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Water in Oudtshoorn is now safe for consumption. 

This week, Oudtshoorn residents had 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 were high and called on the public to boil the water before human consumption.

Municipality spokesperson Ntobeko Mangqwengqwe confirmed that the water is now safe for human consumption. 

“The E.coli count at one reservoir was 360 cfu / 100ml. The other four reservoirs were zero. The E.coli problem, therefore, did not originate from the Raubenheimer dam but was only present in the affected reservoir. As required by law, the drinking water is bacteriologically tested every two weeks,” Mangqwengqwe said. 

The suspicion was that there might have been a mouse or dove in the reservoir in question, he said. 

“However, we could not get an open space at the reservoir that is big enough for a dove or mouse to land in the water. We are now also looking at the sampling procedure and whether there could not be an error resulting in high reading. Samples taken must be kept cold and analyzed within 24 hours,” Mangqwengqwe said. 

On Monday afternoon authorities added a lot of chlorine in the reservoir in question to address the E.coli problem. 

Early on Tuesday, three water samples were taken and sent to the laboratory to be bacteriologically tested, he said.  

“The chlorination underneath the Raubenheimer dam was also increased and had a positive effect on the bacterial quality of the drinking water,”  Mangqwengqwe said.