Pollution of Hartbeespoort Dam shocking

The Hartbeespoort Dam is not just suffocating under the current infestation of the salvinia weed, pollution by litter is increasingly becoming a problem.

The Hartbeespoort Dam is pollluted by litter.

A Hartbeespoort resident came across scenes like the one on the photo this week while out canoeing on the dam and expressed his shock at the amount of plastic and other objects in the water, caught amidst the salvinia and remaining hyacinth.

Since private operations to remove hyacinth, and refuse along with it, from the dam have been stopped by the Department of Water Affairs, the pollution of the dam has increased. It is now covered in salvinia and litter in many areas.

“Can we not initiate a private initiative by boat owners to remove litter when on the dam. Every little bit helps and if we all join in such a project, we can clean up our dam of the ugly litter,” the resident, who does not want to be named, said.

Kormorant recently reported that invasion of the salvinia plant (Salvinia minima) on Hartbeespoort Dam has reached over 35% cover. Towards the end of May, the CBC highlighted the new invasion by common salvinia and since then, the invasion has continued to expand despite winter, and has peaked above 35% cover, nearing the extent of the surface area covered by water hyacinth in the past.

The Rhodes University’s Centre for Biological Control is currently trying to import a new biological control agent that is already in use in America to stop the salvinia weed.