The colour of drinking water stirs concern for students

Stellenbosch is experiencing a strange colour change in the water. This change is due to a treatment process for the water.

A number of students have been complaining about the water and whether it was safe for consumption. MatieMedia spoke to a few students on campus on the matter.

Due to the treatment process of water, the water’s colour has changed. Picture: Marsha Leitch


“I don’t drink the tap water because of its brown colour which makes it look dirty. I buy water instead,” says Jessica White, an Actuarial Science student at Stellenbosch University.

Laula Biaya, a BA social dynamics student at Stellenbosch University says: “I first noticed the colour of the water in the toilets, I thought it was a toilet thing. As time went by, I noticed the tap water had the same brown colour which had me thinking about the water being safe to drink.”

Zviko Chitiyo, a BComm information systems management and financial management student at Stellenbosch University says: “I saw that the water was brown in colour on Thursday. I now boil my water twice just to make sure it is safe to drink.”

Stellenbosch municipality’s assistant superintendent for water quality, Florence Casper says: “Water levels in the dam are very low at the moment and we are using our last resources. The water is going through a treatment process before it is distributed to the consumer.”

Casper adds that the colour of the water “is not dangerous as it is being treated and chlorinated.” Due to this, the colour of the water has changed.

“With the treatment in place, no problems have been reported on the water having a different taste or infecting anyone. There is no turbidity at the moment which means there is no dust particles left behind after filtration has taken place,” says Casper.

According to the City of Cape’s water dashboard: “The last 10% of a dam’s water is difficult to use, the useable water in the dam is approximately 10% less than the dam level.”

The current dam storage levels are at 31.1%. – Marsha Leitch


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