City cleans up Lavender Hill sewage spill

The City has cleaned a sewage spill, caused by a drain blockage, in St Ruth Street, Lavender Hill.

Residents of a Lavender Hill street can breathe clean air again after City sanitation staff dealt with a sewage spill last Friday.

A blocked drain near St Ruth Street caused the spill. Residents say they complained about it for months after people fell ill.

St Ruth Street before the spill was cleaned up.

“Now I can breathe again,” said April Daniels, one of those who complained.

Her mother, Ingrid, said she was grateful the City had fixed the problem, even if it had taken a while.

“I really appreciate it that they came more than once to check up on the drain and to see if we are satisfied with the work they did. However, there are a few other spots that need to be cleaned”

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and waste, said the area was a hot spot for dumping and was scheduled to be cleaned every two weeks.

“It is important to note that St Ruth Street is at a low point in the local sewage reticulation system, and thus is more likely to experience overflows as a result. Any network issues (a blockage for example) within a wide area could cause an overflow.”

A nearby pump station was being “temporarily bypassed” while an “upgrade” was done on it, she said. The bypass had been designed to handle expected sewage flows in the area and an inspection had found it was “working as it should”.

The upgraded pump station is due to be commissioned in the second week of May.

“It will bring a marked improvement to sewage conveyance in the area,” Ms Limberg said.

However, blockages could still happen if there was illegal dumping in the sewers, she warned.

Go to www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests, email water@capetown.gov.za, SMS 31373, call 0860 103 089 or visit your nearest municipal office to report sewer and water problems.