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Pet Dam water siphoned into tanker labeled for consumption


18 August 2021

Washing or swimming in contaminated water causes rashes, pink eye, respiratory infections and hepatitis.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September

Concerns have been raised by residents regarding a trio of water tankers that siphon water from the Pet Dam on a daily basis, usually in the early mornings. While one of the tankers is clearly a construction tanker, and the water presumably utilized for such purposes, the remaining two is a darker shade of worry. Most concerning is the fact that one of the tankers that siphon water from the Pet Dam is labeled as “drinking water”. While it is, at this stage, unclear whether the water is actually implemented for providing potable water to the community, is unclear. The municipal spokesman has stated that if the tankers are not branded with Msukaligwa Local Municipality emblems, they do not fall under the municipal framework.

The Pet Dam has been a sight for sore eyes, as well as a major health hazard for the community, fauna and flora for the past decade. Constant sewage pollution due to the municipality’s lack of addressing key overflow issues have only exacerbated the issue faced. The Pet Dam is notorious for its foul smelling water, and has also come under the spotlight due to a large-scale fish kill that took place. To date, the municipality has failed to provide the results of the water tests that were supposedly conducted at the time in order to determine the cause of the fish kill. Additionally, the Pet Dam faces a constant flow of raw sewage into the body of water, which has been ongoing since circa 2009. The collapsed sewerage network along President Fouché Avenue, as far up as Camden Avenue, sees kiloliters of rew sewage flowing towards the Pet Dam on a weekly basis. Collapsed and inadequate sewerage lines in these areas, as well as in the field between both Presient Fouché Avenue, Mauritz Read and Wes Streets also causes raw sewage to contaminate the dam. A large overflow of sewage near Autumn Ridge also flows down towards the Pet Dam.

Consumption of sewage contaminated water can lead to a range of illnesses and defects to both humans and animals. Drinking fecal-contaminated water can expose you to E. coli, resulting in fever, watery or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. It can also cause gastroenteritis, more commonly known as the stomach flu. This infection causes fever, watery diarrhea, headaches, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Waterborne pathogens, in the form of disease-causing bacteria and viruses from human and animal waste, are a major cause of illness from contaminated drinking water. Diseases spread by unsafe water also include cholera, giardia, and typhoid. Annually, thousands of people struck by Legionnaires’ disease, which is a severe form of pneumonia contracted from contaminated water. This disease is potentially fatal if left untreated. Washing or swimming in contaminated water causes rashes, pink eye, respiratory infections and hepatitis.

The community is urged to refrain from accepting water from any tankers that are not officially employed and commissioned by the municipality, in order to avoid receiving contaminated water that is unfit for consumption.

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