City responds to sewage questions

By Staff Writer
Earlier this week the issue of the City of Cape Town’s effluent being pumped into the ocean was brought to the public’s attention. However, the City maintains that this is the most efficient way to get rid of waste.
“This method requires less land and has less impact on surrounding communities, and has little to no impact on coastal recreational areas. This system operates by rapidly diluting the preliminarily effluent to at least a 100:1 at the immediate exit point of the outfall. This corresponds to a 99% reduction in contaminant concentrations in the receiving water, which is far beyond the capabilities of even advanced conventional treatment processes,” said Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services.
“Furthermore, in the case of a long marine outfall, bacteria are controlled by locating the outfall so that transport of wastewater to beaches or other water contact areas is virtually eliminated. The outfall is designed so that, in the unlikely event that transport to beaches does occur, the combination of initial dilution, oceanic diffusion, and bacterial mortality reduces the bacteria to very low (safe) levels,” said Sonnenberg.
With regards to whether or not this is a sustainable method of disposal, Sonnenberg noted that the City of Cape Town defers to the Department of Environmental Affairs for guidance. “The current position is that it is an economically viable and environmentally safe alternative to secondary treatment.”
According to Sonnenberg, there is no need to look for an alternative method of sewage disposal at present, “as this method has negligible impact on the environment,” said Sonnenberg.
“Coastlines are regularly monitored to ensure that E.coli from the outfall is not reaching the beach, as such there is very little [health] risk associated with this activity,” added Sonnenberg.
If the public wishes to submit comment, they can email Kevin Samson, manager of Waste Water Treatment at

Recent Articles

Featured When to trade in your old car for a new one

You may have noticed that your car isn’t running as smoothly as it used to. This is particularly concerning if you’re hoping to sell it at a reasonable price, and buy yourself a modern alternative.

3 facts to consider when cancelling your contract

If you’ve ever had a relationship end in a bit of a mess, you’ll know that some people are more difficult to break up with than others. The pain, the push back, the back and forth – it can be a difficult process.

How long does debt reflect on your credit score?

If you’ve ever had debt that you didn’t manage well, you may have wondered how long the debt would remain, or be retained, on your credit score. This is known as a “retention period” and it is governed by the law.


Full Body Massage at Dembalicious Spa

Price: R99
When: Mondays to Sundays
Where: Johannesburg

Two-Course Asian Dining for Two

Price: R269
When: Mondays to Sundays
Where: Cape Town

One-Hour Yacht Cruise with Waterfront Charters

Price: R99
When: Mondays to Sundays
Where: Cape Town

Latest Guide

Guide to debt rehabilitation solutions