By Anna Majavu
The Makana Municipality yesterday put out a Water Quality Alert after water testing on 23 May found the E.coli bacteria in the water supply.
In a press statement, the municipality admitted that the water tests “indicated there were failures in water quality”.
E.coli, which can cause extreme vomiting and diarrhea, was found across the town, at testing sites around Settlers’ Hospital, the Extension Seven Clinic, and the Joza Indoor Sports Centre.
Children under the age of five, elderly people, and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk and can become particularly ill if they drink E.coli-infected water.
The municipality advised residents to “boil all water before drinking or put one teaspoon (5ml) of bleach (eg. JIK) in 25 litres of water and leave to stand for 30 minutes before consumption., in that presence of E.coli was detected”.
The municipality failed to say what urgent steps they were taking to improve the water quality. Instead, they said they were “currently dealing with this matter” and were planning to “take appropriate actions” to ensure that E.coli was completely eliminated from the water supply.
The Action For Accountability (A4A) project pointed out on 25 May that Makana municipality had not submitted any water quality compliance data to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). But Makana municipality since February this year, and the DWS had issued them with a notice of non-compliance.
The municipality did not say whether it had been testing the water monthly since February this year, as it is legally required to do, or whether it only hurriedly tested the water on 23 May as a result of the DWS notice.