FEEL GOOD | Cape Town tidal pools will now be cleaned in eco-friendly ways
- By the end of 2020, all Cape Town tidal pools will be cleaned using eco-friendly methods – primarily using high pressure hoses and chalk paint.
- The pools are not only used by Capetonian swimmers, but also provide a refuge for fish, shy octopuses, and striking purple nudibranchs.
- Despite several of the pools lying on the boundaries of Marine Protected Areas, they were sometimes cleaned using harmful chemicals.
- Then local free diver Lisa Beasley got involved.
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By the end of 2020, all tidal pools managed by the City of Cape Town will be cleaned using eco-friendly methods – primarily high-pressure hoses and chalk paint.
“Across the City we are working towards more environmentally sensitive practises and tidal pools have a wealth of marine biodiversity that resides within them,” said alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, the City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment.
The new methods come after a pilot project spearheaded by local free diver Lisa Beasley, the founder of Cape Town Tidal Pools, which has been experimenting with eco-friendly cleaning methods on four tidal pools along the False Bay coastline – Dalebrook, St James, Kalk Bay and Wooleys – since 2016.
The pools are not only used by Capetonian swimmers but also provide a refuge for schools of fish, shy octopuses, and her favourite a striking purple nudibranchs, Beasley said.
Then there are the humans.
“The Cape Town pools have got quite a quirky community and so many different communities. That’s what I love about them. You can get a completely different spread of demographics at individual pools and even between weekends and during the week,” said Beasley.
It was her goal to see the pools cleaned without using harmful chemicals or draining them, as was standard, despite many of them being on the boundaries of Marine Protected Areas.
“On the 28th of June 2018, we excitedly gathered at Dalebrook Pool to witness the first clean, and the results were impressive. Since then the pump has been used to clean St James, Dalebrook, Kalk Bay and Wooley’s pools, and the outcome has been exactly what we’d hoped for. The tops of the walls are much less slippery and the ecosystems in the pools are flourishing,” said Beasley.
The intention is to clean the pools using only such high-pressure hoses, on spring low tide every 28 days, along with coating the walls in chalk paint, made from environmentally friendly limestone.
Each pool is expected to get its own detailed cleaning protocol as well as an emergency response protocol in the event of a pollution incident such as oil or sewage spills – which will be the only time the city will consider using chemicals to clean it up.
The city added that individualising the treatment of the tidal pool would be more expensive than the current approach – but will also create more work opportunities.
“The cleaning of tidal pools requires significant effort regardless of the method,” said Nieuwoudt.
Each tidal pool will make the transition once their current existing contracts expire.
Cape Town lists 20 tidal pool facilities across the Western Cape:
Camps Bay Tidal Pool - Victoria Road, Camps Bay
Dalebrook Tidal Pool - Off Main Road, Dalebrook
Glencairn Tidal Pool - Glencairn Beach, Glencairn
Graaff Tidal Pool - Sea Point Beach Front, Beach Road, Sea Point
Harmony Park Tidal Pool - Jan Bruin Street, Strand
Kalk Bay 1 Tidal Pool - Off Main Road, Kalk Bay
Kalk Bay 2 Tidal Pool - Off Main Road, Kalk Bay
Maiden's Cove 1 Tidal Pool - Off Victoria Road, Camps Bay
Maiden's Cove 2 Tidal Pool - Off Victoria Road, Camps Bay
Milton Tidal Pool - Off Beach Road, Sea Point
Monwabisi Tidal Pool - Off Baden Powell Drive, Khayelitsha
Saunders' Rock Tidal Pool - Sea Point Promenade, Beach Road, Sea Point
Shelley Point Tidal Pool - M6, Glencairn
Silwerstroom Tidal Pool - Silwerstroom Resort, off Westcoast Road, Silwerstroom
Soetwater 1 Tidal Pool - Lighthouse Road, Kommetjie
Soetwater 2 Tidal Pool- Lighthouse Road, Kommetjie
Sparks Tidal Pool - Clarence Drive, R44, Gordon’s Bay
St James Tidal Pool - Main Road, St James
Strand Tidal Pool - Beach Road, Strand
Wooley's Tidal Pool - Off Main Road, Glencairn, Kalk Bay
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