Poo plant stench is back, say residents

Work on upgrades to the Potsdam sewage plant started earlier this year.

Residents of Heron Waters and Ville du Cap in Table View are once again calling on the City to stop the stench they say is coming from a nearby sewage plant.

In 2021, the community complained about several weeks of bad smells from the Potsdam sewage plant, and, at the time, the City blamed the problem on an expired contract that had led to a build-up of sludge at the plant (“City removes sludge from sewage plant,” Tabletalk, February 3, 2021), but, a month later, residents were still complaining (“Table View still plagued by sludge stench,” Tabletalk, February 17, 2021).

Then, in March last year, mayoral committee member for water and sanitation Dr Zahid Badroodien told the residents about plans to upgrade the sewage plant, and he said odour suppressants were being used there (“Upgrade or move poo plant, say residents,” Tabletalk, March 16, 2022).

At a sod-turning ceremony at the plant in August, mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis said R5.2 billion would be spent on upgrades to the plant with the project due for completion in 2027 (“City to spend big on Potsdam poo plant,” Tabletalk, August 9).

But now residents want to know why the stench is back. Priscilla Ewert, of Heron Waters said: “There is a horrible sewage smell still overpowering in Hopley Road, Heron Waters Ville du Cap and the whole of Table View. Why is this happening again? And some evenings it is unbearable. Someone needs to please explain.”

Another Table View resident, Agi Orfanos, blamed growing densification.

“The infrastructure cannot cope with this growth. The City should upgrade neglected, decrepit, rundown suburbs and squatter camps and densify there, where it is needed, and leave us alone.

“They are replacing water valves, as our water pressure drops, to service more people with less water. Our traffic increases. Our sewage pipes overflow, and the river, lagoon and beach are desecrated with sewage flows,” he said.

The City did not respond by deadline to questions emailed on Monday.