A  bright green substance was witnessed leaking into the Sea Point oceans on 12 July 2018. The liquid was confirmed as a toxic coolant by the City of Cape Town in their response to Oliveira’s inquiry on the substance and its origins.

The City of Cape Town sent a response indicating that the substance was a coolant that also appears as blue or pink in different forms, “We have identified the green liquid as a coolant used for commercial building cooling systems”.

Coolants have a negative effect of marine life when leaked into the ocean as the process of degradation involves a large amount of oxygen which is drawn from the ocean limiting the oxygen levels for the aquatic life.

The ingredients in coolants pose a threat as it contains rust inhibitors, lead and benzene from car engines which do not break down.

The City of Cape Town is investigating into the matter as it approaches all registered companies that deal with coolants, “We have identified most of the main manufacturers of this substance, as well as the companies that service commercial building cooling systems in the Cape Town area.”

Companies who manage coolant systems are held liable to ethically dispose of the toxic waste and will be contacted regarding their responsibilities and the legal consequences. “These companies are responsible for correctly disposing of excess or used coolant when servicing cooling systems.”

It is illegal to discharge the substance into the City’s storm water system. The City of Cape Town is planning on informing residents and businesses in SeaPoint and surrounding areas on the challenges being faced with dumping pollutants into storm water systems, the legality of this is in line with where they can dispose of various wastes in an ethical manner.

The City has urged members of the public to contact the authorities should they witness any illegal discharge of substances into the storm water system.

July is plastic free month in an effort to alleviate the current high levels of pollution and waste in our oceans – in order to combat this, residents are urged to do their part.

Picture: Facebook/Dion Oliveira

 

 

 

 

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.