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Get building plans approved, residents advised

Linda Soko Tembo writes

@SunZambian

LUSAKA residents should take their house construction plans to Lusaka City Council (LCC) for approval before they  start building.

Failure to take the building plans for approval risked  contaminating ground water because most septic tanks were not professionally constructed.

Speaking at a   workshop for journalists organized by Lusaka Water sewerage Company (LWSC)   in Chisamba LCC, Director Public Health, Edgar Mulwanda said it was mandatory for people to take their plans for approval before construction works began.

Mr Mulwanda said it was an unfortunate that very few people adhered to this or followed the procedure.

 He said septic tanks were supposed to be constructed according to certain standards so that they could achieve the treatment of effluent in the environment.

“Effluent is supposed to be treated if at all the Septic tank is well designed so that whatever is coming out of the tank through the soak away is treated. Most  of the microorganisms can die and would not cause harm to public health,” he said.

“That is why it is mandatory for the people who construct houses to  take  plans to the local authority so that the construction of septic tanks is of good standard,” he said.

 He said once the water was contaminated it was a challenge for the public health inspectors and LSWC because this meant  treating the water which was costly.

“Heavily contaminated water will definitely  require different methodologies on the amount of dosage for the chemicals used.

“This is why we want people to come through so that we help them understand. Because if the right thing is not done it will affect our drinking water,” he said.

Mr Mulwanda said because  people were not following instructions this was causing members of the public to have strange diarrhoea and skin diseases that  came as a result of water being exposed to fecal matter which was not effectively  treated.

He further said because of the cheap design septic tanks got filled up quickly    forcing people to find cheaper means of empting the tank and discharging the fecal matter in places that were not designated for such.

Mr Mulwanda warned the members of the public who were in the habit of discharging effluent in the environment illegally and indiscriminately to stop or be charged.

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