Is municipal tap water safe to drink in South Africa?

The answer is yes! The processes used for water treatment vary in many ways depending on the source of the water. 

On March 3, 2019, The Government of South Africa reassured citizens that it was a high priority for the government to ensure that citizens and tourists are served with safe drinking water. The establishment of the Blue Drop programme is amongst the measures government has put in place to ensure that our water services institutions, i.e. municipalities and water services providers, deliver good quality water that complies with the South African Drinking Water Quality Standard (SANS 241) It should be noted that SANS 241 is aligned with the World Health Organisation’s guidelines for drinking water.

If you are not exactly happy with your tap water, maybe it is the way it looks or tastes and you want to change that using the best yet affordable means of filtration/purification then skip to the bottom of this article. 

So where does the municipality get the water form before treating it? 

Municipalities in South Africa mainly get their water from the natural sources listed below.

Surface Water

Is the water we can easily access like rivers, lakes, dams, streams, and reservoirs. Many rural communities in remote areas here in South Africa use shallow wells as a source of water for various domestic uses.

Ground Water

Groundwater, which makes up around 22% of the water we use, is the water beneath the earth’s surface filling cracks and other openings in beds of rock and sand. It is estimated that the total available renewable groundwater resource in South Africa (the Utilizable Groundwater Exploitable Potential, UGEP) is 10,343 Mm3 /a, or 7,500 Mm3 /a under drought conditions (DWA 2010b). The amount of UGEP varies greatly across WMAs, where some areas have far higher groundwater reserves than others (Table 8.1). As with surface water, groundwater availability varies across the country and some WMAs have more groundwater available for use than others.

Sewage

Also called Wastewater, is any water that has been affected in quality by human activities. Wastewater can develop from agricultural activities as well as through inflow and stormwater runoff. Sewage treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage water.

Water Requirements Data on water-use per sector and surface water availability in South Africa has not had any major revisions since the 2006 SAEO aside from some additional information within Reconciliation Strategy studies which largely focus on urban water supplies. Some updates have been included in the National Accounts: Water Management Areas of South Africa completed by StatsSA and it is this data that is used in this chapter (StatsSA 2010). Agriculture, and in particular irrigation, is the country’s largest water user sector, using about 62 percent of the available water resources (StatsSA 2010), yet the sector contributes only about 2.5 percent to the GDP. Coal-fired power stations, nuclear stations, and even solar power stations all need water to generate electricity. The mining sector uses eight percent of water available (StatsSA 2010). Although water use by the mining sector accounts for a relatively small portion of the national water budget, it is a major water user in those catchments where mining activities are concentrated. In addition, mining can adversely affect water quality. Commercial forestry occurs in areas that have sufficient rainfall such as Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern and Western Cape. Plantation forestry is an important water user and is regulated as a ‘streamflow reduction activity’ (DWA 2010a)

The amount and type of treatment applied by a public water system varies with the source type and quality.

Wetlands

-are extremely valuable natural resources, with high environmental, economic, aesthetic, spiritual, cultural and recreational value. Wetlands provide significant habitat refugia to biota, as well as essential livelihood services to humans rendering water storage, supply and treatment services. As an example, wetlands have the ability to remove nutrients associated with agricultural runoff, thus helping regulate the nutrient levels in water bodies and preventing groundwater contamination. Wetland destruction will result in increased eutrophication of water bodies (de Villiers & Thiart 2007)

How to purify Tap Water

There are several ways to purify your tap water at home without breaking the bank. There are fast and simple ways to purify water besides boiling water and letting it cool before drinking or using it.  You can treat it with iodine or approved chemicals like chlorine solutions etc or you can use the most sort after technology known as BIG BLUE 3 STAGE FILTER  WITH UV LIGHT.  

The BIG BLUE 3 STAGE FILTER  WITH UV LIGHT is a water filtration system that is perfect for removing sediments, rust, silt and loose particles from rainwater. The filter also improves the water’s odour and removes chlorine and contaminants. The filtered water can then be used safely to supply washing machines, geysers and toilets. The filtration system further has a polishing filter for very fine filtration. The UV light filters germs and other microbes making the water suitable to drink.

Water filtered by  BIG BLUE 3 STAGE FILTER  WITH UV LIGHT  is suitable for use for, 

  • Washing machines.
  • To supply toilets.
  • To supply geysers.
  • Drinking water 

How does the BIG BLUE 3 STAGE FILTER  WITH UV LIGHT?

The BIG BLUE 3 STAGE FILTER  WITH UV LIGHT features three stages of filtration.
Stage one - Removes silt, loose particles, rust or sediment. 50-micron filter meaning it will filter any particle that is visible to the human eye.
Stage two - Features an activated carbon filtration system that removes volatile organic compounds (VOC) and chlorine. This will remove bad tastes and odour from the water.
Stage three - Features a 5-micron polishing filter for finer filtration.
Stage four - Features strong UV light. Ultraviolet water purification is the most effective method for disinfecting bacteria from the water. UV systems destroy 99.99% of harmful microorganisms without adding chemicals

You can buy it while its on sale now and have it shipped to you after the lockdown period on 17 April 2019. 

 

 

Image Source  | ADTSPHOTO

 

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6 comments

Mj

Mj

I find most of your blogs interesting. Very useful free information. Thanks

Kat

Kat

Tap water has got to be purified! Period

Thomas

Thomas

There are places in SA like Benoni that have sour tasting water. Surely that cant be alright. Would this filtration system make water better tasting? I wonder

justine

justine

Tap water here by Benoni is very questionable. Last year we installed big blues and i must the water has been tasting much better.

Marty

Marty

South Africa’s Municipal water is not 100% safe but its better than most 3rd world countries guys. Can that be acknowledged first?

Dylan

Dylan

I wonder if all the municipalities in SA use the exact same method of flirtation and treatment.

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