By Munesu Nyakudya
Some Harare industrial and commercial properties, many of them service stations, are discharging their trade effluent directly into the city’s municipal sewerage system without pre-treatment according to Council.
This practice is in violation of EMA provisions which order that such effluent must be pre-treated to the satisfaction of a local authority before disposal into the sewer.
The untreated effluent is now affecting the municipal’s sewerage infrastructure with “sewer blockages mainly due to fat/grease being a common phenomenon”.
“This is resulting in the City incurring unnecessary costs in repairing and maintaining the infrastructure”, it said.
To curb this Council has proposed a monthly penalty fee of US$300 or the ZWL$ equivalent.
The fee is crafted as a punitive charge to force the mainly petroleum companies to install the requisite trade effluent pre-treatment facilities.
Council says in the event that industrial and commercial properties continue to discharge effluent, “they would continue to be charged the penalty fee up and until they had installed such facilities at their premises”.
The Town Clerk has since been charged with identifying petroleum companies and other effluent generating industrial and commercial properties operating without pre-treatment facilities.
Priority for this operation will be for those operating in the CBD.