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Completion of Effluent Spill Investigation

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The Hout Bay Fishmeal Factory concluded the Effluent Spill Investigation which was independently conducted by SRK Consulting. The objective of the investigation was to monitor the effluent release process into the Hout Bay Harbour to assess whether there are any possible breaches that result in contamination of the bay. The project scope included a Field Investigation (Civils Assessment) which included a Land Survey, System Integrity Checking and Sewage Reticulation System.

Trevor Stander Land Surveyors conducted a land survey which in order to provide a layout of the sewer and storm water reticulation system. This was then followed by a survey that was conducted by Messrs Wasteman Sight Lines who conducted CCTV inspections of the respective sewage and storm water lines.

The following is a summary of the outcomes that were noted:
1) In addition to the Fishmeal Factory the sewer pipes carry effluent from upstream catchments (i.e residential areas and the Hout Bay precinct).
2) The CCTV inspections were not possible without extensive cleaning of the systems.
3) A hole was located in the main municipal sewer line adjacent to the quay
4) Indications are that there are sewage and/or effluent spills through the hole whenever the sewer pipe flow is approximately more than 75% full.
5) The storm water reticulation system which is independent of the sewage system conveys storm water from the Hout Bay Fishmeal Factory as well as from surrounding upstream catchment.

The conclusion was that the hole in the sewage pipe required immediate attention and this initiated discussions with the City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation as well as the Department of Public Works. The matter was treated as a priority and repair work was speedily completed which required that a more substantial section of the pipeline needed replacement.

Although the problem (in terms of the area identified) is now considered resolved, the effluent discharge procedure for the Hout Bay Fishmeal Factory still requires the staff to actively monitor the pipeline. This will ensure immediate escalation of the matter and if possible initiation of corrective action in order to prevent any future spills.