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Education on sewer blockages and illegal dumping on your doorstep<p>​</p><span><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc" style="text-align:left;"><ul><li><h4>Did you know?</h4></li><li>The City’s Water and Sanitation team clears and cleans over 300 sewer blockages and overflows a day in areas across Cape Town.</li><li>Approximately 75% of these cases city-wide are the result of the misuse of the sewer system where objects such as rags, feminine hygiene products, builders rubble, litter, fats and oils are dumped into manholes or enter via sinks or flushed down toilets. </li></ul></div></div>​​</span><span><p>​​​​​​Since January this year, the City has attended to about 303 sewer blockages in Kalkfontein and 593 in Wesbank, the majority of which were due to the disposal of foreign objects. </p><p>Over the past week or so, 18 community ambassadors have been visiting residents of Wesbank and Kalkfontein, while adhering to Covid-19 protocols, to raise awareness around the causes of sewer overflows and how the community needs to team up to prevent them.</p><p>Each member of the team is equipped with leaflets that illustrate how the sewer reticulation and stormwater systems work, and demonstrate the importance of using sewers only for human waste and toilet paper, and of preventing litter and dumping.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/blocked%20sewer1.jpg" alt="" style="width:864px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p>‘We want to thank the ward councillor and Subcouncil 21 for arranging the community ambassadors to be a part of this very important initiative.</p><p>‘These type of door-to-door activations were severely impacted by the limitations set by Covid-19 regulations so we are pleased to see them resuming again, as awareness and education is critical in preventing sewer overflows in hotspot areas. </p><p>‘The door-to-door education and awareness drive is one component of a broader, multi-faceted strategy to reduce pollution in Cape Town, and transform into a Water Sensitive City. Avoidable sewer blockages contribute significantly to the pollution of Cape Town’s rivers and coastlines and put the health of communities at risk. </p><p>‘Blockages and overflows are not only costly to clear and repair, but also pose serious risks to public and environmental health.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/blocked%20sewer2.jpg" alt="" style="width:876px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>​​​​​​</p><p><br>‘The City has spent approximately R270 million between 1 July 2020 and June 2021 on clearing sewer blockages, linked to vandalism and disregard for Council by-laws.</p><p>‘Furthermore, illegal dumping remains a chronic challenge across Cape Town, and while the City budgets more than R100 million annually in efforts to clear dumping from almost 3000 ‘hotspots’ annually, dumped waste tends to reappear almost immediately after cleaning. </p><p>‘The City will continue raising awareness in communities through this kind of door-to-door initiative and our Bin It. Don’t Block It education awareness drive. All involved must play their part by using sewers correctly and disposing of solid waste responsibly. We all have a role to play,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/blocked%20sewer3.jpg" alt="" style="width:874px;" /> </figure></span><p><strong>How to avoid sewer blockages:</strong></p><p>Generally, (avoidable) blockages remain the primary cause of sewer overflows.</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Common causes of blockages include rags, newspaper, feminine hygiene products, nappies, wet wipes, building materials/rubble and fats/oils poured or flushed down the sink and drain</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Residents are reminded they can help prevent such sewer blockages and overflows by disposing of unwanted materials using the appropriate solid waste collections services.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Only human waste, toilet paper and grey water should be disposed of via sinks and toilets in their homes and communities. It is illegal for residents to place any other materials into the system because it causes blockages that lead to overflows.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">If residents have any recyclables, electronics, garage waste and builder’s rubble that they need to dispose of, please make use of the City's drop-off facilities. Residents are also encouraged to make use of the recyclers map, which provides contact details of the closest private buyback centre or private recycling collectors who can collect recyclables for a small fee.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Applying for extra bins is an important step for preventing dumping and pollution in areas with significant numbers of backyard tenants especially. In most cases, landlords do not make provision for the excess waste their tenants will generate on the property. The additional bin will be charged at the standard tariff, to cover increased costs associated with servicing the property.  </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">More information is available here: <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/blocked-sewers" target="_blank">www.capetown.gov.za/blocked-sewers</a> and <a href="https://bit.ly/3uo2yLp" target="_blank">https://bit.ly/3uo2yLp</a> </div></li></ul><p><strong>Logging service requests:</strong></p><p>In many communities, overflows are not reported regularly, with many believing that overflowing sewers are due to neglect rather than blockages linked to the misuse of the sewer system. We ask residents to please keep reporting every time they see an overflow through the multiple reporting avenues that are available. Even if it has already been reported a few days ago, there is a good chance the City responded, and another blockage has occurred.</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Online <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests" target="_blank">www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests</a></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Email <a href="mailto:water@capetown.gov.za" target="_blank">water@capetown.gov.za</a></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">SMS 31373 (maximum 160 characters. Standard rates apply)</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Call 0860 103 089</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Nearest walk-in centre</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">City free call lines: <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Forms%2c%20notices%2c%20tariffs%20and%20lists/Free%20Call-lines%20list.pdf" target="_blank">https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Forms,%20notices,%20tariffs%20and%20lists/Free%20Call-lines%20list.pdf</a></div></li></ul><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><span>​​</span><span>​​</span>2021-09-15T22:00:00ZGP0|#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|#1ad028a4-74f0-4331-a6b2-ca80b22a66c0;L0|#01ad028a4-74f0-4331-a6b2-ca80b22a66c0|blocked sewer;GP0|#481461de-ccd2-4cc9-ad13-85b695810a1c;L0|#0481461de-ccd2-4cc9-ad13-85b695810a1c|information10

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