Stellenbosch Municipality

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STELLENBOSCH MUNICIPALITY

WATER QUALITY AND BLUE DROP STATUS

Stellenbosch Municipality understands our role as Water Services Authority and as, such has the immediate objective of ensuring a continuous supply of safe and aesthetically pleasing drinking water at the most affordable price to our consumers.  This commitment is clear from the fact that Stellenbosch Municipality has been taking part in the Blue Drop Certification program since 2009.

The Blue Drop certification program is an incentive-based regulation of drinking water quality management that was initiated by the Department: Water Affairs (DWA) to introduce key requirements for effective and efficient management of drinking water quality by Water Service Providers.  As Water Service Authority, Stellenbosch Municipality has achieved the prestigious Blue Drop Award for the Stellenbosch System and all systems that receive potable water from the City of Cape Town namely Faure, Blackheath and Wemmershoek. In order to maintain this status and ensure that Stellenbosch Municipality makes use of best practice -principles as it relates to the supply of potable water to our consumers, various sampling and monitoring programs have been put in place.  These are both operational and compliance-based in nature. 

An average of 100 operational samples is taken weekly at the water treatment plants and at various sampling points on the network and reservoirs throughout the greater Stellenbosch Municipal area. These are supplemented by an average of 100 compliance samples, taken by an external service provider, per month.  The sampling schedules are set up in such a way as to ensure that the water sources, treatment works, storage reservoirs and points of use (consumer taps) are monitored.  The water samples are analysed by both our in-house laboratory and other accredited laboratories to ensure fast reliable results that are uploaded on the Blue Drop System.  This type of monitoring is however only aimed at monitoring quality on a routine basis.  For this reason the Water Treatment Works are equipped with on-line monitoring equipment that ensures constant monitoring of the water being treated through the various process units 

In the event of consumers experiencing some taste or odour problems from their drinking water it should not be seen as unsafe. Taste and odour substances occurring in water bodies are produced mainly from blue-green algae.  The Theewaterskloof and Jonkershoek Dams from which Stellenbosch abstract raw water, receive an inflow of nutrients following heavy rainfalls.  High temperatures and high nutrient concentrations stimulate the growth of the blue-green algae. The problem is further exacerbated by Actinimycetes that occur naturally in sediments of dams also contributing to odour. Discolouration (yellow or brown colour) is linked to humic acids and experienced after recent rains. These originate from the roots of Western Cape flora in mountain areas that serve as catchment for raw water sources. 

Stellenbosch Municipality would like to assure our consumers that the drinking water is safe to drink with regards to all substances indicated as possible water safety risks in the drinking water quality standard, SANS241: 11

 

Supply Systems

Blackheath (CCT)

Faure

 (CCT)

Franschhoek

(SM)

Stellenbosch

(SM)

Wemmershoek (CCT)

Average % compliance for SM  Dec 2013

Microbiological (Health)

99.9%

99.9%

81.3%

91.4%

97.9%

94.1%

Chemical (Health)

99.9%

99.9%

99.9%

99.9%

99.4%

99.8%

Physical (Non Health)

99.9%

99.9%

99.9%

99.9%

99.9%

99.9%

 

On Wednesday, 25 December 2013 at approximately 14h45 in the afternoon the Fire Department responded to a call of two fires reported in Jamestown and the fire truck dispatched collided with a Volvo at the entrance of the Blaawklippen farm at Tegnopark traffic lights on the R44. 

As the fire truck approached the traffic light, it turned red and the truck slowed down.  Other vehicles had already stopped to give right of way to the approaching fire truck which had its sirens and red lights on. The Volvo sedan with an Eastern Cape registration number passed stationary vehicles to cross at the intersection and subsequently collided with the oncoming fire truck. 

Upon his arrival at the scene, Wayne Smith (Acting Fire Chief at the Stellenbosch Municipality) found that there were three people in the Volvo, all were badly injured and the driver was trapped in the vehicle. 

Metro, ER ambulance and fire personnel were called for assistance and managed to swiftly extricate all of the injured.

The injured were rushed to the Stellenbosch Mediclinic and the driver of the Volvo unfortunately died on scene.  None of the Fire Department’s staff were injured.

The staff at the Fire Department immediate received counseling after the accident and the necessary internal procedures has been put in place pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Stellenbosch Municipality is greatly saddened by this horrible incident and extends its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.

-END-

A three year old girl has drowned in the swimming pool of the Stellenbosch Fire Department on Tuesday, 24 December 2013.  The incident took place around 17:20. 

According to Wayne Smith (Acting Fire Chief Officer), the child and her mother are from Paarl and they were visiting the mother’s sister who is a Senior Fire Fighter at the Stellenbosch Municipality Fire Department.

The Senior Fire Fighter is a resident at one of the Fire Department’s houses and they have access to the swimming pool at any time.  She and her sisteraccompanied a small group of children to the swimming pool and were sitting on a bench less than 10 meters from the pool.  

According to them, the girl (victim) was sitting alongside the pool with her feet dangling in the water and somehow slipped into the water without anyone noticing.

Craig van Reenen, an off-duty Fire Officer discovered the girl floating in the swimming pool and immediately performed CPR on her.  Other fire medical officials also quickly responded. They could not recollect for the time that she was under water.

The girl wasrushed to the Stellenbosch Hospital where she was declared dead at approximately 18:50 that evening. Despite all the efforts she could not be saved.

The names of the deceased and the mother are known to the Stellenbosch Municipality, but we are unable to provide them to the media.

“This unforeseen and unfortunate course of events saddened all of us and put a damper on the Christmas spirit and was definitely not taken well by us in the Fire fraternity”, said Wayne Smith.

The Stellenbosch Municipality is greatly saddened by this horrible incident and extends its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.

-END-

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