The latest water quality test results from Talbot, an independent water testing and treatment service, show signs of moderate improvement with regards to the amount of E. coli, but some beaches in the eThekwini Municipality remain closed.
This week, Talbot published the results for water quality sampled at six points along the Durban beachfront on January 11.
All but one, Point Beach, tested in the ideal or acceptable range.
It's not clear why Point Beach tested way over the threshold when beaches in close proximity, like Ushaka and South Beach, were in the clear.
According to the Woz ‘Olwandle website, which uses a model to predict the water quality in Durban, Point, uShaka, and South Beach were all clear for use.
The results from Talbot and Woz’Olwandle showed contradictory results for Point Beach and Country Club Beach.
This could be due to the fact that the Woz’Olwandle website uses real-time data to predict the water quality in Durban, while Talbot releases results based on tests done in the past.
According to Dr Justine Pringle, co-founder of Woz’Olwandle, the model is able to provide beachgoers with more accurate information because of the real-time display of information.
The model measures forecast winds, rain, and river/stormwater drain flows to predict user safety.
Earlier this week, the eThekwini Municipality announced that beaches towards the north and south were closed while central beaches were open for use.
The municipality cited heavy rains as a cause for the beach closures, as dirt, debris, and other sewage most likely found its way to the ocean due to the amount of rainfall in the stormwater system.
“eThekwini Municipality wishes to inform the public that all beaches in the north and some in the southern region are closed until further notice. Only Umgababa Beach remains open in the southern region. All central beaches remain open and are safe for swimming and other water-related activities,” the City said.