Rietfontein groundwater polluted with E. coli

Raw sewage is being dumped into trenches.

Raw sewage is being dumped into trenches.

The municipality has dug trenches where sewage solids are being dumped and sewage has seeped into the ground.

Water tests done by Magalies Water in Rietfontein in February show that borehole water near the Rietfontein sewerage plant is severely contaminated with E. coli, which poses a serious health risk to residents, reports Kormorant.

This also poses a serious threat to neighbouring properties’ borehole water, as the tests have determined that the groundwater in the area is polluted.

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DA caucus leader in Madibeng Eddie Barlow said: “Drinking water should not contain any E. coli and if tests show that the borehole water near the plant is polluted with E. coli, the cause is probably sewage spillage from the plant.”

During a visit to the plant, a shocking discovery was made. The municipality has dug trenches in the ground where sewage solids are being dumped, presumably because some of the processing dams at the plant are not functioning. “If pits are needed to dump solids, it should be lined properly to prevent sewage seeping into the ground. This is totally unacceptable.”

Residents in the area are solely reliant on borehole water, and they are advised to test the water in their boreholes. “If tests show that boreholes are contaminated with E. coli, criminal cases can be opened with the police,” Barlow said.

Kormorant requested a response from the Madibeng municipality regarding the damning water tests and pollution of the groundwater in the area, but has received no reply.

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