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Pee-Induced Corrosion Fells Pole

Friday, February 20, 2015

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In South Africa, if you pee on a light pole, urine for some corrosion.

That's what officials in Galeshewe, a town in North Cape Province, said when a 20-meter-long (65.6 feet) high-mast light pole fell on top of a house.

Residents blamed corrosion after the pole not only damaged fencing and a house, but also killed the home owner's dog.

However, the municipality blamed the corrosion on too many people relieving themselves on the structure.

'Highly Acidic'

"The highly acidic nature of urine most likely caused the metal base of the pole to corrode, causing it to collapse," Sello Matsie, spokesperson for the Sol Plaatje Municipality, told the Diamond Fields Advertiser.

light pole corrosion
© / janza

Local officials in South Africa blamed the collapse of a light pole (not pictured) on corrosion caused by too many people urinating on the structure.

He asked the public not to urinate on light poles and substations to prevent future incidents.

The home owner, Sophie Mojaki, said she was in the kitchen when she heard something hit the roof.

"I heard the bang, but thought it was children throwing rocks on the roof," Mojaki told the Diamond Fields Advertiser.

"And then, the police knocked on the door."

The roof and interior and exterior walls of Mojaki's house were damaged. She said was thankful that neither she nor her granddaughter was injured, but she was "heartbroken" over the loss of her dog.

'Plunged into Darkness'

The municipality's emergency services removed most of the pole shortly after the incident, but the light was reportedly one of the few working in the neighborhood.

Residents now plan to protest.

"[The neighborhood] has now been plunged into darkness, and we will take to the streets to protest ... if the municipality does not repair this and other light poles in the area," resident Joey Steenkamp said.


Tagged categories: Corrosion; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Health & Safety; Lighting

Comment from john lienert, (2/20/2015, 10:01 AM)

maybe urinating in public is a time honored tradition ??

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