Duzi water quality results delayed

2008-01-09 00:00

The results of water quality tests on the Umsunduzi River, which were expected yesterday, have been delayed as more water samples were taken from different areas.

Umgeni Water spokesman Shami Harichunder said yesterday that additional sampling is being done and will continue until the start of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.

The results are expected to be discussed at a meeting with the Water and Forestry Department, Umgeni Water, eThekwini Metro, Msunduzi Municipality, the Dusi race committee, and the Duzi-Umgeni Conservation Trust (Duct), at Umgeni Water in Pietermaritzburg today.

Meanwhile, experts say high levels of E.coli bacteria measured at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg do not mean the entire river is polluted.

Their assurances follow concern by people living further downstream, who draw drinking water from the river.

Lyn-Gravelet Blondin of Water Affairs said results will be reviewed and resource allocation discussed should there be any problems.

He said it should be clearly understood that the levels of E.coli in the Duzi and Umgeni vary considerably over place to place and over time.

"Our rivers are not managed to be of drinking water quality," he said.

"E.coli bacteria problems are experienced predominantly in areas that are densely human populated."

ANC MPL Zibuse Mlaba, who represents the Duzi valley area, called on politicians, MPLs and councillors to consider better rubbish disposal plans for Pietermaritzburg.

A huge flood of rubbish was washed into Camps Drift on Monday, following heavy rain on Sunday night.

Mlaba said that if it were not for the forthcoming Dusi Marathon, people would have possibly had no awareness at all about the contamination levels.

"An excellent sport is now in danger of not being hosted here because of this," he said.

"The municipality must develop a programme to create awareness for communities about the consequences of dumping rubbish into the river," he said.

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