Water passes quality tests

Strandfontein residents collected drinking water from water tanks last Thursday February 20.

Strandfontein’s tap water is now fit to drink, after the City of Cape Town’s health department said otherwise last week.

Mayoral committee member for community services and health Dr Zahid Badroodien told the Plainsman yesterday, Tuesday February 25, that the water quality had been tested several times since Thursday February 20.

“The water has been confirmed as safe to drink after tests were conducted on Sunday,” he said.

Residents should flush their geysers and filters linked to their drinking-water taps to clear any residual contaminants, he said.

“We also asked that residents allow water to run into buckets or containers for reuse once it has cooled, and to clean tap aerators and shower roses with a mild detergent of bleach and water.”

Five people had gone for medical check-ups, but it was hard to know whether they had a water-borne disease as it was diarrhoea season, he said.

He said the City water inspector had reacted immediately to the two complaints about water quality received on Wednesday February 19.

According to mayoral committee member for waste and water Xanthea Limberg the water inspector triggered incident protocol at 7.30am on Thursday February 20.

An investigation into the cause of the contamination was expected to be completed by the end of the week, she said, but provisional findings pointed to an “alternative water system” that didn’t comply with City regulations on preventing cross contamination of non-potable water with the drinking water supply.

Ms Limberg said 28 water-quality complaints had come in from Strandfontein area over Wednesday February 19 and Friday February 21.

“Each of these complainants had already received attention on Thursday February 20.

Mario Oostendurp, resident and chairman of the Strandfontein Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, told the Plainsman yesterday, Tuesday February 25, that about 100 people had sent him messages complaining about their health.

“The City normally prides itself on its supposed service delivery. This disaster will surely put them in a bad light. That’s why the lack of mainstream media coverage. It shows that they are not prepared for potential outbreaks of disease,” he said.

Mr Oostendurp wrote to mayor Dan Plato, saying residents had complained about the water quality in the area for several weeks but to no avail.

He said there had been “numerous requests” to the ward councillor to act on the complaints and have them investigated but nothing had happened.

“The situation we now find ourselves in is a result of the above,” he wrote.

Elton Jansen, councillor for Ward 43, will be having a public meeting to discuss the current water situation in Strandfontein at the local high school hall, 64 Frigate Road, tomorrow, Thursday February 27, at 7.30pm. For more information call the ward office at 021 400 4807 or Mr Jansen on 062 591 7840.