Benzine contaminates Pretoria water

2013-04-10 10:35
Water.

Water. (Voishmel, AFP)

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Johannesburg – The Green Scorpions are investigating a possible petrol leakage into an underground water source at Wonderboom near Pretoria, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Environmental affairs spokesperson Moses Rannditsheni said on Tuesday that the underground water source formed part of the catchment of the Crocodile River, and that the investigation had been initiated after Wonderboom residents had complained for four years of massive water contamination and exposure to benzine fumes.

Tshwane metro spokesperson Nomasonto Ndlovu said Tshwane's department of environmental management and the water and sanitation department had investigated the issue in March 2011.

Several water samples were taken and fuel contamination – thought to have emanated from a nearby filling station – was detected.

Repairs were then carried out, Ndlovu said, but in November 2012 further complaints were received, after which the matter was taken up by the environmental affairs department.

The department reportedly intended to issue a warning to the polluter.

Ndlovu said the environmental affairs department was the only state entity with prosecution powers.

According to experts, benzine, a chemical found in petrol, can cause cancer if the fumes are inhaled, and it can be fatal if drunk.

Read more on:    water  |  environment

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