Issued George Municipality, 18 February 2020

Ballots Bay/Meulen River

Water sample analysis results in the sea at Ballots Bay indicate levels well within acceptable levels for intermediate contact according to the Recreation Use Quality Guidelines issued by the Department Water Affairs – which means it is certified as safe for people  who may be swimming, surfing and kayaking in this area. This information has been communicated to the Garden Route District Municipality, whose own processes will determine if further action is necessary. According to the water sample laboratory certificates, there seems to be no need to close any beaches, but it is up to the GRDM to make such determination and advise any responsible parties accordingly.

Samples in the Meulen River and at the river mouth, however, did confirm sewerage contamination upstream from the sea but had subsequently been cleaned-up and should be 100% by the end of Monday (17th February). George Municipality Director Civil Engineering  Regenald Wesso said the cause of sewerage spills upstream are blocked drains which are related to ongoing dumping of unwanted objects in sewerage lines for waste disposal and mischief. “Teams have been clearing sewerage lines along sections of sewerage pipes, mostly in Thembalethu, in which inappropriate objects have been dumped – these included blankets, branches, rocks, an old toilet seat, plastics and more.

Victoria Bay Culvert

Results of water testing taken at Victoria Bay culvert as well as in the waves in Victoria Bay have confirmed there were no markers that would suggest a sewerage spill into the sea at this point, and results were normal and within acceptable levels for recreational use. The municipality confirms that the organic stench the person posting last week’s video reported behind the Victoria Bay toilets may have also originated from nearby milkwood trees that gives off a stench when in bloom. The municipality has investigated the area to see if there was any other possible source of sewerage leak or other contamination, but has so far not identified any such leak or spill.

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