How to protect your family’s water quality
Article by: Karabo Motsoai
Manage your home 2 Oct 2023

How to protect your family’s water quality

At one point South Africa's tap water was amongst the best in the world. However, recent reports have revealed that our water quality has dropped leaving households vulnerable to health risks.

The situation has hit the headlines this year with 23 cholera-related deaths reported in Tshwane, and popular beaches in KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town being closed due to sewage spills brought about by infrastructure problems and loadshedding.

The Department of Water and Sanitation’s release of the 2023 Blue Water Report revealed the country’s water quality to be a significant concern. Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu announced that the report had found that 3% of the country’s water treatment infrastructure is in critical condition and 12% is in poor condition. Drinking water quality analysis, on the other hand, indicates that 51% of municipalities have poor to bad microbiological water quality status and 71% of water plants fail to achieve chemical compliance.

What’s more the department noted that approximately 11 municipalities had not submitted their water quality data or provided any evidence that they have been testing the water.

Wastewater treatment plants in South Africa are failing to meet compliance standards, which in turn poses a huge risk to public health. The systematic collapse has been attributed to defective infrastructure, absence of disinfectant chemicals, poor operations, lack of water monitoring systems, loadshedding and an overall lack of chemical knowledge.

Amid all these reports, it is important for families to take a proactive approach and find meaningful and cost-effective ways to minimise their risk. This should come as a high priority since exposure to low water quality can lead to harmful long-term health effects and issues.

Managing water quality in the home

Fortunately, there are many ways for household to test and safeguard the water your family consumes.

  • Testing strips: Home water testing kits or strips which are available in various forms are easy to use and provide quick water quality results. For more accurate results, you could choose to use the services of a laboratory to test your water for you.
  • Boil before use: One of the best, old-time and cost-effective ways to ensure safe and clean water, is to boil it before consumption. Boiling water that will only be used for cooking and drinking will be more affordable, however, it is less convenient than other options.
  • Tap Filters: Water filters or purifiers can also be attached directly to your home’s taps to address different types of contaminants. This option is a quick do-it-yourself project and does not need extensive or complicated changes to be done to your water system.
  • Water filtration systems: A water filtration system is another great way to protect your family. These systems reduce chemical exposure and give you access to safe drinking water directly from the tap. Additionally, water filtration systems can address different water quality concerns such as bacteria, chlorine, heavy metals or pesticide and many others.
  • Bottled water: Investing in bottled water for consumption only is one of the convenient ways many people choose to safeguard their families. While not as cost effective as other options, it provides peace of mind against any potential contaminations.

While government works on improving the country’s wastewater treatment plants and the quality of tap water, households are increasingly feeling the need to find options to address the water quality in the home to protect the health of their families. 

Households are in need of a sense of security and control over the water they consume. Therefore, any of the mentioned essentials will go a long way in allowing them to take back control. Deciding which option is right for you, will depend on your family’s lifestyle and budget. 

Looking for options to secure your home’s water supply?

The LookSee Marketplace offers a range of water tanks that can help you start harvesting rainwater or store municipal water for use during outages.