Drain strain: Cape Town finds the smoking gun

One in seven property owners in Constantia have been caught illegally channelling rainwater or swimming pool water into stormwater drains.

The city council said it made door-to-door inspections at 1‚079 homes in the posh Cape Town suburb and found that 155 were breaking the rules.

The sewer inspection programme was a critical part of a strategy to prevent sewage overflows‚ especially in the rainy winter season‚ said mayoral committee member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg.

Inspectors pumped smoke into the stormwater system then looked for plumes of smoke emerging where illegal connections had been made‚ said Sonnenberg.

“Constantia is the most recent area to have been visited and the teams there identified a number of contraventions that put the sewer system and surrounding areas at risk‚” he said.

Sewer inspections had also been completed in Strand‚ Fish Hoek and Camps Bay‚ and the team was now moving to Pinelands.

“This work has been very beneficial in reducing the hydraulic load that stormwater ingress adds to the sewers‚ and in identifying defects which can then be referred to the local depots for action. Residents have so far been very cooperative in fixing the contraventions on their property‚ and for this we are very appreciative‚” said Sonnenberg.


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