Effluent, also known as shit. But it’s not just sewage this time, it’s abattoir waste as well. If you have ever visited an abattoir, you will know that there is a helluva blood drainage result mixed with water that needs managing. No standards, no control, no accountability = a pot ‘o shite me hearties. SA’s infrastructure is in the final throes of total collapse.
It used to be that in any “Top 10 list of Good Things about SA” the cleanest tap water would feature prominently. Not anymore. Even before I left Azania three years ago, there were already reports of the management decay of this vital resource. The Vaal river is the primary resource of water to the entire Gauteng area. It was not uncommon to read reports of maggots dripping from your faucet. Well done ANC, I'm fucking proudly South African.
Vaal River swamped with Effluent
Sewage as well as animal blood and offcuts are apparently being dumped into the Vaal River, The Weekender reported today.
An abattoir in Frankfort was pumping animal blood and offcuts into its evaporation dam which was in turn seeping into the Vaal River, Freedom Front Plus Mafube municipality councillor Peter van der Westhuizen said.
"We saw a large area of red in the water.
"We are conducting tests to establish exactly what is causing it".
A member of the Blue Scorpions Nigel Adams confirmed the dumping of the animal offcuts, saying it had first been noticed during an aerial survey.
Van der Westhuizen also said court orders since 2004 had not managed to get the municipality to repair broken pipes and water purification works which were allegedly causing sewage to ooze over the ground that leads into the Vaal River.
Water scientist and activist Prof Anthony Turton said sewage, in particular, was causing a build-up of blue-green algae containing microcystims which are deadly.
"Some of SA’s dams contain some of the highest levels of microcystins (in the world), caused by sewage being pumped into the water supply.
"In Finland, they get excited if they find 10 micrograms of microcystins per litre in their water, and in the US, they are concerned if there are 60 micrograms per litre."
Turton said in SA the five largest dams have between 10,000 and 16,000 micrograms of microcystins per litre. He said the only way to filter these out of the water was by using an activated charcoal filter.
Rand Water Board spokesman Francois van Wyk said at the moment the water of the Vaal was safe. He said the level of microcystins decreases during the cold winter months.
Van Wyk said the board kept a close watch on microcystin levels.
Mayor Louis Ntombela said the sewerage was caused by a "broken pump" at the sewerage works.He said the problem was "the timing of getting one fixed so that there is still one working. "At first I would say it was a problem of finances but the problem was solved some six months ago. The regular breaking down of the pump station was the problem."
Dirk Niesing, a health and safety consultant called in to investigate the issue by an environmental group, said while the discharge of sewage into the dam was not necessarily "a deliberate act...it is due to negligence and poor maintenance of the sewerage works."