Water quality improving but still a concern - AfriForum

2015-05-12 18:15
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Johannesburg - The quality of water has improved since last year with only five out of 132 towns not complying with the quality of standards for drinking water, according to AfriForum's Blue Drop report released on Tuesday.

Last year, 11 out of 107 drinking water systems were not up to standard, the lobby group's head of environmental affairs Julius Kleynhans said.

"It is incredible to see organised communities taking responsibility and standing up for their rights and monitoring the quality of the water provided by their municipalities," he said.

"Those towns that did not previously comply with regulations were taken to task by AfriForum and we have seen a significant improvement in general."

The five municipalities which did not comply were:

- Moltenon in the Inkwanca local municipality where E. coli was found;

- Stella in Naledi local municipality where excess nitrates were found;

- Tarkastad in Tsolwana local municipality where E. coli was found;

- Coligny in Ditsobotla local municipality where E. coli was found for the second year in a row; and

- Vryheid in Abaqulusi local municipality where E. coli was found.

Kleynhans said the communities were told not to drink the water and the municipalities were put on terms to rectify the quality of their water.

Follow-up samples indicated that the water was clean.

For its Green Drop report, AfriForum tested 58 sewage water systems, of which 26 did not comply with quality standards.

Kleynhans said some municipalities would not give AfriForum access to sample their waste water quality this year.

However, there had been significant improvement in access control to sites and 15 sewage systems had improved dramatically.

"The results emphasised that the 26 waste water treatment works that did not comply pose a threat to human health, food security and the environment," he said.

"South Africa’s national water quality standards make allowance for 1 000 units of E. coli per 100ml of water in treated sewage."

The 26 municipalities were:

- Barkley East, Senqu Municipality

- Belfast, Emakhazeni local municipality

- Bethal, Govan Mbeki local municipality

- Centurion, Tshwane Metro

- Christiana, Lekwa-Teemane local municipality

- Dullstroom, Emakhazeni local municipality

- Elliot, Sakhisizwe local municipality

- Ermelo, Msukaligwa local municipality

- Kimberley, Sol Plaatje local municipality

- Klerksdorp, City of Matlosana

- Kroonstad, Moqhaka local municipality

- Langkloof (Joubertina), Kou-Kamma local municipality

- Lichtenburg, Ditsobotla local municipality

- Lydenburg, Thaba Chweu local municipality

- Newcastle, Newcastle local municipality

- Oudtshoorn, Oudtshoorn local municipality

- Petrus Steyn, Nketoana local municipality

- Reitz, Nketoana local municipality

- Rustenburg, Rustenburg local municipality

- Silverton, Tshwane Metro

- Springs, Ekurhuleni Metro

- Standerton, Lekwa local municipality

- Stella, Naledi local municipality

- Theunissen, Masilonyana local municipality

- Vredendal, Matzikama local municipality

- Winburg, Masilonyana local municipality

Kleynhans said AfriForum was concerned about the state of water quality throughout the country.

"It is essential that we continuously monitor our drinking and sewage water quality."

Read more on:    afriforum  |  water

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