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Durban beaches reopen as tests show harmless hyacinths caused murky water

06 January 2022 - 12:29
Durban's beaches have been opened a day after the city closed some of them because of murky water flowing from the Umgeni River. File photo.
Durban's beaches have been opened a day after the city closed some of them because of murky water flowing from the Umgeni River. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images

Hyacinth plants caused the temporary closure of some of Durban’s beaches on Wednesday.

The eThekwini municipality said the affected beaches — including North Bay, Battery, Country Club 1 & 2, eThekwini and Laguna — were all reopened on Thursday for swimming and other activities.

The beaches were closed after a discharge of “abnormal” murky water from the Umgeni River.

But “after tests were conducted, the city is reopening all beaches that were closed yesterday with immediate effect. 

“According to the results, the water is free of pollution that may pose a threat to life. 

“The water was murky because of hyacinths naturally found in water. It usually increases during summer months. 

“The city would like to thank the public for heeding its warnings.”

According to Science Direct, water hyacinths are an invasive floating plant found in water bodies across the world. They are known to block sunlight and reduce oxygen levels in water systems, lowering water quality.

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