Toxic radio-active mine water rises 43.7cm a day

Gold Reef City fitter Frans de Vries  invented the Frans Mobile – measuring the rising toxic tide of radio-active, acid mine water threatening the Witwatersrand region…

RANDFONTEIN. One thing Frans de Vries of Robersham is certain of is that he invented one of the valuable devices for Gold Reef City Theme Park. They call it the Frans Mobile, a device used to measure the rising radio-active, acid mine water level in the mine-shaft. The rising mine water – which travels upwards at the rate of 437mm per day, is an ever-increasing ecological threat in greater Johannesburg.

DE VRIES FRANS inventor testing acid mine weater Frans Mobile

“I use a fishing rod and line, bicycle wheel and a washing machine motor to turn the wheel, every turn of the wheel is a metre. As a qualified fitter since 1959, every piece of apparatus I use on this device is perfect,” noted Frans. Mining-engineer Bart Pretorius said: “When mine inspectors told us that we need to be accurate when measuring the water, Frans came with his device. He uses a fishing rod  and a bicycle wheel.”

They started measuring the water level on June 12, 2009. On March 18 2011, the reading was on 53cm. “We measure the water every second week and the graph shows that the water rises at 43.7cm per day. It is safe for our visitors as we took them only 215 metres belowground. “I also don’t believe that this water will affect us anytime soon, we also sent a sample of water to Prof McCarthy at Wits,” explained Bart.

Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg correspondent for the Telegraph in the UK, writes: ‘A toxic tide of acid mine water is rising steadily beneath Johannesburg which, if left unchecked, could cause earth tremors, power blackouts and even cancer among residents, experts have warned’.

Earth tremors detected in South Africa Witwatersrand and Pietersburg region:

Standerton Earthquake 3_4 5km deep Jan182011Augrabies Jan122011 Earthquake 4_2 Richter 5km deep 

Standerton seismograph listen: “http://secundaweather.co.za/seismo/SECWX201101181337_secunda.png

—————-

May 17 2011: 07:30 and 0:9.30: Pietersburg: report: Fred Calitz, SAWDIS Observer: ‘ several small tremors: Dogs started growling just before quaking began.No damage.

May 14 2011: 16:10 South Cape, Little Karoo Richter 4.2 damage reported: inspections needed of all dams: http://bit.ly/j5CSQy
Jan 18 2011: 11:37:48  Standerton Area, SA (distance 49.8km)Richter 3.4
Jan 12 2011: 06:14:20 Augrabies Area, SA Richter 4.2

May 17 2011: 07:30 and 0:9.30: Pietersburg: report: Fred Calitz, SAWDIS Observer: ‘ several small tremors: Dogs started growling just before quaking began.No damage.

Jan 18 2011: 11:37:48  Standerton SA (49.8km) Richter 3.4

Jan 12 2011: 06:14:20 Augrabies Area, SA Richter 4.2

 Fact file
*A new pump station and pipeline will cost the taxpayers of South Africa R218million and  only  R14million were made available.
*Acid mine water has been overflowing from western basin located below the Krugersdorp-Randfontein area since 2002.
*In the central basin the acid water is currently rising at a rate of 350mm a day and it is understood this will increase to 900mm a day during the Highveld’s rainy season.
* Radioactive, acid mine water is the result of 120 years of gold mining on the Witwatersrand.
(sources: Lucky Thusi and Aislinn Laing).
http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/alberton/alberton-news-general?oid=4306148&sn=Detail&pid=1171116&Frans%E2%80%99-Mobile-work

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/7984858/Rising-tide-of-acid-mine-water-threatens-Johannesburg.html

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

One Response to Toxic radio-active mine water rises 43.7cm a day

  1. Time to stop talking and “do” something!

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