Talbot News

Durban beaches test positive for harmful bacteria

Durban – The effects of this year\’s flooding are still being felt, after warnings from the eThekwini Municipality and Talbot – a water treatment service company – stated that beaches along the Durban coastline and some rivers are not safe for use.

After the city’s wastewater treatment facility and sanitation infrastructure were damaged during the floods in April and May, there have been reports of high levels of E. coli in rivers and beaches.

E. coli is a form of bacteria that travels through a person\’s digestive tract and then releases toxins into the body.

“As a result, the beaches remain closed until further notice due to high E. coli levels and the public are advised to avoid all contact with water in the rivers.

“In the interests of public health, communities are advised to avoid all contact (swimming, fishing, recreational and sporting activities, as well as traditional activities) with water in rivers or streams, as this may result in gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera, and other waterborne diseases,” eThekwini Municipality said.

Talbot general manager Micole Martens said the organisation has been testing for E. coli since the April floods, which claimed over 400 lives.

Martens told IOL that they are collecting samples from the main beaches in Durban and rivers like the Umgeni, Umdloti and the Duzi, to raise awareness about the dangerously high levels of E. coli.

“We are doing weekly tests in the eThekwini beaches and a few rivers around KZN. We are testing for a bacteria called E. coli. E. coli is one of the indicators that determines if there is faecal or sewage contamination.

“If there are high levels of E. coli, it can result in increased pathogens in the water, which can result in illnesses.

“We have been finding spikes in E. coli. The rivers are normally high, but there have been spikes in the eThekwini beaches,” Martens said.

A full list of results can be found on the ‘Talbot – the art of water’ Facebook page.



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