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Taste in water poses no health threat - City dept

by Gabi Khumalo
on 11 Dec 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The City of Cape Town's Water and Sanitation Department has assured consumers that the taste of water in different areas poses no health threat.

The department said it had received enquiries from residents in certain areas who were concerned about their water suddenly having an antiseptic taste.

According to the department, an ash from the veld fire that is still raging in the Kogelberg and the catchment of the Streenbras Dams has imparted this taste to the raw water of the dams.

Water and Sanitation Director, Lungile Dhlamini said although the water has an unusual taste, it is safe to drink and is not harmful to health.

"The taste becomes noticeable in concentrations as low as one million of a gram per litre and is therefore not being completely removed by the water treatment process at the Steenbras Water Treatment Plant," Mr Dhlamini said.

He said the department had implemented measures to minimise the impact such as reducing the water production at the Steenbras Plant and boosting supply from other water treatment plants to some areas.

He said they expected that the taste will return to normal within the next two weeks at the latest.

The City's Scientific Services Branch is monitoring the situation by conducting regular tests in the areas impacted by the taste in the water, Mr Dhlamini said.

Meanwhile, Western Cape firefighters have finally managed to contain raging fires in the mountains above Gordon's Bay, which started over the weekend and damaged several houses.

Cape Town has experienced more than 120 shack fires in 11 different informal settlements that resulted in three deaths and more than 360 residents being displaced.

Two helicopters, including 54 fire fighting vehicles, 26 traffic officials, 25 Metro Police Officers, 10 Law Enforcement Officers and 11 City's Disaster Risk Management Centre officials were deployed to the scene with additional available standby and off-duty fire-fighters called-up to assist with fire fighting efforts. - BuaNews

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