Vaal River visitors warned against sickness due to serious pollution

November 8, 2017

VAAL TRIANGLE - Save the Vaal Environment (SAVE) yesterday warned visitors and those living on the banks of the Vaal River that the river is so badly polluted it can cause various illnesses. SAVE said the problem extends from Vereeniging in the east through to Vanderbijlpark, Loch Vaal and the Rietspruit. The NRO said in a statement it is the worst pollution seen in a very long time. SAVE is currently consulting lawyers regarding possible court action. According to SAVE, Emfuleni Local Municipality did not initially issue a formal statement but a so-called reliable source told SAVE that Emfuleni’s sanitation team is making every effort to establish the sources of this pollution. SAVE has also informed the Department of Water and Sanitation. Emfuleni has since issued a statement warning residents of Vaaloewer not to drink their tap water until further notice.

 

Further, SAVE said the environmental impact is severe and the tourism industry along the banks of the Vaal River is negatively affected. The algae seen in the Vaal River could be a contributing factor. This is the result of years and years of ongoing sewerage pouring into the River from municipal waste water treatment works and the reticulation system. The sewerage dissolves but the nutrients remain in the water and flourish at times of extreme heat and little movement in the flow of the river. E.coli counts (which indicate sewerage) in the Rietspruit where it enters at Loch Vaal are measured at 73 000 counts per 100 ml of water (last week the count was 57 000 at the same sampling point). E-coli counts at the mouth of the Klip River in Vereeniging are recorded at 6,570 counts per 100 ml. These counts are far in excess of any acceptable level. E-coli poses a high risk for skin irritations, infections and gastric disturbances in humans. SAVE is being inundated by enquiries from concerned residents who find that the state and smell of the river are intolerable.

 

Those who see raw sewerage on the Vaal River can contact the Department of Water and Sanitation at 0800200200 to lodge a report and get a reference number.

 PHOTO: (SAVE - Posted on 7 November 2017)

 PHOTO: (SAVE - Posted on 2 September 2017)

 PHOTO: (SAVE - Posted on 2 September 2017)

 PHOTO: (SAVE - Posted on 2 September 2017)

 PHOTO: (SAVE - Posted on 2 September 2017)

 

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