Public Works denies polluting Hartbeespoort Dam

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Johannesburg – The national Department of Public Works on Tuesday denied being responsible for polluting the Hartbeespoort Dam.

A report in the Pretoria News stated that the dam would reach unacceptable levels of pollution in a few years if nothing is done as a matter of urgency. This after the dam yet again experienced a massive sewage spill which originated from the Northern Works Waste Water Treatment Plant, situated near the Fourways/Diepsloot areas in the north of Johannesburg.

Department spokesperson Thami Mchunu said the department had noted media reports regarding the pollution of the Jukskei River, which in turn had resulted in the contamination of the Hartbeespoort Dam.

"As the NDPW, we are especially concerned as the property in question is under the custodianship of the department," he said.

Late last week, according to the news report, the plant released millions of litres of untreated sewage into the Jukskei River.

Matter of urgency

The sewage spills fed into the Jukskei, which links up with the Crocodile River and then flows into the Hartbeespoort Dam.

In addition to the spillages reportedly from Northern Works, more pollution emanating from pump stations, manholes and sewarage plants entered the river.

Mchunu said Joburg Water, an entity of the City of Joburg, had a municipal outfall sewer line that crosses the Leeuwkop Prison premises, running parallel to the Jukskei River.

"It is our understanding that one of the outfall sewer lines has been decommissioned to resolve blockages in the line. This has resulted in spillages into the Jukskei River."

He said departmental technical experts had been on site and made a number of recommendations to resolve the matter together with Joburg Water.

He said the department had written to Joburg Water and the City of Joburg to treat the matter with urgency.

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