UPDATE: Margate beach open – lagoon remains closed

Margate beach

UPDATE: July 19

TEST results received yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon revealed that the sea water is now at an acceptable standard for recreational purposes.

Margate beach is therefore now being opened to the public, said France Zama, spokesman for Ugu District Municipality.

“The lagoon will remain closed. There has been a slight improvement in the levels of contamination in the river and we have closed the river mouth as a precautionary measure,” he said.

 

UPDATE: July 18

UGU’s Senior Manager: Mayoralty and Communications France Zama has confirmed that there has been a sewage spill which has affected both Margate beach and the lagoon.

In a statement issued last night, Mr Zama said the spill had been detected last Friday, and was thought to have occurred as a result
of an electro/mechanical failure caused by an excessive silt build-up in the wet well of the pump station.

Rehabilitation on the pump station was conducted immediately, read the statement, with all the repairs being carried out on Friday after which the pump station was back online.

Numerous water tests were conducted on the river and these results revealed’ a high level of E.Coli which is beyond acceptable standards for recreational water’.

As a precautionary measure signs were erected along the lagoon and the beach prohibiting any recreational activities along the river and beach.

The statement went on to say that an on-site investigation revealed that the river mouth was closed and this necessitated an emergency breach of the river, which was conducted on Sunday after permission was received from the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The lagoon and Margate beach will remain closed to swimming, bathing, and any other recreational activities until the level of contamination have been certified as being at an acceptable standard.

A high-level team of environmental health services personnel is currently on site conducting constant tests of the river to determine the level of contamination and to institute possible remedial measures, the statement concluded.

ORIGINAL STORY: JULY 17

MARGATE Beach and river are closed for bathing, as the water  is once again suspected of being contaminated.

This after a similar problem earlier this year: UPDATE: Margate sewage contamination: Who, what, where, when and why

Sign boards have been prominently erected along the beach warning people not to swim.
According to the notice board outside the lifeguard tower – ‘bathing is temporary closed due to water contamination from the lagoon’.

Ramsgate, Uvongo and St Mike’s are however open for bathing.

A ban on bathing in the river was put in place last Friday  (July 14) and the beach  itself was closed yesterday (Sunday).

The Herald was only informed of the closure earlier today.

Comment is awaited from Ugu District Municipality an this story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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  AUTHOR
Shona Aylward
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