Nationally, other municipalities have also been red-flagged as having unsafe drinking water, with Mpumalanga the worst, with five
A water management expert, who did not want to be named, said high microbiological failure meant the water had not been properly disinfected, resulting in high counts of e.coli, faecal coli or other bacteria.
“Basically, the problem referred to by the minister is poor or non-existent management,” he said. “Unfortunately, these authorities either do not realise the importance of this water management or are not interested because it does not bring votes.”
He said good management would entail properly staffing all water treatment plants.
“Your operators must be certified, for instance, in how to administer chlorine, which is poisonous unless it is administered properly.
“You’ve got to have sufficient skilled staff to do regular analysis and maintenance, and to warn consumers if your water is not complying with standards.
“These are all the little blocks needed to run a successful water supply service.”