Mpumalanga town faces acid water crisis

2012-02-16 11:44
Mbombela - Municipal authorities in Carolina, Mpumalanga, are pouring lime into the town's polluted water system in an attempt to neutralise high pH levels, it was reported on Thursday.

Suspected seepage from two abandoned coal mines in the Nkomati catchment area had made the town's water supply too acidic, and thus undrinkable, Beeld reported.

Tests conducted by town authorities revealed iron levels in the water were seven times higher than the acceptable level for drinking water. Aluminium levels were 140 times higher, manganese levels 3 000 times higher, and sulphate levels twice as high, the newspaper reported.

Problems with the town's water supply began in early January, when residents first noticed the water tasted strange. Local authorities warned residents on January 11 that the water was not fit for human consumption.

DA councillor and local farmer Helen McGinn said when people poured bleach into the water to purify it, it took on a jelly-like consistency and turned a rusty colour.

Around 15 000 residents are relying on water from water trucks, or if they can afford it, are buying bottled water.

Town councillor Albert Mngomezulu said pouring lime into the water only temporarily raised high pH levels, and was clearly not a long-term solution.

He also said a government task team had been appointed to find out who owned the abandoned coal mines.

"If we manage to trace the owners, we can prosecute them," he said.

Join the conversation! 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.
Read more on:    mbombela  |  acid mine water  |  pollution  |  water publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks want to continue upward curve
We'll do it our way - Les Bleus
Ton-up Giteau defies his own expectations
The game of Heyneke’s life
Traffic Alerts

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand more

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 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.