By choosing to understand how e coli levels from Potsdam Sewage Plant effect Milnerton lagoon, residents and the biodiversity of the natural environments, problems can then be identified and solutions implemented.27 October 2020, Siobhan Brogan-Campbell, Douglas CampbellIdentifying the problems:
– High levels of e coli released by the sewage plant introduce various e coli forms that can rapidly grow to colonise the vertical columns of lagoon water.– Labatory cultures of e coli give off distinctive stinky methane and ammonia.The exact same smell that residents are complaining about and present on the lagoon.– The distinctive colour of brown muddy and smelly water was observed at the lower areas of the lagoon, at Wood Bridge, opposite the Milnerton Canoe Club.Resembling the e coli cultures in laboratories.The visual effects of 2019 and 2020 on Milnerton LagoonBlue-green algae blooms were triggered by high ammonia levels being caused by the sewage plant, and the many load-shedding events.Cape Town City, on various media platforms and press statements have stated that load shedding results in sewage pumps in residential areas going offline, which results in the overflows of sewage manhole covers, in residential areas.The results would be that stormwater piping would become flooded and send sewage directly into Milnerton Lagoon.Eyewitnesses revealed videos and pictures of sewage, nappies and condoms flowing out of stormwater piping entering Milnerton Lagoon and the oceanThe results of such high levels of ammonia (urine) entering Milnerton Lagoon triggered massive “Blue-Green Algae Blooms” to pour out of the lagoon mouth.The many Blue Green Algae videos on social media and news media platforms got the attention of Cape Town City officials, who unfortunately downplayed the crisis, and stated that it was just an algae bloom.No tests by the City to identify their green algae or their statement of brown algae blooms.The City warns the public of toxic blue-green algae being present at Rietvlie Nature Reserve, and the public has to sign a City waiver form, to be able to conduct watersport activities.Unfortunately, even though the City of Cape had used the “load shedding” as a political tool, they choose to forget about their many press statements, when it counted most in identifying the cause of the cause the green algae blooms, happening on Milnerton Lagoon.Blue-green algae signage warnings remained missing on the lagoon.Polluted water signage on lagoon, yet blue-green algae air toxins are highly toxic.The City then widened the lagoon mouth and sprayed algaecide poisons into the upper reaches of the lagoon.Unfortunately, by killing blue-green algae it releases their highly toxic BMAA toxins, which are a threat to human and biodiversity life forms.The City should have warned residents and the public to stay out of the water and away from the area, as the algaecide poisons would release the BMAA toxins to be flushed out of the lagoon.Videos and pictures of dead ducks, birds and fish, on social media, where the result of the algaecide poisons and BMAA toxins from blue-green algae.It is the City’s responsibility, via their actions, to not endanger the lives of their citizens or the natural biodiversity life forms.The City’s slogan, ” The City Works for You”.It is extremely important to understand biological crisis causes and how the natural environments will respond, for that would afford the City’s better understanding on how to protect citizens and the natural environment’s biodiversity life forms.Citizens would be afforded opportunities to make informed decisions, with regards to their health and safety.The Crisis that happened on Milnerton Lagoon.– The annual summer acidification period of the end of the year, 2019, always results in water levels dropping which cause the marshlands and bankside vegetation to start dying, decaying and drying up.The results added methane and ammonia gasses, nutrients and phosphorus salts to the lagoon water.– The Potsdam Sewage Plant, releasing e coli, ammonia and nutrients into the Diep River.– Sewage manhole and storm piping trickling ammonia and e coli at various common points.– The lagoon water was already stressed with high levels of ammonia, nutrients and acidification minerals.– Load shedding caused astronomical amounts of ammonia, urine, sewage and e coli to enter the lagoon, which tipped the scales and triggered astronomical blooms of blue-green, which drew the attention of the public, as it poured out of the lagoon mouth.– The City then open the mouth and sprayed algae pesticides on the lagoon.– The results were that the blue-green algae died, along with water hyacinths that turned brown along the bankside of the golf course.The natural indigenous plant life along the bottoms of the lagoon would have also begun to die.The combination of these aquatic vegetations dying, resulting in astronomical amounts of decaying matter to be present in the upper reaches of the lagoon.– The astronomical amounts of e coli and other coliforms, then become to colonise the suspended dead plant matter in the vertical columns of lagoon waters.– The visual signs whereof a muddy light brown colour of the water, that extended from the upper reaches of the lagoon that flowed past Woodbridge and into the lagoon mouth.– Unfortunately, the cure of the algaecide pesticides was far worst than the living blue-green algae, and the muddy light brown water was now a “Cultured Environment Test Tube” of e coli and other coliforms, that lasted for months, giving off astronomical levels of ammonia and methane toxic gasses, which caused far greater harm to the health of citizens and the natural biodiversity.– Had the City just left the blue-green algae it would of helped consume the overload of ammonia, urine, sewage and nutrients.– Another cycle seen during summer acidification periods, are the bloom of brown algae (diatoms) that are caused when aquatic vegetation and green algae start to die off.The water levels increase in CO2 levels for the green aquatic vegetation are not competing for increasing vast amounts of CO2, which creates water environments for plankton and brown algae to bloom and thrive.As the aquatic vegetation begins to die, bacteria will begin to consume their decaying matter which further increases the CO2 levels, diatoms and phytoplankton then use the CO2, and turn the carbon into glucose sugars, as food sources, while they release the oxygen to restore water quality.Eventually, CO2 levels will be reduced and phytoplankton, brown algae and bacteria will decrease their biomass, and green algae and aquatic vegetation will once again have healthy water environments, which will then see symbiotic bacteriaDiatoms, phytoplankton and bacteria have evolved together to form symbiotic relationships that benefit each other.Bacteria have even shared their DNA with these life forms and other plant species.Diatoms andEventually, plankton and brown algae will discolour the water, and cause shade that hinders the growth of blue-green algae.The plankton forms and brown algae filaments will intertwine with blue-green algae filaments and cause them to sink to the bottom, which prevents blue-green algae from being able to use sunlight for photosynthesis.The phytoplankton and brown algae act as filters and destroy the blue-green algae in the verticle water column.– At the time, blue-green algae was pouring out of the lagoon mouth, there was no bloom taking place at Rietvlei.The blue-green algae bloom was concentrated in the lower regions of the lagoon.The tidal flows, out incoming and outgoing tides would of aided phytoplankton and diatoms, to filter out the blue-green algae.Solutions that can aid and restore the health and water quality of Milnerton Lagoon– Low oxygen levels are restored by phytoplankton and brown algae, and the bacteria during these times will also break down toxic peptides and macromolecules.– In 1995 Australia, discovered bacteria that neutralise green-blue algae BMAA toxins, and make them harmless.*** Solutions that can aid and restore the health and water quality of Milnerton Lagoon– Cheap devices that can remove blue-green algae blooms, e coli and coliforms, ammonia and methane gasses, sewage and urine, chemical pollutants, nano plastic particles, discoloured water from bacteria blooms, inorganic and organic matter water pollutants, natural acidification salts, from the vertical water columns and the surface layer.
Removing pollutants from Milnerton Lagoon
– Omega 8 and Omega 10, with floating draft barriers that direct the vertical water columns pollutants to enter Omega 10.
– Use the tidal flows of both directions.
– Pollutants debris in the surface is directed by barrier floatation draft wall.
– Pollutant debris in the vertical columns of water, move along the bowed wall of the barrier’s draft.
– Pollutant debris then approaches the Omega 10 entrance, where the barrier wall draft is shorten, to produce a straight wall.
– A canvas ramp ramp lies at the entrance of the Omega 10, that extended to the bottom, on a frame that allow water to flow underneath the Omega 10.
– Infront of the ramp, lies another ramp, that causes the debris in the vertical column to be directed upwards.
– The Omega 10 has aerating bubbles to left the debris and pollutants in the vertical water column to the surface.
– Omega 8 lies down current, with aerated bubbles and electric pumps on its out side to pump water into the Omega 8, so that centrifugal forces will spine the debris outwards towards it’s circumference.
– A second Omega 8, lies down current that will skim off the debris and pollutanta from the circumference of the first Omega 8.
– The volume draft of the 2nd Omega 8 will grow deeper with debris particles and pollutants.
– Depending upon the debris and pollutants, it can either be trucked for processing at the e coli, ammonia and nutrient site, to re- enter the lagoon water.
– Or be processed at centrifugal sites, to remove any toxic chemicals, heavy metals or spillages.
– Or if it is sewage it can be trucked to the Potsdam Sewage Plant or another plant.
– Cheap devices that can restore beneficial bacteria, phytoplankton and diatoms to Milnerton Lagoon.Aids the zooplankton food chain.Zooplankton and crabs contain bacteria and enzymes that can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria and viruses.Blue horseshoe crab blood, used for the purpose of vaccine batch testing.Crabs eat decaying matter that is colonised by bacteria attached to the dead and decaying flesh.– Cheap devices that remove the chlorine, e coli, ammonia, methane and nutrients been releases from Potsdam Sewage plant into the Diep River.For people and businesses who would like to see the above solutions become a reality for the health of Milnerton Lagoon, for residents, water activities, joggers, walkers, pets and the biodiversity, you support these solutions at ( eaglesaquaguardians.org), in many ways.How to support these solutions to become a reality– you can sign up your business to advertise your brand name, that you make donations towards these solutions.Consumers from the area will then know that spending at your businesses, aids them aid the Milnerton Lagoon.– Tourism and travel agencies, that sell Nature-based natural environments travel packages to their client.Clients that support them will know that some of their money spent, will aid Milnerton Lagoon.– you can also nominate the device you would like to support.– people wanting to get involved in the solutions can email the website or available awareness emails.– the public can also donate to any device solution that appeals to them.The devices are quick and easy to constructed and install.Without interventions to combat the various sources of pollutants, the Milnerton Lagoon waters will pose health threats, that will intensify.Seasonal winter rains, cause the flooding of all upper marshlands areas in Milnerton Lagoon, where the water will turn a dark tan colour and pour out if the lagoon mouth.The water densities team with dead diatom silica enzyme and mineral salts, from the previous dry seasons salt pans and dead diatoms, that promote the growth of beneficial phytoplankton, diatoms and bacteria, that neutralise e coli forms, no amount of sewage flows of e coli can cause the water to turn a muddy stinky light brown colour, for the combating bacteria are in full force to digest toxic peptides and molecules.Nature has the solutions, for the Blue Planet’s gifts of life.