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City Devises Innovative Strategy to curb Sewage Spills

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City Devises Innovative Strategy to curb Sewage Spills

by City of Cape Town
17 Apr 2007
City of Cape Town
City of Cape Town

The City of Cape Town has devised an innovative strategy of using mobile and fixed power generation plants in collaboration with the City's Electricity Department to curb possible sewage overflows.

In a report to the Utility Services Portfolio Committee, the Directorate of Utility Services says there are 501 pump stations in the metropole. Of these, 376 are used to pump sewage while others are used to pump potable water in higher lying areas.

Over the past eight months only 33 of the sewage pump stations failed; mainly due to local power failures.

"The City has considered installing standby generators at all sewage pump stations. This would come at an installation cost of R30 million. As this would not guarantee perfect functionality, the City has embarked on a strategy of using a combination of mobile and fixed generation plant, collaborating with the City's Electcicity Department", says Cllr Clive Justus, Chairperson of the Utility Services portfolio committee

According to the report all sewage pump stations are monitored via a sophisticated telemetry system which monitors which pumps are running, the availability of pumps, as well as pump trip conditions including mains failure and power outages, wet well high level alarm, and intruder alarms in high risk areas.

These monitoring systems provide an early warning to rectify the situation before the pump station overflows. The average response times to the alarms range from 30 to 60 minutes which is in most cases ample time to prevent pump station overflows.

In the event of gross health or environmentally hazardous overflows, the Directorate has used bio-augmentation products to normalise watercourses.

The report stated that there were no sewage pump overflows between September and November last year with no noticeable effect in improving the city's waterways.

"It is therefore concluded that the environment degradation of waterways should rather be attributed to pollution from sources other than sewage pump station malfunctions," says Justus.


NO. 102/2007
17 APRIL 2007

TEL: 021 400-2201
FAX: 021 957-0023

TEL: 021 918-7366
CELL: 084 207 9472

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