Maverick Citizen


Latest round of Cape Town coastal closures affects Hout Bay and Dalebrook Tidal Pool

Latest round of Cape Town coastal closures affects Hout Bay and Dalebrook Tidal Pool
Dalebrook Tidal Pool between St James Beach and Kalk Bay. (Photo: Tamsin Metelerkamp)

The past week has seen two sections of the Cape Town coast closed to the public — Hout Bay Beach and Dalebrook Tidal Pool. While both have since reopened, the incidents are part of a pattern of sewage-related closures spanning the city’s seafront.

Beach closures continue to be a problem in Cape Town, with two brief closures reported in the past week. Hout Bay Beach and the Dalebrook Tidal Pool closed on 10 January because of sewer overflows. 

The closure at Dalebrook Tidal Pool, which ran until 13 January, was the second there this month. The first occurred between 7 and 9 January and was also caused by a sewer overflow, according to the City of Cape Town.


During closures, signage is put up to warn visitors of the risks involved in making contact with the water, as exposure to sewage can result in gastrointestinal issues.  

Cape Town City Health takes water samples daily for quality testing and the area is reopened once the pollution levels are within the minimum requirement for recreational activities prescribed by the National Water Quality Guidelines.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Cape Town sees 10 beach closures in two months during bumper holiday season

Hout Bay Beach reopened on 14 January. The city said the overflow at the stormwater-to-sewer diversion chamber in the area was caused by blockages in the sewer reticulation pipes and bulk stormwater pipe. The blockages consisted of foreign objects, including tins, litter, stones, cutlery and pieces of animal carcasses.

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“The city’s roads and infrastructure management and water and sanitation departments collectively addressed the blockage and cleaned the stormwater-to-sewer low-flow diversion chambers,” said the city.

Eddie Andrews, Cape Town deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, has warned that the dumping of objects in the sewer and stormwater systems creates blockages and overflows, causing sewage to end up in coastal waters and recreational areas. DM/MC


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