The City of Cape Town said the water quality at Muizenberg beach was back to levels that were considered normal, based on water samples taken at five points along the beach. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)
The City of Cape Town said the water quality at Muizenberg beach was back to levels that were considered normal, based on water samples taken at five points along the beach. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Muizenberg beach water back to normal, says City of Cape Town

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jun 2, 2021

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town said the water quality at Muizenberg beach was back to levels that were considered normal, based on water samples taken at five points along the beach.

This comes after last week’s reports of surfers falling ill because of contaminated water flowing from the Zandvlei Nature Reserve, which recorded high levels of E.coli because of a sewage spill. The vlei remains closed.

The City’s coastal manager, Gregg Oelofse, said on Friday that the City took water samples at several points along Muizenberg beach and results received on Monday showed that the enterococci results for five single samples were within the national guidelines for recreational activities.

“The global and national standard for coastal water-quality monitoring uses enterococci as the indicator as it remains in the coastal system for longer periods, and is more reflective of human-based pollution,” he said.

Oelofse said that as a general good practice it was advisable for residents to swim or surf 150m away from the mouth.

“Still, the City advises beachgoers to keep in mind the recent pollution event at Zandvlei as this may impact the water quality at Muizenberg beach from time to time because the vlei mouth remains open to the sea. We will keep on monitoring the water quality as per the national guidelines on our standard monitoring programme now that the individual results show a return to normal for this time of year,” said Oelofse.

One of the producers of the Bay of Sewage video, Mark Jackson, said there were other sewage and sanitation issues across the city and that there was a lot that needed to be done by the City’s Water and Sanitation Department.

Jackson said the City should increase testing to at least once a week in summer on “impact zones” like Camps Bay or Hout Bay beaches.

“There should be independent water sampling because the timing of sampling is where experts strongly believe the problems begin. We need a fully independent oversight body, both to determine the frequency and placing of sampling sites.

“All water results should be made publicly available, in real time, so they can be easily tracked and residents have the information needed to make responsible decisions.The City used to publish the results for Camps Bay.

“This mysteriously ceased in about 2016. We know more than before, and we use far more chemicals than before. Environmental contamination is no longer acceptable,” he said.

Learn to Surf owner Anthony Scholte said many surfers who reported being sick had all recovered and had started surfing again.

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Cape Argus

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