Mystery dam explained

Bolander received a letter recently from Bridgewater Road, Somerset West resident, Elsa Rall.

“Is there anybody able to shed light on this large dam that was dug last year on a piece of – presumably –  municipal land. The plot in Bridgewater is bordered on three sides by Marais Street, Orange Street and Somerset Road,” asks Ms Rall.

“Who planned the dam, who financed the work, what is the purpose and where is the water to fill the dam going to come from?” she asks.

“This big hole in the ground has now been sitting there for many months and that seems to be the end of the project. Twice there has been some effort to clear growth from the banks, but then it stops there.”

Bolander approached the City of Cape Town, and the mystery of the “dam with no water”, is solved.

The City’s mayoral committee member for transport, Felicity Purchase, explains: “The City can confirm that this is a retention/detention facility that was constructed to form part of the overall stormwater management system in the area.

“The purpose of the facility is to attenuate the risk of flooding of the lower lying, or downstream areas, of this catchment during major downpours.

“The facility was completed during the latter half of 2018, as part of the latest phase of an ongoing initiative, aimed at mitigating the risk of flooding associated with the Lourens River and its immediate surrounds.

“It must be noted that the pond forms part of the construction of the last phase of the stormwater management system. Therefore, the cost thereof has not been isolated or separated from the rest.

That said, the total construction cost of the project of which this pond forms part, was R40.37 million excluding VAT.”