The recent cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe was due to interruptions in the water supply which resulted in a lack of clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organisation, over 60 000 people were infected and over 3 000 people died from the disease. The worst affected were people living in rural areas where access to clean running water is minimal or non-existent at the best of times. This crisis in Zimbabwe should highlight the importance of clean running water and water purification in South Africa. We take it for granted that the water delivered to our homes is fit for human consumption and are unaware of the processes involved in purifying the water.
The first step in the process is to eliminate any debris from the water by running the water through a series of filters. The water is then chemically treated to eliminate any viruses or harmful bacteria that may be present in the water. While it is important to remove these diseases from the water, it is equally important that the chemicals used are safe for human consumption and are only present at tolerable levels. Water is a limited resource and therefore water purification is necessary to provide re-usable but safe drinking water to the population through water treatment plants.
It is also important that the purified water not be contaminated en route to our taps. This means that the pipes delivering the water cannot have any leaks and must be non-corrosive. Although there have been many advances in technology to manufacture pipes that will deliver uncontaminated water, many of pipe systems in South Africa are outdated and in dire need of upgrading. We all need to pay more attention to our water supply and water purification systems to ensure that we do not end up with an epidemic on our hands.
For further information on water purification, water treatment plants and water delivery systems, please contact us.