EDITOR — Water pumped into homes by the Harare City Council (HCC) is not potable and could soon cause an outbreak of water-borne diseases; a new independent test commissioned by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe has shown.
The laboratory analysis carried out by SAZ confirmed the presence of harmful coliform bacteria in running water consumed by about four million people in Harare and surrounding areas such as Ruwa, Norton and Chitungwiza.
A water sample, which was taken from Mbare high-density suburb, bore an alarming presence of coliform bacteria, even though the pathogen is not supposed to be in any drinking water.
Experts said the presence of coliform bacteria is an indicator for pathogens (disease-causing organisms) whose source varies from human to animal waste.
The SAZ water analysis indicated that micro-organisms in the water far exceeded the recommended maximum. While the SAZS 560 of 1997 recommends a maximum of 100, the total plate count of the sample had more than 300.
In this particular sample however, the presence of human and animal waste was ruled out as there were no traces of E.coli, which is a best indicator of faecal pollution.