Cholera

What is Cholera?

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It causes watery diarrhoea and vomiting that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given.

Is the tap water safe to drink?

Yes! Umgeni Water supplies world-class potable water that complies with the required microbiological standards for lifetime consumption. Umgeni Water strongly recommends that people drink tap water.

Which water resources in KwaZulu-Natal are considered high risk?

Umgeni Water monitors E. coli in rivers and impoundments. E. coli can be used as an indicator of potential health risk for cholera infection. Click on the potential health risk map for details.

What about risks posed by effluents?

Umgeni Water operates three wastewater works (Darvill, Hammarsdale, Ixopo) which purify raw sewage before discharge back to the river. To date, cholera has not been detected on either the raw sewage or purified effluent.

What can be done to prevent cholera?

Do not drink river or dam water without treatment. Treat water by boiling for 5 minutes or adding 1 teaspoon of JIK to 20l of water. Wait 2 hours before drinking. Practice good hygiene by washing hands after using the toilet and before eating.