The City has called on residents of Hout Bay to cooperate with their officials who will be visiting properties in the area to address illegal stormwater-to-sewer connections.
The Water Pollution Control Inspectors began their enforcement drive in September and the operation is expected to continue into early next year.
In a statement, mayoral committee member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, said: “There are many of these cross-connections on private properties in the area, where water flows from residents’ roofs, gutters, and paved or hard yard surface areas into sewer drains. This causes sewers to flood when it rains, causing overflows further down the network.
These cross-connections are illegal in terms of the City’s Wastewater and Industrial Effluent Bylaw. Rainwater should always be directed down the gutters (stormwater pipes) into the stormwater system, from where it eventually gets discharged into rivers, vleis, canals, and the sea.”
Ms Limberg said if a cross-connection is found on one’s property, the owner will receive a notice stating that it should be corrected to be Bylaw-compliant within three months. No penalty will be applied initially.
A resident will then be expected to contract a qualified plumber, or a reliable builder or handyman to assist with rectifying the illegal connections or making a legal diversion that will ensure the properties’ stormwater connections are compliant.
A follow-up inspection will be conducted three months later, and if it is discovered that the issue has not been resolved, a charge based on square meter of surface area, which drains to the sewer, will be added to the owner’s account.
City inspectors are appointed law enforcement officers, and should be able to produce a peace officers card or a City identity tag when visiting the properties. Residents can also call 0860 103 089 to confirm the inspector’s identity.