Rosslyn Road businesses raise a stink over constant sewer flood

Municipal workers jet the fat-blocked sewer line on Monday morning, 4 September.

Rosslyn Road business owners are gatvol of the continual blockage of the sewer line in their street.

Every three months the line becomes blocked and sewage overflows and flows into the Amanzimtoti River. At 22 Rosslyn Road, AJS Plumbers has had to take drastic and expensive measures to ensure their basement doesn’t constantly flood when the line backs up.

Owner Karl Potgieter said they have lived with the problem for the past 15 of the 35 years they have been tenants in the building. “We installed our own overflow pipe and pump at a cost of about R50,000 to R60,000 to stop the flooding in our basement about a year ago,” he said.

A neighbouring tenant had to build a wall to stop the sewage from flowing into his shop.

READ ALSO: Fat build-up blocks workers sewage pipes

Council has been aware of the continuous problem for about 15 to 20 years. They have undertaken to jet the line (clear the line with a high pressure machine) every three months. When the Sun visited 22 Rosslyn Road on Monday morning, 4 September council workers were in the process of jetting the line. For the first time ever, a council plumber accompanied them. They confirmed it was fat that was blocking the line. However, this is a temporary solution.

AJS Plumbers complained about the overflow on 21 August and it took council a full 10 days to respond. Only 30 minutes after jetting a section of the line, the overflow was back.

The sewage flows into the Amanzimtoti River whenever the sewer line in Rosslyn Road overflows.

“We have contacted the councillor, to no avail,” said Potgieter. “He has promised to do something about it, but nothing has been done. I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do now. It’s never-ending and all the tenants are tired of the constant sewage smell throughout the building.”

READ ALSO: Psychiatric hospital for Rosslyn Road?

Karl suspects the problem could originate from the nearby mall, but Toti Mall manager, Kim van den Bergh is adamant her tenants are not to blame. “I personally go and check the fat traps and make sure nothing is being deposited down the line and the fat is being disposed of properly,” she said.

“I check all the lines daily and so do my cleaners. Tenants are very aware that if they do not do their fat traps properly, I will be there personally to sort it out and make sure the problem is sorted.”

The SUN sent queries to eThekwini Municipality, but no response was forthcoming.



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Earl Baillache

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