Low water levels result in murky tap water

2016-03-30 06:00

ON Tuesday morning 22 March, council were alerted to water discolouration in the St Winfred area that feeds off the Illovo pump station.

“Following a residential appeal, we were able to confirm similar patterns in the low lying areas that are supplied off the Almond Road and Lewis Drive gravity feed reservoirs and the KwaMakhutha pumpstation - all of which receive bulk supply from Umgeni water's Amanzimtoti treatment works,” said Ward 97 Cllr André Beetge.

He said while eThekwini water department was tasked to inspect reservoirs and flush contaminated water via dead-end valves (fire hydrants), various analysis samples were also drawn at the outlets, reservoirs and ATW.

“Laboratory reports from the ATW indicated significant amounts of taste and odour-causing-compounds in raw water. The same sample indicated 3.1 NTU operational turbidity (cloudiness or haziness) in reservoir 2 (four reservoirs on site) - higher than ideal, yet below the aesthetic limit of 5 NTU,” he added.

Beetge said this was attributed to the raw water quality owing to low water levels closely followed by high run- offs into the Nungwane Dam that feeds into ATW.

“As the plant stopped pre-chlorinating to address the odour issues (associated with algae etc., at low level), immediate intervention was required to address the high soluble manganese (Mn) in the Nungwane raw, thus it reverted back to pre-chlorination while altering processes to further accommodate and stabilise,” he added.

Reservoir 2 was emptied late on Wednesday afternoon and washed and/or disinfected on Thursday morning - it was put back on line later the same day.

eThekwini water department was tasked with continuing flushing and sampling at the lower points for the duration of Friday and Saturday to remove any discolouration that, although deemed safe for consumption, still left the system contaminated and a cause of concern to residents.

"While the discolouration essentially resulted from a chemical reaction, it is yet another reminder of the problems associated with the drought that the country is experiencing. Irrespective of the request for 15% saving and with dam levels being the lowest since 1999, the demand on the ASW remains above 65 Ml/p [million litres per day],” Beetge said.

He said this further increases during holiday season, yet with a capacity of only 24 Ml/p, it necessitates supplementing from the Wiggins line. Further to which sections of the system might also be suffering sand contamination.

“This due to the continued practice of individuals shutting down distribution lines during service delivery protests that in turn causes airlocks and/or bursts to an already strained and/or challenged and ageing infrastructure. Residents are requested to report their concerns or inquire with the correct authorities on 080 131 3013 to alleviate unnecessary delay in securing the desired outcome" said Beetge.
- Supplied.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.