South African’s all over the country are waking up to the fact that they are facing a water crisis. A crisis not just in terms of availability as South Africa experiences the worst drought in 23 years, but a crisis in terms of quality. The two issues are indisputably linked. The severe water shortage South Africa currently faces has led to more concentrated levels of water pollution. This makes the water harder to treat and forces the Water Treatment Facilities to add higher levels of health-damaging chemicals like chlorine to the water during the sanitisation process. This is confirmed by Dr Jo Barnes of Stellenbosch University who says “The raw water that goes into any purification plant will be of poorer quality during a drought. The water quality has deteriorated alarmingly over the past year,”
Water quality declining
Water Shedding, in an effort to conserve water, intensifies the contamination problem due to inadequately maintained water pipes and taps. As the water pressure falls in the pipes during water shedding, contaminated ground water from outside the pipes seeps directly back into the pipes contaminating our drinking water.
The lack of water infrastructure maintenance is also intensifying South Africa’s water shortage according to water expert Dr Anthony Turton who says “The water shortage is also an ‘induced’ one. It stems from a lack of strategic planning, a loss of skills to ‘transformation’, and the fact that poorly functioning waste-water treatment plants are spewing close on 4 billion litres of untreated or partially treated sewage into the country’s dams and rivers every day.”
This is confirmed by Water Affairs and Sanitation Minister Nomvuka Mokonyane who said recently, “there are serious issues with aged infrastructure at local authorities that have not been properly budgeted for” and goes onto say “The drought in some provinces, such as the North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, have added to the infrastructure problems and the quality of water has also deteriorated,”
The blue-green threat
Added to this, South Africa is facing another concerning issue with the growing presence of blue-green algae in South Africa’s main water sources. With almost 62% of local water bodies contaminated, the high prevalence of algae is causing experts immediate concern with relation to human and animal health. According to a study by the South African Journal of Science in May this year, South Africa has the highest known levels of blue-green algae contamination in the world with almost 62% of local water bodies contaminated. Such high levels of contamination are an immediate concern with regard to drinking water, agricultural and recreational water use as the cyanobacteria release several toxins that target the liver first, but can also affect the heart, kidneys, nervous system and male reproductive system.
The only way you can confidently protect your and your family’s health is to install a water purification system. As the exclusive distributor in South Africa of the GAC/KDF/ Riolyte process media, H2O International SA guarantees the finest quality water and great taste by removing all the harmful, unwanted contaminants from your water – giving you complete peace of mind.
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