ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES - Pollution of the Vaal from the Barrage to Parys

Environmental issue/project: Pollution of the Vaal from the Barrage to Parys
Date: 2011-07-22

Name of person reporting: Thomas du Toit
Email address: tom.savethevaal@gmail.com
Phone: 082 4196526

Description of issue:
1. Thomas du Toit of SAVE reports that they are still seeing major spills from the Parys sewage works, but through their intervention R85M has been secured from Water Affairs to upgrade this plant so hopefully there will be some improvement within the next couple of years. In addition, despite 5 court interdicts which SAVE has obtained over the past few years there are still sporadic spills from the Emfuleni waste water treatment plant. One must admire SAVE in their marathon battles with municipalities who seem incapable or unwilling to run their sewage plants correctly and ignore the adverse publicity and/or being dragged through the courts repeatedly.

Review of Issue
The Rietspruit which enters the Vaal system at Lochvaal above the Barrage is now extremely pollute with high E.Coli readings. Apparently this is the result of raw sewage and waste water entering this river in the Sebokeng area where new housing is either not connected to the Emfuleni sewage plant or the waste water system is faulty. The authorities including the DWA are aware of the situation but there does not appear to be any hope of the problem being resolved in the short term. The result is that the Vaal is badly polluted below the Barrage with very poor water clarity.

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