20 November 2018 - NW2788
Waters, Mr M to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation
With reference to the reply of the Minister of Environmental Affairs to question 1999 on 29 June 2018, has his department conducted any water quality tests of any water bodies in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (a) in each of the past five financial years and (b) since 1 April 2018; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (i) what are the details of the findings in each case and (ii) will he furnish Mr M Waters with copies of each report?
a) Yes, the Department has conducted water quality tests in the catchment of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality as part of national monitoring programmes for the past five financial years. The national monitoring programmes are:
- National Eutrophication Monitoring Programme (NEMP)
- National Microbial Monitoring Programme (NMMP)
- National Chemical Monitoring Programme (NCMP)
The catchment of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has five (5) sites that are monitored for National Eutrophication Monitoring Programme, two (sites) for National Microbial Monitoring Programme and one (1) sites for National Chemical Monitoring Programme (NCMP).
The eutrophication sampling points are in the Civic Lake, Homestead Lake, Kleinfontein Lake, Blaaupan Lake and Victoria Lake. The microbial sampling points are in Blesbokspruit and Kaalspruit rivers. The chemical sampling point is in Leeuspruit River.
(b)(i) Since 01 April 2018, the position is as follows:
NEMP: Currently, in relation to eutrophication status; water quality has deteriorated to poor quality due to increasing nutrient levels. Victoria, Blaaupan and Homestead Lakes have an oligotrophic status denoting a system that is low in nutrients and not productive in terms of aquatic animal and plant life. The water quality is suitable for full contact recreation.
Kleinfontein Lake: has hypertrophic status which is a system with serious water quality problems due to high nutrient levels. The quality in Civic Lake has declined from mesotrophic to eutrophic status which is a very productive system with increasing signs of water quality problems.
The water in both lakes may pose severe nuisance conditions when used for full contact recreation due to algal scum. The composition and health of the fish population may be affected by these high algal numbers.
The increasing nutrient levels (phosphates and nitrates) observed at Blaaupan, Homestead, Civic and Kleinfontein Lakes has the potential to further deteriorate water quality. The sources of pollution within the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) include industrial effluents, sewage treatment works, agriculture, storm water runoffs and mining operations
NMMP: The microbial data collected indicates that the resource water in the Blesbokspruit and Kaalspruit River are not suitable for consumption without limited treatment and posed a high risk of infections when consumed untreated. The water showed low to medium risk when used for irrigating crops and full contact water sport.
NCMP: The suitability of the water for Domestic (Health) Use at site Leeuspruit River applies. The water quality attributes available for the period: pH; NO3+NO2-N; Na; Cl; and EC.The statistical results for each variable are: Minimum; 50th percentile (a measure of the average); and the Maximum.
According to pH there is no health effects expected. The NO3+NO2 (nitrate), Chloride and Sodium is an insignificant risk - meaning no health risk. The Electrical Conductivity (EC) is consistent with this.
At Leeuspruit River, there is no indication of cause for concern from a health perspective should the water be used for domestic use from the available data.
i) Yes, the Department can furnish the copies of each report; however, it should be noted that these reports are available on the DWS RQIS website for public perusal.