Bacteria that turned Cowles Dam pink remains a mystery

The cause of the colour is thought to be bacteria-related, but the colour disappeared before the metro could determine the species.

Springs residents were baffled when Cowles Dam turned pink in January, with African Reporter first reporting on the dam’s odd colour earlier this year.

The metro has responded by indicating that their investigations point to the pink colour being bacterial-related, explained spokesperson Themba Gadebe.

However, the metro was not able to identify the species of bacteria, as the pink colour faded before investigations were concluded.

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“Since the suspected bacteria could not be identified, it is unknown what triggered the bacteria.”

Gadebe assured residents that should the pink colour return, further identification on the bacteria would be promptly carried out.

Gadebe went on to say the dam was clear of the pink colouration and no treatment was required, but the metro had programmes to look after the water bodies within its jurisdiction, which involved the monthly water quality monitoring programmes and the beautification of water bodies.

“The metro, through its water quality monitoring programme, constantly monitors the water bodies for compliance with set standards and to ensure compliance.

“The Water Quality Section does monthly environmental monitoring regarding the quality of water. The city has other programmes such as the beautification of lakes that addresses other issues pertaining to the environment,” says Gadebe.

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