Reports have surfaced claiming that raw sewage has been discharging into the ocean polluting the sea and marine life in Cape Town. Some environmental specialists have gone as far as saying the discharges have been occurring for the past 30 years.
Marine conservation photographer Jean Tresfon says that the word “spill” can be misleading, alluding that this could be accidental or an infrequent occurrence.
However Tresfon said in actuality through the three marine outfalls on the Atlantic Seaboard, the City of Cape Town pumps an average of 36.5 mega litres of untreated raw sewage into the ocean daily.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) chief executive Cleeve Robertson said they had foreseen the severity of the pollution but the City Engineer at the time Arthur Clayton had denied that it would be beyond the City’s control.
According to Robertson, Hout Bay is severely polluted as well as Camps Bay and Green Point where the sewage rises to the surface.
Tresfon says effluent passes through a screen to remove contaminants like diapers and sanitary towels then the fluid is pumped into the ocean.
According to Robertson the water has been tested by independent scientists who found it had excessive amounts of E.Coli bacteria.
The public can help clean up the coastline by taking part in beach cleanups and supporting organisations like the Two Oceans Aquarium and SANCCOB.
Attempts were made to contact the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Water and Sanitation for comment but they did not respond.
More: The South African