The Department of Water Affairs 2010 host cities drinking water quality management audit report and Blue Drop certification programme

2010-03-17 10:42

Ms. Buyelwa Sonjica, minister of water and environmental affairs, launched the 2010 Host Cities Drinking Water Quality Management Audit Report on 17 March this year. 

This report seeks to inform the public on the audits conducted by the department of water affairs on the drinking water quality (DWQ) management practices of all nine 2010 FIFA host cities, in order to determine their compliance levels with the current Blue Drop Certification requirements. 

The Blue Drop Certification programme is a significant regulatory programme which determines the levels of confidence the department should have in the management of drinking water quality by the various municipalities and other relevant entities. Since its inception toward the end of 2004, The Drinking Water Quality Regulation programme has thus far successfully ensured that the South African water sector intensifies its focus on the manner in which tap water quality is managed. Research conducted at that time found that less than 50% of Water Services Authorities (WSA’s) had drinking water quality monitoring programmes in place, even though this continues to be a legislated requirement. By 2009 however, 100% of the municipal authorities had monitoring programmes in place. Even though the efficiency of some of the monitoring programmes could still do with improvement, the department has reason to be optimistic with the progress made thus far.

The findings of the department are communicated to the public as a means of ensuring transparency and subsequent accountability.

It is important to note that the failure to obtain Blue Drop status does not imply that the tap water in that specific supply system is unsafe. It simply means that the management practices require improvement before being classified as exceptional. Blue Drop status is only awarded when 95% or more compliance with the certification programme’s strict set of criteria is met. 

Where the 2010 FIFA World Cup is concerned, the department wishes to use the same vehicle to inform visitors of the quality of South African tap water and the management excellence levels. This would be done according to the Blue Drop Certification scoring. While this particular report will focus solely on the host cities of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Nelspruit, Rustenburg and Polokwane, a more detailed national Blue Drop 2010 Report will be released shortly thereafter. 

To access the 2010 Host Cities Drinking Water Quality Management Audit report, click here.

The Blue Drop 2009 report is available to download here.

If you are interested in finding out what the quality of the water is that you are drinking, click here to access “My Water”.  Type the name of the town or city in which you stay into the search box.  After you’ve clicked on search, all drinking water quality monitoring points will appear on the screen for the area that you specified.  Choose the link closest to your area of concern. Should you require more guidance, find out from your local municipality which monitoring point is applicable to your specific residential area.

A percentage is assigned as an indication of the quality. These percentages are calculated as averages of the data received over the last three months. The microbial water quality refers to the state of the water with respect to the absence (good water quality) or presence (poor water quality) of micro-organisms.

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