Fat build-up blocks workers sewage pipes

Ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge.

Following up on an enquiry regarding a sewage spill in Warner Beach earlier in the month, ward 97 councillor Andre Beetge says the cause of the fault was a blocked line.

Glen Willow resident, Bruce Campbell complained that every two to three months a sewage pipe bursts and flows into the Winklespruit River which runs adjacent to the complex, and onto Winklespruit Beach.

He reported the latest incident to council on 9 January and by 13 January it had still not been repaired.

The result was raw sewage running at a heavy flow into the Winklespruit River for five days. He said they seem to have this problem quite often and he finds the response not very quick.

“While the delay in action from the municipality is certainly unacceptable, we reported it to the area engineer for investigation. Our own site inspection revealed no broken pipes, nor failed infrastructure as alleged in the resident’s report,” said Cllr Beetge.

“Further deliberation with the wastewater department confirmed the spillage was related to a blocked line due to fat build-up in the pipe.

They are of the opinion it might relate to incorrect, inadequate or non-existing fat traps being used by the food outlets along Kingsway in Warner Beach, which are situated higher up along the same line.”

Cllr Beetge said used oil is often illegally dumped directly into the line that solidifies as fat, in turn causing a blockage and trapping solids.

With continued flow, this backs up and results in discharges though manhole covers into the stormwater system, which in turn runs into natural streams and rivers, and eventually the sea.

“Similar incidents are responsible for 90% of sewage spillages, as foreign objects such as stones, pieces of wood, hard paper, clothing, towels and bed sheets find their way into and blocks these lines.

Some of this can be attributed to residents incorrectly connecting sewer lines into the stormwater system, resulting in raised water levels of the sewer line and subsequent spillages,” said Cllr Beetge.

Residents are urged to use reputable contractors when attempting alterations or connections, as the gravity-feed storm and wastewater lines run in close proximity to each other.

Report similar problems to the engineering call centre on 080-131-3013.


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Earl Baillache

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