Dis­coloured tap wa­ter ‘safe to drink’

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

THE Wa­ter and Sewage Com­pany (WASCO) has re­as­sured its con­sumers that dis­coloured wa­ter com­ing out of some house­hold taps is safe to drink.

WASCO Pub­lic Re­la­tions Man­ager Li­neo Mo­qasa told the Le­sotho Times this week some res­i­dents of Maseru, Morija, Roma and Tey­ateya­neng were re­ceiv­ing dis­coloured wa­ter.

She said the dis­coloura­tion was a re­sult of the pres­ence of man­ganese in the wa­ter em­a­nat­ing from Me­to­long Dam which sup­plies wa­ter to Maseru and sur­round­ing towns.

De­spite the dis­coloura­tion, Ms Mo­qasa stressed, the wa­ter was not dan­ger­ous as it had gone through all the treat­ment stages.

Man­ganese is a chem­i­cal of­ten found in min­er­als in com­bi­na­tion with iron and is also com­monly found in wa­ter. It is an im­por­tant el­e­ment for hu­man health and es­sen­tial for the body’s de­vel­op­ment, me­tab­o­lism, and an- tiox­i­dant sys­tem.

How­ever, ex­ces­sive ex­po­sure or in­take may lead to a fa­tal neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­or­der known as man­gan­ism, and symp­toms sim­i­lar to Parkin­son’s dis­ease. Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, 0.5 mil­ligrams of man­ganese per litre should be ad­e­quate to pro­tect pub­lic health.

But WASCO says there is noth­ing to worry about the wa­ter.

“The tap wa­ter is dis­coloured be­cause it con­tains man­ganese that is found in Me­to­long Dam. The lev­els of man­ganese in the dam are not dan­ger­ous and not ex­pected to pose any health risks to the pub­lic,” Ms Mo­qasa said, adding WASCO staff work­ing at Me­to­long treat­ment plant and the dam’s con­trac­tors were cur­rently ad­dress­ing the dis­coloura­tion.

“Man­ganese was dis­cov­ered in the wa­ter dur­ing the con­struc­tion of Me­to­long Dam. As a re­sult, a process was ini­ti­ated to treat the man­ganese. So the man­ganese lev­els in the wa­ter are low and do not pose any dan­ger.”

Ms Mo­qasa said high lev­els of man­ganese were dan­ger­ous to health, but em­pha­sised that con­sumers should not be wor­ried. She said those with doubts about the dis­coloura­tion could boil the wa­ter be­fore us­ing it.

“Man­ganese can be dan­ger­ous when it is at a cer­tain level, but in this case, it is not dan­ger­ous in any way. It is ac­tu­ally nearly im­pos­si­ble for the man­ganese in Me­to­long Dam to reach a dan­ger­ous level,” said Ms Mo­qasa.

“The pub­lic can rest as­sured that it is not at a dan­ger­ous level. For those peo­ple who might be afraid of drink­ing the wa­ter, they can boil it be­fore drink­ing.”

WASCO serves al­most 300 000 peo­ple in var­i­ous ur­ban centres with potable wa­ter for do­mes­tic and com­mer­cial use. The com­pany has over 80 000 cus­tomers which is 60 per­cent of the to­tal ur­ban pop­u­la­tion.

tional port­ing LENA. Ad­di­reby

WASCO Pub­lic Re­la­tions Man­ager Li­neo Mo­qasa.

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