Water, Sewage & Effluent January-February 2017 - Page 15

to Johannesburg Water and the City of Johannesburg to “ treat the matter with the urgency it deserves ”.
Meanwhile , Johannesburg Water is also not taking responsibility for the spill . The utility ’ s manager of marketing and communications , Tidimalo Chuene , says , “ At this point , it is important to resist the temptation to pass the blame or focus on which department ’ s version of the incident is correct or not .”
Chuene explains that the Bruma out-fall runs through the Leeuwkop Prison property , along the Jukskei River , and this line is currently problematic , as blockages occurred due to sand , silt and foreign objects .
“ Johannesburg Water is not the only entity responsible for sewer spillages into the Hartbeespoort Dam . City of Tshwane , Mogale City , Ekurhuleni , as well as Randfontein , contribute to pollution into the dam via the various rivers discharging into the dam ,” he says .
He notes that the utility had devised a threephased action plan , with the first phase being the removal of all unwanted obstacles from the line with hydro-jetting machines . The second phase is to use a bucket machine to remove the remaining obstacles . “ This has already commenced ; however , progress is slow due to the high flows in the line ,” says Chuene .
Cleaning the line
He adds that the third phase is to install a plate to block the flow in the line , which will ensure easy access for the bucket machine to remove the last portion of the sand and rags . At the time of writing , Chuene said it was anticipated that the entire process of cleaning the line and limiting the spills would be completed by the middle of November .
At the Northern Works Wastewater Treatment Plant , situated near Fourways / Diepsloot , in the north of Johannesburg , Johannesburg Water was in the process of desilting an emergency retention dam to provide more capacity to store excess sewer in peak demand times .
“ We have recently completed the refurbishment of the electro-mechanical equipment at the head of the works , which will improve operation and limit frequent breakdowns . We have started with the refurbishment of the electro-mechanical equipment at one of the treatment units at the works . Once completed , it will also reduce the operational failures and in turn the frequency of spills at the works ,” Chuene says .
He adds that the possible hazard posed to the flora and fauna along the affected water
Flickr . com Anthony Turton
Water expert Professor Anthony Turton says it is important to understand the complexity of the situation
body is regrettable and is why the utility is using all available resources to clear the affected pipelines .
Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratau confirmed that the department investigated the spill and issued a directive to the City of Johannesburg to resolve the problem .
“ There will be ongoing monitoring to ensure compliance ,” he says , adding that the implications of the sewage spill are undesirable , as it leads to a reduction of water availability .
“ In this instance , it has had an impact on the quality of water within Hartbeespoort Dam . In all of this , it needs to be indicated that there is no compromise to the quality of drinking water around Hartbeespoort Dam ,” Ratau points out .
However , it is clear that the department is unlikely to take further action against any party in this case . “ There have been sanctions by the issuing of directives to the City of Johannesburg with regard to the Leeuwkop Prison spillage , but there is also a need to recognise the fact that currently there are efforts under way to resolve this matter ,” Ratau notes . u
The sewage spill comes at a time when South Africa is struggling to come to grips with its worst drought in decades . networking tech news environment infrastructure industry municipalities
Water Sewage & Effluent January / February 2017 13