The Exception to the Rule

Nine Mini SASS tests were conducted along the Mpofana: four upstream and five downstream of the outfall:P1430897

  • Upstream of the outfall the scores were as follows:
  • One site: Largely modified / poor condition (score of 6)
  • Two sites: Moderately modified / fair condition (both scores of 6.3)
  • One site: Largely Natural / few modifications GOOD condition (score of 7.2)
  • Downstream of the outfall the scores were as follows:
  • Three sites; Largely modified / poor condition (scores of 5.4; 5.6; 5.9)
  • Two sites: Moderately modified / fair condition (both scores of 6.2)

The Mpofana is the exception to the rule, and this is the reason.  As we moved downstream the last few kilometres lifted our spirits. Incoming water from various tributaries resulted in a stronger stream of flowing water.

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Not only were the buffer areas intact and blanketed in indigenous vegetation, but this even extended inland away from the river in some areas.

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The norm here would be that as the riparian area improves, so the river health will improve – we have seen this so often on our river walks.

However, there is always an exception to the rule, and the Mpofana is that exception. Despite more intact riparian areas and water, river health declined downstream of the Mooi uMngeni Transfer outfall. All signs point to the cause as the constant layer of silt on the bed and submerged rocks that began downstream of the outfall.

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This layer of silt is smothering the life out of the Mpofana.

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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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One Response to The Exception to the Rule

  1. anelileg says:

    Oh wow this is so interesting. Cannot wait to see these sites on the miniSASS website!

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