VIDEO: Hennops River nightmare doesn’t end for Centurions

The mess on the banks of the Hennopsriver. Photos: Jason Milford

Recent pollution to the Hennops River has further devastated Centurions who were already battling to cope with the state of the river.

A power failure at the Sunderland Ridge wastewater treatment plant on Sunday evening was suspected of causing a spillage of effluent into the river, said ward councillor Kingsley Wakelin.

Wakelin said residents took water samples for testing and were awaiting results.

A resident who asked to remain anonymous said the sample was very dark.

“In fact, the water is black. You cannot see through it. And the stench is so crushing,” the resident said.

Wakelin said the power failure had contributed to the effluent problem “upstream” but only partially.

“The problem goes beyond Centurion Lake,” he said.

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“The matter has been escalated to pollution control in the municipality, as well as environmental management services. This will give the background on what happened at the weekend. Majority of the effluent is coming from further upstream and the wastewater treatment plant was not the main reason.”

Wakelin said power supply to the plant had been restored but reiterated the problems Centurions were experiencing regarding the river were “ongoing and far from over”.

In the spirit of Nelson Mandela, Centurion residents volunteered for a clean-up operation to bring relief to those who live near the contaminated river. Despite their repeated efforts, the stench and rubbish always seemed to return.

Throughout the year, Rekord reported on thick layers of foam and an overwhelming stench from the river.

Vagrants have compounded the problem by shacking up along the river. They leave rubbish strewn along the river as they sort out items for recycling.

Wakelin said this made finding a permanent solution to the mess difficult because the rubbish always found its way into the river.

In February, Tshwane metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the river was one of many in the country that were heavily polluted with organic waste, including human excrement, chemicals such as detergents and other materials used in factories and processing plants.

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“The uncontrolled influx of raw sewage and other spills from industries like hospitals and from neighbouring metros, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, are also well-known to all responsible departments in Tshwane,” said Mashigo.

He said the white foam was “not a natural” occurrence.

“Yellow foam is associated with natural occurrences, such as when water has active turbulence and foam is created,” he said.

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Rekord East

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  AUTHOR
Jason Milford

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