Durban — The eThekwini Municipality says that independent scientists have reaffirmed that eThekwini’s water is safe to drink.
Municipality communication head Lindiwe Khuzwayo said: “EThekwini Municipality is encouraged that recent results from independent water tests conducted by the Durban University of Technology’s Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology (IWWT) confirmed the City’s message that eThekwini's water remains safe to drink.”
Khuzwayo said that the IWWT sampled and tested water from 19 areas within the eThekwini Municipality. The water samples were collected on May 31, 2023, and June 1, 2023, in the northern, southern and western parts of Durban. Results indicated that no E. coli was present in any of the samples tested.
Samples were from areas that include Winklespruit, Chatsworth, Westville, KwaMashu, uMlazi and the Kennedy Road informal settlement.
“The water tests were conducted in accordance with the standard protocol for microbiological water quality analysis, as per the South African National Standard (SANS) 241. Samples obtained included tap water from households and one standpipe from an informal settlement. The areas tested had a consistent supply of water during the sampling period,” said IWWT director Professor Faizal Bux.
Bux said that they would be testing the water every two months and sharing the information with the public.
Khuzwayo added that in light of the recent Cholera outbreak, the City continued to assure residents that the water supplied to residents complies with the requirements of SANS 241 for drinking water quality. The SANS 241 Drinking Water Specification states the minimum requirements for potable water to be considered safe for human consumption.
“Our potable water continues to be sampled weekly for quality testing by our dedicated team of scientists at our accredited in-house state-of-the-art laboratory. Furthermore, we would also like to assure residents that the water delivered by our water tankers is from the same reservoirs that are tested at the same lab,” Khuzwayo said.
“The public is encouraged to always use trusted water sources and to practise good hand hygiene to prevent water-borne diseases.”
Meanwhile, state-owned entity, Umgeni Water, recently said that drinking water produced at Umgeni Water was SANS 241 compliant and safe to drink.
Umgeni Water said this in the wake of the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, City of Tshwane in Gauteng. Umgeni Water has been repeatedly asked by ward councillors and other members of the public how safe the drinking water produced at Umgeni Water’s treatment plants and supplied to municipalities is.
“Umgeni Water provides an assurance that the drinking water it supplies to its customers conforms to drinking water quality standards as stipulated in South African National Standards (SANS) 241 for drinking water quality,” Umgeni Water said in a statement.
“Advanced water treatment technologies and chemicals are used at Umgeni Water’s treatment plants to treat raw water abstracted from rivers and dams so that safe drinking water is produced for the protection of public health. Chlorine and chlorine-based compounds are used as disinfectants to efficiently and effectively destroy micro-organisms during the water treatment process.”
The entity said that the potable water that was supplied by Umgeni Water’s bulk water works to its customers was fully compliant with the requirements of SANS 241 and was fit for a lifetime of consumption.
“In the presence of a disinfectant residual, water supplied by Umgeni Water is safe to drink without boiling or further disinfection. The treatment process is rigorous in ensuring only water that is safe for public consumption is distributed,” Umgeni Water said.
Umgeni Water supplied drinking water in bulk to eThekwini Metro, Msunduzi Local Municipality, uMgungundlovu District Municipality, iLembe District Municipality, Ugu District Municipality, Harry Gwala District Municipality, King Cetshwayo District Municipality and Siza Water, the entity said.
“In addition, to daily monitoring of drinking water at the water treatment plants, supplementary monitoring is also undertaken, using a precautionary approach, to evaluate and respond appropriately to any areas where possible additional risk may be identified,” Umgeni Water said.
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