Resident concerned by raw sewage flowing into stream at Wylie Park

2018-05-08 16:00
Observing the overflowng sewerage pipe which is flooding Wylie Park, Bobbie (left) and Nor Louton stop at a sign warning of a raw sewerage spill at Wylie Park on Monday.

Observing the overflowng sewerage pipe which is flooding Wylie Park, Bobbie (left) and Nor Louton stop at a sign warning of a raw sewerage spill at Wylie Park on Monday. (Ian Carbutt)

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A concerned nature enthusiast who frequents Wylie Park in Wembley is calling on Msunduzi Municipality to respond to a massive sewage spill that has been gushing into a stream inside the park.

Bobbie Louton from Boughton, who usually enjoys walks in the park with her 10-year-old son Nor and their dog Sassafras, made the unpleasant discovery on Monday morning.

“The stench was noticeable from about 200 metres downstream. I run in the park every day with my dog and discovered the sewage when my dog and I suddenly found ourselves in the middle of it. My socks and shoes were immediately soaked. My dog ran down to the river and was soon covered with black, raw faeces,” said Louton.

Louton, a sanitation researcher who has studied the impact of faecal contamination on the environment and public health for 10 years, said she was “horrified” and “saddened” that Wylie Park and the stream had been contaminated.

“Research in KZN has found that pathogens in raw faeces can live for 10 years or even longer in an environment with suitable conditions — such as the cool, shaded, moist environment along a stream.

“Heavy worm infections interfere with brain development and functioning and physical growth in children. In addition, a single worm in a single human intestine can produce as many as 200 000 eggs per day. This means that if just one family served by that sewer is infected, there could now be millions of worm eggs depositing in the soil, stream bank and stream of the park.”

Louton said she had been informed by another resident that this was not the first time that this has happened.

She said what was even more concerning was that the park was used by a nearby Athlone School for their cross-country run. “Last week they had their cross-country run through Wylie Park across the very spot where the contamination has happened. If the run had happened tomorrow, 500 children could have picked up pathogens on their shoes and tracked them into their schools and home environments.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  service delivery

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