Ethekwini Municipality to give update on e.coli levels at some of its beaches

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The eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal will hold a meeting on Tuesday on the state of the city’s beaches with various stakeholders including residents and NGOs.

The meeting comes after the city’s battle with high e-coli bacteria levels at some of its beaches.

The bacteria are linked to sewerage spills which were made much worse by the recent flooding.

The Municipality had earlier this month indicated that by the 1st of December they would have managed to open the beaches that are still closed.

The city has come under fire for failing to fix sanitation infrastructure after it was damaged by April and May floods. In this meeting, the city is expected to give a progress report.

The beaches that are still closed to bathing include Umhlanga, Umdloti and Westbrook.

Rolling blackouts could impair clearing e.coli levels

In October, a civil organisation concerned with water quality, Adopt-A-River, said it has identified rolling blackouts as a factor that could impair the clearance of high e.coli levels on Durban beaches.

Adopt-A-River began testing water quality in Durban rivers following the April floods.

E.coli was detected in the water after several pump stations and water treatment sites were damaged by the floods.

Several pump stations and water treatment stations in eThekwini were left damaged after the floods in April

Adopt-A-River has been at the forefront in the detection of e.coli levels on Durban beaches and rivers.

“We started our water sampling at the beginning of this year. It was after a really high rain incident over the new year period. It triggered further questioning because we’ve got a team based at the Umgeni River, and it suddenly turned black. So, we wanted to investigate further up how and where this may have been coming from, and out of that sampling we then were able to work with laboratories and include other sites for investigation,” explains Director of Adopt-A-River, Janet Simpkins.