Talk of the Town - - Front Page - JON HOUZET

OCUMENTS on wa­ter qual­ity re­sults in Nd­lambe pro­vided to Talk of the Town re­veal a history of re­cent bad re­sults for Eku­phum­leni as well as the Kenton CBD.

This fol­lows our story last week which re­vealed high fae­cal co­l­iform and e.coli counts in tap wa­ter sam­ples taken in Eku­phum­leni in early Fe­bru­ary.

The sam­ples were taken by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and sub­mit­ted to the Nel­son Man­dela Metropoli­tan Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s in­fra­struc­ture and en­gi­neer­ing unit for bac­te­ri­o­log­i­cal anal­y­sis. The re­sults were not pub­licly re­vealed by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity but leaked to com­mu­nity lead­ers who pro­vided TotT with copies.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity ex­plained the test re­sult as a “fail­ure” at the sam­pling point and said re-tests a week later showed the wa­ter was com­pli­ant with pre­scribed stan­dards – mean­ing a zero count for both fae­cal co­l­iforms and e.coli.

The re­sults for treated wa­ter from the Bathurst reservoir were even worse than Eku­phum­leni, but no ex­pla­na­tion was of­fered for this.

Eku­phum­leni com­mu­nity ac­tivist Zache Ngxingo sub­se­quently pro­vided copies of two other cer­tifi­cates of anal­y­sis to TotT.

DIn Fe­bru­ary last year, wa­ter sam­ples taken in Eku­phum­leni and the Kenton CBD showed a fae­cal co­l­iform count of 15cfu/100ml and an e.coli count of 15cfu/100ml for the Kenton CBD, and a count of 10cfu/100ml for both in Eku­phum­leni. Lesser counts of fae­cal co­l­iforms only were mea­sured in Klip­fontein, Marselle and Thorn­hill.

The re­sults for the Kenton CBD and Eku­phum­leni were even worse when sam­ples were taken in Au­gust last year, when re­sults for the Kenton CBD re­vealed a count of 28cfu/100ml for both fae­cal co­l­iforms and e.coli, and sam­ples in Eku­phum­leni showed 40cfu/100ml of fae­cal co­l­iforms and 39cfu/100ml of e.coli.

That time, Endlovini also failed the test, mea­sur­ing 11cfu/100ml of fae­cal co­l­iforms and 6cfu/100ml of e.coli.

Nolukhanyo and Thorn­hill also failed the test for the pres­ence of fae­cal co­l­iforms in the tap wa­ter.

TotT asked mu­nic­i­pal spokesman Ce­cil Mbolekwa to ex­plain how the wa­ter be­came pol­luted, why the com­mu­nity was not warned to take pre­cau­tions like boil­ing the wa­ter be­fore use, and what was done to rec­tify the prob­lem.

He had not re­sponded by the time of go­ing to press.

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