Cape Town makes strides to replace 26,000m of sewer lines

Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Authority is making progress towards its target of replacing 26,000 meters of sewer line by the end of June 2022, and has budgeted £85.5 million rand for the sewer line replacement program for the financial year 2021/2022. year.

The Sewer Line Replacement Program invests in the city’s infrastructure to help provide healthy environments for residents as well as accommodate urban growth, and is a segment of the “plan Sewer Manager’ of the city, along with other priority programs including maintenance and repair of pump stations, pump replacement program and investigations of illegal connections.

Over the past 10 years, the city has invested over R1 billion in the sewer line replacement programme, replacing 235,689 meters of sewer across the city. At the end of February 2022, more than 14,100 meters of sewer pipes have already been replaced for this exercise.

Sewer lines have already been replaced at Goodwood, Glencairn, Muizenberg, Kraaifontein and Philippi. Works are currently underway or planned at Kalkfontein, Wallacedene, Kraaifontein, Gugulethu, Joe Slovo, Khayelitsha Site C, Delft, Milnerton, Cape Flats, Atlantis, Makhaza, Bellville and Kuyasa.

“Cape Town has over 9 million meters of sewer lines serving properties across the city. This is roughly the distance from Cape Town to France by plane. As a growing city, it is important for our water and sanitation department to proactively maintain, rehabilitate, replace and expand sewer lines to help provide environments healthy to our residents and help prevent sewer blockages and overflows,” said Councilor Zahid Badroodien, a member of the mayor’s committee. for water and sanitation.

The City takes various factors into account when identifying and prioritizing the pipes to be replaced. These factors include completion of a comprehensive condition assessment, sewer master plan, which identifies possible capacity upgrades, publicly reported/recorded structural failures and depots, and mapping of geographic information systems (GIS). The GIS is a database that captures information about existing City services and includes pipe sizes, locations, manholes and house connections.

Badroodien estimates that about 75% of overflows would not occur if residents used the sewers properly. Here’s how you can help prevent sewer blockages:

  • Only dispose of toilet paper and human waste;
  • Refrain from pouring fats and oils down sinks;
  • Dispose of other unwanted objects such as trash, materials or rubble in the open sewers.

“The City is running a campaign called Bin it, Don’t block it to raise awareness on how to prevent sewer overflows, and we are calling on communities to educate themselves and their peers. Ultimately, it is the residents who pay for the unclogging of the sewers, and this money could be used for other purposes in the community,” adds Badroodien.

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