The Mangaung Metro Municipality has assured residents that their tap water is safe and drinkable but still urges people to boil water before consumption. This comes following claims – mostly in a small town of the newly incorporated Soutpan – that water in the area is contaminated with high levels of E.coli and coliform bacteria. According to Puseletso Moiloa (a resident in the area), they are scared to drink water from the tap because they were told that it is not safe to do so. “I haven’t drunk water from the tap and warned my family to not do so as well. People told me that it is not safe and I will end up in a hospital if I do. They said some people were already admitted for treatment related to water pollution.
For the past few weeks, we have been forced to buy water or boil water before use. I have children and cannot afford to buy water for all of us while we have water in our tap,” said the mother of three. However, Qondile Khedama, the spokesperson for the municipality, confirmed, through a telephonic interview yesterday, that tests were done in the Soutpan water and contamination was found and dealt with by the technicians. “As soon as we received claims from the community that water is contaminated, we dispatched our team of technicians for more tests and they dealt with that,” said Khedama.
He emphasised that the municipality continues to run more tests as the municipality experienced serious challenges of water supply in Soutpan since its incorporation. “We are now worried about the reservoir levels because they are very low and has become very expensive to manage. There is a lot of work – such as aging infrastructure – that still needs to be done in Soutpan, hence we continue to urge people to boil their water before use,” added Khedama. Meanwhile, Khedema denied that there was any contamination in the Mangaung areas, saying the laboratory tests results did not show any contamination.
He said the brown colour in water could be caused by either fixing or replacement of a burst pipe.