Public Works denies polluting Harties Dam

The National Department of Public Works (NDPW) says it has noted with concern media reports regarding the pollution of Jukskei River, which in turn has resulted in the contamination of Hartbeespoort Dam.

A news report has claimed that the Harties Dam would reach high levels of pollution in a few years’ time if nothing is done urgently to mitigate this. This comes after the dam once again experienced a sewage spill, which originated from the Northern Works Waste Water Treatment Plant, situated near the Fourways/Diepsloot area in the north of Johannesburg.

As the NDPW, we are especially concerned as the property in question is under the custodianship of the department, said the department in a statement.

According to the news report, the plant released millions of litres of untreated sewage into Jukskei River, which connects to Crocodile River, and then flows into Hartbeespoort Dam. The report stated that on top of the spillages from the Northern Works Waste Water Treatment Plant, more pollution coming from pump stations, manholes and sewerage plants made its way into the river.

The department on Tuesday said Johannesburg Water, an entity of the City of Johannesburg, has a municipal out-fall sewer line that crosses Leeuwkop Prison premises, running parallel to Jukskei River.

It is our understanding that one of the out-fall sewer lines has been decommissioned to resolve blockages in the line. This has resulted in spillages into the Jukskei River.

Two out-fall sewer lines from Bruma and Midrand areas adjoin in a sewer line passing through Leeuwkop Prison on its way to the Northern Works Wastewater Treatment Plant, the department said.

It said departmental technical experts have been on site and have made a number of recommendations to resolve the matter together with Johannesburg Water.

The department has received a notice from the Department of Water and Sanitation to also address the matter of the plant in the piggery, which was designed to convert piggery sewage sludge for agricultural purposes on the prison premises.

This matter will be resolved within seven days. This plant is not contributing to the situation highlighted above, other than its design to channel effluent into the municipal sewer referred to above.

The department has written to Johannesburg Water and the City of Johannesburg to treat the matter with the urgency it deserves, said the department.

Source: South African Government News Agency