The Department of Water and Sanitation and the City of Tshwane have decided to take immediate steps to address the recurring problem of sewage spillage at Rooiwal Waste Water Treatment Works in Pretoria.
The Enforcement Unit in the Department yesterday met with senior management of Tshwane Metro Council to discuss the matter. This follows complaints by members of the public about the foul smell that came from the plant and through routine investigation by the Enforcement Unit. Subsequently, the Enforcement Unit issued a directive (notice) in terms of Section 19 of the National Water Act of 1998 for the council to address the problem urgently.
On 19 January 2011 the department issued the Waste Water Treatment Works with a notice to issue a directive in terms of the National Water Act. It related to the recurring overflowing of sludge from the sludge lagoons (maturation ponds) into the Apies River as observed during a site inspection carried out on 09 December 2011.
The DWS Enforcement Unit then met with Tshwane officials in terms of the Inter-governmental Relations Framework Act to discuss the matter further. At the meeting two parties identified the overloaded plant and the presence of sludge as the main problems. A tender was later issued by Tshwane for a professional company to refurbish the facility but that tender was cancelled due to ‘fronting’ by the successful company. A second tender was then issued in 2014 and that was also cancelled when time lapsed.
There was subsequent agreement that council officials will go on-site on the 23 July 2015 to assess the situation and check what is now needed. The City of Tshwane will send an action plan to DWS within 7 days of the inspection.
The Deputy City Manager also mentioned that he will assist with the procurement. It was agreed that these meetings will be held on a monthly basis where council will have their internal meetings bi-weekly. These meetings will be held until the operation at the WWTW runs at 100% capacity.