March 2009

March 2009

In these newsletters, we simply report what is a repeat of what you, the public, have been saying all along. All we do is write it down, and publish it.

And one reader asked if I was not in jail yet?. 

No, not yet! 

Another ( a supplier - no less) asked if gate signs mean nothing to us. He was referring to the "No entry. Trespassers will be prosecuted" signs we tend to ignore during our investigations. We have always believed that this type of sign indicates some form of criminal behaviour is occurring. Anyway, would we have been as interested if a sign was installed. . .

 "Welcome to our property - come right in,"?

Probably not!

 Report Back

It is becoming more apparent that the reports on the industry, not only by us, is beginning to gain ground.  Developers, estate managers, environmental agents, NGO's, and government are no longer turning a blind eye to false promises of slick salesmen. The cholera outbreak, which is "not a crisis", has everyone in a panic. Hotels, hostels, hospitals, schools, clinics and mines are urgently recalculating their risks.

A KZN hotel, looking at onsite sewage treatment, took good advice and opted not to go with a supplier we have featured in the past. Whether the advice came from us or not, the hotel simply could not take the chance

Special report - CE system failure

The clinic on the South Coast, featured last month, has removed a failed Clear Edge system and it has been replaced with something more reliable. We did an autopsy on the system, and this report is on our website  (see Special Report Feb09)

Flamingos - and the Kamfers Dam

This story first hit the headlines late last year, and since we featured it in February, it has again featured on Carte Blanche (Mnet) and twice on 50/50 (TV2). With all this publicity, maybe, just maybe, the environment will win.  

 Water Week

The national water week started this month, with the report that one province in South Africa had spread cholera to it's drinking (tap) water.

As we are aware, cholera is in every province in South Africa.  How many have died, we can only guess. We also mentioned the breeding habits of mosquito's (which are very similar to politicians) and that we will see an increase in mosquitos and flies, as a result of our failed water systems. It was inevitable that we would find the spread of malaria into previously 'free' areas.  Durban has had three reported cases of malaria in the very same week as the 2010 Durban soccer stadium celebrated the completion of the arch. A recent fatal shark attack in Port St Johns (Eastern Cape) has been blamed on the high level of human pollution in the water.  Apparently, sharks like sewage (see tail piece)

The new Water Minister, Ms Lindiwe Hendricks claims there is no water crisis (Carte Blanche - 8/2/09). 

It appears there is another epidemic affecting many leaders here in South Africa, called A.R. (Anal Retention), commonly known as "full of s**t". (see tail piece) 

Sadly, this condition is rarely fatal. Ed

 Follow-up - Kearsney College

We have featured this system several times over the years, and returned to find out what progress has been made.  As a recap, the system was installed early in 2002, at a cost of about R 800 000. We understand that an alternative offer was submitted, costing about half that price, but this was disregarded. We believe this was due to the fact that the plant supplier was a Kearsney old boy, and the perception is that only good comes from Kearsney. Kearsney is not only listed as a "satisfied owner" on the several Lilliput websites, but the system has been described by Lilliput's legal team as "admirable".   Read on. . .

Several years ago, one of the reactors (tanks) had been replaced, and a second had ruptured. Individual air blowers had been replaced with a large central unit, which aerates the whole plant. As understood, the original blowers were 'stolen', but during our investigations, we found at least one of Kearsney's blowers on another Lilliput system, at the prestigious Langford Estate, some 4.2 km away.   

A very recent visit showed further work has been carried out. A third reactor had ruptured, and has been repaired. A further three tanks (balancing) have been replaced, making up a total of 6 out of the original 12 tanks, either having been replaced or are damaged . At this rate, the complete plant will be replaced in another 7 years. This would have not been an issue if the system had produced final effluent that complied with the Water act, but it has not. Even Mark Ross, from Lilliput, suggested that we judge the system on how many fish were killed by the effluent (a toxicology test), rather than on the national water compliance limits.

We also found one of the reactors was overflowing and that untreated wastewater was several inches deep in bund area of both the aerobic (reactors) and anaerobic (septic tanks) areas.

There are a few negative things to emerge from Kearsney. Their sewage is already mentioned, but it is their perceived lack of environmental awareness and moral responsibility that we find unacceptable.  It is unbelievable that many of the teachers, pupils and administrators, all from the upper class of our society, collectively, and knowingly, have such dirty toilet (disposal) habits. 

Ignorance if you don't know, and arrogance if you do. Ed

PS - Gary Brown - Dikubu Environmental Services,  (the EIA sewage consultant for the Kamfers Dam flamingos project mentioned last month) is also servicing the Kearsney system.  

  Germ Killers

Oxymorons (or simply morons)

The list of germ killers below that claim to be safe for septic tanks.

Active ingredient
1. Jik
Sodium Hypochlorite
Reckett Benckiser
2. Harpic toilet cleaner
Benzalkonium Chloride
Reckett Benckiser
3. Jeyes Bleach
Sodium Hydroxide
Adcock Ingram
4. Domestos
Sodium Hypochlorite

Try Plaxo. This software allows you to change your contact details, address or occupation without losing touch.

It's brilliant and it's free. Link below.

And No.  We do not get commissions. Ed

 New products - Enchantrix

"Our products have been made with love and respect for our fragile planet and her inhabitants. They have been formulated to be effective and safe for you, your family and the environment," from their website.

Please visit their website and feedback would be much appreciated.Ed

Tail piece

It has been reported that sharks enjoy sewage polluted water.  Considering the non-compliance of the Durban authorities of their seawater for the Blue Flag status, we can find no link between this and the fact that the Natal Sharks home is within a few km of the sea. 

However, the Sharks became the SA champs last season during a time when Durban's seawater was the most polluted.  

We found this sign in the middle of Edenvale, a major industrial area in Johannesburg.

We suggest another epidemic our leaders are infected with, called P.R. - (Pee Retention).


Steve - Wastewater Watch