eThekwini Municipality beaches

A number of beaches under the eThekwini Municipality have been closed with immediate effect. Photo: eThekwini Municipality

EThekwini: Public urged to refrain from recreational activities – Here’s why

EThekwini Municipality has asked the public to refrain from recreational activities in some of its rivers and the Blue Lagoon beach.

eThekwini Municipality beaches

A number of beaches under the eThekwini Municipality have been closed with immediate effect. Photo: eThekwini Municipality

The eThekwini Municipality has warned the public to refrain from recreational activities at the Umngeni and Umhlangane rivers because of high E.coli levels. 

Most types of the Escherichia coli bacteria are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. However, a few strains of the bacteria can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. One can be exposed to E.coli from contaminated water or food. For this reason, the Blue Lagoon beach remains closed as well until further notice. 

WHY DO ETHEKWINI RIVERS HAVE HIGH E.COLI LEVELS? 

The municipality said routine water quality monitoring at Umgeni River still confirmed high E.coli levels. This is due to sewage overflow from some of eThekwini  sewage pump stations that are constantly vandalised.

“Repairs have been made on two pump stations and are now operating. However, the Johanna Road pump station feeding Umhlangane river which joins Umgeni river is still under repairs. The Water and Sanitation Department is dosing the storm water overflow with Chlorine tablets. Water sport organisers are hereby informed that recreational activities at Umngeni and Umhlangane rivers are not recommended.

eThekwini Municipality

The municipality added that the outlet from the Northern Wastewater Treatment Works is being dosed with sodium hypochlorite.

The public will be informed once it’s safe to use water.

In January, eThekwini north beaches were temporarily closed over possible contamination fears. The affected areas included North, Bay, Battery, Country Club 1 and 2, as well as eThekwini and Laguna beaches.

The municipality said that the closure of north beaches was in the public interest after the Umgeni River discharged “very abnormal murky waters to the beach.”

The north beach closures meant that fishing, surfing, swimming, and collecting marine creatures, was strictly prohibited until further notice due to possible contamination.

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