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'Two-thirds of SA dams contain harmful bacteria'

A study used the latest satellite imagery to view 50 of the country’s largest dams.

FILE: Picture: unsplash.com

JOHANNESBURG - A 10-year study has revealed two-thirds of South Africa's dams contain bacteria that are harmful to humans and animals.

The study has made use of the latest satellite imagery to view 50 of the country's largest dams.

The principal researcher in the project is Stewart Bernard from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

He says the images reveal an alarming spread of the harmful cyanobacteria in many of the dams.

"Half to two-thirds of our reservoirs have a cyanobacteria problem. What we also found is that the timing and frequency of the events is quite variable and will change from time to time."

Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West was found to contain the worse spread of cyanobacteria in the country.

In the Western Cape, the dam to fare the worst is the Theewaterskloof Dam.