STATEMENT: Water Produced and Supplied by Umgeni Water is Safe to Drink

STATEMENT: Water Produced and Supplied by Umgeni Water is Safe to Drink

STATEMENT: Water Produced and Supplied by Umgeni Water is Safe to Drink

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Anonymous messages have appeared on Whatsapp in the past few days concerning fears that water quality may have been compromised by “typhoid”. In the interest of public health and to allay fears, Umgeni Water provides an assurance that the potable water it supplies to its seven municipal customers conforms to drinking water quality standards as stipulated in South African National Standards (SANS) 241 for drinking water quality.

Umgeni Water uses advanced water treatment technologies and chemicals to treat raw water abstracted from rivers and dams to ensure that safe drinking water is produced for the protection of public health. Chlorine and chlorine-based compounds are used as disinfectants to efficiently and effectively destroy microorganisms during the water treatment process. The organism that causes typhoid fever is susceptible to chlorine and is destroyed by the water treatment process.

The potable water that is supplied by Umgeni Water bulk water works to its municipal customers is fully compliant with the requirements of SANS 241 and poses an insignificant risk to human health over a lifetime of consumption. In the presence of a disinfectant residual, tap water supplied by Umgeni Water is safe to drink without boiling or further disinfection.

Umgeni Water supplies drinking water in bulk to eThekwini Metro, Msunduzi Local Municipality, uMgungundlovu District Municipality, iLembe District Municipality, Ugu District Municipality, Harry Gwala District Municipality and King Cetshwayo District Municipality. This water is treated at some of Umgeni Water’s plants that use sophisticated technology and the treatment process is rigorous in ensuring only water that is safe for public consumption is distributed.

In addition to daily monitoring of drinking water, supplementary monitoring is currently being undertaken, using a precautionary approach, to evaluate any areas where possible additional risk is posed by typhoid fever.

 Issued by the Corporate Stakeholder Management Unit, Umgeni Water Head Office, Pietermaritzburg