On Tuesday night rumours started spreading that Kimberley’s water may be contaminated with sewage. By Wednesday night the rumours had escalated from claims that the Riverton purification plant is offline and un-purified water was pumped directly out of the Vaal River in the City’s reservoirs to stories that a dead body was found in one of the reservoirs. Wednesday night Sello Matsie, the head of the Sol Plaatje Communications Department, assured Kimberley City Portal that these rumours were unfounded and that Kimberley’s water is safe to drink.
Thursday morning, Hennie Harding, strongly denounced the rumours, stating there are no problems with Kimberley’s water, a dead body was not found in a reservoir, and that the Riverton Purification Plant is on-line and fully functioning. He further stated that he is having a meeting with the Municipal Manager and that a charge will be laid at SAPS in relation to the false rumours being spread.
Sol Plaatje Municipality dismissed resident’s concerns and stated that none of their early warning system raised red flags nor have they had any negative feedback from the accredited independent laboratory that does all their testing. “Our policy is not to comment on rumours or speculation because these cause pubic hysteria and panic.”
A large number of residents were still adamant on Thursday that, although not as bad as the previous days, they still detected a bad smell and taste in Kimberley’s tap water. Many residents commented that they always boil tap water before drinking it while other use purifying systems or only drink bottled water. There are also some residents in certain areas who said that they are still drinking tap water and have not experienced any bad smell or taste.
Early Friday morning residents were still unhappy with the situation and felt the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s resources would be better spent providing an explanation and resolving the problem than attempting to take legal action against residents “spreading rumours”.
Mr Johan Smit from the DA responded with the following explanation “There are still complaints that tap water has a heavy smell of Chlorine. This is the result of intensive chlorine treatment to combat the bad smell and taste in the tap water caused by a type of grass growing in the Vaal River at this time of the year. The treatment may cause water to become “milky” and give off a strong chlorine smell. Waterworks strive to keep a good balance and water quality is constantly monitored. I can attest to this as I frequently visit the Riverton Pumping & Purification Station, inspecting all systems and procedures. I am also part of the AfriForum water monitoring project which will be taking new samples during the next week for testing at an accredited independent laboratory. Kimberley’s water is really clean.”
An AfriForum Blue Drop report on water tested during March 2015 also declared samples from Kimberley safe and within accepted standards.
Mr Sello Matsie, the Municipal Communications Manager, responded with the following statement to our enquiries ”
The whole intention of the investigation is exactly to determine why certain people confined to a specific area have allegedly experienced such. The investigation also seeks to determine why some residents in the same areas have not tasted nor smelt the alleged bad odour. We have embarked in a transparent process and the results thereof will be made publicly including the source of the bad smell alluded to.”
When all information is taken into account the conclusion is that although Kimberley’s water may not always have the best look, taste and smell, all evidence confirms that our City’s water is safe to drink.
On a lighter note, some residents have mentioned that it would be interesting to know if municipal management and the persons giving the assurances have water filtration systems in their houses, use bottled water or if they obtain their drinking water straight from the tap.
Click below to read today’s article in the DFA’s on the subject.
No corpse in water – Sol
May 22 2015
THE SOL Plaatje Municipality has reassured residents that Kimberley’s water is safe to drink and has dismissed social media rumours of a body in the Newton Reservoir as “pure nonsense”. This follows public concern earlier this week when residents, in…read more…
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