Sewage leaks under N2 take time to plug

Work is continuing on the damaged sewer line which runs from Bernadotte Road under the N2 and past the Adams Road intersection towards Commercial Road.

Ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge said after the tunnel was drained, the damaged pipe was located about 50m underground inside the chamber underneath the N2. “Due to the restricted space, the damaged steel pipe had to be cut and removed in sections whereafter new sections of PVC pipe were measured and manoeuvred down the chamber to replace the steel pipe. Sections are being bolted into position using special clamps. The limited space inside the chamber is dark and the air is limited, warm and certainly not the freshest,” said Cllr Beetge.

While officials and contractors were optimistic about the repair being completed during Monday night into Tuesday morning, a second burst occurred west of the N2 which is in the process of being resolved. The Commercial Road pumpstation has been switched off and tankers have been deployed to suck waste from the pumpstation and dispose of it back into the system via manholes towards both the Amanzimtoti and Kingsburgh treatment works. Residents should note that municipal tankers are legitimately discharging into the manholes.

The wastewater department facilitates various services which include emptying septic tanks or clearing sumps of pumpstations under maintenance or repair. This waste is then disposed of either at the treatment works, or into the line via a manhole before a pumpstation, which in turn moves it towards the treatment works.
Once the waste has been treated, the sludge is again removed by tankers (although the dry bed system still exists at the local works, it is as a rule no longer implemented) and disposed of.

ALL PHOTOS: Andre Beetge

Cllr Beetge relayed the community’s concerns including pollution of the Toti River with water and sanitation head, Ednick Msweli during a sitting of the municipal public accounts committee on Tuesday, 9 May. “Msweli confirmed he is aware of the concerns but the process was hampered by budgetary constraints, with a large part of the budget being directed towards the water crisis, thus resulting in a shortfall on the sanitation side.
The matter was, however, receiving urgent attention to resolve.

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An early Wednesday morning site inspection confirmed that contamination along the open channel along the N2 and river had been brought under control but a blocked manhole immediately attracted attention and was subsequently reported to the area manager for clearing and the introduction of lime, as the river level is extremely low following the mouth being breached just before the weekend. We will not rest until this matter has been sufficiently addressed,” said Cllr Beetge.


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