ALMOST exactly five years after a torrent of water crashed through St Francis Bay, damaging houses and municipal infrastructure in its path, the upgrade of the stormwater system at the Santareme dune field is nearing completion.
Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said work on the upgrade started in March and was set for completion by September 2017.
“The upgrade was long overdue,” she said. “We are thankful that additional measures will be in place by next month to help prevent a recurrence of that terrible day in September 2012 when a pond at the dune field breached and tonnes of water came crashing through the streets and houses of Santareme towards the ocean.”
She said the upgrade was being done at a cost of R7-million by the Department of Public Works.
“The project has two main purposes - to reduce the amount of stormwater that collects in the dune ponds and to increase the capacity of the downstream stormwater system, so that water is channelled away from properties should flooding occur,” she explained.
“Any future developments in the surrounding areas will be expected to meet the downstream stormwater capacity requirements.”
She said improvements included the construction of a spillway in the larger pond of the dune field.
The spillway will consist of a piped outlet to drain the pond to the north. Overflow from the pond will drain via the existing natural flow path to the inlet of the existing culvert which, in turn, drains to the natural watercourse in the Romazini Valley.
The upgrade further includes the replacement of two 700mm diameter pipes with larger 900mm diameter pipes at the intersection of Romazini Street and St Francis Drive so as to allow for a larger volume of water to flow through the system.
The existing stormwater infrastructure in the vicinity of Diaz Drive, Cayenne Drive and Tom Brown Boulevard is also being upgraded. Work includes increasing the capacity of existing pipes and improving various overland stormwater escape routes such as new manholes and catch pits within developed areas.
A pedestrian path in an alley between hou-ses at Tom Boulevard is also nearing completion and will serve as an overland stormwater route.