According to an anonymous member of a Residents’ Monitoring Committee (RMC), thousands of litres of leachate might have contaminated Diep River since 1 July.
However, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) categorically denies this claim.
The RMC member told TygerBurger that a contractor who has been removing the leachate from the site for the last 15 years stopped working on site at the end of June.
Leachate is liquid that extracts solutes from other matter as it passes through it. In an environmental sense, leachate most commonly refers to water acquiring properties from the refuse that it contacts.
In other words, it is produced when water comes into contact with waste, particularly household waste, in a landfill.
The RMC member elaborates: “On average the contractor would supply three 30 000 litre tankers daily to transport the leachate off the site and these vehicles would average four to five loads each day of the week.”
At the time of contacting TygerBurger on 23 August, the RMC member said that authorities have still not assigned any extra vehicles to remove the leachate.
He adds: “According to my calculations, from 1 July up till date (23 August), we would have transported in excess of 16 million litres of leachate offsite to treatment facilities. What has happened to this excess? How much has run into the stormwater and hence into the Diep River?”
On 22 July the contractor apparently saw a leachate pond overflowing into the storm collection dam, which eventually runs into Diep River.
DWAF poured cold water on the RMC member’s claim when they stated that leachate did overflow into the stormwater pond, but that the stormwater pond is designed to receive the overflow in the event of an emergency.
There was apparently a lot of water that the pond had to accommodate on the day of the incident and no leachate escaped into the environment.
Insofar as the possibility of leachate polluting Diep River, DWAF assures the public that the City of Cape Town has put measures in place to address the management of the leachate dams.
DWAF investigated the situation in Vissershok when they received the complaint on 15 August and inspected the site again yesterday.
They concluded by stating that the only concern they had was that a contractor to remove the leachate wasn’t appointed timeously by the City of Cape Town.
 ***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***
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