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The City of Cape Town advises residents that the Water in St Michaels, Brackenfell has been confirmed as once again compliant with drinking water quality standards (SANS 241: 2015).

This comes after a series of burst pipes in the area resulted in flow reversals in the system. As a result of these reversals, poor quality water from stagnant sections of the pipeline was drawn into the supply lines.

The City apologises for the inconvenience caused, but it was preferable to err on the side of safety when issuing the notice.

Residents are advised, however, that their water may retain an earthy character due to algal growth in the Theewaterskloof Dam. A by-product of this algae, geosmin, causes these issues, but poses no threat to human health. Geosmin is removed using powdered activated carbon in the water treatment process, however even minute concentrations can still have an effect on taste/smell due to the incredible sensitivity of the human palate to the compound. The minimum levels of geosmin required for human detection are in the region of 3,5 nanograms (1 thousand millionth of a gram) per litre.

While residents may therefore notice an earthy taste, the water is now safe to drink without boiling.

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