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Harmelia drainage is problematic

In heavy rains it takes less than 10 minutes for the intersection of Herman and Kruin streets to flood rendering the road nearly impassable.

Last week the NEWS raised concerns over severe water drainage problems in Meadowdale and Harmelia.
The NEWS’ enquiry focused on Herman Street.

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In heavy rains, it takes less than 10 minutes for the intersection of Herman and Kruin streets to flood, rendering the road nearly impassable.

It takes even less time for large sections of Herman Street from Meadowdale to Kruin Street in Harmelia to flood.

While the attenuation spruit between Herman and Finger streets works well to redirect large amounts of water flowing from Klopperpark, Elandsfontein and Tunney, the stormwater that causes the flooding does not reach the spruit.

Instead, stormwater flows along Herman and Kruin streets and pools in large volumes in low-lying areas.
The intersection poses a risk for flash floods, and with each passing storm, the risk of life lost because of poor drainage increases.

In an enquiry sent to the City of Ekurhuleni and Ward 92 councillor Kade Guerreiro, the NEWS questioned several aspects of the drainage and roads.

At the time of going to print, spokesperson for the city Zweli Dlamini said its roads and stormwater department was investigating.

“The city will respond substantially once the investigation is complete,” he said.

The enquiry questioned when the stormwater drains along Herman and Kruin streets were last cleared.

These drains, if fully operational, would allow excess stormwater to flow into the attenuation spruit instead of along Herman Street.

Guerreiro said the information he received suggested the drains were last cleared in winter 2020.

“I have requested a full clean and maintenance report to ensure they are clean and ready for stormwater use,” he said.

He plans to request regular clean-ups to ensure large amounts of waste dumped into the drains can be cleared before blockages can become a problem.

When the NEWS asked whether there were plans to upgrade the stormwater infrastructure at the problematic intersection and Herman Street, Guerreiro said the department was aware of the many issues around the sewage and stormwater systems in Ekurhuleni.

“I plan to ensure the budget is allocated to ensure upgrades and maintenance. I will ensure the relevant department is aware and ensure the drains in the area are cleaned.

“We have a very old system and with mass dumping and change in weather patterns our systems need to handle the demand,” Guerreiro said.

He added that areas such as Herman Street facilitate water run-off from the highway and other factors.

“It all plays a massive role in how much water we have, especially when it rains. Therefore, the drains need to work properly.”

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