Cape Town water quality declines

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 March 2010

The overall quality of the city’s inland and coastal water has reached a 10-year low, and despite the associated health threats, budget and resource constraints mean the situation is unlikely to be reversed soon, says a City of Cape Town report.

Zeekoevlei wetland

The report on the overall water quality in 2009, showed that despite slight improvements in certain areas, the overall compliance with water quality guidelines for inland water systems had dropped to 43 percent from a high of 80.5 percent in 2000.

At the Hout Bay River, only 29 percent of samples complied, while of the 10 samples drawn from the Eerste and Kuils Rivers last year, only 27 percent complied.

Several of the rivers and wetlands which fared dismally are recognised recreation areas, including Zandvlei, Zeekoevlei, the Milnerton Lagoon and Rietvlei.

Water quality results recorded for the city’s beaches were also alarming.

From the 40 bathing beach sample points between Miller’s Point and Kogel Bay on the False Bay coast, 70 percent of samples drawn complied with public health guidelines for coastal bathing areas, representing an improvement on previous reporting periods.

But along the Atlantic Coastline, with 28 bathing beach sample points between Silverstroom and Scarborough, results dropped from more than 80 percent compliance in previous years to 75 percent last year.

Beaches exceeding the limits of E-Coli were Granger Bay, Mouille Point, Three Anchor Bay and Rocklands beaches, as well as Saunders Rock beach and the Camps Bay pool.

– Ella Smook
Source: iol

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