Gammams upgrading to reduce stench

20 Nov 2013 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 20 NOV (NAMPA) – Windhoek residents living near the Gammams Water Treatment Plant in the Goreangab area have started complaining about a terribly foul smell coming from the plant recently.
The residents also complained about the presence of many flies that seem to have been attracted by the putrid smell.
City of Windhoek's Manager of Corporate Communications and Customer Care, Joshua Amukugo told this news agency that the city is currently busy with major upgrading at the plant to address this problem.
He explained that the smell could be due to a large pile of sludge which has been standing at the plant for quite some time now.
The sludge is semi-solid material left from industrial waste water or sewage treatment processes and often used as fertiliser.
“Members of the public used to collect the fertilizer but stopped doing so a few years ago,” Amukugo said.
He said the pile produces a lot of heat through bacteria which then leads to spontaneous combustion and a release of the fetid smell.
He added that changes in weather and the heat on the sludge may also have been causes of the stench.
Amukugo said it was difficult to get through to some of the sludge as the pile is approximately four metres high. The City has now also acquired fire equipment and machinery to remove the sludge.
“There are no restrictions for people to construct houses within a 10-kilometre range of the plant, but the city has put in place a moratorium to ensure that no residents construct houses within 500 metres of the plant,” he said.
The City of Windhoek therefore urged members of the public, schools and nurseries to help ease the burden on the water treatment plant by collecting some of the sludge for their gardens.
The upgrade on the water treatment digesters is expected to be completed in March 2014.