Sobantu raises alarm over sewage in Duzi

2017-07-05 13:45
The damaged main pipe spilling sewage into the Msunduzi river at Sobantu.

The damaged main pipe spilling sewage into the Msunduzi river at Sobantu. (Nokuthula Khanyile)

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Sobantu residents are complaining of a massive sewage spill from a damaged pipeline that leads to the Darvill waste water treatment plant.

The sewage spills into the Msunduzi river, which is used by people in Sobantu, Enkanyezini, KwaXimba and other areas.

The damaged pipeline is used to convey domestic and industrial sewage from Pietermaritzburg to the treatment plant.

A resident who spoke to The Witness said they were concerned about the untreated sewage spilling into the river.

“This has been going on for over three months. It’s a hazardous situation because people cross this river every day.

“People who use the river for recreational purposes have not even been warned to stay away from the river until the damaged pipeline has been fixed.”

The resident said they have received numerous reports that residents who stay along the river have waterborne diseases as a result.

“There is a foul smell all over Sobantu and the water has discoloured.

“There are people who work at the landfill site on a daily basis and they come in contact with this water.”

Corporate stakeholder manager of Umgeni Water, Shami Harichunder, said the pipe belonged to Msunduzi Municipality.

“The infrastructure belongs to the local municipality. We are only responsible for what goes into the Darvill waste water works.”

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said they were aware that the 1,5-metre steel main had developed structural failures.

“The effluent leak is below the pipe. The Department of Water Affairs has been notified and we are planning on diverting flow into an abandoned line next to it until it is fixed.”

Mafumbatha warned that people should avoid walking on the pipe as it was not a bridge.

“We are assessing the situation day-by-day. The chronological sequence of events will follow with an official statement,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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