PILING OPERATION WILL RESULT IN NOISE AT COFFERDAM CONSTRUCTION SITE
There will be a fair amount of noise emanating from the cofferdam site at Voorbaai until approximately the end of October 2010 and, after a break of two to three weeks, for another three weeks, according to a statement issued by the Municipality of Mossel Bay.
The noise will occur during piling operations to build a temporary cofferdam to facilitate the laying of pipes for the new emergency seawater desalination plant being built at Voorbaai.
The public is also advised to keep well away from the area and under no circumstances may anyone cross past the fence line bordering the construction site. The work that is being carried out involves heavy lifting apparatus and can be extremely dangerous, except to well-trained and informed workmen. The public is requested not to bring children anywhere near the construction site.
The Municipality says that it regrets any inconvenience that the operation may cause but it is unfortunately unavoidable because of the serious water crisis which the town faces. Unless it rains enough before the time, Mossel Bay is at risk of running out of potable water altogether if the desalination plant is not built in time. The dam had only 16,1 per cent water at the beginning of the week.
The plant, which will produce 15 megalitres of desalinated water a day, 10 megalitres a day for municipal use and 5 megalitres a day for PetroSA, has been necessitated because of the crippling drought experienced in most parts of the Southern Cape. The drought has resulted in Mossel Bay and some neighbouring districts being declared disaster areas by the National Disaster Management Centre.
The desalination plant requires the installation of two pipelines, one for pumping seawater to the onshore desalination plant and another for discharging brine from the plant into the sea.
The cofferdam that will extend 155 metres from the beach out to sea is required to create a channel of calm water for pulling out a floating pipeline into the deeper water and to give the depth needed for putting the pipeline down to an appropriate level below the surf line.
The noise will be caused by the installation of sheet piles, which are required to stabilise the walls of the dam. The piling operations will take place daily during daylight for up to twelve hours.
The noise levels may vary according to the sand conditions as well as wind conditions.
The cofferdam will be demolished and the dam site as well as the pipeline beach crossing site will be rehabilitated fully when the pipelines have been installed. This will form part of an overall environmental rehabilitation plan for the total area that will be affected by the construction of the desalination plant.