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Oudtshoorn residents have been urged to boil their water after the municipality recorded high levels of bacteria in the town’s water. 

In a statement, the municipality said the results of their water samples released on Monday morning revealed that the bacteriological counts are high and called on the public to boil the water before human consumption. 

Municipal Manager Allen Paulse said: “Urgent intervention is currently being implemented to disinfect water in the reservoirs. Follow up samples will be taken frequently to keep the residents informed about the situation.”

Paulse said investigations into the cause of the ineffective disinfection is underway. 

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused. We’ll keep you informed of any emerging developments on this matter,” Paulse said. 

Oudtshoorn Municipality spokesperson Ntobeko Mangqwengqwe said this is applicable to Oudtshoorn only and excludes Dysselsdorp and De Rust.   

Meanwhile, as Cape Town residents fight to save every drop of water, sales of sterilising product Milton has risen by 570% at two major retailers in the province since the start of the year.

Milton Brand manager Nicola Hickman said: “The crisis has led to shops requesting unprecedented volumes of Milton Sterilising Fluid and Milton Sterilising Tablets. We’ve had enquiries from the public around water safety and how to use the products since early January after increased media attention around Day Zero, when the taps are projected to run dry.”

Just four litres of water which have been dosed with two Milton Tablets or two capfuls of Milton fluid can be used to sterilise kitchen utensils, disinfect surfaces, wash floors and clean the mop afterwards, she said. 
The City of Cape Town’s Level 6b water restrictions require each person to use less than 50 litres of water per person per day.