Sewage is being discharged into the lighthouse stormwater outlet on Fish Hoek beach after its station pump failed due to load shedding that took place on Sunday, February 9.

Residents are being asked to exercise caution as although the leak was contained on Monday, February 10, a strong South Easterly wind may have dispersed the harmful sewage resulting in longshore drift.

Water quality tests have not yet been completed to confirm whether the effects of the spill have been reversed.

The pump stations are fitted with mechanisms that are supposed to sound an alarm and send an SMS to management when faults occur, but this was not the case on Sunday as load shedding caused the server to remain offline.

The City is investigating whether this occurred due to cellphone towers not being given enough time to recharge between intervals. Usually, the failure rate per month is between 1.5% and six out of 402 pump stations. Recently, this has changed to 20 out of 402. 

With load shedding becoming more frequent, the pump stations are under massive strain. The City is doing what it can to minimise the failure but in reality, the problem is a lack of power.

Although all pump stations were fitted with generators in 2014 or 2015 at the height of power failures, the smaller pumps still overflow when the power goes out. The City says it may be impossible to prevent this from happening.

Residents are asked to please alert the City to sewer blockages/overflows via any one of the following channels: [email protected], SMS to 31373 (maximum 160 characters), Log a service request by phoning the call centre on the telephone number 0860 103 089.

Picture: Facebook

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.