Beaches reopened after sewage spill

Hout Bay Beach was closed after a sewage spill last week. The beach has since been reopened.

Hout Bay and Llandudno beaches have been given the all-clear after they were closed because of a sewage spill.

Sewage spills have forced the closure, in recent weeks, of several other Cape Town beaches, including Bakoven, Fish Hoek and Muizenberg. Those beaches have since been reopened.

City Law Enforcement officials turned bathers away from Llandudno Beach on Monday January 9 after the spill was discovered. Hout Bay Beach was closed two days later as a precautionary measure by the City.

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas blamed a faulty sensor at a local sewage pump station.

“This sensor helps to measure the sump levels at the pump station so that pumps can be switched on or off automatically to help manage the flow of sewage through this site,” he said.

“Load shedding remains one of the biggest challenges in the sewage pump and any other infrastructure that is not designed to be switched on and off sometimes three times in one day.”

Investigations by the City last week found sewer reticulation pipes and a bulk stormwater pipe, also with illegal sewer connections, were blocked with foreign objects such as litter, rags, carpets, tins, pieces of animal carcasses, stones, brick pieces and even cutlery. This caused an overflow at the stormwater-to-sewer diversion chamber in the area.

City roads and sanitation workers cleared the blockage and cleaned the stormwater-to-sewer diversion chambers.

By Friday January 13, both beaches had been reopened to the public.

Llandudno surfer Ralph Camden said: “These overflows can be quite dangerous and we are looking at sewage, which can make people seriously sick. So just glad to see the City fixing these problems so quickly.”