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City making every effort to address sewer overflows in Rylands and Gatesville areas<p>The work required is complex and carries risk, both to the lives of maintenance staff, and environmental impact.</p><p>In order to effect the repairs, staff need to work inside the underground chamber, and it is important that no wastewater is flowing through the pipes and that staff are not exposed to toxic gases or Covid-19 infection. To prevent risk of drowning, it is necessary that two pump stations be shut down and wastewater diverted during the repairs. Environmental impact is a serious concern, as wastewater needs to be diverted somewhere, and diversion into the nearby Vygieskraal River would cause pollution. Environmental guidance and authorisation is required before work can commence. </p><p>There are further challenges associated with the valve replacement, as the existing valve model that was vandalised has been phased out and is no longer manufactured. The City is engaging with the valve supplier and seeking urgent solutions to this. </p><p>A detailed scope of work is being drafted. An inspection of the entire pipeline, from the mixing chamber at the intersection of Klipfontein Road all the way into Hanover Park, was conducted yesterday and confirmed that there are no blockages, and repair work can commence as soon as the factors above are in place.</p><p>Residents of affected areas including Gatesville and Rylands are advised that every effort is being made to resolve the issue as soon as possible.</p><p>The spills are a result of vandalised valves at the Athlone Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW). City teams repaired the valves on Friday 18 June, but it is suspected that the valves are still not isolating sufficiently to prevent flows from Raapenberg pump station from entering into the Cape Flats system, resulting in surcharges. <br> <br>As communicated in a recent media release (<a href="https://bit.ly/3rHgMGy">https://bit.ly/3rHgMGy</a>) vandalism to valves at the Athlone WWTW is behind the sewer overflows currently occurring in Hazel Road and Ashraf Avenue, Gatesville.</p><p>Currently the Cape Flats 2 sewer main is out of service for planned maintenance. The damage from attempted theft caused a problem with closing the valve which stops sewage from flowing into this system. Furthermore, the thieves caused the valve which control flow into the treatment works to become stuck in the closed position. <br> <br>The City has planned the sewer network in the area to have plenty of spare capacity, but with one main sewer already out of commission, this was not sufficient to contain overflows when valves were damaged.   <br> <br>Teams managed to restore valves to working order on Friday, however the period of downtime for the valves caused foreign objects to build up in the surrounding pipes, creating stubborn blockages which staff are still working to clear.<br> <br>City teams are vacuuming sewage from the mixing chamber in Hazel Road and the overflowing manholes downstream to try and minimise the overflows. <br> <br>In the interim, the public is advised to please avoid contact with the overflowing sewage as far as possible due to avoid health risks. <br> <br>‘Fixing these problems is complex, dangerous, and carries significant risk to both human and environmental health, should something wrong. Carrying out the repairs is far from straightforward, but residents are assured that every effort is being made to implement the measures necessary for a successful operation. Developments will be communicated in due course.</p><p>‘We call on anyone with information on who could be behind the acts of vandalism to report it to the SAPS. The City sincerely regrets inconvenience and discomfort felt by residents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg. <br> </p>2021-07-29T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#243c2bb7-3ba2-4e91-87e4-65166571c0b8;L0|#0243c2bb7-3ba2-4e91-87e4-65166571c0b8|sewage;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#93644f5a-f104-4097-9e21-b25091265219;L0|#093644f5a-f104-4097-9e21-b25091265219|Gatesville;GP0|#0c4188de-8fd0-4c65-ad50-f8de6fb0dd9c;L0|#00c4188de-8fd0-4c65-ad50-f8de6fb0dd9c|repairs and maintenance10

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