Drinking water safe as manufacturing gets back on track at chlorine plant

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Any negative impact on drinking water has been prevented.
Any negative impact on drinking water has been prevented.

Manufacturing at NCP Chlorchem's Chloorkop plant has stabilised, and there are enough chlorine molecules available so that drinking water at the municipalities it supplies will not be impacted, according to a statement issued on Friday.

Chlorine is used to purify drinking water.

NCP supplies chlorine molecules to 90% of municipalities in the country, and to all the water boards.

The company warned earlier this week of a possible shortage in the market of chlorine gas. NCP, which is headquartered in Kempton Park in Gauteng, faced a double whammy of delays in obtaining imported raw materials due to infrastructure problems at KwaZulu-Natal ports, as well as electricity problems at its plant. If there are dips in electricity, the production plant often shuts down and needs to be restarted again.

"Despite the challenges NCP faced, the dedicated teams restored our capacity without any of the downstream chlorine users running dry. Any negative impact on drinking water has been prevented. NCP is now fully focused on making sure that the backlog created is addressed as soon as possible," managing director André Harding said on Friday.

Harding had earlier pointed out that, even if there were no chlorine supply, there were alternatives in place, approved by the Department of Water and Sanitation, which could have been used as a backup plan.

The City of Cape Town was one of the municipalities where chlorine reserves started to run low. The City announced on Thursday that it was planning for an extended period of supply constraints and was executing contingency plans to ensure chlorine is available to meet the national drinking water quality standards at all times.

Mayoral committee member for water and sanitation Zahid Badroodien said in a statement that tap water in the city was still safe to drink. 

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