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The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) joined the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) last week to present a report on the state of water quality in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.

This comes after the residents approached the SAHRC to complain about the water quality in the area.

Subsequent to this, the Department, the SAHRC and the City of Tshwane conducted a joint water sampling to test if the water was fit for human consumption.

The test’s results confirmed that the water sampled and analysed is non-compliant with the South African drinking water standards, an issue that the DWS has raised with the City of Tshwane over time.

DWS’ Gauteng Provincial Head, Mr Sibusiso Mthembu, said despite the upgrading of the Temba Water Treatment Works (WTW) to 120ML/d, it is unable to treat drinking water to required standards due to poor quality of raw water delivered to it.

The Temba WTW abstracts raw water from the Leeukraal Dam after which it is treated and supplied to various communities.

The quality of water in the Leeukraal Dam is negatively affected by the below par performance of the Rooiwal Wastewater treatment Works (WWTW), which then deposits sub-standard effluent into the Apies River, which feeds into the Leeukraal Dam.

Mr Mthembu cited the Rooiwal Waste Water Treatment Works as one of the major problems, saying this infrastructure was found to be over-capacitated and poorly operated and maintained.

“These conditions have resulted in poor quality effluent being discharged into the Apies River which flows into the Leeukraal Dam,” Mr Mthembu said.

He said the Department has approached the courts for relief with regards to the matter.

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