Mayday for Rivers 2013 Action – Howick

Penny Rees writes:   I was away for most of May, but on my return at the end of the month I hit the deck running as they say. Seems like during my extended absence, not much changed in Howick, and I was confronted with the usual glut of problems that needed sorting out.

I guess this selection could be called typical of a month in the life of Howick!

Discharging sewerage pump stations: we have been reporting this problem for years, and some photos taken back in 2008 were dug out!  I have been throwing increasingly irate wobblies over the situation, which will hopefully no longer be necessary – the District Municipality has submitted an  urgent plan of action to Water Affairs and I’ve been told we should be seeing immediate action over next few weeks.  Keeping fingers crossed – Mama River needs a break!

1 Bridge discharge

Leaking sewer pipes: the main pipeline from Mpophomeni seems to have burst (yet again) and has formed a sewage stream down a storm water channel next to the main road near Sakabula. Apparently the problem is that the sewage goes septic in the long distance of pumping main from Mpophomeni. At the outlet to the gravity section, the sewage gets oxygen and forms sulphuric acid which of course, eats everything, even concrete pipes. This problem is exacerbated by the use of sewers as a refuse disposal system  – compounded by lack of service delivery in the form of refuse removal in some areas.

2 Tumbleweeds sewer leak 25-6-2013 (4)

Unbelievable developments:

A housing development in Howick happily bulldozed a stream and wetland to lay pipes – let’s hope this area is rehabilitated

3 Protea pipeline(1)

3 Protea pipeline(2)

Another housing development seems to have been abandoned – and become a wattle seedling nursery

4 Eridene Rd Terraces 13-6-2013 (2)

A landowner keeps attempting to build a house on the (very soggy) wetland near the river

5 Moonwalk 20-6-2013 (4)

Invasive clearing:

Large bluegums were felled last year (NOT by DUCT!) in a half hearted attempt at invasive clearing – the wood was planked for coffins on site – and the offcuts still lie there atop piles of sawdust – no rehabilitation seems to be on the cards alongside and in the stream bed

6 Buchanan Crescent 20-6-2013 (3)


About Nikki Brighton

I live in Howick, between the river and the hills. I enjoy pre-dawn walks in the streets with my dog, sitting on the veranda with crochet and tea, and harvesting vegetables outside the kitchen door.
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