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No more stench for Athlone

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No more stench for Athlone

by Nurene Jassiem
03 Apr 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

The stench synonymous with the Athlone area could be a thing of the past within the next three years if the proposed budget of R20 million for the upgrade of the Athlone Waste Water Treatment Plant is approved for the new financial year.


Contrary to popular belief that the odour originates from the two power station towers at the junction of Jan Smuts Drive and the N2, the stench comes from sludge that is the by-product produced in the wastewater treatment process.

According to Kevin Samson, manager of the City of Cape Town's Wastewater Treatment Department, the city has applied for money to be allocated over the next three years for the upgrading of the treatment plant adjacent to the towers.

"We want to use the money to deal with three major issues. Our main priority is the disinfection of the effluent water leaving the plant to ensure that it is in keeping with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's standards," Samson says.

Effluent water is the purified water that remains after the final clarification tanks have allowed the separation of the water from the sludge.

"In the second phase we want to implement mechanical sludge handling and then our third phase would be to do odour control.

"The second and third phases would essentially go hand-in-hand, as the odour is largely caused by sludge, but there are other contributing factors also," says Samson.

He adds that the extent of the upgrade and what exactly will be done to the plant will largely depend on the funding they will receive.

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