FOLLOW UP: QUALITY OF THE WATER IN THE CANALS: (SECOND REPORT)
The Board indicated in a previous email that certain repairs need to be done to our sewer lines under the canals. The repairs of all the pipe lines have now been completed.
The Board also indicated that we will test the quality of the water for E coli after the repair of the pipe line. We herewith attach the results of the tests.
We are very pleased to announce that the water is very safe and of a very high quality.
You will notice on the report that the “sea area” after the bridge has the “highest” measurement of E coli. If we say “highest” it does not mean that this area is “unsafe” at all.
We herewith (again) we give you a short indication of what these tests mean:
What is Escherichia coli?
Escherichia coli, commonly called E. coli, is one of the most common species of coliform bacteria. It is a normal component of the large intestines in humans and other warm-blooded animals. It is found in human sewage in high numbers. E. coli is used as an indicator organism because it is easily cultured, and its presence in water in defined amounts indicates that sewage MAY be present. If sewage is present in water, disease-causing bacteria may also be present.
What level of E. coli is acceptable?
The acceptable level of E. coli is determined by risk analysis based on statistics to protect human health. Drinking water should have no E. coli after treatment. E. coli levels at designated swimming beaches should not exceed 88 per 100 millilitre (mL) in any one sample, or exceed a three-sample average over a 60-day period of 47/100mL. Recreational waters that are not designated beaches should not have more than 406 E. coli/100mL in any one sample, or more than 126/100mL in a 60-day, three-sample average. Occasional higher numbers are not unusual, particularly after storm events and where urban or agricultural runoff occurs.
Can I drink my lake water?
Because E. coli are present in all warm-blooded animals, including ducks, beaver, and sea gulls, it is highly unlikely that any lake will have zero E. coli without treatment. Even with no E. coli, lake water is still not safe to be used directly as a source of drinking water. Without adequate treatment there can be no guarantee concerning the safety of the water.
Does E. Coli cause swimmers’ ear or ear infections?
No. There are a number of illnesses, particularly related to the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, which may use water as the medium of transmission but in which the disease-causing organism does not necessarily pass through the faeces of the infected individual. Just as you may catch a cold by being in the same room as an infected individual, you may catch an ear infection by swimming in a lake with an infected individual. This can occur, even though no sewage is being discharged into the lake. Fortunately, these organisms generally do not survive very long in the water.
ADV MARIUS VAN ZYL
CHAIRPERSON ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD