Brackenfell residents claim drinking water made them ill

2016-12-01 11:35


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Cape Town – Several residents of St Michaels in Brackenfell became ill after a water pipe burst near Brackenfell station last Monday.

Everyone had the same symptoms: diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration and dizziness. Some had to be admitted to hospital.

The City of Cape Town sent out a health warning last Friday, but by then residents were furious, Netwerk24 reported.

"They should have warned us when the pipe burst last Monday. The water bubbling to the surface looked and smelled like sewerage water," Bernadette Heidenrich, whose entire family fell ill, said.

Another resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said his wife, daughter and some of his neighbours were ill.

He had complained to the city council last Wednesday.

Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services for the City of Cape Town, told Netwerk24 that the water was not contaminated with sewage.

"Low levels of ammonia were found in the water, meaning the rumour is improbable," he said.

Low quality water

He said that, when the pipe burst, the water ran back and that caused stagnant water of low quality to end up in household taps.

He said that bacteria could have been present in the natural sediment and stagnant water in a little-used part of the system.

He said only St Michaels was affected.

The broken valve that caused the problem was fixed.

"Laboratory tests done by the council's scientific services confirmed that water was not up to drinking water standards in places in the system," he said.

Residents were informed on Friday to boil water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or bathing.

Residents were not happy.

"We spent thousands on medicine and doctors. This could have been avoided if we were informed of the problem on Monday," Heidenrich said.

The city council released a statement on Monday informing residents that the water in St Michaels was safe for consumption.

Read more on:    cape town  |  service delivery

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