Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

12 December 2023 Media Release: Potable water quality in the Garden Route is better than the norms of South Africa

Media Release: Potable water quality in the Garden Route is better than the norms of South Africa

For Immediate Release
12 December 2023

Recently the National Department of Water and Sanitation published the Blue Drop, Green Drop, and No Drop Water reports in South Africa for 2023. This report revealed the dire state of affairs when it comes to safe and clean drinking water in South Africa.

Of particular concern is the status quo in terms of potable water purification plants, identified as one of the main reasons for general water quality failing quality standards, this report cited the lack of technical and managerial capacity and competency as a major contributor.

The Blue Drop report indicated that the water supply across the country requires an additional four hundred qualified staff (203 technical staff and 197 scientists). It also found that about 67% of water treatment staff had no formal skills training and qualifications at all to operate at a water treatment site.

Load shedding also has a major negative impact on the functionality and day-to-day operations of water purification plants. Why? Because the pumping, treatment, and ultimate distribution of potable water are severely affected during extended periods of load shedding.

Where do Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) fit in?

A district municipality is mandated to render municipal health services in its particular area of jurisdiction. One of the most important focus areas of EHPs is water quality monitoring.

Water monitoring includes the following:

  • Mapping of water sampling sites;
  • Water sampling and analysis;
  • Establishing if adequate water provision is available to all communities (rural and urban);
  • Report back and communication regarding sample results (water service authority / non-water service authority); and
  • Mitigation measures (including health and hygiene awareness / applicable legislative law enforcement);

Water sampling sites include the following:

  • Drinking water reservoirs;
  • Water purification plants;
  • Communal taps;
  • Business premises;
  • Other identified areas;

Hundreds of water samples are taken every month in every local municipal area within the Garden Route. This includes the status of potable water supply to all communities.2

The outcomes of water samples are communicated to each local municipality in the region.

The region’s potable water quality is of a high quality in comparison with the national norm. Water sampling programs, as well as all the other water-related activities implemented by the EHPs, are purpose-driven and outcome-based in order to secure water safety in the district.

Feature Image: Shutterstock