Capetonians reassured that earthy tasting tap water is safe to drink

The City of Cape Town would like to reassure residents who have detected an earthy taste to their tap water that it remains safe to drink. File Picture.

The City of Cape Town would like to reassure residents who have detected an earthy taste to their tap water that it remains safe to drink. File Picture.

Published Dec 24, 2019

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town would like to reassure residents who have detected an earthy taste to their tap water that it remains safe to drink and compliant with SANS241 standards.

The change in taste is due to the presence of geosmin in our raw water supply.

 

"It must be emphasised that geosmin poses no threat to human health. It is a naturally occurring organic compound and is responsible for the earthy taste of beetroot and the scent that occurs in the air when rain falls after a dry spell. The compound is sometimes present in water, particularly during periods of hot weather, and even minute concentrations of a few parts per trillion can be detected by the human palate," the City said.

"The City of Cape Town advises residents that we are currently experiencing high levels of geosmin in our raw water supply from the Voëlvlei Dam. This is currently affecting the taste and smell of the water supplied from the Voëlvlei Water Treatment Plant to the Western areas of Cape Town.

"Initial reports were received from consumers in the Parklands and Sunningdale areas," the City said.

The City is currently dosing powdered activated carbon during the water treatment process to reduce the effect of the geosmin. However, they said it may take some time for the taste and smell of the water to normalise.

On Monday, the City also revealed that dam levels continue to decrease to 77.3%.

While water consumption for the week (16-22 December 2019) was considerably less than the week before, dams are down from 78.6%.

Water consumption decreased to 701 million litres/day for the week 16-22 December 2019, down 51 million litres/day compared to the week before.

The City urges residents to practice water conservation and make saving water a way of life, as this will enable the City to provide safe, reliable, sustainable and affordable Water and Sanitation services to residents.

Cape Argus

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City of Cape Town