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In its most recent water analysis, the Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology (IWWT) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) has found that tap water in parts of the eThekwini region is safe to drink.

According to the Director of the IWWT, Professor Faizal Bux, the water samples were collected on the 7thand 8thFebruary 2023 from 17 areas within the eThekwini Municipality, covering the Northern, Southern and Western parts of the metro.

Prof Bux explained that the samples were taken by personnel from IWWT, following a chain of custody protocols.

“The analysis was conducted in accordance with the standard protocol for microbiological water quality analysis as per SANS 241. Samples obtained included tap water from households, water supplied by tankers and standpipes from informal settlements (see Table 1 with sampled areas below). The areas tested had a consistent

supply of water during the sampling period,” said Prof Bux.

Unpacking the findings, Prof Bux stated that no Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria was present in any of the water samples that were tested. He indicated that the findings had satisfied the SANS 241 microbiological drinking water standards. Furthermore, Prof Bux explained that the SANS 241 was the limits and associated risks for domestic water, as determined by the South African National Standards (SANS), where parameters falling outside these limits may cause acute or chronic health problems in individuals.

To be clear on the motive behind the water analysis, the findings are in the interest of public safety, and they were not commissioned by any organisation or entity.

This is not the first time that scientists at the IWWT have conducted tap water analysis. A similar analysis was conducted in September 2022, following concerns raised by members of the public regarding the quality of tap water in Durban. The findings indicated that the tap water was safe to drink.

The Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology (IWWT) at the Durban University of Technology is located on the Steve Biko campus in Durban. Prof Bux helped establish the IWWT and its predecessor, the Centre for Water Research in the 1990’s. The Institute is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which aims to ensure clean water and sanitation for all.

Pictured: The Director of the IWWT, Professor Faizal Bux.

Simangele Zuma

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