Half of Durban’s rivers okay

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 28 July 2011

Ninety out of 175 rivers in the Durban area have very good or fair water quality, eThekwini’s water and sanitation department says.

The Umgeni River, plunging down the Howick Falls for 365 feet, revealed good water quality

The water classification at 90 river sites in the eThekwini municipal area were either “near natural” or “good” or “fair” following an aquatic bio-monitoring programme to determine the state of the health and integrity of rivers.

Those involved in the programme studied the state of living organisms in the water.

“We are looking at life in the water… which is an indication of water quality,” said project executive Selva Mudaly.

The water quality in Umdloti river, north of Durban, was “good to near natural”, while Umgeni and Umlazi rivers both had good water quality.

Out of the 175 sites tested, 85 rivers had either “fair”, “poor” or “very poor” classifications.

Mudaly said the worst affected rivers were Isipingo, Umkhumbane and Umhlangane rivers.

The water quality was bad, mainly because of the rivers being near industrial areas or informal settlements with a lack of proper sanitation, and waste water taps running into rivers.

Mudaly said the best way to fix the problem would be re-housing the areas and ensuring people had access to proper sanitation.

But he said eThekwini was also in the process of moving people away from the rivers because often pit latrines would be built on the riverbanks, causing sewage to leak into the water.

– Sapa

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