The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Camps Bay, Cape Town, Green Point, Hout Bay

Cape Town Explores Future of Coastal Waste Disposal

Michael Hawthorne

Workshop Discusses Feasibility Study and Costs

CAPE TOWN – The Water and Sanitation Directorate, in collaboration with the Section 79 Water and Sanitation Portfolio Committee and the Section 80 Mayoral Advisory Committee for Inland Water Quality, recently conducted an interactive workshop to deliberate on a feasibility study and associated costs regarding the future of three vital marine outfalls in Camps Bay, Green Point, and Hout Bay.

This workshop, held on Wednesday, 31 January 2024, follows the City’s 60-day public participation period on marine outfall discharge permit applications, concluded in November last year. The three operational marine outfalls – Camps Bay (1977), Hout Bay (1993), and Green Point (1993) – currently dispose of screened effluent from specific drainage areas in their original design.

Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, highlighted the City’s commitment to wastewater treatment improvements. In 2022, both the Green Point and Hout Bay marine outfalls received Green Drop Awards, underscoring their dedication to sustainable practices.

To address treatment concerns, the City has commissioned a study by consultants to explore potential options for introducing treatment at marine outfalls. Preliminary insights from the scoping study revealed that 54% of objections during the public participation process were related to treatment quality.

The study proposed short, medium, and long-term objectives, subject to budget availability and further feasibility studies:

Short-term Option:

Medium-term Options:

  1. Extend marine outfalls area to exclude the environmental protection zone.
  2. Develop the first phase of a new wastewater treatment works (WWTW) adjacent to existing marine outfalls.

Long-term Options:

  1. Construct pump stations and pipelines to convey wastewater to existing WWTWs.
  2. Construct phase 2 of a new WWTW adjacent to existing marine outfalls.
  3. Construct a comprehensive WWTW in phases, comprising primary, secondary, and tertiary treatment.

The City is finalizing its appeals decision report for submission to the Minister of Fisheries, Forestry, and Environment by 29 February 2024. Short-term solutions focusing on infrastructure replacement and refurbishment are being considered, along with addressing maintenance gaps to extend infrastructure life.

An Environmental Impact Assessment will be conducted as part of further consideration of proposed options, and continuous assessment of budgetary implications will be a priority. Councillor Badroodien emphasized the importance of evaluating the feasibility of options to improve wastewater quality and acknowledged the commitment of the Section 80 Mayoral Advisory Committee on Inland Water Quality to monitor compliance with national legislation.


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