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Local News: Our Tap Water is Constantly Monitored, Tested and Safe to Drink

The quality of the tap water in the City of Ekurhuleni is safe for consumption.

It is tested on two fronts:

• Firstly, Rand Water, which is the supplier of the water, treats it at their water treatment plants and ensures the quality by strict monitoring of the treatment processes, as well as daily sampling, and analysis – performed by qualified personnel.

• Secondly, on behalf of the City, the Water Quality Section from the Water and Sanitation Department collects samples throughout the reticulation network at daily intervals for testing. Qualified water quality officers perform on-site testing to ensure chlorine levels are sufficient and water samples are submitted for detailed testing at the East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT) laboratory which is accredited by South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).

The analysis results are measured against the SANS 241 standard for drinking water quality.

Reporting on compliance with the SANS 241 standard:

The Water Quality Section produces a monthly compliance report that lists the chemical and bacteriological analysis results against the SANS 241 requirements. All drinking water sampling points results are also reported as a 12-month rolling average.

About the laboratories used for testing

• Rand Water Analytical Services is fully accredited by SANAS and demonstrates the organisation’s acceptance of international quality standards. The laboratory also participates in national and international proficiency testing schemes to continuously monitor the quality of its data.

• ERWAT laboratories, also a SANAS accredited laboratory, participate regularly in a national inter-laboratory comparison study (SABS Water Check) in which it obtains Z scores within the required limit. The personnel employed at the laboratory range from technicians to scientists.

Tests performed by Rand Water Analytical Services render data on hydrobiology, microbiology and chemistry.

  • The hydrobiology laboratory performs a diverse range of tests on both source and final drinking water, including aquatic toxicity testing, aquatic invertebrate assessment, algae and algal toxin monitoring and aquatic biomonitoring.
  • Chemistry laboratories perform extensive testing in organic and inorganic chemistry to monitor water quality for parameters such as pesticides, disinfection by-products, hydrocarbons, trace metals, surfactants, ions, taste and odour.
  • The microbiology laboratory performs analyses to determine the presence of indicator organisms (E. coli, coliforms, coliphages etc) and analyses various sample matrices for an array of pathogens that comprise viruses and bacteria, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Sources: Ekurhuleni, Rand Water

Photo Credit: Unsplash


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