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Drinking water in South Africa

DDrinking water in South Africa is safe to drink and cook with when taken from taps in urban areas. Not all tap water in rural areas is safe for consumption, so it is advised you take precautions if necessary. Some rural areas make use of borehole systems which source found water and store them in containers before being purified by the water system connected to your tap. 

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry maintains that South Africa’s national standard of water quality can be compared to that of the World Health Organisation standards.

According to statistics South Africa approximately 89, 4% if South African households have access to piped water. On a national level; 62 % of the household rated the quality of water- related services they received as “good”. The maintenance of clean water is provided by locally- based water service authorities, which regularly monitor the quality of drinking water in South Africa. These authorities are also rated by the department according to the Blue Drop Certification System. Raw water undergoes an extensive purification process at Rand Water (water sanitation hub) that ensures that citizens receive water that is free of harmful micro-organisms and contaminants. As a precaution avoid drinking water from streams and rivers, especially in areas where there is human habitation as they may carry water-borne diseases.

Should you find yourself in an unlikely position of not having clean water on hand, you can disinfect the water yourself by boiling it for a maximum of 10 minutes.  Alternatively, you can add a teaspoon of bleach per 25 litres or a teaspoon of chlorine granules per 200l. In both the latter cases, allow the water to stand for 2 hours. The survivalist method is to expose the water to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours in a transparent container with a small airspace, shaking after filling and every hour after that.

For on-the-go situations, you could always grab bottled water at a supermarket or garage. Bottled water is available from a number of brands, some of them well-known international names. Your choice includes still and sparkling waters and a range of fruit flavoured variants.  

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