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Zandvlei Water Quality passes scientific tests

by Selwyn Bergman
on 22 Oct 2007
Oceanography SA
Oceanography SA

Water Quality tests conducted by the City of Cape Town after recent sewage spills into the Zandvlei nature reserve have confirmed that the quality of the water is at an acceptable level.

On the 19th and 28th September 2007, a series of malfunctions at the Sand river pump station caused sewage overflows to be fed into the Zandvlei Nature Reserve. At the time of the overflow, the pump station was operating with a standby pumpset due to its main duty pumpset having been sent for repairs. Rags entering the pump station caused the standby pump to trip, which in turn caused the overflows. The mishap was aggravated by the fact that increased radio traffic resulted in warning signals not being transmitted, which delayed the mobilisation of response teams.

According to Sipho Mosai, Director of Water Services, "Bacteriological tests of vlei water conducted on 20 September registered 240 faecal coliforms per 100 ml, and 180 e-coli per 100 ml. This is far below the allowable limit for water sport actvities of 1 000 faecal coliforms per 100 ml and did not indicate any cause for alarm. A test on 27 September and subsequent tests also did not indicate any noticeable deterioration of water quality. The public can rest assured that we will continue to monitor the water quality."

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