Cape Town’s Zandvlei closed to public after sewage spill

Water. Thinkstock

The City of Cape Town has temporarily closed the Zandvlei water area as a precautionary measure following water quality concerns.

The closure only applies to recreational activities in the Zandvlei water area, including fishing. Access to the Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve and other visitor facilities in the area remain open to the public, the city said in a statement

The city had undertaken water quality testing at various points within the Zandvlei water body due to quality concerns, and had concluded the water body should be closed to the public as a precautionary measure until further notice.

“The test results showed high levels of faecal coliforms (Escherichia coli) within the water body, which indicates an elevated risk to human health. The public is therefore advised to avoid all contact with the water at Zandvlei until these levels fall back within national recreational water use guidelines.”

The high E. coli count was a result of a sewage spill earlier in the week due to a bulk sewer main collapse, which had subsequently been contained. The city had been monitoring the effect of the sewage spill into the water body and the additional pollutants entering the vlei from the catchment area. The additional pollutants were as a result of the flushing effect of the recent rain after an extended dry period. The results of these water quality tests dictated the decision to apply a precautionary approach for the safety of the residents of Cape Town.

“The city will continue to monitor the water quality and expects to see an improvement in these levels soon. In the meantime, signage has been erected advising visitors to the vlei to exercise due caution. The public will be informed once the vlei is safe for recreational use. The city apologises for any inconvenience caused as a result of the closure of the water area and thanks the public for their co-operation during this period,” the statement said.

– African News Agency (ANA)



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