Floating Islands could solve the Bruma Lake problem

16 November 2011

BioHaven being used to cover a pongy pond! (Source: FII)

Droplets has previously observed that the new BioHaven technology would be most suitable for providing solutions to urban lake problems such as those that prevail at Johannesburg’s Zoo Lake and Bruma Lake.

Today’s press reports for Bruma Lake that:

The stench has become so unbearable that staff working at offices and a hotel on the lake suffer from diarrhoea, sore throats, stinging eyes and nausea.  The lake, claims the owners’ association, is more now polluted than before the City of Joburg promised to clean it up five years ago.

Those grappling with the problem, however, seem committed to spending a lot of money on researching the problem, rather than dealing with it.

“We are asking the city to bring six scientists, and we will bring in six, and we can workshop how to spend the R4 million available on scientifically proven remedial methods for interim relief,” he said.

Although the city did not respond to The Star’s requests for comment last week, in September it said it had spent R5m of last year’s budget on specialist studies in preparation for the actual work. The money, said City of Joburg spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane, had been spent on detailed designs and authorisation applications in preparation for the civils works, rehabilitation and implementation of detention structures. Also included was the stabilisation of river banks in the Observatory tributary to prevent erosion and reduce siltation into the lake.

This year R4.2m has been allocated for the lake.

BioHaven floating islands have proven extremely useful in smelly situations, including their use to completely cover up maturation ponds that became too malodorous for comfort.

Proposals to:

to launch rafts and pumps and to pump the water through straw bales located in skips, which would filter the scum and water, is a cumbersome and very expensive short-term solution.

are clearly grasping at straws.

Paul Fairall, speaking on behalf of the Bruma Lake Owners’ Association, said the situation was “beyond description”. “This is déjà vu and has now become unacceptable. The council, year after year, remains reactive instead of proactive.

I understand from colleagues in the Johannesburg area that the situation at Zoo Lake is quite awful as well, as is the quality of the lake at Centurion.

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