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Tap water in Diepsloot is still not to be used for drinking or cooking, but work is racing ahead to restore the system. Water tankers are on site.
WATER contamination in Diepsloot is being addressed and processes are in place to restore a safe water supply as soon as possible; however, people are still urged not to consume tap water, either for drinking or cooking.

Effortd are being made to restore safe water in DiepslootEfforts are being made to restore safe water in DiepslootYesterday, the deputy minister of water and environmental affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, met City of Joburg and Johannesburg Water officials to discuss issues with drinking water in Diepsloot.

Her department noted that the water contamination had the potential to threaten the livelihoods and the health of the Diepsloot community, and was deemed to be dire and of high priority. It also stated that it was essential to evaluate the cause, the current status, the rectification process and prevention plans.

“It can be confirmed that the situation in Diepsloot is being addressed well, within the water safety planning process and incident management protocol, which is a key Blue Drop requirement,” Mabudafhasi said. “As the regulatory authority of the sector, the department is satisfied that regulatory requirements are met and that adequate processes are in place to ensure that safe water supply is restored as soon as possible.”

Rectification is taking a relatively long time because the government is trying to protect the livelihoods and health of Diepsloot residents. It is a complex task, given the magnitude of the network, the flushing process, and related engineering and scientific processes.

Interventions that have been implemented so far show that there has been significant improvement in terms of quality, but caution remains that the water is not yet complying with national standards. The water sample drawn through the flushing process was taken to the laboratory. It takes 18 to 22 hours to mature.

“Community members are thus warned that they should not use the water for drinking and cooking as yet but they can use the water for sanitation purposes. Only the residents living in Extension 2 can use the tap water since the pipeline in that area was not affected,” the deputy minister said.

The communication to the community is in line with incident management protocol and the community is encouraged to adhere to the warnings. An alternative water supply is available from 65 stationary tanks and 13 mobile trucks at strategic points across the affected area.

The department was satisfied that sanitation services had been restored late on 18 April since full pressure water supply became available. Mabudafhasi added: “The department will continue to monitor the situation and trusts the network will be stabilised as soon as possible.”

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