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Alleged Sewage Pollution from Oudtshoorn Waste Water Treatment Works into the Olifants River Unfounded
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 15:03

sewage pollution smallOudtshoorn, 28 October 2015 – A recent visit to the Oudtshoorn Waste Water Treatment Works found absolutely no evidence of raw sewage discharged to the Olifants River as several media reports stated in the recent months.

Mr. Chris Koch who was seconded as part of the Provincial Intervention to Oudtshoorn to head the technical services visited the Oudtshoorn on 22 October 2015 ascertain the reality of the allegations citing that the “The Olifants River in Oudtshoorn is covered by a thick layer of raw sewage, which has been left untreated for so long that it has formed a crust on the surface of the river”. The findings following this visit discovered that these allegations are absolutely not true and based on a wrong assumption.

sewage pollution 1small“The effluent from the Oudtshoorn WWTW flows through a number of maturation ponds before it enters the final effluent dam from where it is discharged via a baffle plate system directly into the Olifants River,” Mr. Koch said in a report.

Koch furthermore stated in the report that: “During the said unauthorized follow up visit it is clear that the person visited the final effluent dam and saw the crust of dried scum floating on top of the treated effluent mistakenly identified that as part of the Olifants River. The dry scum floating on the final effluent dam cannot be discharged to the river due to a baffle plate that’s installed only allowing the treated effluent to be discharged. The Olifants River at the discharge point is normal muddy river water into which the effluent flows.”

sewage pollution 2small“Although the effluent currently does not conform to all the parameters as stipulated in the Act it does not consists of any raw sewage as was alleged. Oudtshoorn Waste Water Treatment Works are currently upgraded through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) program at a cost of R 5.5 million and after completion in March 2016 will ensure an additional 3 Ml/day hydraulic capacity which will be sufficient to meet the current demand,” Koch added.

Mr. Chetty, the administrator said: “The Oudtshoorn Municipality is embarking on a full time program to do stricter policing of its Industrial Effluent by-laws to curb the illegal discharge of FOG’s (Fats, oils and greases) which seriously inhibits the bacteriological process at the Oudtshoorn WWTW.”

“The initial outcomes will be to target the industries but will later be rolled out to target all the restaurants and guesthouses and the army base. Through the effective constant policing we can ensure that only good quality sewage is discharged to the Oudtshoorn WWTW and that effective bacteriologic processes can treat the sewage to conform to all the parameters as per Act before being discharged into the Olifants River,” Chetty concluded.

sewage pollution 4smallsewage pollution 3small