Bulk outfall sewer won’t be fixed before 2027

A report brought before BCMM council on September 13 found that implementing a permanent solution for addressing sewage spills from Nahoon bulk outfall sewer along Nahoon River will only happen in March 2027.

The report, presented by BCMM infrastructure services, details the steps the municipality has taken in response to the 2022 court order, applied for by the Nahoon Estuary Management Forum (NEMF) demanding specific actions.

These include: maintenance of the silt trap on Lower Ridge Road and dredging of the outfall sewer, alternative solutions for outdated purposely built overflow pipes in the Nahoon bulk outfall sewer, provision of standby generator for the Ihlanza pump station and paying the costs of the court application.

The report indicates that three of the actions have been implemented but finding an alternative solution for purposely built overflow pipes will not be achieved in the short term and requires four years and millions of rands to address.

The use of sewage overflow pipes to relieve pressure from the sewer to the river has been discontinued due to harm it can inflict on the environment, residential areas and natural water bodies. The report indicates that an appointed service provider conducted initial investigations worth R3.4m and found four alternatives.

These include: installing a new parallel pipeline alongside the existing pipes to increase carrying capacity of the outfall sewer; diverting sewage flow to Ihlanza interceptor sewer and upgrading the interceptor to accommodate additional flow; redirecting sewage flow from Dorchester Heights, Abbortsford and Nompumelelo to Quinera wastewater treatment works catchment; or establishing a new wastewater treatment works specifically for sewage flows originating from Dorchester Heights, Abbortsford and Nompumelelo.

The feasibility of each option is being investigated in detail to the tune of R8m over nine months and assessments are scheduled to be completed by April next year. Thereafter the process of developing concept designs, preliminary designs, detailed designs, and tender documentation will take 14 months with tender advertisements for upgrading Nahoon Bulk Outfall Sewer expected in April 2025.

The contractor is expected to start working from September 2025 for 18 months.

NEMF chair Christo Theart said the forum would be going back to court before the end of the year to have the findings of the report become legally binding so that the municipality is forced to abide by the timelines indicated in the report.

BCMM councilor Sue Bentley said: “It is a pity though that it took a court order, with costs, for BCMM to do something about this sewer line knowing full well that it was pouring raw sewage into the Nahoon when it overflowed.”


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