City of Harare Dismisses Reports of Human Waste In Borehole Water

By Staff Reporter

The Harare City Council has dismissed media reports that water samples taken from 15 boreholes in the city were found to have human faecal matter.

In a statement, the City admitted that the water was contaminated with E-coli but said the contamination could be from other mammals, and not necessarily from humans.

“The City of Harare has noted recent reports in the media that 15 boreholes in the city were found to have human faecal matter. E-coli is an indicator organism, indicating possible faecal contamination.

“The tests done do not indicate that it’s human but could be from other mammals as E-coli comes from both. The City Health Department did routine water quality monitoring of all water sources including boreholes, and municipal water in response to watery diarrhea outbreaks that were reported in some western suburbs and the water sampling implicated some boreholes used by those affected.

“The standard procedure is that any water source found contaminated from E-coli is disinfected with chlorine or HtH to make it safe, source of contamination is investigated and dealt with accordingly for example repair of sewer choke and disinfection with chloride of lime to avoid further contamination,” read the statement

The City further said it carries regular tests at various points in the water distribution.

“Our water department regularly tests water at various strategic points in the distribution network, particularly water reservoirs and take corrective measures when residual chlorine is below the set standard. Various zonal Superintendents have regular stock of HTH issued from Morton Jaffrays Waterworks for this purpose,” said the City of Harare

Council said since the discovery of E-coli in water from the boreholes, have taken several corrective measures that include Installation of inline chlorinator on borehole and distribution of non food items such as aqua tabs and buckets among other measures.

Recently, the City announced that it had temporarily decommissioned 15 boreholes that were contaminated with faecal matter and were believed to be the source of typhoid cases reported in Glen Norah, Mbare and Budiriro.

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