There may finally be a solution to rid the dams at Estcourt Golf Club from the sewage that has spilled into it.
For more than three months, members at the club have had to battle the stomach-churning stink from effluent that has been pouring into the dams around the course.
Club President George van Niekerk told the Estcourt News that he suspected that a sewage blockage from neighbouring Roland Hellet Road was probably the cause for the sewage flowing into the club’s premises.
A thick layer of green sludge covers the dams at the club, making it a hazard for the bird and wildlife as well as members.
READ THE STORY HERE: Sewer sludge takes over Estcourt golf course
Mr van Niekerk previously reported to the Estcourt News that numerous calls to both Uthukela District and Inkosi Langalibalele Local municipalities had failed to produce satisfactory results.
Weeks after the article appeared in the Estcourt News, Uthukela District Municipality sent out a team on July 17 from the Water and Technical Services Department, comprising of Glen Singh, Sipho Ndlovu and Rajesh Ramlal to investigate the cause of the concerns.
The meeting was not pre-scheduled and did not include any committee members from the club, but the trio did invite a staff member from the club’s restaurant. The district municipality’s Communications Manager Jabulani Mkhonza provided feedback after the team completed the inspection.
“The team from Uthukela went out to investigate the system leading to the golf club to establish any evidence of raw sewerage that is flowing into the ponds at the club. An extensive inspection from Garden Estate spruit, Inkomfe Project and down to the bridge, revealed no trace or evidence of any raw sewer,” explained Mr Mkhonza.
He added that after this discovery, a suggestion was made to shock the dams at the club with chlorine as a means of clearing out the green sludge that has formed a layer over the water.
“However, it must be noted that this can have a detrimental effect on the ecosystem,” Mr Mkhonza warned.
Responding to these remarks, Estcourt Golf Club President Mr van Niekerk expressed disappointment that club members were not informed of the investigation. He pointed out that even though the district municipality’s team did not find evidence of sewage flowing into the club; it was interesting to note that since their inspection, effluent was running through the sewage system and not into the dams.
This, he said, has happened after three years. Mr van Niekerk was opposed to the idea of cleaning out the dams using chlorine, expressing that a more environmentally-friendly alternative should be sought.
“This is a totally wrong idea as it would kill all of the birds, fish, frogs … any other wildlife,” he stated.
After a phone call to Glen Singh, Mr van Niekerk said that an agreement had been made to seek other methods of ridding the dam of the sewage.
The first option is a specialist method that would require adding solvents to the water, which does not affect the animals and birds and thereafter skim the surface of the water. The effluent rises to the top and could be removed from the dam. The second more cost-effective method would be to flush the dams with fresh water.
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“This would require a number of hose pipes connected to a fire hydrant where water is poured into the dam, the level rises and flows into the next dam. With this method the effluent can be flushed out of each dam in sequence,” he explained.
Mr van Niekerk has been tasked with compiling a proposal with the costs and to submit it to Uthukela District Municipality for consideration.