Carolina water situation unchanged

2012-02-22 07:06

Johannesburg - The drinking water in Carolina, Mpumalanga, was still contaminated by acid mine water seepage, the water affairs department said on Tuesday.

"The situation hasn't changed since yesterday," spokesperson Themba Khumalo said.

The department had ordered samples of the water be taken and tested.

"We are trying to get to the bottom of the matter. To the real cause of the pollution."

On Monday, the department said in a statement that it was extremely concerned about the situation.

Khumalo said the department had appointed a rapid reaction team of scientists and engineers to help local authorities remove heavy metals - iron, aluminium and manganese - from the drinking water.

Officials at the Chief Albert Luthuli local authority were pouring dozens of bags of lime into the town's drinking water on Monday to try and raise pH levels and supply water to the approximately 15 000 local residents.

Town officials were struggling to remove aluminium, in particular, and the water was still not fit for human consumption.

Local authorities notified the department of water affairs in writing in January about the impending water disaster, Beeld newspaper reported.

Local authorities have been trucking drinking water to Carolina from nearby Breyten and Chrissiesmeer.

Khumalo said the department had offered to assist the community financially while the water was being brought in, and to supply two water trucks.

Some of the money would be used to upgrade the town's water purification plant.