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Rest assured, our water is safe! eThekwini Municipality welcomes independent report on water quality

Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has welcomed an independent report that revealed the City’s water is safe to drink. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has welcomed an independent report that revealed the City’s water is safe to drink. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 15, 2023


eThekwini Municipality has welcomed an independent study confirming that the City's water is safe to drink.

The research, conducted by News24 and Netwerk24 journalists and funded by Truth First, a central lab partner, and a network of laboratories all over the country, revealed that water turbidity levels in eThekwini were at an acceptable level.

Water samples were taken directly from taps connected to municipal supply at or near where they live in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, and Gqeberha.

Those samples were tested by certified laboratories using an approach codified as a national standard. They did not tell the local municipalities or the Department of Water and Sanitation that they were testing the water.

He said those who had a hint of doubt about the City's water quality can now rest assured.

According to the report, turbidity measures suspended particles, both chemical and biological, in water. High turbidity is not dangerous in itself, but it can point to all kinds of trouble, such as dirty pipes or issues with filtration at the point of treatment. It also has an outsized aesthetic impact; highly turbid water looks nasty, and people may avoid it.

In South Africa, drinking water is required to come in at 1 or below, as measured in Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU).

“In the testing, only the Durban and Johannesburg taps have consistently been below that level. In Cape Town and parts of Bloemfontein, turbidity was consistently unacceptable at our testing points, researchers also found occasional trouble at the Gqeberha tap," the report further stated.

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said this independent research study once again indicates that the eThekwini Municipality is meeting the service delivery needs of its people.

He said that from a quality-of-life perspective and in line with the City’s vision of being the most caring and liveable city, the municipality prides itself on the quality of potable water supplied to our residents.

"We are proud that an independent team has confirmed what we have always been saying: that our tap water is safe to drink, and that it is of a high quality. We will continue regularly testing our water at our accredited laboratories to ensure that it continues to meet the stringent quality standards for tap water," Kaunda said.

The City has come under fire in recent months for its water quality owing to ongoing sewage issues.