Lab tests find Raisethorpe’s fishy water harmless

2008-02-26 00:00

THE musty fishy odour and oily taste detected by Raisethorpe residents in their tap water last week was due to the presence of non-toxic micro algae.

These were the results given to the municipality by Talbot Laboratories after chemical and microbiological tests on the water found that all water samples from the Belfort Reservoir and five points in the Raisethorpe area appeared to be within acceptable limits for drinking safely.

Council spokeswoman Evodia Mahlangu said: “The taste … may be related to the presence of one of two species of micro algae that are commonly known to taint drinking water [when the weather is hot]”. She said the water supplied to the city comes from a catchment that is low in total dissolved solids or “impurities”.

In future, residents are warned to be wary of water testing cons by water purification vendors who may exaggerate the severity of the situation in order to sell their products.

“Due to the high standard of water supplied to the city by Umgeni Water, vendors of water purification equipment need to go to great lengths to market their products in Pietermaritzburg, resulting in the negative publicity supplied to an uninformed public,” Mahlangu said.

The affected Raisethorpe reservoir was inspected on Monday last week and no problems were detected. The “fishy smell and taste” have not been detected in the water since last week.

thabi@witness.co.za

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