The eThekwini Municipality is planning maintenance of the Umhlatuzana Sewage Pump Station and every effort is being made to minimize the impact on the Umhlathuzana River.

The City explained to members of the media some of the key aspects of the Umhlathuzana waste water treatment plant’s planned maintenance during a media tour yesterday, 10/12/2013.

The maintenance is planned for a 3 hour period between 01h00 – 04h00 on a Saturday or Sunday over the selected weekend when flows are at their trended minimum. 

Most of the industrial effluent component will be diverted to the Umbilo Wastewater Works for the duration of the exercise. In addition a small portion of the remaining effluent will be routed to the Southern Sewage Treatment works. These actions combined with undertaking the exercise at night will reduce flows by 25%.

EThekwini Water and Sanitation Senior Professional Engineer Andrew Peinke said despite the mitigation measures that will be put in place, the actual amount of sewerage that will flow into the river is estimated to be between 1200 and 1520 cubic metres. 

“In lay man’s terms this is less than half the size of an Olympic swimming pool volume, not forgetting that this is a worst case scenario,” he said.

Peinke explained that all sewage pump stations are on a quarterly servicing schedule. “Every fourth quarter, the sewage pump stations are subject to an annual service that is more stringent than the typical quarterly service,” he said.

Christopher Fennemore, Manager for Pollution and Environment at the eThekwini Municipality’s Water and Sanitation Unit, said the unavoidable repairs to the inlet pump were to ensure that no sewage spilled into the river in future.