CT's desalinated water may have long-term health risks, scientists warn

Scientists in the Western Cape have warned of long-term health risks associated with drinking Cape Town's treated sea water.

Desalinated sea water still carries concentrated traces of contaminants and pollutants, according to scientific researchers from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

UWC's Professor Leslie Petrik explains that effluent going into the ocean has a concentration of chemicals.

Read: 20% of water in Beaufort West is recycled sewage water. Could Cape Town be next?

She also explains that the desalination intake pipes will be positioned very close to local marine sewage outfall pipes.

According to Prof Petrik, drinking such contaminated water can be linked to health risks such as feminization, cancer and mutagenicity.

Also read: Less flushing in Cape Town could cause more disease-transmission, warns expert

Our studies have shown that there are low concentrations of a plethora of chemicals in the water.

Prof Leslie Petrik, Leader of the Environmental and Nano Science Research group at UWC

The desalination plants are going to be relatively close to where the sewage outfall pipes are.

Prof Leslie Petrik, Leader of the Environmental and Nano Science Research group at UWC

These compounds are coming through into drinking water and there are a variety of health effects that have already been tracked.

Prof Leslie Petrik, Leader of the Environmental and Nano Science Research group at UWC

Listen to the professor outline the concerns with desalination:


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