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Progress at Potsdam WWTW following key interventions<p>​The Potsdam WWTW is showing a remarkable turnaround, performing increasingly within its licensing conditions since April 2020, and with final effluent samples showing E. coli readings well within regulatory targets over the last four months. </p><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure></span><p>This follows the completion of emergency repairs reported on during the Mayor’s previous inspection in March 2020, including: </p><ul><li> Refurbished belt presses, one of the critical first stages of effluent treatment</li><li> Drained and cleaned maturation ponds, which retain effluent and had previously been contaminated</li><li> The installation of an upgraded Ultra Violet (UV) system, which kills bacteria using UV light in the final stages of treatment<br>Ongoing maintenance has occurred alongside the overall R2,2 billion upgrade project, which will progressively add new technology and plant capacity between now and 2025. </li></ul><p>Monthly progress reports are being supplied to residents via the local subcouncils.<br>                        <br>‘The City’s interventions at Potsdam have made a big impact on improving effluent quality as per the update I received today. The results of the interventions are also visible at the plant. I’ve made it clear to officials that we need to be accountable for what is within our control. Our job is to make sure Potsdam functions, and broader upgrades to the plant, stormwater and sewer systems are prioritised. We will need strong social partnerships to deal with the major drivers of pollution in this catchment, including the abuse of the sewer system and ongoing land invasion attempts along the Diep River in the broader Dunoon area,’ said Mayor Dan Plato.</p><p>In the broader catchment, a weir has been repaired at Theo Marais Canal to specifically mitigate the extent of sewer spills reaching the Diep River System. Regular cleaning operations are taking place at the canal, which is also being excavated in 200 metre stretches to clear sediment build-up. </p><p>‘Sewerage pump stations in the Milnerton area are being refurbished and receiving top priority for upgrades. However, ongoing by-law contraventions in the area are a significant driver of pollution and remain a major concern for the City as we simply cannot police these 24/7 and need the community to do their part. Members of the public and businesses can help by complying with our by-laws and reporting abuse of the sewer system, which includes dumping inappropriate material into the system that leads to manmade blockages and overflows. Landlords need to ensure that backyard tenants have toilets connected to the sewage system, and apply for an extra wheelie bin if needed. This will go a long way towards helping us address those who are contributing to the problem,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg during the oversight visit.</p><p>Crisis of unlawful occupation and growing informality along Diep River</p><p>Various unlawful land occupations have occurred along the Diep River on both public and private land, particularly during the national lockdown where regulations have inhibited measures to fully protect property from illegal occupation. </p><p>We have particularly seen large-scale, organised unlawful occupations and so-called ‘shack farming’ syndicates come to the fore. The City continues to do everything in its power to prevent further illegal occupation of its land in the area.</p><p>Wednesday’s oversight visit included an update on efforts to mitigate the growth of over 600 recently erected structures on land owned by the Western Cape Government and various private landowners in the broader Dunoon area. The City urges all landowners to take appropriate steps to try and prevent the illegal occupation of their land, such as active monitoring, fencing and security measures. </p><p>The Diep River catchment is one of the largest in the City at over 1 500 km2 in size, half of which falls outside of the metro boundaries in the Swartland. The river and its tributaries are impacted by agricultural abstraction and runoff of fertilisers prior to entering the metro boundaries where unplanned urban development becomes a factor. </p><p>The City continues to engage with stakeholders, including industry, provincial and national governments to find ways to address these concerns holistically.</p><p>Unlawful occupation and contravention of by-laws: Anonymous tip-offs welcomed:</p><p>Residents can give anonymous tip offs if they are aware of illegal activity that is taking place; that has happened or is still to happen. Please call 112 from a cell phone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies.</p><p>Apply for an additional Wheelie Bin for Backyard tenants here:<br><a href=""></a><br></p>2020-11-05T22:00:00ZGP0|#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|#5636a898-19e7-4247-b3d6-3483fe3ea683;L0|#05636a898-19e7-4247-b3d6-3483fe3ea683|pollution control10

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