Drought Crisis: City’s Water Quality Remains High, Safe For Drinking

As at today, 27 March 2017, dam levels have declined to 27,3% which is 1,3% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at about 17,3 %, with approximately 103 days of useable water left at current consumption levels. Consumption over the past week has encouragingly reached 725 million litres per day, which is 25 million litres above the collective usage target of 700 million litres per day. Read more below:

With declining dam levels, water quality enquiries from members of the public are naturally increasing. We would like to assure residents that the water remains safe to drink. Water quality is closely monitored via a large number of water samples analysed according to the stringent South African National Standards (SANS 241:2015) requirements.

We are currently experiencing high levels of geosmin in the water drawn from the Theewaterskloof Dam. Geosmin is a naturally occurring organic compound which has an earthy flavour and aroma and which is sometimes present in water.

The City is currently increasing powdered activated carbon dosing during the water treatment process in an attempt to deal with geosmin. It may take some time for the taste and smell of the water to normalise over a large area of the central and southern suburbs of Cape Town.

‘It must be emphasised that geosmin poses no threat to human health. Even minute concentrations can be detected by the incredibly sensitive human palate.

‘We also warn residents against falling victim to the many water-related hoaxes that are out there and which are causing unnecessary panic. Those driving these hoaxes clearly have nothing better to do with their time.

‘One hoax, which is being repeated every so often, warns that water will be cut off across the whole metro on specified dates. Such blanket cut-offs are not done. Residents must not fall for this type of panic-mongering.

‘Customers should note that water pressure may be reduced to limit water leaks and that slight changes in water taste and clarity may occur due to low dam levels, but this does not affect quality,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Although the City thanks those consumers who continue to find new ways of saving water, we are at a critical juncture and water use must be brought down to 700 million litres immediately.

Residents can contact the City via email to water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za for queries or to report contraventions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts) or they can send an SMS to 31373.

For further information, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater

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