‘Dirtbin’ Marina flowing with sewage

Durban’s famous Marina has been the subject of conversation – albeit not around dinner tables – as raw sewage has been reported flowing into its pristine waters.

marinaDurban’s famous pristine Marina, as it’s advertised, is a little different from reality.
Image credit: flickr

Raw human faeces was reported flowing in to Durban Marina and according to Durban resident Sophie Thompson, “The smell was horrendous.”

Thompson adds, “It was way worse than it usually is at that tide level. It was stomach-churning watching all the raw sewage floating down Lavender Creek… again.”

Residents were warned by the eThekwini Municipality to not go into the water near the Marina and Point Yacht Club because of the spillage, which is possibly dangerous to their health.

sewageRaw sewage and other refuse has been leaking into the Durban yacht marina, including solid human faeces, prompting health concerns. 
Image credit: Sophie Thompson

This second occurrence comes in less than two weeks when, following heavy rains, on 7 October‚ a fault at the Mahatma Gandhi Pump Station – where both the mechanical and electrical operations of three of the four pumps failed – resulted in thousands of litres of raw sewage overflowing into the Marina‚ near the Point Yacht Club,

While the eThekwini municipality assured that the fault was repaired‚ a spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that an additional fault at the same pump station had resulted in Tuesday’s spillage and remained unrepaired by Wednesday.

“It was way worse than it usually is at that tide level. It was stomach-churning watching all the raw sewage floating down Lavender Creek… again.” - Sophie Thompson

This once again draws attention to the importance of infrastructure maintenance, something badly lacking throughout the country, specifically within the water sector.

Thompson says, “This is the second time in ten days this has occurred. Dinghy sailing was cancelled on 7 October due to the hazardous waste that was in the water. And it wasn’t just human waste; it was pads and tampons floating down. And a lot of it.”

marina2Thousands of litres of raw sewage has flowed into the Durban Harbour in recent days after a pump station canal failed following heavy rains.
Iamge credit: ANA

Rob Bowman, from Point-based Bowman Yacht Maintenance, told TimesLIVE that the latest spillage negated efforts to mop up, following last week’s horrific storm.

“We have been working so hard over the past week‚ trying to piece the Marina together after the massive storm hit us last week. With all the muck and the litter that is floating around‚ the health hazards are dangerous anyway - and now adding to that is the raw sewage. I was supposed to be pulling two of the yachts that sank last week out today. We are all battered with loads of cuts and bruises from the last week saving the Marina‚ and now to get in the water with our open wounds and risk contracting E. coli or something worse‚” he says.

ecoliE. coli is widely known for causing outbreaks of infectious diarrhoea and is currently responsible for several deaths. Image credit: OTA Survival School

Asked about the spill‚ eThekwini spokeswoman Tozi Mthethwa confirms that there are health risks involved – and, while the exact cause of the fault was being investigated, he assures the public that the council is treating the water and doing tests.

“A technical issue at the Mahatma Gandhi Wastewater Pump Station has resulted in sewerage overflowing into Lavender Creek canal near the Durban Yacht Club. The competent authorities have been notified duly and all our teams are on site. The old issue at the pump station was dealt with and the pumping operations resumed on 9 October. This is a completely new incident‚” she says.



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