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Is this huge white patch in the ocean off Sea Point raw sewage? [pic]
Posted by on Apr 30th, 2015

A controversial Facebook post is doing the rounds and even made it onto radio yesterday after a pilot took an aerial image of the Atlantic Seaboard with a clearly visible white patch in the waters of Table Bay recently that he claims is raw sewage since the GPS location of the origin of the ‘plume’ matches the location of the Green Point sewerage outlet 1.7km from shore. The City of Cape Town has responded to the image and said that it cannot confirm what it is, but they are investigating further. They mentioned that if it was indeed raw sewage at the surface then there would be seagulls which aren’t visible in the image, but the photographer has since provided a close up image which clearly shows numerous gulls gathering at the source.

Here’s the original image from Jean Tresfon along with this caption “Another shit day in Cape Town! While flying around the coast on Friday it was impossible to miss the sight of sewerage spewing into the ocean at full volume from several different sources. While I have commented on this previously it remains a shocking sight. It only takes a light westerly wind and this mess blows straight back to shore. Surfers and kayakers have been getting badly sick and the smell is unbelievable. “

Now to give some background if you didn’t know. There is a deep marine sewarage outfall 1.7km off Green Point that pumps 30 – 40 million litres per day of untreated, but screened sewage into Table Bay. It’s 30m down and should be diffused by the time it reaches the surface.

And here’s the response from the City of Cape Town.

Regarding the seagulls, Tresfon uploaded the following closeup.

He added the following caption to that image:

“So this “plume” is 1.7km from the shore at Green Point as marked on my GPS, probably a co-incidence then that the actual sewerage outlet is supposed to be at this exact spot. The diffusers obviously don’t work so well on a perfectly calm and windless day, the photo doesn’t lie. As for the seagulls, the image was taken from 1500ft up and only a low-res shot was posted, of course you can’t see a seagull! But in case anyone thinks I dream this stuff up, here’s a more zoomed shot… see all those white dots? Yep, you guessed it, seagulls! As for no proof of the outfall impacting negatively on the surf zones, tell that to the people who have gotten really sick from the water here recently. Happy to provide a name or two if needed. “

Given that i live along Beach Road this is rather concerning. Especially as i was wondering what that horrible smell over the weekend was. Not saying it was related to the plume, but worrying if it is.

If you’re a kayaker, surfer or fisherman and have seen or smelt that plume lemme know.

[Pics via Jean Tresfon and City of CT response via @CapeTalk567]

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