Despite misgivings by consumers that water provided by the City of
Harare is not fit for human consumption, council is adamant that they
meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
Whenever there are thirsty many people in the capital now prefer water from other sources instead of tap water, but in a statement Harare City Council (HCC) said its water is “safe to drink”.
Following reports that water provided by the City of Harare contains traces of urine, many households now prefer drinking borehole and bottled water.
But in a statement, HCC said “...our water is within the range specified by the World Health Organisation, and Standards Association of Zimbabwe drinking water standards and we have quality control mechanisms that are strictly adhered to.
“The city strives to provide adequate and safe water to all its customers.”
The statement was a response to the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe which had accused council of pumping water with pH levels that were unsafe for drinking.
According to waterresearch.net pH is one of the most common water quality testing methods.
The pH of a body of water is affected by several factors. One of the most important factors is the bedrock and soil composition through which the water moves.
Another factor which affects the pH is the amount of plant growth and organic material within a body of water.
A third factor which determines the pH of a body of water is the dumping of chemicals into the water by individuals, industries, and communities.
The pH of pure water is 7. In general, water with a pH lower than 7 is considered acidic, and with a pH greater than 7 is considered basic. The normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5, and the pH range for groundwater systems is between 6 to 8.5.
In its statement HCC said its water’s pH levels are between 6,5 and 8,5.
“Companies that run a specific line of business which require certain levels of pH which are outside the drinking water requirements produced by council, are advised to further treat their water to enable them to process the water to reach their standards,”
“As a city, we do not produce water specific to a certain company or industry but we follow the set World Health Organisation and Standards Association of Zimbabwe drinking water standards and these are being met,” the council said.
However, this is despite confessions by the city fathers that the water situation in Harare had hit an all-time low in terms of quality.
According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, every citizen has the right to access clean, safe and potable water.
Section 77 reads: “And the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right”. daily news