City pumps R82m into Retreat sewer system upgrade

The new Retreat pump station.

The City’s Water and Sanitation Department has officially launched its new R82 million Retreat sewage pump station.

The station boasts state-of-the-art design and equipment, including a screening mechanism to stop dumped objects and materials from blocking the system and creating sewer overflows/spills.

Xanthea Limberg, the City’s Mayoral committee member for water and waste, Brian Thomson, project manager who is retiring after 42 years of service, and Mayor Dan Plato at the launch of the new R82 million Retreat sewage pump station.

Mayor Dan Plato; Mayoral committee member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg; and project manager Brian Thomson, who is retiring after 42 years of service, cut the ribbon on Tuesday August 17.

The plant has been operating since June and during this time there has been a significant reduction in sewer blockages and overflows in the area.

This is part of the City’s Water and Waste Directorate’s plan to invest R426 million into the upgrading of sewage pump stations and related sewer infrastructure over the next 10 years.

This comes as a relief after residents had experienced sewage spills over many years, reported in Southern Mail.

In one incident residents complained about foul-smelling sewage water, overflowing from a blocked drain, running through the streets of Lavender Hill for months (“Sewage spill causes a stink”, Southern Mail, April 14).

Ingrid and her daughter April Daniels of St Ruth Street, Rondevlei, in Lavender Hill, said a constant overflow of sewage and dirt in the road and on the pavement in front of their house had created a health risk.

Not long after the story was published residents of a Lavender Hill could breathe clean air again after City sanitation staff dealt with a sewage spill (“City cleans up Lavender Hill sewage spill”, April 21).

Tony Lawrence, spokesperson for the Retreat/Steenberg Civic Association, said this was a project that was “long overdue. We (the exco members) don’t know much about the details of the project, but we hope the money was well spent.”

This pump station services approximately 16 000 households, in areas such as Seawinds, Lavender Hill, Coniston Park, Elfindale, part of Retreat, Zerilda Park and Sand River.

The new pump station is designed to manage an increased capacity of 750 litres of sewage flow per second. Previously the pump station was designed for 620 litres of sewage flow per second.

Ms Limberg said: “Residents are reminded they should only be flushing human waste, toilet paper and greywater. Any other items such as wet wipes, rubble, rags, fats from cooking, feminine hygiene products, will block the sewer pipeline and damage infrastructure, which results in overflows and sewer spills at affected pump stations. Let’s work together to address and reduce sewer overflows so our communities can enjoy healthy environments.”