Umgeni Water: Midmar Dam water safe

2015-11-24 13:39
A buoy floating in a sea of sand shows how much the water levels at Midmar Dam have dropped.

A buoy floating in a sea of sand shows how much the water levels at Midmar Dam have dropped. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - Recent reports raising concern over the quality of water in Midmar Dam have been quashed by Umgeni Water.

A press statement sent by Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder yesterday said recent media reports raised concerns over the risk of algal toxins in Midmar Dam.

“Umgeni Water would like to assure the public that Midmar Dam’s water is safe for use for recreational purposes,” said Harichunder in the statement. “Furthermore the purified water being supplied from the treatment plants fed by Midmar Dam is safe to use for drinking purposes.

“All the purified water supplied by Umgeni Water from all of its dams is safe to drink.”

Harichunder said the algal toxin concentrations in Midmar were measured by Umgeni Water in an accredited Pietermaritzburg laboratory on a weekly basis to ensure there is no risk. “The concentrations are well below the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for use of the water for recreational purposes [swimming, canoeing, etc].”

“Umgeni Water analyses water in all the dams under its management on a weekly basis for algae cells as well as for algal toxin concentrations when necessary.”

He said other dams managed by Umgeni Water showed the algal cell levels and algal toxin concentrations were all well within WHO guidelines for recreational and drinking water purposes at Midmar, Albert Falls, Nagle, Hazelmere, EJ Smith (Umzinto area), Inanda and Solly Bux Dam (Ixopo).

“Umgeni Water would also like to inform the public that it has advanced treatment processes, including activated carbon, specifically designed to remove algal toxins, should they ever be detected in dams supplying its water treatment plants.”

He said the only dam with high algal cell concentrations was Shongweni Dam, which is not used for drinking water.

“Paddlers and canoe clubs that use the Shongweni Dam for recreational purposes are aware of the risk and notices have been erected at the dam

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