With 75 days to the latest estimate of "day zero" — April 16 — Capetonians are eyeing swimming pools‚ rain tanks and boreholes as sources of water. But how do they know whether the water is safe to drink‚ and if it isn’t, what can they do? And what about the safety of tap water in the meantime‚ in the light of repeated warnings about the last 10% of water stored in dams? In its latest Wednesday Water File‚ the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) SA deals with these questions and more. Q: How do I know if my borehole or rain water is safe to drink? A: Untreated water contains various invisible microbes such as bacteria‚ viruses and protozoans. These harmful microbes can cause diseases as well as diarrhoea and vomiting. Unlike the pre-treated water that comes out of our taps‚ if water has not been treated it’s best to assume it is not safe to drink. The only way to know if untreated sources — whether rainwater or groundwater — are safe to drink is to have a water sample tested in a registered l...

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