluent is and if it is toxic to wildlife living in and around the stream.

Municipal spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said officials from Msunduzi’s water and sanitation as well as environmental health went out for an inspection.

“At this stage we are not able to trace where it comes from, however, our colleagues from the pollution control unit are working together with Duct and they will advise us on the outcome of their investigations,” she said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pollution
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