Knysna has an ongoing problem with it’s sewerage plant, what is more kindly referred to as a Waster Water Treatment Plant. Compounding the problem is pollution traveling from mostly poor communities via river into its most prized environmental resource, the Knysna Estuary.
The town has become reliant on tidal flow to wash effluence away. Considering the hills surrounding the estuary, it could be said that Knysna Central is the toilet bowl of the Garden Route. When it’s flushed, it’s contents are eventually going to land up in the sea. The problem is that waterways are not sealed pipes so skid-marks have to appear in places along the way.
Considering the smell at the Salt River’s mouth, i wonder if fecal matter is embedding in the sand. I approached SANParks about water quality tests but they don’t seem concerned which makes me more concerned.
The bigger problem is that the Western Cape Government isn’t treating the disposal of sewerage seriously enough. Disadvantaged people definitely need housing but somehow the logic of prioritising a foundation of reliable infrastructure has escaped them. This, of course, also applies to the current water crisis. It may just be that houses buy short term, political votes better than the environment does.
Hout Bay and Camp’s Bay are the jewels of Cape Town’s coastline yet are also suffering like Knysna. Green Point is worse.
The Camps Bay & Clifton Ratepayers’ Association (CBCRA) decided to be proactive, producing a video (above) with the assistance of Cape Town filmmaker, Mark Jackson.
Note that the common enterococci standard is 100/100ml, not 50 as stated in the video. That doesn’t affect the scary test results in the film. Enterococci is a highly antibiotic resistant bacteria that has replaced the previous use of fecal matter as a standard when testing the quality of saltwater. Similarly, it replaced E. coli as a measure for freshwater.
Government funding is sorely needed. Lots of it. In Knysna’s case, that’s R100-million.
In addition to money, alternative technologies require consideration. Although the Omniprocessor is more appropriate for small places, it’s nevertheless a good example of disposability and productivity – it turns human waste into water and electricity.