Residents of Hammanskraal and surrounding areas can breathe a sigh of relief as the City of Tshwane is about to dredge the Rooiwal Waste Water Treatment Plant, which has been the alleged cause of pollution and contaminated drinking water in the area.
Tshwane MMC for utility services Darryl Moss announced the tender for dredging the plant had closed and was in the process of adjudication.
The plant had been the alleged cause of pollution in the Apies River with sludge, faeces and other objects flowing into the river since most of the works were at a standstill, with at least R60 billion required to address all the issues.
Moss said the contract was anticipated to be awarded next month and work to remove the sludge build-up will begin in August.
The tender for the electro-mechanical upgrade of the plant would significantly reduce the possibility of sludge overflow.
“[This will] get rid of years of sludge in channels and ponds at the works. The tender for phase one focuses on increasing the sludge handling capacity as well as specific process improvements to better the quality of the effluent,” Moss said.
The poor conditions of the Rooiwal plant have resulted in a blame game between the DA and the ANC in Tshwane.
In May, the City conducted tests for listeria strains on water discharged from the treatment plant into the Apies River, following concerns by farmers in the area.
In June, the City’s scientific services tested Hammanskraal water for cholera following a scare when operations at the plant came to a standstill due to cable theft.
No traces were found. “The plant has, over the years, become in desperate need of upgrades and extensions to existing infrastructure following recurring incidents of sewage spillage that continues to pollute farmlands as well as the Apies River, placing the community at risk,” Moss said.
“Historically, the plant was beset by sewage spillage owing to cable theft, lack of preventative maintenance and frequent electrical failure on equipment due to old infrastructure.”