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Making their way to the industrial area in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, motorists were greeted with an unusual sight while travelling past Amcor Dam’s small waterfall in Ncandu Park.
Large amounts of “magic foam” can be seen on the embankment, floating in the water and lazily gliding on the breeze. However, a rancid smell tarnishes an otherwise enchanting sight.
Angus Burns, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Wildlife Fund, explains that it is difficult to establish the exact cause without analysing the water. However, he adds, “But I suspect with the recent heavy rains, a lot of pollution (sewage and chemical) has washed into the river, causing the foam that you are seeing.”
With this in mind, during August, the Department of Water and Sanitation committed to implementing measures in addressing water pollution and drinking water quality in SA.
The department has admitted that the primary source of the pollution originates from wastewater treatment works (WWTWs) due to sewer blockages, poor operations and maintenance, and pollution.
According to Siboniso Mkhaliphi, Acting Chief Director in the Department’s Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement unit, the department has designated officials known as the Green Scorpions, who are members of the Environmental Management Inspectorate, working to prevent and curb the extent of water pollution.
“The Green Scorpions have a wide range of powers and functions and are empowered to investigate and effect arrests for water crimes.”
With the Department of Water and Sanitation committed to addressing water pollution and as the foam now flows downstream, showcasing the state of the water source, what are your thoughts on the matter?
Share your views in the comment section below.
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