8 November 2017

South Africa: Letter to the Editor - the Risks of Building a Temporary Desalination Plant to Ease Cape Water Crisis


While desalination is considered as a solution to our taps running dry, we also need to be realistic as to how safe the desalinated "fresh water" will be. By BYRON HERBERT for Camps Bay & Clifton Ratepayers' Association.

What we have discovered through extensive scientific research is that the Marine Outfall Points (MOP), while pumping merely macerated sewage into the sea, are in fact relying solely on the sun to kill the multitude of bacteria and poisons that are flushed down the sewerage system daily. Unfortunately, the reality is that even if the ecoli and enterococcus levels end up being low on the surface of the water, the sun can only penetrate to less than a metre and the water will certainly be drawn from well below the surface of the Granger Bay Harbour.

In addition, the UV doesn't neutralise the multitude of chemicals and medication that gets flushed into the sea daily, to which end the city have their own test results in black mussels indicating an excessive level of hypertension medication in the mussels' tissue in the waters around the Mouille Point MOP.

So, looking towards desalination, there is a major concern that the downstream effect of the...

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