Spring has no diesel fumes

2015-05-05 06:00
The spring in Springs Road in Newlands. 

astrid februarie

The spring in Springs Road in Newlands. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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A regular collector of water at a local spring in Newlands claims that the water is contaminated.

The complainant, who asked not to be identified, says he wants to warn people collecting free spring water in Springs Road in Newlands that it may be polluted.

He says he started collecting water at the spring in February 2013 and it was the only water he has used for drinking and cooking for most months.

However, in March and April last year he noticed that the water started smelling like diesel.

“When I opened the bottle in which I had collected water, gas would come out and it smelt very toxic, like tar and diesel,” he says.

He says he was once collecting water at the spring along with others when he saw two men in white suits walking toward the spring.

“One of the men in the suit asked: ‘Why are you drinking this water?’ and we all replied that it was healthy spring water.

“He shook his head and said it was not safe or it was not healthy, but did not explain why he said this. One of the men went to the spring and washed his hands – but neither of them drank the water or collected any and they walked off,” he says.

He says neither of the men told them why the water was dangerous to drink and they all continued collecting water.

He continues to tell that shortly after that the petrol station on Newlands Road was closed for maintenance. This station is about two blocks higher up from the spring in the direction of Newlands forest.

“A person at the café down the road said that SAB in Newlands ordered the petrol station to fix a leak because the water was polluting the spring water going to the brewery,” he says.

“If the brewery was not there, would anyone have forced the petrol station to fix the leak?”

He adds that he recently started collecting water at the spring again and alleges that the water smelled like diesel again “especially if it is kept in a closed container”.

“Someone needs to close the pipe and warn the people not to drink this water. This is urgent,” he says.

He adds that people he had spoken to in the past drive to the springs from as far as Milnerton and fill the boot of their car with ten litre bottles of water. “Babies and children could be severely at risk,” he says.

SAB spokesperson Robyn Chalmers says water samples have been collected from various points in the Newlands spring for detailed analyses with the City of Cape Town’s water and sanitation scientific services department.

“Laboratory tests conducted over this past weekend found no petrochemical smell present in any of the samples,” he says.

Chalmers says SAB conducted tests on several samples of water from Newlands spring following the anonymous query. A panel of qualified and expert tasters found no evidence of contamination or any alleged traces of diesel in the water.

He adds that potential points of contamination at the spring were also reviewed and found to be secure.

“Daily testing of water from Newlands spring which supplies SAB’s Newlands Brewery is undertaken and in addition to this an annual analysis is done. To date no evidence of contamination or decline in quality of the water has been found,” he says.

Chalmers says in regards to upgrades at the nearby BP garage last year: “Its environmental management team confirmed at the time that no ground contamination had occurred and found that no tanks had been damaged or compromised. In the event of any contamination, Newlands spring could not be directly affected by this,” he says.

People’s Post visited the spring in Springs Road and encountered several people collecting water. When asked if the water smelled like it could be contaminated we were told the collectors have not found it to be so

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