The Knysna Municipality has issued an appeal to residents and holidaymakers in Buffalo Bay and surrounds to urgently conserve water following the shutdown of the local treatment plant due to the high salt content of the raw water.
Water in the local reservoir is running very low and the municipality is carting water in from Sedgefield to supply the reservoir from today (1 July 2013). An estimated 80 to 100 residents are affected [no figures on holidaymakers].
The Municipal Manager said the seaside village’s water source was the Goukamma River, which from time to time became very salty as high seas washed up into the river. “The recent spring tide has worsened matters and the only real way to reduce salinity is for sufficient rains to dilute it. As soon as the water salinity has adequately dropped, the treatment plant will be reactivated,” she said.
The high salt content in raw water not only posed bacterial health risks but had the potential to damage water treatment equipment. “The municipality appeals to Buffalo Bay residents and visitors to use water sparingly. We thank you in advance for your patience while we are effectively at the hands of the elements,” she said.