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Overflowing drain stinks out Vrygrond

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Blockage is severe and will take time to fix says City

Photo of a street with an overflowing drain
This drain has been overflowing in Vrygrond for a week due to a severe blockage. Photo: Velani Ludidi
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For almost a week now, stinking water has been overflowing from a drain in Drury Road, Vrygrond, near Muizenberg. Residents say they have reported the matter countless times but it isn’t fixed.

“The smell is unbearable,” said Liza Plantenkamp. “There is a school just across the street. God knows how they remain focused when there is such a smell.”

Monique Elsen said children who have gone playing outside come home smelling of sewage.

Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste Councillor Xanthea Limberg said that a team has been on site for days trying to fix the problem. But, she said, the blockage is severe. “Clearing it is difficult and complex.”

Limberg said the persistent misuse of the sewer system – with people disposing of ovens, sheep heads, garden chairs, tyres, cloth, car engines, lawnmowers, nappies, and rope, among other things - had contributed to the City’s R270-million bill last financial year for unblocking drains.

“The number of reported blockages and overflows has steadily risen over the previous two years, from an average of 293 per day in the 2015/16 year to an average of 330 per day in the 2017/18 financial year. While the drought and water restrictions have likely contributed to the increase as it has reduced the amount of water that flows through the system, the primary cause remains abuse of the sewer system,” said Limberg.

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TOPICS:  Sanitation