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Sewage relief in sight


“There are a number of feeder lines going into the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Works and where the lines have collapsed the sewage has pushed back"

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RELIEF is in sight for thousands of city residents who have for months been living surrounded by pools of raw sewage

The Sol Plaatje Municipality has started work on replacing the collapsed sewerage line which feeds into the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Works.

Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday that around 1km of the line, which feeds from Gogga Pump Station to the Homevale sewerage works, would be replaced in the next two weeks.

Residents in Homevalley have been severely affected by pools of raw sewage flowing into their homes and running down the streets for months already, while pupils at Homevale Primary have been sent home due to the unsanitary conditions.

According to Matsie, the line, which is a cement one, has corroded as a result of the sewage and has collapsed in three places.

“There are a number of feeder lines going into the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Works and where the lines have collapsed the sewage has pushed back.”

Last week, in an act of sheer frustration, a Homevalley resident dumped a container of raw sewage outside the office of the city engineer for water and sanitation at Sol Plaatje Municipality.

A frustrated Joan Barends said that residents in Success Street and surrounding areas were at their wits’ end with regards to the river of sewage that is flowing in front of their homes.

“I have an eight-year-old son and there is a newborn baby living in this street. We dare not open the windows because of the stench and a grandmother who lives in the same street is coughing up blood because of the germs she is exposed to. The sewage is overflowing from the drain in her shower. We are constantly sick.

“The problem has been persisting for the past six months although from September it worsened. Although the municipality reported that it is working on the pipes, no work is taking place there. I will have no other option but to move out of the area. I am fortunate enough to be able to buy drinking water but not everyone is financially able to buy bottled water.”

Residents living in a house at the end of the street are surrounded by a pool of green sewage, where they are unable to make use of their front door.

The six children who are sharing the house with four adults, indicated that the toilet was blocked, where they had to empty the spillage with the use of a bucket.

Matsie said yesterday that one house in the area had been very badly affected by the build-up of sewage.

“It is one of the worst incidents I have ever seen. We are attempting to find alternative accommodation for the residents while the problem is being sorted out.”

He added that the entire Homevale area was affected.

“Residents not only have to deal with the raw sewage but also with the smell. It is having a detrimental effect on their quality of life,” said Matsie.