Copper theft has been blamed for the spillage of human waste that has flowed from sewerage works into Mpumalanga's largest lake.
Until last week, about 24000 litres of effluent water has been flowing into Lake Chrissie, the largest lake in South Africa.
Msukaligwa Local Municipality in Chrissiesmeer said on Friday that high incidents of theft of the sewerage pumps in search of the copper at the oxidation pond was to blame for the pollution, but it had since been replaced.
The municipality said it had since replaced the stolen pumps and has appealed to members of the community to report such criminal activities to the police and take ownership of their natural resources.
Municipal spokesman Surprise Nkosi said the process of purification was taking place.
"The area where this process is taking place is not near the residential area, therefore contaminated water is not consumed by the residents," said Nkosi.
Tourism operators have also opened a popular tourist route after it was forced to close down because of pollution.
All activities, including hiking, bird-watching, mountain biking and canoeing, had been suspended.
The municipality deployed the technical team at the site on July 14 to ascertain the level of contamination and health hazard risks involved and affecting the ecology of the lake.
Nkosi has confirmed that the popular tourist route had been reopened.
"Engineers are monitoring the situation around the clock to ensure that the ecology of Lake Chrissie is not again in danger of pollution," he said.