Oil spill affects water reclamation in Windhoek

12 Feb 2019 21:20pm
WINDHOEK, 12 FEB (NAMPA) – The reclamation of water has been halted in Windhoek after an oil spill at the Namibia Dairies plant in Avis on Sunday, the City of Windhoek (CoW) has announced.
Briefing the media here Tuesday, CoW Chief Executive Officer Robert Kahimise explained that an estimated 6 000 litres of oil spilled into the city’s sewerage system, which resulted in both the Gammams Wastewater Treatment Plant and the new Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant operated by the Windhoek Goreangab Operating Company (WINGOC) being shut down.
Both reclamation plants produce potable drinking water for the capital city.
Kahimise said the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) is currently making up the shortfall.
He further noted that fish in the maturation ponds at Gammams are dying because of the oil contamination and lack of oxygen.
“The shutdown of both plants was crucial as a precaution not to pollute biological processes required to produce potable water,” the CEO stated.
He said a joint response team comprising officials from Namibia Diaries and CoW was formed to strengthen the efforts to contain and clean up the oil spill, as well as provide relevant support in rehabilitation.
Kahimise further stated that an oil spill expert from South Africa assessed that the process over two months, including cleaning the affected reticulation system, would cost N.dollars 32 million.
“Although traces of oil have significantly reduced it is believed that the entire sewage reticulation route from Namibia Dairies to Gammams is contaminated. The traces of oil will continue to wash off with sewage over time,” he noted.