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Sewage leak a health hazard for Briardene business

Business owners have suffered damage to their properties as a result of the continuous influx of acidic sewer water.

AN ongoing sewage leak is causing a stink for an Acutt Road business where employees have to endure the sewer stench throughout their work day.

What’s more, business owners have suffered damage to their properties as a result of the continual influx of acidic sewer water. 

Graeme Campbell, co-owner of North Coast Scrap Metal said their yard was flooded with sewer water.

“We had to clear the area and divert the sewer water at our own cost. Before that it was underpinning the concrete slab (of the floor). Not only was the sewer water causing damage directly to the property, but it was also undermining the bank above the business premises.

“Every time we have a deluge of rain the banks collapse. We just spent R90 000 on the concrete wall. While the wall was built just 12 months ago, Campbell said it is already showing signs of damage. I believe the sewage contains a lot of acid which eats through the concrete. You can see the base has been corroded away by the sewage. The sewage leak started about 10 years ago. We have been operating at this premises for 22 years,” he said.

Read also: Matheran Road residents fed-up with sewage leaks

While the leak is incurring a cost to the company, Campbell said his main concern is the health of his staff.

“Our major concern is for our staff because they work in the scrap yard. We have health concerns. We are also concerned about the protection of our customers when they visit the yard. As they arrive they are hit by that stretch,” he said.

Ward 36 Councillor, Shontel de Boer said the sewer leak has been ongoing for more than five years.

“The entire sewer system needs to be replaced. The leak that has been left unattended for months is now causing damage to businesses and damaging the property and causing a terrible stench. Unless the municipality does something it’s not going to improve,” she said.

“At North Coast Scrap Metal, their wall had fallen down. They rebuilt the wall and now the sewer water is running through. They have had to channel the sewer so it doesn’t flood the grounds. That whole concrete slab on the floor is lifting, so it’s causing extensive damage. It’s also damaging properties at (a nearby) business complex and the stench is unbearable. People have to work all day through that smell of the sewer,” she added.

De Boer said the leak is flowing down from a blocked sewer in the Briardene Informal Settlement.


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