When in doubt, use a filter | Infrastructure news

The 2022 Blue Drop Progress Report measures all aspects related to the provision of safe water. Released by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), the Report revealed that 34% of water systems reside in the high and critical risk categories.

In these instances, the water service authorities in charge of these water systems were issued with a red notice. Just 40% of the 1200 systems audited by the Blue Drop report complied with the South African legal standards for microbiological water quality compliance and less than a quarter achieved chemical water quality compliance. DWS described those in the “critical risk” category as being in a hospital’s intensive care unit. Residents in those municipalities were warned to boil their water before drinking it.


While tap water is regarded as safe to drink in most of South Africa, supply has become so uncertain that utility providers, like Johannesburg Water, have encouraged homeowners to sink boreholes. Although the quality of the tap water that comes from municipalities is strictly regulated, it is up to borehole owners themselves to ensure that the groundwater they use is safe.

With the considerable investment in drilling the borehole, purchasing equipment, testing the quality and quantity of the water, it will all be for nothing if they turn on their tap and the water is unusable.

“We have to rethink our tap water. We have to rethink about how the end-user can control the quality of their tap water. Instead of thinking about the source of the water and the journey it took to get to our homes, our businesses and our farms, we should wonder about what properties the water may have picked up along the way, such as dissolved minerals, chemicals and bacteria. We need to rethink how we can make it safe at the end-point of its journey – the tap,” says Sebasti Badenhorst, executive of sales, marketing and distribution, JoJo Tanks.

“In 40 years of experience in providing water solutions at JoJo, we have found that the answer to making sure the water from our taps is safe is simple – filters. A fit-for-purpose filter that will remove the contaminants you cannot see and make it safe.”

The groundwater used by boreholes has been long regarded as a safe source of water, but there are increasing worries that the quality is dropping for a variety of reasons, such as human waste from pit latrines, and industrial and agricultural pollution, which introduce chemicals and heavy metals. Borehole users have been advised to test their water before use, but this is an expensive process.

“Sending water to professionals to test is always a good idea when first drilling a borehole. You can also test it yourself, but then you will have to keep testing regularly to make sure the quality does not decline. Filtering is a cost-effective, simple way to control the quality of water from boreholes and municipalities,” adds Badenhorst.


The choice of a filter is vital. Many of the filters on the market are little more than sieves that reduce the amount of sediment and residue that improve the appearance and the taste of the water. But they leave behind the microscopic harmful residue of bacteria, viruses and parasites, amongst others.

“JoJo’s range of filters employs the breakthrough Disruptor™ technology that uses three water treatment methods to remove pathogens and other contaminants. It does so with higher flow rates with less energy consumption. It is technology was developed by NASA to provide astronauts with clean water. They rethought how to make their water clean on space trips,” explains Badenhorst.

A positive electrical charge is created once water flows through the filter, which attracts the negative charge present on most submicron contaminants. Due to the structure of the media, this charge causes the fibres to further overlap into the fibre pore structure. The DisruptorTM is an electro-positive, wet-laid nonwoven media with a pore size of 1.2 to 1.5 microns. What makes this media unlike any other on the market is that even though it captures very small diameter substances and pathogens, it also removes larger particles mechanically.

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