File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Extensive sampling confirms tap water is safe to drink on Atlantic Seaboard

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Apr 30, 2021

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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town has informed residents in Camps Bay, Sea Point and Fresnaye that the precautionary water advisory relating to the Atlantic Seaboard has been lifted.

On Wednesday night, the City had said its Water and Sanitation Department, in consultation with its Health Department, was investigating complaints related to an unusual smell/taste of municipal tap water along the Atlantic Seaboard.

The City said in a statement on Friday evening that ’’extensive sampling revealed no health risks in the distribution system, and the water is therefore safe to drink'’.

’’Any inconvenience caused while the system was checked for possible non-compliance is regretted. Residents are assured that every effort has been made to expedite the investigation and restore normality. However, some of the tests conducted take about 24 hours to yield results,’’ the City said.

’’It was also necessary in this case for a wide area to be sampled before assurance could be given that water is safe to consume.

’’A possible reason for increased complaints is trace amounts of 2-Methylisoborneol (MIB). MIB is a nuisance compound with no health impact. It is produced by certain types of algae, which are at times present in the City's dams.

’’It is possible that rainfall on 26/27 April mobilised algal particles along the natural water course between the Woodhead Dam and transfer tunnel. Powdered activated carbon is routinely used to remove taste and odour when these issues are noticed at the plant, however, in this case, no smell or taste was noticed by staff on site, and laboratory analysis was required to confirm the presence of MIB.

’’Some residents’ palates are, however, very sensitive to even microscopic changes in the composition of the water.

’’In general, if residents believe there is something wrong with their drinking water this should be reported to 0860 103 089 as soon as possible, so that it can be investigated.’’

IOL

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