#CapeWaterCrisis: Five things you need to know about spring water collection

Cape Town - In the midst of 'Day Zero' concerns, the City of Cape has announced that only 10 out of 80 springs across the city have been tested as safe for drinking.  

The announcement comes after the City's environmental health coordinator, Christa Hugo, warned residents that not all of the spring water being collected by residents in Cape Town is safe for drinking.

The City's mayoral member, Alderman JP Smith says only water from 10 sites are sampled once a month - but more sites are being added to the list to reduce potential health risks. 

ALSO SEE: #CapeWaterCrisis: How to secure safe drinking water after Day Zero

The City says this initiative is but one of several key interventions to safeguard the public in a time of increased reliance on alternative water sources such as springs, boreholes and well points and greywater.

The City warns residents that the only source of safe drinking water remains the municipal water provided through the City’s reticulation system, not the water being sold illegally or delivered to private homes by "profiteers across the city".

In addition to that, the City’s Health Department is erecting warning signs at all of the sites to highlight that the water quality cannot be guaranteed as safe to drink.

The City also advises against connecting a borehole water tank to the plumbing system in the home as it could result in a backflow that risks contaminating the City’s drinking water system. 

"While there are many dos and don’ts for the use of alternative water sources, there is one common thread and that is that it should not be used for drinking or cooking and in most cases not for personal hygiene either."

ALSO SEE: #CapeWaterCrisis: How will I flush my toilet after 'Day Zero'? 

"Reports are analysed regularly, trends are interpreted and the evidence is used to make or tweak plans. Recent examples of the system in action include the measles and listeria outbreaks last year," says Smith, adding that prevention is better than cure and the City's officials are doing regular education and awareness drives across the city. 

WATCH: WATCH: Desperation flows as 50-litre water restrictions kick in in Cape Town

Here are five things you need to know about spring water collection: 

1. Out of the 80 springs, 70 springs are not part of the city's normal and regulated water monitoring areas and are therefore not controlled for drinking water standards.

2. Springs water quality starts decreasing after three days, depending on storage conditions and quality of the container. Always boil this water to sterilise it, if you intend to use it for anything other flushing or washing. 

3. Use clean and sturdy containers of good quality with screw-closing tops, also sterilise your containers before you use them.

4. Springs water is free and any that is sold is done so illegally. 

5. Springs Way in Newlands is accessible to vehicles between 07:00 and 22:00 - the city has not released a list of times for the other 9 monitored sites. 

What to read next on Traveller24

#TravelTrends: Gautrain launches new app and website with real-time trips

#LoveSA: Two SA architectural marvels are ArchDaily 'Building of the Year' finalists

MAP: SONA 2018 road closures and bus routes affected

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
46% - 7160 votes
It's four more years for Trump
54% - 8271 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.19
(-0.08)
ZAR/GBP
21.15
(+0.19)
ZAR/EUR
19.18
(-0.17)
ZAR/AUD
11.57
(-0.17)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.03)
Gold
1910.65
(+0.31)
Silver
24.73
(+0.20)
Platinum
903.00
(+2.61)
Brent Crude
42.50
(+1.69)
Palladium
2389.00
(+0.92)
All Share
55402.11
(+1.11)
Top 40
50817.54
(+1.08)
Financial 15
10593.39
(+2.09)
Industrial 25
74918.06
(+1.06)
Resource 10
53181.40
(+0.69)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo