Dunoon pins hopes on plan to end sewage spills

David Ntshanga, 52, from Fig Street, says he is hoping for a change in his community.

A City plan to reduce sewage spills in Dunoon by installing new pipes there has been welcomed by residents.

The “design work” on the project started at the beginning of the City’s financial year, in July, and a contractor could start laying the new pipes in in the coming months, says Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for water and sanitation.

The sewers were designed for single RDP households, but the community has mushroomed, and the old pipes can no longer cope, according to a “Sewer Spill Reduction Plan” document sent to us by the City.

Dr Badroodien said a suitable material still had to be selected for the pipe that would replace a main Dunoon line carrying effluent to the Potsdam sewage-treatment plant. The pipe’s design would be based on an effluent study to ensure it met the flow requirements, he said.

Once that had been done, the actual installation of the pipes could start and the work would take up to a year to be completed, he said.

The project is expected to cost R15 million to R18 million.

In the previous financial year, 2020/2021, the City had installed a new interceptor sewer line down Winning Way, in Dunoon, said Dr Badroodien.

“This has improved the sewer flow conditions to about half, by diverting the flow away from the area to the north of Winning Way,” he said, adding that the sewer-spill reduction project would improve outfall from Winning Way towards Potsdam.

Last month, mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis visited the site in Joe Slovo Park, Milnerton, where new sewer pipes were being installed (“Pipe repairs a priority in poor areas, says mayor,” Tabletalk, July 20).

According to a City statement, the sewer pipe replacement projects for the 2022/2023 financial year are planned for Tokai, Dennedal, Sweet Valley, Bergvliet, Mfuleni, Delft, Khayelitsha, Strand, Wesbank, Kraaifontein, Bellville, Durbanville, Atlantis, Century City, Dunoon, Wallacedene, Milnerton, Gugulethu, Philippi, Maitland, Epping, Langa and Uitsig.

Joe Slovo, an area prone to sewage spills, would benefit from the sewer pipe replacement project, said Mr Hill-Lewis.

The City had set itself the target of replacing 26km of old sewer pipes – some of them dating back to the apartheid era – by June this year, he said.

A Dunoon community leader, Xolisa Tshongolo, 42, of Orchard Street, said a growing number of people were moving to the township each year, placing ever more pressure on the ageing pipes.

“I am excited about the City’s plan to fix and replace the pipes in this community because we have to watch where we walk in these streets, because poo is lying around many streets in this community,” she said.

Children fell ill after playing in the contaminated water in the streets, she said.

David Ntshanga, 52, who sells chicken and other meats from outside his home in Fig Street, said he had “hoped for change,” in his community for many years.

He said raw sewage ran through the streets occasionally and he could no longer handle the smell.

Children walking to and from school jumped in the puddles, and he had to stop them because “the smelly water splashes everywhere”, he said.

Lungisa “Sox” Somtsara, 28, from Thandabantu Street, said he was glad the sewerage pipes were being replaced as it meant “Dunoon has not been forgotten“, but it was only solving a “quarter of the problem” because residents needed to be educated about the effects of poor sanitation.

Ward 104 councillor Meisie Makuwa welcomed the project and said: “Now the people will stop smelling and walking over their own faeces, which is inhumane. We look forward to the upgrade of our sewer network, so the township can be relieved from blockages.”

Lungisa “Sox” Somtsara, 28, from Thandabantu Street, says residents need to be educated about the effects of poor sanitation