Summer is just a few months away, and with it comes summer storms.
Unfortunately, storms have brought with them many sewage overflows in many parts of the metro.
Have you ever wondered why there is sewage overflowing each time after heavy rains?
You might be the cause.
The bulk infrastructure is designed in such a way that wastewater and stormwater are channelled through two different systems.
The wastewater system has a limited capacity and is not designed to dispose of stormwater (ie rainwater) from your property.
Therefore, residents are urged to check where water from their gutters goes, because they could be contributing to the overflowing sewer.
The metro’s inspectors have discovered during routine inspections of residential properties that many people have channelled pipes or gutters to discharge rainwater into a wastewater drain.
This is a general occurrence in households with paving, no natural ground to absorb rainwater or designed slopes to channel the water to flow downstream outside their properties into stormwater drain kerb inlets.
Waste drainage gullies are purely designed to discharge grey water from the shower, basins and toilet, and not the high volume of rainwater that overwhelms the waste water system and inevitably results in a sewage spill.
To mitigate the inflow problems, routine inspections are conducted and mostly targeted at neighbourhoods with a high number of reported sewerage blockages.
Where stormwater is found to have been channelled into the wastewater drain, a written notice will be issued to order the owner or occupier of the property, at their cost, to comply with the by-laws within 30 days by ensuring that no rainwater from roofs or other surfaces shall discharge into the waste drainage installation.
Failure to comply with the notice constitutes a criminal offence.
The metro may, accordingly, without further notice, institute legal proceedings against the owner.
The owner of a property has the right to confirm the identity of the inspector who visits their property for inspection by calling the number presented on the letter of inspection.
Residents wishing to make any renovations to their homes need to get approval from the municipality to ensure their structure doesn’t infringe on any by-laws and subsequently does not cause stormwater to flood the sewage drainage.
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