Cape Town – Research into the general safety of SA’s natural water resource has revealed some shocking findings.

On Sunday evening, 15 November, Carte Blanche featured an in-depth update on a primitive toxin called blue-green algae that is polluting our waters.

South Africa has the highest known levels of blue-green algae contamination in the world, with about two thirds of our national water resource contaminated, Carte Blanche reported.

Between 2002 and 2012, 62% of 50 analysed water bodies contained high levels of blue-green algae. Of the 50 bodies of water, 26 were found to pose a high health risk due to surface scum.

The current drought in South Africa is also not helping the situation. The low water levels is causing for even more concentrated prevalence of blue-green algae.

These are the recreational dams Carte Blance reported to be most heavily affected, all with more than 30% of blue-green algae surface scum:

Barberspan Dam
Hartbeespoort Dam
Koppies Dam
Spitskop Dam
Vaal Dam
Lake Chrissiesmeer

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Other worrisome recreational dams include:

Zeekoeivlei (reports of animals dying after drinking contaminated water)
Hazelmere Dam level (Currently the dam holds less than 25% water, which concentrated blue-green algae)
Midmar Dam

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What should I look for: 
Discolouration: Water colour could range from bright green, blue-green, brown or even red.
Smell: The water’s smell is very unpleasant, similar to sewage
Surface scrum: Any signs of foam or scum on the surface of the water could be a sign of blue-green algae.
Have I been affected? These are the symptoms: 
Breathing difficulty
Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhoea
Skin and throat irritation
Liver failure
Other organ failure (heart, kidneys)
The algae effects have also been linked to moto-neuron disease, and the dysfunction of the male reproductive system
View the full Carte Blanche Toxic Tap Water story here.

 

Source: SA’s recreational dams affected by toxic algae | Traveller24