Dusi officials test quality of water

2015-02-13 00:00

DUSI Canoe Marathon Race officials and officials from the Dusi Umgeni Conservation Trust are closely monitoring the quality of the water in the Msunduzi River after a week in which scientists noted elevated pollution levels following heavy rainfall, ­technical failures and the effect of load shedding at the Darvill ­Wastewater Works.

Water testing is conducted on a regular basis by scientists from Umgeni Water and the Dusi Umngeni Conservation Trust (Duct) that was set up by paddlers to monitor water quality and address environmental concerns facing the river systems.

While water quality readings have generally fallen within what is accepted as a normal range for summer ­rainfall, attention has been drawn to unusually high discharges from the Darvill Wastewater Works in the past week. The Dusi advised paddlers via social media on the weekend to avoid using the Msunduzi River until the levels were once again within an ­acceptable range.

The discharge has been attributed to technical failures at some of the storage dams in the Darvill ­Wastewater Works, aggravated by regular load shedding that has ­disrupted the normal pumping between the dams, and unusually high water inflow following storms that hit the greater Pietermaritzburg region.

The latest testing done by the Duct officials showed that the Msunduzi River at Camps Drift down to the Darvill Wastewater Works has been of an acceptable standard, and well within the range deemed safe by the standards that have been uniformly adopted by recreational river users for more than a decade.

The latest tests downstream of the Darvill Wastewater Works reflect the sharp spike in E. coli levels from the irregular discharge from Darvill.

“There is no cause for alarm at this stage”, said Dusi general manager Brett Austen Smith. “The normal lifespan of the E. coli is 24 to 48 hours, and the die-off will be noted in the readings downstream.”

The 64th edition of the Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban from Thursday, February 19 to Saturday, February 21. More information can be found at www.dusi.co.za

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.

24.com 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

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.