Picture Leon Lestrade. African News Agency/ANA.
Picture Leon Lestrade. African News Agency/ANA.

Some Durban beaches remain closed after water tests reveal 'beyond normal' E-coli levels

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Sep 23, 2021

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Durban - All Durban beaches north of the Umgeni River and up to Salt Rock will remain closed over the long weekend after tests revealed “beyond normal” E-coli levels, the eThekwini Municipality said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the decision was in the interest of the safety of residents and tourists.

“This follows signs of beyond normal E-coli levels in the water. The City moved speedily to conduct tests after seeing murky waters in some in some beaches and results showed a positive presence of these bacteria,” he said.

Mayisela said teams were working on a malfunctioning sewer pump station that was constantly vandalised for scrap metals and work was at an advanced stage to remedy the situation.

The municipality appealed to the public not to embark on any activity until the water quality had been determined as safe and an official communication from the City was issued.

Beaches were closed in July as a precautionary measure following a chemical spill which contaminated the Ohlange River and Umhlanga Lagoon.

The City said it was aware of the significance of the long weekend, but it had the responsibility of guarding against any possible threat to the public and tourists.

“eThekwini is awaiting the final and signed off report from UPL’s specialists. This requirement came out of a workshop with UPL and their specialists on 8 September,” Mayisela said.

“The submissions received prior to this workshop were inadequate. They did not reference the spill or site in question and were riddled with errors about the concentrations of toxins,” he said.

“In some cases, the submissions were unsigned and as a result they were unacceptable and rejected on that basis. A consolidated report is expected early next week after which an independent peer review process will take place.”

The final report on beach opening will be made available to the public at the same time it was sent for peer review.

The public are asked to be patient and comply with requests from authorities. Any inconvenience was regretted; however the safety of the public is of utmost importance.

Beaches that are safe for the public to use are:

·        Pipeline beach

·        Amanzimtoti main beach

·        Warner beach

·        Winkelspruit beach

·        Reunion beach

·        Umgababa beach

IOL

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