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Media Statement: Pump station overflow caused by backup failure

George Municipality regrets to advise that the ongoing loadshedding experienced this past week, led to the failure of the backup generator system at the Eden Pump Station.

The backup failure led to an overflow which contained a combination of sludge and sewerage. The  sludge discharged from the Water Treatment Works  does not contain any sewerage as it is residue from the water treatment process. The Civils Directorate has reported as such to the Department of Water Services (DWS),  as per the protocols as stipulated in the municipality’s Wastewater Risk Abatement Plan. The immediate river area is being monitored and has been treated with chemicals as is the standard practice.


The backup failure was compounded by the simultaneous failure of the SCADA system(Supervisory control and data acquisition) due to the loadshedding. Interim measures are being put in place to address such unusual failures with additional physical checks put in place particularly during loadshedding, and the continued upgrading of the Eden Pump Station remaining a high priority.


George Municipality requests members of the public who become aware of such incidents taking place, to please immediately report the matter via the  municipal switchboard on 044 8019111 or the after-hours number 044 8016300. The Civil Engineering Services administration building located in York Street does not have active telephone lines during loadshedding. The Disaster Management Centre in Mitchell Street, however has generator backup and is staffed during loadshedding periods, with an additional civil engineering services complaints staff member to address such queries.


As previously stated, the concern that this river water flows into the Garden Route Dam is acknowledged, however the public is assured that water in the dam is sampled and monitored through a fixed statutory water quality monitory programme. Raw water from the Garden Route dam is treated according to the SANS 241 standard  at the Water Treatment Works (purification plant) and the drinking water quality for George complies with the SANS standard.