CT, Durban may drink recycled water

2012-10-10 10:46

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Cape Town - Cape Town and Durban residents will soon have to face the possibility of drinking recycled water from sewerage works as it becomes more scarce, the Cape Times reported on Wednesday.

Water affairs department director Johan van Rooyen said the two cities were both flushing large volumes of domestic waste water into the ocean when it could be recycled.

He told a meeting in Umhlanga that while it was technically possible to desalinate sea water, the cost would be too high.

Desalinated water would cost about R12 per kilolitre, whereas recycling domestic effluent to tap water quality would cost around R7 per kilolitre.

According to the report, Gauteng was not immune to the crisis and would have to start diluting large volumes of acidic mine water within the next three years to avoid unacceptable pollution of the Vaal River system.

Water Institute of SA vice-president Jo Burgess said the first reaction to drinking water from sewerage works was "yuck". However, the reality was that citizens had indirectly been drinking it for several decades from contaminated rivers.

- SAPA
Read more on:    durban  |  cape town  |  environment  |  acid mine water  |  water
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