Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Information and Discussions on Water Management in Kruger
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Richprins
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Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Post by Richprins » Wed May 23, 2012 3:28 pm

Richprins wrote:There was a thread about sewerage spilling into the river from Hazyview somewhere...anyway, herewith the latest from the Lowvelder:

SABIE - With a municipality unwilling or unable to sufficiently address the problems of the community it serves, this picturesque town is slowly turning into a cesspit. Noxious sewage spills plague the town, as they have done for years. Despite the severe health and environmental risks posed by open sewage, residents say most of the hazards have gone ignored and unattended by Thaba Chweu Municipality for well over a year.
Vice-chairman of the Greater Sabie Residents and Ratepayers Association,
Mr Martin van Douwe, said the issue has been around as long as he could remember. "We have been struggling with inadequate facilities and constant spills for years. What has changed lately is the total lack of concern or remedial action by our municipal officials. These days phone calls remain unanswered and sending emails is futile,"
he said. On August 3 J&J Accommodation Guest House at Harmony Hill reported a sewage spill on its premises. But this was not the first time the guest house had had sewage problems. Caretaker Queenie Brown says they have been suffering ongoing issues for most of the year. According to Van Douwe, whose property borders on that of the guest house, the municipality eventually came out on
August 22 and dug up the pipe, breaking it in the process. This hole then filled up with sewage, creating a severe stench and health hazard. The pipe was eventually repaired a month later on October 21, but the hole was not filled and remains so today. "Numerous phone calls, SMSes and emails have produced no response," he said.
The Living Waters Church in Mount Anderson recently had to source their own equipment to deal with a blockage in the sewerage line through the bottom of the churchyard after the municipality failed to resolve the problem. Pastor Phil Robson said they asked on a number of occasions for the municipality to repair it. "They came a few times with rods and fiddled around but eventually told us they didn’t have the equipment to fix it. I had to bring in a TLB so that we could do it ourselves and we eventually found a manhole that had been buried which they couldn’t find. Having found the manhole we were eventually able to clear the blockage."

There is also a massive sewage overflow on the golf course at Sabie Country Club which has gone unattended for over a year. "We stopped calling the municipality about three months ago because we just didn’t get any kind of response from them. We don’t go near the overflowing manhole, as it poses such a serious health and safety risk. It’s completely unacceptable that the municipality simply ignores the problem. I’m convinced they just don’t care," said manager Dick Claunch.

There are also huge problems in and around Ninth Avenue in town. Mr Worner Staples says they have been ongoing for the last 15 years. "Whenever it rains, hard sewage overflow runs into my yard and pushes up into my outside bath and toilet and even flows in through my back door. It then lies in the yard for three or four days and my two young children get sick," Staples said. So far this year it has happened three times. Two months ago his four-year-old dramatically lost almost 10 kg. "Every time it happens, the municipality clears the blockage with bamboo, but leaves the raw sewage in my yard.

I have brought the situation to the attention of everyone in the municipality in both Sabie and Lydenburg, without any results. I have driven places in and around Sabie where there is so much sewage that you cannot get out of your car. In many places it’s turned into an environmental catastrophe," he said.At the time of going to print Lowvelder was unable to get a comment from Thaba Chweu Municipality about the sewage crisis the town of Sabie was facing.
Last edited by Richprins on Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pollution of the Sabie River - Tue Dec 06, 2011

Post by Lisbeth » Wed May 23, 2012 3:29 pm

iNdlovu wrote:Oh boy... the sad part is that this type of thing is becoming normal. I have a suggestion, no make it the option of two suggestions. People living in towns in SA pay rates and taxes in whatever form for basic services including refuse removal, sewerage 'systems', reasonable road repair etc. If these basic services are not being supplied it can only be because of lack of funding, which means that the rates and taxes we pay are being stolen, mismanaged, dissapearing through corruption or whatever. The bottom line is that the municipality is not living up to their side of the deal. They are just too happy when citizens get so frustrated that they end up paying for outside companies to fix the problem , because it means they have more money to steal.
Here are the two options
1) Pay your rates & taxes and if you end up paying for outside services to fix something which is the municipalities concern, invoice and sue them to pay. When the court finds them guilty they have to pay.
2) Withhold your rates and taxes on the grounds that by paying them you are aiding and abetting a criminal act (theft) which is illegal. By supporting criminals you are deemed as guilty as they are.
We have to stop being Mr Nice Guy, we're only making the problem worse :evil: :evil: :evil:
Richprins wrote:Witholding Rate Payments is quite legal, and has been done in numerous municipalities countrywide. It is a schlep, though, and depends on the energy of the local ratepayers association. :wink:
iNdlovu wrote:\O That's the problem RP. Everyone is happy to complain and shed many tears, but when the time comes to do something they tend to sit on their hands. We've seen it so often on the other forum :twisted:
Geza wrote:Symptomatic of the ruling party who is failing dismally in every aspect.

These problems are widespread. It is a daily occurrence in Egoli. Part of my daily ritual in cycling to work is avoiding areas where I know there are massive sewerage leaks into the streets and subsequently, the storm water drains which ultimately finds it way into our fresh water supply.

How long before we have a massive outbreak of cholera or some other serious water borne disease? How many will die as a result of poor (nay shocking) service delivery and system maintenance.

The roads are all potholed and it is glaringly obvious that the situation will continue to deteriorate with no end in sight to the pathetic attempts to keep this country and infrastructure in tact. (now where is that seriously "peed off" smiley??)

I have often advocated witholding rates and even suggested witholding income tax until something get's done. How would we mobilise something like this? Create a trust account into which the moneys will be paid and hand it over only when something satisfactory is done. I daresay that we will all be arrested summarily and muzzled so that our issues are stifled and the objectives remain unfulfilled.
Richprins wrote:Your local ratepayers' association should have such an account, and they then use the money for maintenance. As I said before, entirely legal not only in SA. There is a fancy legal name for it..... :roll:
Amoli wrote:Carte Blanch covered some of the stories of some Ratepayers Associations that took this step.
Not sure what the outcome is/was after a lengthy period.

This is a very dedicated task, without salary, and requires a whole community to stand together and work together.

Don't think a city set-up would be able to pull this off (until we are forced to).

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Re: Pollution of the Sabie River - Tue Dec 06, 2011

Post by Lisbeth » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:39 am

Does the polution of the Sabie River go on?

Have any steps been taken to improve the situation?
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Re: Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Post by Richprins » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:04 pm

Raw sewage is still flowing into the Sabie and Crocodile rivers regularly, be it Sabie town, Hazyview...the latest is a blocked sewage main that has been dysfunctional in White River for a year now! O/

Of more concern is this:


http://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&rct=j& ... 6721,d.d2k


North Sand River
Typical impacts on water quality from rural and informal settlements relate to poorly managed or absent sanitation systems, littering and solid wastes being washed into the rivers and streams. Elevated nutrients and bacteriological 
Small scale agriculture which takes place may result in an increase of pesticides and nutrients from fertilisers in the rivers.
Water is impacted by both waste water treatment plant discharges and diffuse pollution from rural and informal settlements due to poorly managed or absence of sanitation systems.


The Kaap River
has a potential impact on the lower Crocodile River due to agricultural runoff (increases in pesticides, trace elements and nutrients).
Mining activities have a high impact on water quality in this river during low flows (increases in sulphate, electrical conductivity, iron, zinc, arsenic and cyanide, and a decrease in pH)

Nelspruit to the confluence with the Kaap River
is associated with domestic runoff, littering and an increase in nutrients. Industrial effluents from Nelspruit cause an increase in manganese concentrations, while major
sewage treatment works at the towns of Nelspruit, Matsulu and Nkayamazane are sources of high nutrient loads in the river.

Montrose to Nelspruit,
Afforestation in the catchment of the Nels River causes an increase in manganese background values, an increase in sediment loads and a decrease in pH values during logging operations.
Agricultural runoff here is related to increases in electrical conductivity, trace elements and nutrients.
Diffuse source releases from Papas Quarry at the confluence with the Gladdespruit , is a source of increased manganese concentrations in the Crocodile River.


Elands River
Upper Elands River have generally good quality water all year round. However, trout farming and sewage treatment plants has been identified as a source of eutrophication.
Ferro-chrome smelter at Machadodorp
Downstream in the Elands River, high electrical conductivity concentrations occur due to the presence of Sappi at the confluence with the Ngodwana River



There have been cyanide poisoning scares in the Kaap river, from mining accidents, over the last few years. It is a tributary of the Crocodile.

A scare was narrowly averted again last week, thanks to prompt action from locals, with only a few hundred fish dying.

The point is, while Kruger is blowing up dams and waterholes and donating school equipment and buildings and what not, they should throw some money at these problems? More sensible regarding conservation?
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Re: Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Post by Flutterby » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:46 am

Since when has common sense had anything to do with it? O/ O/

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Re: Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Post by Richprins » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:07 pm

WHITE RIVER - Mere metres from a classroom filled with one-year-olds, and divided from the colourful and safe surrounding of the White River Pre-Primary School, two rivers of raw human waste have been flowing for years.

This sewage spill has, according to school principal Ms Riëtte Kruger, been reported to Mbombela on several occasions over the past couple of years. The school has also complained about this situation to the local health inspector.

To date, council's technical services had on a few occasions attempted to unblock the pipeline. This approach, however, has failed as a permanent solution. An abandoned rod can still be seen sticking out from the oozing mess.

"It usually deteriorates within two to four weeks to the same situation," confirmed Kruger.
"We can't open the windows of the classrooms, even when it is hot, because of the stench," said an exasperated teacher.

http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/co ... h-the-town



The report confirms the organisations suspicions that river water used for irrigation purposes does not in all instances meet the standards set by the World Health Organisation for food safety. Bacterial and viral pollution derived from untreated sewerage, in particular, poses a health risk for consumers of vegetables and deciduous fruit irrigated with polluted water


http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/co ... od-quality
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Re: Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Post by Flutterby » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:07 am

0*\ 0*\

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Re: Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Post by Richprins » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:43 pm

Progressive decline noted in park’s rivers



5 September 2014 15:43



It is no secret that one of the major gateways for pollution to enter the Kruger National Park (KNP), is via its rivers. The park is traversed from west to east by six major rivers, of which only the Sabie still flows permanently.

Upstream of the park, these waterways are shared by industries that are significant economic drivers of the country, like mines, power generation, agriculture and urban development, each leaving their mark on the quality of water as it flows towards Kruger and onwards through Mozambique.

A recent report on the state of the park’s rivers has indicated a progressive decline in water quantity, quality and associated plant and animal life. The Olifants and Crocodile rivers have shown the greatest deterioration, but there is also concern for the worsening water quality of the Luvuvhu and Letaba rivers. While the Sabie-Sand River ecosystem is in a good condition, the Sabie is experiencing increased incidence of the reserve not being met.

The reserve is the amount of water that the river needs to survive in order to continue being of benefit to people, and is a legal right captured in the National Water Act of 1998. Robin Petersen, the park’s freshwater ecologist, says management cannot do much to change the water quality, as they inherit issues that take place upstream.

Yet, SANParks might be getting more legal clout when resource quality objectives (RQOs) are promulgated for the Lowveld region by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) within the next two years.
RQOs are the condition of a freshwater resource’s water quality, flow, habitats and biota necessary in order to ensure that it is protected for the benefit of all.

It calls for a balance between the needs to protect and sustain a water resource, and the need to develop and use it. According to Petersen, if for example, water quality of a river in the park does not meet the RQO, SANParks can advise the DWS to take offenders to task.
He adds that the park plays an important watchdog role. “SANParks is very committed and involved with various stakeholder groups and governmental structures outside the park where monitoring data is presented in an attempt to influence decisions made upstream from the park.”

Petersen says positive outcomes attributed to SANParks relationship building with these groups through the DWS and catchment management agencies have resulted in improvements in ecological reserve delivery in recent years.



http://lowvelder.co.za/220900/progressi ... -rivers-2/
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Re: Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Post by Richprins » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:24 pm

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Re: Pollution of Kruger's Rivers

Post by Lisbeth » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:38 pm

Has the situation from two years back been resolved?
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