The City of Cape Town started a six-month trial of aerating the Diep River to address pollution of the river and Milnerton Lagoon.
The city said pollution of the Diep River, which runs into the lagoon, resulted in low oxygen levels and the production of hydrogen sulphide, which often caused a stench in the surrounding areas.
After consulting with a team of experts, who identified aeration as a measure to improve oxygenation of the river, the city decided to go ahead with the project, a first in South Africa.
“I want to inform our residents that four aerators were installed on Wednesday to begin the 6-month trial to assess whether they’re actively adding oxygen to the system or have the expected and desired outcome of reducing hydrogen sulphide production and hopefully reducing the odour as a result,” said Cape Town Deputy Mayor Eddie Andrews.
Andrews said the city had been planning meticulously for the installation.
“Over the past eight weeks, we have been recording dissolved oxygen levels at multiple locations across the river and lagoon system. We will continue with the monitoring of these sites so we can quantitively evaluate whether the aerators improve the dissolved oxygen levels over the next six months.”
Andrews said the city would consider stopping the trial, should there be any negative impacts.