Swakopmund residents say they are living with constant stench from sewerage plant

Sharlien Tjambari

Residents of Swakopmund residing in Tamariskia say they have no choice but to live with the stench coming from the old sewerage plant that is still operational despite a newly constructed plant.

After several residents contacted the Namib Times office in Swakopmund with complaints, the newspaper contacted the Swakopmund Municipality for answers. General Manager of Engineering and Planning Services of the Municipality, Clarence McClune explained most of Swakopmund’s sewage still flow to the old sewerage plant, because of the overall layout of the existing pipe network. The pre-screening and balancing tank among other facilities still collect, and control the flow of sewage, which is then pumped to the new Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“No treatment is taking place at the old sewerage plant. Unfortunately, due to the pre-treatment process at the old facility, there will be stench. To reduce the odour, the balance tank, which had become silted up, will have to be reopened this year. The stench will be reduced by the balance tank.” McClune said.
The Old Sewerage Plant is a biological treatment facility that houses settling tanks, biofilters, and oxidation ponds. The sewage was treated using bio-organisms with no added chemicals except for chlorine that is responsible for the disinfection process of the treated effluent, used for irrigation. The New Wastewater Treatment Plant, located about 10 kilometres to the north of the town, MR44 Swakopmund-Hentiesbay Road, is an active sludge system that uses bio-organisms to treat waste-water with additional processes such as Biological Nutrient Removal, clarifiers, and sludge thickeners. The new wastewater treatment plant, that has been operational from 2015, treats all wastewater and sewage in accordance with the two general standards and re-used for irrigation. With the functioning of the new wastewater treatment plant, the old sewerage plant is gradually being decommissioned, with minor facilities such as the pre-screening and balancing tank remaining in operation to receive and transport inflowing wastewater.

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