The drinking water of fourteen South African municipalities, across seven provinces, have now been identified by the Department of Water Affairs as being unsuitable for consumption, unless further treated.
The Department of Water Affairs recently released the yearly2012 Blue Dropreport for all municipalities, and identified municipal areas with degraded water quality, degraded to the point where tap water should not be consumed directly. The Department of Water Affairs recommended home disinfecting treatment, such as boiling or bleaching before consuming tap water. For the immediate future, further disinfecting treatment will most likely remain the consumer’s responsibility.
Apart from local residents, it is also very important that visitors take note of these water consumption warnings. The full list of identified towns include:
Eastern Cape Province:
Ikwezi Local Municipality: including the towns of Jansenville, Klipplaat, Waterford and Wolwefontein;
Koukamma Local Municipality: including the towns of Clarkson, Coldstream, Joubertina, Kareedouw, Krakeel, Sanddrif, Stormsrivier and Woodlands;
Free State Province:
Letsemeng Local Municipality: including the towns of Koffiefontein, Petrusberg, Jacobsdal and Luckhoff;
Ngwathe Local Municipality: including the towns of Vredefort, Koppies and Heilbron;
Nketoane Local Municipality: including the towns of Reitz, Petrus Steyn, Lindley and Arlington;
Phumelela Local Municipality: including the towns of Memel, Vrede and Warden;
Thabazimbi Local Municipality: including the towns of Northam, Rooiberg and Schilpadnest;
Bushbuckridge Local Municipality: including the towns of Zoeknog, Hoxani, Sand River, Edenburg A & B, Dingleydale, Sigagule, Cork, Marite and Thorndale;
Mkhondo Local Municipality: including the towns of Piet Retief, Amsterdam, Driefontein/Dirkiesdorp and Mkhondo Rural Scheme;
Msukaligwa Local Municipality: including the towns of South Works, Douglas, Davel, Breyton and Lothair;
Nkomazi Local Municipality: including the towns of Driekoppies, Fig Tree, Hectorspruit, Komatipoort, Langeloop, Louieville, Madadeni, Magudu, Malelane, Marloth Park, Mbuzini and Nyathi;
North West Province
Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality: including the towns of Tswaing/DeLarey, Tswaing/Sannieshof, Dinokana/Lehurutse, Kraaipan, Madibogopan, Motswedi/Gopane and Setlagole; and,
Northern Cape Province
Umsobomvu Local Municipality: including Colesberg, Norvalspont and Noupoort.
The Department of Water Affairs developed the Blue Drop water assessment criteria to monitor water quality progression or degradation across the country. This assessment is undertaken annually. To be awarded a Blue Drop status, municipal water systems should comply at least 95% with the Department of Water Affairs’ water quality assessment, assessed by drinking water professionals. There are five main criteria, including:
- water safety planning;
- drinking water quality process management and control;
- drinking water quality compliance;
- management accountability;
- local regulation; and
- asset management.
Although the increased compliance and yearly improvements noted from comparing the latest Blue Drop report with previous reports, the number of towns with practically unsafe drinking water remains a significant concern.
Warning on small town tap water via News24.com
Blue Drop report shows water-quality management improving via EngineeringNews.co.za
Photo credit: Some rights reserved by seaskylab via freedigitalphotos.net and Jonathan Gill via flickr.