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Vaal Dam sewage disposal pending approval from Dept. of Water and Sanitation

3 June 2015 8:02 AM

A sanitation project in the Free State that could see waste dumped into the Vaal Dam has been underway without official approval.

A pipeline project by the Metsimaholo Local Municipality in the Free State could see the Vaal Dam receiving flows of sewage from the neighbouring town of Refenkgotso.

The municipality is reportedly building the pipeline in an effort to relieve pressure on the town’s overflowing sewerage plant, but the project had allegedly been underway without authorisation from the Department of Water and Sanitation.

The plans have sparked condemnation from the community and a petition is doing rounds to stop the completion of the project.

Calls to kill the project

Bertram, who is leading a petition against the project, told 702’s John Robbie that the sewerage system stands to affect a large part of region’s water supply.

The Vaal Dam is a vital life system for this country. It supplies water to roughly 12 million people, which is approximately 20% of our country’s population. They put a 15 kilometer pipeline which goes directly into the dam and crosses through the village and the pipeline has no filtration system yet.

Caller, Bertram

Bertram is mobilising for people to sign a Green Peace petition related to the matter and join the Facebook page to support.

Vaal Dam. Picture: EWN.

Project has not been authorised by Department of Water and Sanitation

According to the spokesperson for Department of Water and Sanitation, Sputnik Ratau, they have been aware of the project since March and have taken measures to stop the construction plans.

The construction was going to take the pipeline through a wetland and ultimately discharge the effluent into the Vaal. Because the activity in the wetland was not authorised, we deemed the intention incorrect and stopped it.

Sputnik Ratau

Ratau advises that if the project received the necessary approval, it would not pump raw waste. Instead the sewage would be treated.

He says that the municipality has failed to apply for permission to construct the pipeline or for it to pass through the wetlands or town.

We have not received a water use application to address the activity, therefore it is authorised.

Sputnik Ratau

He says the construction site is being monitored and inspected at this stage.

Listen to the full conversation on The John Robbie Show:

3 June 2015 8:02 AM