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Investigation into allegations of industrial pollution

Willem Snyman

Investigation into allegations of industrial pollution in Hennops river

‘Yesterday I investigated allegations of industrial pollution in two areas but found mostly sewage. The fountain stream tributary in Hennopspark regularly turns white, it emerges from a stormwater pipe. I walked up this pipe up for about a kilometer, found a smaller pipe where the pollution comes out of and emerged above ground in the middle of the Hennops Park industrial area, to the shock of some bystanders! The clear fountain stream still comes from higher up in the pipe. After searching around it appears - according to Tshwane who are quite on the ball with the leaks - that it originates from a recurring sewerage blockage nearby. Next I walked down the lower part of the Rietspruit, which is still remarkably clear and idyllic, yet deteriorates rapidly when flowing past the Sunderland Ridge industrial area. There are two stormwater ditches from industry with continual pollution going into the stream, partly sewage and some chemicals judging from the smell of one and the red colour of the other.

Investigation into allegations of industrial pollution in Hennops river - rubble dumped next to river

Rubble dumping and levelling in areas has been pushed right up to the stream to form a high rubble bank with large scale industrial building happening on the one side. The Rietspruit joins the Hennops River at the Sunderland Wwtw which discharges effluent a little further down. Although much improved, it is still far from clear, being grey and quite foamy. An integrated plan with Effective Micro-organisms and regular dosing would be a low cost way of immediately improving the quality of the effluent. Increasing the efficiency of cleansing to break down persistent toxins and endocrine disruptors, with huge savings on electricity, operational, maintenance and chemical costs -  currently running at around 2 million rand a month. It can be used as a  monitored pilot project to demonstrate the effectiveness of this treatment method which can then be expanded to other Wwtws, saving millions and allowing original bio-diversity to return to our rivers.’

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