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Oudtshoorn’s Water Is Of High Quality

Oudtshoorn, 04 April 2023 – Following recent Facebook posts on a community group regarding the quality and colour of drinking water in Oudtshoorn, the municipality deems it important that the correct facts are given to the public to eliminate any confusion or misinformation:

Oudtshoorn’s drinking water is of exceptionally high quality. Mr Chris Swart, Manager of Water and Sewerage, said that the municipality as well as independent laboratories perform regular tests on domestic water. “These tests are done on raw water as it is released from the dam, as well as on water from the reservoirs. Water is tested bi-weekly on water samples taken at 16 different locations.”

Swart also mentioned that the physical properties of the water, which include colour and salts, are done by the municipality and bacterial tests are conducted by a laboratory in George.

“In addition to the bi-weekly tests, a complete SANS 241 test is conducted every year by an independent laboratory. During these tests, the presents of all heavy metals and other elements are tested for, although this is not a risk in Oudtshoorn.”

Oudtshoorn Municipality has an extensive water safety plan where all risks have been identified, which must be monitored as well as steps to follow should something go wrong.

The team at the department consists of three qualified engineers, which includes a chemical engineer, as well as several trained process controllers. Apart from times of heavy rain when the Raubenheimerdam’s turbidity increases, Oudtshoorn’s water is very clean and, according to tests, one of the best in the country. The water contains almost no salts or metals such as iron, manganese, and others.

Oudtshoorn has a water pipe network of more than six decades and subsequently, pipe breaks often occur. “It is therefore inevitable that mud ends up in the system. This gives rise to water sometimes appearing cloudy and water filters will naturally accumulate that sediment over a period of time”, Swart stated. “The discolouration is usually short-lived and often limited to the area where the pipe break occurred. Water lines are thoroughly flushed each time the pipes are repaired, but it is impossible to get all turbidity out of the system”.

As mentioned, numerous times in statements, the public is more than welcome to visit the Chris Swart by appointment if they require more information. Test results are also available for inspection at the technical office.