Friday, January 30, 2015
“RESPONSE TO AFRIFORUM MEDIA STATEMENT UNDER THE HEADING: DEATH IS LURKING IN VRYHEID’S DRINKING WATER
The report by AfriForum that the AbaQulusi municipal drinking water contains faecal coliform bacteria is misleading and devoid of the truth.
For the record, our Water and Sanitation Department at the municipality have, on the 23rd of January 2015 took samples of incoming, outgoing and in our water reticulation system for testing. These samples were taken using Water Solutions Southern Africa, these are competent professionals in the field of water solutions. The samples were taken in accordance with the norms and standards required by SANS namely, water samples should be taken in a sterilised glass container.
The Certificate of Analysis (attached) emanating from the tests shows that
- no e-coli was detected
- the amount of chlorine in the water was found to be of adequate amount
- no offensive odour was detected.
We must however acknowledge that municipality is faced with a number of complex challenges, one being the lack of rain in recent times, not only around Vryheid but in the country as a whole as a result there has been an increase of algae in our dams. It is natural that when there is no fresh water entering the dam, the algae starts to take over and the smell of algae in the water will be experienced.
It is in this context that the municipality has engaged Reochem, a company that supply us with chemicals to conduct a thorough investigation and to increase the dosage of chlorine in our purification plant as to eliminate the smell of algae in our water . We have also conducted a lot backwashing to ensure that the water purification process is improved. That has since been done and the odour of algae in our water has subsided.
It is regrettable that the AfriForum chose to issue a statement relying on erroneous testing methods. According to B.N. Kirk’s laboratory comment, it clearly shows that the water samples submitted by AfriForum were flawed in that their samples were submitted in a plastic cold drink bottle which may not have been sterilised as is required by SANS 5221:2007 standards and may have influenced the results.
Our municipality is committed to providing safe and reliable water supply and we’re doing the best we can at ensuring that drinking water quality is monitored and maintained at all times.
As AbaQulusi municipality we dispute the AfriForum’s statement with the contempt it deserves. As for the community of Vryheid, we trust that they will dismiss the AfriForum’s allegations as irresponsible and irrational.