Our Meulen River Is Nearly Dead, George Municipality Take Responsibility

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Our Meulen River Is Nearly Dead, George Municipality Take Responsibility

This petition had 155 supporters
Pierre Theron started this petition to Trevor Botha (George Municipal Manager) and

The Meulen River on the outskirts of George, in the Western Cape is in a serious state of decline. Up until 2010 this river system supported bird life along it’s banks and fish in the lagoon mouth.

Today, barely 6 years later, it is nothing more than a breading ground for disease and bacteria, plagued by the dumping of sludge and sewerage. The river can no longer support fish and bird species that used to frequent this once pristine lagoon system. Bottles and plastic bags have replaced the Mullet and other bait fish. Car tyres, old shoes and human waste now lie submerged where Gannets once sunned their wings.

George Municipality, Take Responsibility And Clean The Meulen River

In short, the river has become a dumping ground for the upstream neighbourhoods and township of Thembalethu and we call on the George Municipality to:

  1. Improve and maintain the sewerage and outflow systems that frequently dump dark, dirty waste water sediments into this river system.
  2. Improve the refuse collection services to prevent the tons or plastic bags, bottles, old shoes, car tyres and all the human discard that continue to enter the upper river system.
  3. Employ a team to sweep the entire river system and collect the thousands of plastic items that have collected and washed down steam.

We call on the people of the George and the greater Garden Route Area and all South African and international nature lovers and anyone who respects nature to please sign this petition.  The aim is simple:  we need the George Municipality to take responsibility for the factors that have lead to the unacceptable decline in this river system.

There is good news!  It’s not too late – plastic bags and bottles CAN be picked up, tyres pulled out and broken sewerage pipes repaired, BUT only if George Municipality takes responsibility.

We therefore urge the George Municipality to follow through with meeting requests and the setting up of a task team to address this very real environmental problem.

Help Us Now.

Why Should You Care

A healthy river system, especially one with a lagoon that supports estuarine fish like Mullet or Harder forms an essential part of the food chain.  The river mouth in Ballots Bay is tidal and open to the ocean year round.  At hight tide, sea water washes in over the rocks into the lagoon and refreshes the salinity levels that bait fish like Mullet need to survive. Larger fish species such as Elf and Kob, which are an important commercial catch, feed off the Mullet and other bait fish that a healthy river system supports.

When the small fish die, the bigger fish disappear too.  A small river system like the Meulrivier supports a large and important diversity of fish species and it therefore needs to be protected.

More About The Meul Rivier (or Meulen River) Problem

Sometimes also referred to as the Meul River, with its origins in the hills surrounding the Garden Route Mall  and Parkdeene on the N2 on the outskirts of the City of George.  The catchments area starts around Rosemore, Protea Park and Parkdene before winding past the ever growing township of Thembalethu, and approximately 7km further down a smaller tributary, simply called the Klip Rivier, connects with it.  The river then winds for 1.3km through old growth Knysna Forest, cascading over numerous small waterfalls and finally opens up into a once pristine lagoon and river mouth in the picturesque Ballots Bay.

At the confluence of the Klip and Meulen rivers, it becomes obvious that the Meul River river water is seriously polluted. The almost clear water from the Klip Riverr has almost no effect on brightening the filthy, black sedimentary Meulen River waters.

About the Klip River Tributary
It’s important to understand the influence that this minor river has on the entire system.  If anything, it serves to refresh the river system with water that is clean and unpolluted.  The Klip River catchment is in the surrounding Victoria Heights area which skirts the George Private Nature Reserve. This area therefore has a very low human impact and pollution is kept to a minimum. 

The banks of the Klip River are as such unpolluted, and the only visible human interference is after heavy rains, when light brown clay-mud from the nearby quarry filters into the river.  This heavier clay-mud settles quickly and is not part of the suspension in the black polluted water of the Meulen River.

Download Latest E Coli Reports for the Meulen
Please take a minute to sign this petition and then visit Clean The Meulen where copies of the most recent E Coli reports can be downloaded. We will keep "Clean The Meulen" website updated with any and all progress achieved by the relevant authorities.

Final Thoughts
Please note that the Garden Route Mall is simply used as convenient geographic location, and it is not implied that it is part of the pollution source or problem. The Author is not an environmental professional so certain facts might not be 100% accurate – however all this information is written in good faith and to the best of his understanding and observation.

Petition Closed

This petition had 155 supporters

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