Bad water

Marion Oosthuysen said she placed a normal utensil on the right and the corroded one on the left.

Marion Oosthuysen, Sunningdale

There have been two burst pipes in my street in the past two weeks. Also, about three weeks ago, I noticed the following:

In the interests of water saving, and because we are only two in the house, I only wash dishes once every second day. In between washes, I soak my dirty cutlery and dishes in water so that they are easier to wash. I have been doing this for years, ever since the last water restrictions some 10 years ago. About three weeks ago, I was horrified to see that my cutlery had become corroded, this has not happened before.

If the acidity of the water is not being controlled by the cathodic corrosion protection system so that the water corrodes even cutlery, what is it doing to our stomachs, never mind our household plumbing? Is our water really safe to drink?

Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services and energy, Xanthea Limberg, responds:

The City of Cape Town appreciates every effort made by local residents to save water.

We are very grateful for all of the responsible residents who keep their usage to 70 litres or less per person per day as per the Level 5 water restrictions.

The City can assure residents that the quality of water produced at our various water treatment plants complies with the stringent requirements of the South African National Drinking Water Standard (SANS 241:2015). The treatment process includes pH correction and stabilisation which means that the water is not corrosive.

The City’s water quality is continuously monitored at the City’s treatment plants before the water is released into the distribution system.

The City publishes its annual water quality survey data in local print media as is required by the Department of Water and Sanitation’s Blue Drop Certification programme. Residents can access this data on the City of Cape Town website, here:

Although it is not expected that pipe bursts will have any significant impact on water quality, localised short-term water quality changes might occur.

The City will contact the resident and investigate this matter further.