Joburg might have water‚ but it’s loaded with sewage
Municipalities nationwide are under pressure to stem the torrent of sewage into South Africa’s rivers after a high court judge gave a local municipality seven days to halt further leaks into the Vaal River.
The Vaal is one of the major water sources for the Gauteng economic engine room and hundreds of irrigation farmers in the Free State‚ yet recent tests by Rand Water have revealed sewage levels in parts of the river that were hundreds of times higher than the required safety limits.
Water laws recommend a minimum general standard of 130 units of E.coli (sewage bacteria). But tests done by Rand Water close to a railway bridge near Vereeneging just last month showed E.coli levels of over 57 000 units in the river.
In a Gauteng High Court decision on Tuesday this week‚ Judge Bashier Vally ordered the Emfuleni Local Municipality to repair and rectify problems at its wastewater treatment works within seven days.
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