OUTA finds E. coli in Hammanskraal drinking water
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has demanded that the City of Tshwane take immediate action to ensure the safety of drinking water supplied to Hammanskraal.
Last month OUTA alerted the City to problems in samples from the Hammanskraal water supply and called for action. We later took a follow up sample.
“Our follow up sample found traces of E. coli and nitrates in the drinking water on the date the sample was taken which indicates faecal contaminants in the drinking water supply. Drinking the water can result in stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting which is an acute health risk,” says Julius Kleynhans, Operations Executive at OUTA.
The results indicate high concentrations of nitrites (NO₂) and nitrates (NO₃) which pose a chronic health risk to some babies as well as E. coli of 32 units per 100ml of water.
“There should be no E. coli in drinking water,” says Kleynhans.
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has now also raised the problems with the Hammanskraal water. OUTA welcomes the SAHRC intervention.
The City recently disputed OUTA’s method of sampling. “Drinking water must be clean at the point of consumption, meaning all taps and any taps supplied by the source must comply to standards. The mere fact that the sample was taken in a public space where the public has access to it poses a severe risk to the community who uses that water and cannot ever be frowned upon,” says Kleynhans
The City’s utility services oversight committee asked OUTA to present its findings to it on 13 August and OUTA has agreed to do this.
“We trust that the City will act swiftly and responsibly to assist the community with access to clean drinking water,” says Kleynhans.
The samples were based on the assessment of variables analysed in comparison to the SANS 241-1:2015 Drinking Water Standard (SABS, 2015) and the quality of domestic water supply (WRC, 1998). The tested water sample was found not fit for use as potable water and for domestic use.
OUTA was established to work for a better South Africa by challenging corruption and maladministration. OUTA is not affiliated to any political party but mandated by ordinary citizens to act in the interest of the public at large.