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Since the last blue drop report, the drinking water quality has declined, according to the
2023 Blue Drop Watch Report.
On Tuesday, this was mentioned during the announcement of the Green, Blue, and No
Drop Watch Reports.
Dr Sean Phillips, director-general of water and sanitation, highlighted that just 10% of
municipalities in the 2012 Blue Drop Report had low or poor microbiological water
quality, compared to 50% in this sample.
“This indicates that there has been a deterioration in drinking water quality since the last
report was done,” Phillips said.
The Blue Drop Watch Report indicated that the drinking water produced from some
municipal water treatment systems during the 2021/22 municipal financial year did not
meet the South African National Standard (SANS) 241 standard and could on occasion
have posed a potential health risk.
However, the report does not provide an indication of the current status of water quality
Following SANS 241 and the norms and standards established by the department,
Phillips emphasized that municipalities are required to notify their customers that the
quality of the water they supply poses a health risk when tests show that the water
poses a risk to human health.
He said the department has sent directives to the municipalities identified in the watch
report as having systems with poor or bad compliance to inform their residents should
they still have poor or bad compliance.
“The public can safely consume water from their taps if their municipalities indicate that
the water being provided is being tested and meets the requirements of SANS 241.
“Water Services Authorities (WSA) are responsible by law to inform affected
constituencies as soon as there is any change in quality,” Phillips said.