Capetonians asked to avoid contact with Milnerton Lagoon water

The City of Cape Town says that it has detected algae in the Milnerton Lagoon, but confirmed that it is non-toxic green algae.

‘’The Water and Sanitation Directorate investigated the water quality of the Milnerton Lagoon, and we have created a list of possible pollution sources for the catchment. The directorate is closely monitoring all pollution sources and does regular water quality sampling and physical inspections of our infrastructure,’’ said Mayco member for water and sanitation, Zahid Badroodien.

Badroodien added that although there are no blue-green algae present in the lagoon, harmful algal blooms are an ongoing threat, particularly in the vleis and water bodies (including Milnerton Lagoon) which are in nutrient rich situations and are exposed to hot weather.

In a statement, the mayco member said that the concentration of algae can vary due to factors that can influence their growth through a range of possible sources.

‘’The Bulk Infrastructure Department confirms that Potsdam WWTW is a small contributor to the problems we face with the waterway. The treatment facility achieves high compliance ratings for its treated effluent which sometimes has nutrients present in the discharge. At no point has Potsdam WWTW discharged raw effluent or had any emergency or unauthorised discharges that could have resulted in the algae bloom,’’ added Badroodien. 

The City’s Water and Sanitation Directorate is investigating the possible source(s) of this algal bloom, adding that it will continue to monitor the lagoon’s water quality and will assess whether mechanically opening the estuary mouth will assist. The municipality said it will also monitor the lagoon to see if there is any impact on wildlife and fish.

‘’As a precautionary approach, the City has installed additional warning signs over the weekend to remind residents that the Milnerton Lagoon is closed to the public. The Milnerton Lagoon is not suitable for recreational use and signage to inform the public as such has been in place at the lagoon for several years now.’’


Done By: Mitchum George


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