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E coli alert for Cape beach

Don't go into the water at Hout Bay beach " it's infested with E coli. File photo: Brenton Geach

Don't go into the water at Hout Bay beach " it's infested with E coli. File photo: Brenton Geach

Published Sep 21, 2014

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Cape Town - Cape Town is sizzling on Sunday with the mercury expected to hit 28ºC – but if you’re heading to the seaside, don’t go into the water at Hout Bay beach – it’s infested with E coli.

The City of Cape Town has warned that seawater along Hout Bay beach does not currently conform to the SA water quality guidelines for coastal recreational use, due to high E coli levels.

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E coli is a bacteria which can cause gastrointestinal problems, as well as skin, eye, ear and respiratory irritations.

The city, which was alerted to the infestation during routine water quality tests, said people who swim, dive, water ski, surf, paddle ski or wind surf there would be at risk.

“It’s likely this situation was caused by the pollution of the Disa River as well as storm water runoff during recent winter rainfall,” said the city’s Benedicta Van Minnen.

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“We have erected signs warning the public about the situation and I must emphasise that use of the water is at own risk.”

The city said it would continue to test Hout Bay’s water quality and provide updates if it improved.

In November it was reported that Milnerton Lagoon was similarly infested with E coli, caused by heavy rainfall, after the collapse of a sewage pipe during construction of a new pipeline.

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It was also declared unsafe for swimming, but despite warning signs, swimmers still took to the water.

It will be even hotter on Monday with a high of 31ºC, but it will cool down from Tuesday, when thundershowers are expected.

Weekend Argus

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