Wastewater poses ‘no significant risk to human health’ - CSIR

The City of Cape Town commissioned the CSIR to start the study in 2015 after a furore from environmentalists and the public over the sewage being pumped into the sea.

A general view of Llandudno beach in Cape Town. Picture: Pixabay.com.

CAPE TOWN - The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has found wastewater outfalls into Cape Town’s oceans pose “no significant risk to human health”.

The City of Cape Town commissioned the CSIR to start the study in 2015 after a furore from environmentalists and the public over the sewage being pumped into the sea.

Several experts called on the city to find alternative ways of disposing of human waste, instead of the three marine outfall pipes, which pump millions of litres of raw sewage directly into the ocean.

The City of Cape Town has released the long-awaited CSIR report, saying it is “happy to have conclusive proof that disposing of waste in this way is not posing significant risks to bathers or the marine environment.”

According to the study, there are no "measurable risks" to human health through either swimming in the ocean or consuming fish from these areas.

Chemicals and compounds in the affluent, like those from dishwashing and shower water, were found likely to be diluted to concentrations that didn't endanger marine fauna and flora close to discharge points.

The city maintains there are over 84,000 synthetic chemicals in wastewater and that no wastewater treatment plant is able to remove all of these materials.

It adds, the study has confirmed at current levels, the waste “can be safely assimilated by the ocean”.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)