LAST month’s concerns about water quality at Blue Lagoon were raised as dead fish washed up on the banks of the Umgeni River. This coincided with high E. coli levels which led to beach closures off the Durban coast.
Following the high levels of pollution, the Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology (IWWT) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), has been testing tap water in parts of the eThekwini region.
IWWT director Professor Faizal Bux says test results look good.
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“Recently, there has been much concern about Durban’s tap water quality. We have conducted microbiological testing on random samples from the greater Durban area (south, north and west), and the tap water satisfies the SANS 241 microbiological drinking-water standards,” said Bux.
According to IWWT, the recent polluted water resulted from poorly treated wastewater discharged from wastewater treatment plants and spills from dysfunctional sewer pump stations. This was evident at the Umgeni Rivermouth where dead fish were seen on the banks of the river.
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According to IWWT, water tests revealed extremely low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water that could have caused fish to die.
“Low oxygen levels are a reflection of poor water quality attributed to high amounts of undesirable organic material in the environment. This has a serious negative impact on aquatic life,” said Bux.
Bux added that IWWT is continuing to test samples of wastewater from sewage plants in eThekwini to monitor the levels of SARS-CoV-2. The latest tests show low levels of SARS-CoV-2 detected in the wastewater samples.