River Pollution Concerns

There have been several major incidences of spillages of raw sewerage into the Vaal River, including a spillage which killed off barble, carp and yellowfish in the Suikerbos River. Residents in the area have reported unusually high levels of sludge in the Suikerbos River as well.

The source of this pollution is unknown. SAVE (Save the Vaal Environment) is appealing to residents and authorities in the Blesbok Spruit and Suikerbos River areas to provide any information regarding this spillage.  One of the residents in the area said that this was similar to pollution in December/Janauary 2008/9 which caused a serious fish kill in the Vaal River and led to Court Orders against the Emfuleni Council.

Recent spillages into the Rietspruit and Loch Vaal have resulted in excessively high levels of e-coli in the river according to the Rand Water website www.reservoir.co.za. E-coli counts at a sampling point in the Rietspruit were 15 531 on 2nd October, declining to 6 131 on 9th October.   E-coli counts more than 400 are indicators of a high risk of gastro-intestinal disorders.

SAVE (Save the Vaal Environment) is determined to stop pollution of the river. it appears that most of the sewerage pollution is emanating from informal settlements and new developments that are not connected to  the municipal works.  

We appeal to residents to keep a watchful eye on the river and report any spillages to Tom du Toit of SAVE – telephone: 082-419 6526