WATCH: Durban North environmentalist worries about ‘cloudy dump’ in Umgeni River

JANET Simpkins, director of Adopt-a-River, a nonprofit, said she remains concerned about the discoloration and murky flow of the Umgeni River.

On Wednesday this week, eThekwini Municipality closed seven Durban beaches after the “Umgeni River dumped abnormal murky water on the beach”.

A day later, that decision was overturned because the results of tests carried out by the city showed that the water was free from pollution.

However, Simpkins believes the current discoloration of the river is due to pollutants that pose a threat to wildlife, tourism, fishermen, paddlers and staff cleaning the river banks.

“We have always been concerned about the health of the Umgeni River. This discoloration and discharge that we have seen is unprecedented. We have had reports of this dark and cloudy substance flowing into the Umgeni River since the end of December.

“We collected water samples, which were sent to the municipality of eThekwini. Although the river has had extremely high levels of e-coli in the river, we are concerned that this pollutant may pose a risk to wildlife, fishermen and paddlers, ”said Simpkins.

EThekwini Municipality spokesman Msawakhe Mayisela said Thursday that the water is free from any pollution that could threaten life, according to the results.

“The water was cloudy because of the hyacinths naturally present in the water. It usually increases during the summer months. The City would like to thank the public for having always heeded its warnings, ”he declared.

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