Red worms drip out of water taps

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Most households in Mpumalanga were shocked to find red worms coming out of water taps.

Now residents of Ermelo, Wesselton and surrounding areas are scared to use the "contaminated" water. The Msukaligwa municipality has instituted an investigation to establish where the worms are coming from, and authorities say the findings are expected before the weekend.

"We would like to reassure the affected areas that a fact-finding mission will be conducted as part of information-gathering for all the affected areas," said municipal spokesman Surprise Nkosi.

According to residents, in addition to the worms, water from the taps has an unpleasant smell.

The municipality said the catchments areas supplying water to households from both Brummer and Douglas dams in Ermelo were regarded as sensitive and high-risk areas, "but water could not be polluted in a fluid form due to the responsible usage of chlorine and other chemicals recommended by the SABS standards".

"Worms which were found and seen in most drinking taps had not been scientifically proven by the independent laboratory after samples of water were taken for organic testing," said Nkosi.

He said according to results of water tests conducted earlier this month, the water network complied chemically with the acceptable limit of the standards set by the SABS for raw and potable water, in which reports show that water is safe and clean for human consumption.

Brummer and Douglas dams are the two main dams supplying the residents of Ermelo with water.