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Bulawayo water declared safe

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WATER from the Bulawayo City Council’s supply reservoirs do not contain any bacteria and is 100% safe for drinking, according to quality tests conducted by council’s microbiology section.

NQOBANI NDLOVU
STAFF REPORTER

A-running-tap-001According to results of the laboratory tests, Bulawayo water is safe and meets specifications of the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ), a statutory body that ensures firms meet and comply with various laid down standards.

Laboratory tests at the reservoirs in Cowdray Park, Ncema, Criterion and Fernhill showed that the water does not have coliforms or faecal matter.

Coliforms are a broad class of bacteria. The presence of coliforms in drinking water indicates a possible presence of harmful, disease causing organisms, according to research.

“Chemical compliance to SAZ specifications for drinking water remained at 100% during the month under review. Compliance to SAZ bacteriological quality standards which was fairly good is summarised in the two following tables,” in part the council laboratory results read.

However, on the flipside, the effluent from the council’s sewerage treatment plants is polluting the environment and attracting heavy fines from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA).

“Generally all the sewage treatment plants produced effluent that was rich in pollutants like ammonia and phosphates. The effluent was therefore polluting the environment and according to EMA limits, all the sewage treatment plants were classified in the red permit category that attracts heavy EMA penalties.

“Funds permitting, the refurbishment of sewage treatment plants should be prioritised because EMA will continue to ticket council for non-compliance,” the report from the environmental, management and engineering services committee reads.

Companies operating in Bulawayo were at fault and council was fine-tuning policies to deal with the offenders, among them, United Refineries and the Cold Storage Company (CSC).

“Industries continue to discharge effluent that is rich in pollutants as seen by the red highlighted figures.

“The department is in the process of fine-tuning its polluter-pays principle in order to effectively deal with offenders. Pre-treatment facilities of companies like CSC, United Refineries and Bulawayo Abattoirs are now in a bad state thus posing a pollution risk to city streams and water users downstream of Bulawayo.”

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