16 October 2017

South Africa: Port Elizabeth Sewage Spill Drained

Earlier this month GroundUp reported on houses standing in a lake of raw sewage in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth. The municipality has now fixed the problem.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality chief of staff Kristoff Adelbert said, "Foreign objects were removed from the sewer line. A power outage occurred in Motherwell on Monday which affected all sewer pump stations in the area. This could have resulted in sewage backing up in the system and spilling onto properties."

"The spillage was cleared up on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Disinfection was also carried out. Top soil was also brought in to place on top of the wet area after vacuum tankers sucked up the excess water around houses," he said.

According to Kristoff, "Of late, sabotage has resulted in blockages and supply cuts, which has put municipal staff under huge pressure. A criminal case has been opened with SAPS, and we urge that a full investigation be rolled out. Metro police will increase patrols to hot spot areas."

Sibongile Vusi, the floor of whose house was covered by sewage, said, "I am grateful that the problem is now fixed, but I am not happy with the time the municipality took to restore the system."

Kristoff said the vast majority of sewage spills in the Metro were cleared up within 24 to 48 hours.

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