Residents of Rylands and surrounding areas are fed up with the foul stench the area carries and said this has been the case for years.
They said vagrants scratch the dirt from bins and containers placed in Hazel Road and residents dump their dirt on the field which eventually blows into the drains and blocks the pipes.
One resident, Gregory Appel, who has lived in the area for 50 years, said he has to deal with the smell every day as he passes the field.
He said that for years nothing has been done about it and blames the dumping on vagrants and businesses in the area.
“They need to have people patrolling here so that this doesn’t keep on happening, because on the other side you won’t get this, they can’t even scratch in the rubbish bins there. If they don’t get people to patrol here they won’t stop dumping,” he said.
Chairperson of the Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch, Fowzia Veerasamy, said patrolling the area has become a health risk because the stench of the field makes them sick.
“The smell is getting worse all the time, you have to close your mouth and nose when we patrol the roads and walk pass the field. It makes you nauseous and sick, it’s a health risk, we are inhaling that polluted air.”
She continued: “Normally it’s almost 10 containers standing on that field all together but it’s less now. People are getting sick but they don’t know why they are getting sick. We understand it’s a process but it needs to get sorted out,” she said.
Ms Veerasamy said compared to last year the smell is still manageable. “It is still okay now, but last year it was so bad with the rains and the drains were flooded. It has actually become a dumping site now and everyone is dumping everything there and the community is suffering,” she said.
Ward 46 councillor, Aslam Cassiem, said the two bulk sewers in Hazel Road were installed more than 50 years ago at very flat gradients and this combined with the low levels of sewage flow in the sewer system brought about by the current drought has reduced the flushing and self-cleaning capabilities of the pipes with the result that solids build up in both bulk sewers traversing Hazel Road.
“We have altered the pumping protocols at Bridgetown pumpstation so that it pumps via the bulk sewers in Hazel Road between 11pm and 6am the next day in an attempt to assist with flushing the lines, however, the encrusted sewage and sludge have to be removed from the lines first before the flushing will be fully effective. The bucket-machines are therefore being used to remove the solids from the pipelines and unfortunately have to continue until we have reached the point where flushing/self-cleaning can be achieved.”
He said the low levels of sewage flow in the pipelines also means that the sewage spends more time in the pipeline which causes the waste to start putrefying in the pipe and producing higher levels of gases which will lead to an increase of odours.
“We have been treating both pipelines with bio-enzymes for the past two weeks to mitigate the odour and will continue to do so until we achieve self-cleaning again. The fact that the bucket-machines need access to the manholes to remove solids from the pipelines unfortunately means that these manholes have to remain open during this activity and this obviously allows the odours to be released more easily from the pipelines. All the other manhole covers not involved in this activity have been sealed with grease to minimise the possibility of gases escaping from the sewers.”