Excellent water quality results refute Camps Bay misinformation, says City

The test report of the water samples which were analysed by the SABS Laboratory. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

The latest water quality sampling results for Camps Bay are excellent as per analysis by the independent SABS Laboratory, says the City in a media release.

It said samples taken on Friday January 19, and released on Monday evening, January 22, refute misinformation on social media about the beach and its coastal water quality.

The City said over the past few weeks a social media user has been spreading misinformation that lighter patches along the shoreline at Camps Bay and Green Point are indicative of sewage

Eddie Andrews, the City’s deputy mayor and Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, said on January 19, the City undertook an open and transparent water quality sampling test at Camps Bay in the white discoloured area, and off Granger Bay. This is where the same kelp mucus was seen that was presented as sewage on social media.

The City said it invited a representative from the Camps Bay community, an independent civil engineer, and an independent marine scientist, to witness the sampling and the community representative even went with to deliver the six water samples at the independent SABS Laboratory for analysis.

“We received the results from the SABS for all six samples on the evening of Monday, January 22. As expected, the results for all samples are excellent by global standards of coastal water quality,” said Mr Andrews.

The water samples were analysed by the SABS Lab for the number of enterococci per 100ml, the World Health Organization’s Gold Standard for water quality analysis. The cut-off is 180 enterococci per 100ml. In some cases nothing was detected in the samples, and in some the count was as low as 1.

“Coastal water quality sampling in Cape Town is done more often than at any other coastal city in South Africa. The results and supportive data are published on our website, and are accessible to all as part of our commitment to transparency about the water quality along our coastline,” Mr Andrews said.

He said the natural breakdown of kelp, algae and phytoplankton in Cape Town’s waters is very common and both have an unpleasant smell and discolouration. “Foam on the water’s surface or on the beach is as a result of the organic matter breaking down, not sewage. I can therefore assure all that the white colouration at Camps Bay is not caused by any human pollution, but is most likely calcium carbonate leaching from the beach and nearshore environment,” Mr Andrews said.

The City’s latest coastal water quality sampling results show excellent water quality for Camps Bay, and across key recreational beaches and nodes. The results can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/3Z5EwDY