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Concerns around sewage leak into town’s freshwater addressed

Concerns around Sewage leak into town's freshwater addressed
"Newcastle Municipality states it takes great pride in the quality of freshwater flowing through Newcastle, placing it on record, that the municipality is known for its clean waters."

Allegations recently surfaced, stating the persistent rainfall is responsible for the town’s sewage system overflowing into the streets and more concerningly, into its freshwater supply

Head of Communications at Newcastle Municipality, Mlungisi Khumalo addresses the matter, stating, “The municipality is currently unaware of a sewage spillage into our freshwater.” However, if anyone knows of this happening, he affirms, you must contact the municipality immediately.

The Government entity further states it takes great pride in the quality of freshwater flowing through Newcastle. “We would like to place it on record, that the municipality is known to have one of the cleanest waters, as we usually conduct E. coli tests to detect any foreign elements which are not supposed to be there.”

Concerns around Sewage leak into town's freshwater addressed
Newcastle Municipality assures Newcastle’s fresh water is clean.

Because of this, Khumalo stresses, “If ever such an occurrence takes place, the municipality acts promptly to avert a health hazard to our residents. As a caring and listening municipality, we take such sewage spillage seriously and act on it speedily.”

While local rivers and dams seem to be escaping the clutches of sewage, local suburbs are not.

Ward 4 Councillor, Bertie Meiring elaborates, “I have attended a few complaints regarding sewage leaks, and the situation is rather bad.”

Concerns around Sewage leak into town's freshwater addressed
Raw sewage overflowing on Coronation Road.

He claims one of the most significant issues is that of stormwater drains flooding when it rains; this, in turn, floods the sewage systems. According to Cllr Meiring, the flooding results in sewage gushing out into the streets. Moreover, he maintains that ageing infrastructure is also responsible for leaking sewage.

Cllr Bebsie Cronje concurs, stating, sewage and water leaks are problematic — pointing out that a massive sewage leak near Drakensberg Primary School poses a health risk to both the learners and their guardians.

A sewage leak near one of Newcastle’s popular primary schools.

Regarding reporting swage leaks, Cronje says the number, 0860 144 144 is often bombarded with calls, and community members battle to get through at times. This is an issue; she feels needs to be addressed by Newcastle Municipality in coming months.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Share your views with us in the comment section below. 

Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer

Edited: Calvin Swemmer

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3 Responses

  1. This is a regular occurrence in lower Osborne Road as well. At the moment there are 3 manholes overflowing. Late last year we didn’t have street lights for almost 3 months. After reporting it numerous times by residents it was repaired but it lasted only a week. For the past 8 weeks or so we haven’t had street lights despite residents reporting it. This poses a high security risk and the Municipality just doesn’t seem to care. In this area residents pay their municipal bills but are still being treated with disdain.

    1. Thank you for notifying us. Our editor will follow up on the issue regarding street lights in and around town.

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