Polluted Vaal River water should be avoided: government

PARYS - Residents have been advised not to drink water from the Vaal River due to pollution. 

Officials say various levels of government are tackling the crisis.

Water and sanitation department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the pollution is mostly from municipal sewage.

The department's tests show the river is poisonous.

“Preliminary results show a high amount of E.coli that implies that there is high inpour of partly-treated sewage.

Ratau says a number of municipalities are to blame. Emfuleni was singled out as a municipality with a problem.

Ngwathe Local Municipality, which includes Parys, is downstream from Emfuleni.

Ngwathe municipality manager Bruce Kannemeyer said treated water is safe for consumption.

He said worried residents can boil water as an extra measure.

But this safety measure comes at a price, as electricity bills have ballooned for residents.

Various levels of government say they’re working together to solve the crisis for good.

Emfuleni municipality, the main culprit, could not be reached for comment.