South Durban beach closed following effluent spill

South Durban beach closed following effluent spill

The Easter long weekend has gotten off to a bad start for some fisherfolk and beachgoers in Durban.

eThekwini and the Country Club beaches closed
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eThekwini says bathing has been prohibited at the Cuttings beach in Merebank, near the Bluff south of the city after two process units at the Southern Wastewater Treatment Works failed following recent heavy rains.

eThekwini says there was a mechanical failure of two pumps at the low-level sump that pumps effluent out to sea.

Officials say the units were put offline so the necessary repairs could be carried out, leading to the overloading of the low-level sump and carry-over onto Cuttings beach.

The municipality said in a statement that the units should be repaired by early next week. Overflow onto the beach has subsided due to low incoming flows and the effluent is currently contained to the low-level sump.

However, the beach is off-limits for fishing and any recreational activities until further notice.

eThekwini says effluent samples will be monitored and tested daily.

Head of Water and Sanitation, Ednick Msweli says the effluent will be aerated to increase oxygen levels and to assist aquatic life.

““It will also be monitored and sampled daily, with samples being sent to the laboratory for testing. The community is prohibited from using Cuttings beach for fishing or any other recreational activities during this period.  The affected areas will be demarcated with relevant signage and the municipality will undertake all necessary action to ensure that the situation is normalised as soon as possible,” said Msweli.

eThekwini has apologised for the inconvenience caused, saying the situation was beyond their control.

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