Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
7 Jan 2022
8:42 am

KZN beaches reopened after ‘possible contamination’ ruled out

Citizen Reporter

Seven Durban north beaches were closed after reports of 'abnormal' murky waters.

Durban north beaches are once again open to bathers. Photo for illustration: iStock

The seven beaches in KwaZulu-Natal temporarily closed by the eThekwini municipality on Wednesday have been reopened, after tests showed no contaminants were found in the water. 

On 5 January, the municipality closed the North, Bay, Battery, Country Club 1 and 2, eThekwini and Laguna beaches, following a discharge of “very abnormal” murky waters coming from the Umgeni River. 

Bathing and all sporting activities were halted while tests were conducted. 

On Thursday, all closed beaches were confirmed to be safe. 

ALSO READ: UPL says Durban beaches safe to reopen after chemical spill but experts sceptical

Tests conducted found the water was murky due to hyacinths, which increased in number owing to the warmer summer months. 

The municipality confirmed the “water is free of any pollution that may pose threat to life”. 

“The city would like to thank the public for always heeding its warnings.” 

Close call for Durban north beaches 

Calls to cease bathing are likely being heeded due to the devastating United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) chemical spill that took place in Cornubia during the July 2021 riots.

ALSO READ: Sewage spills into Durban beaches

An amaBhungane investigation confirmed the warehouse held millions of litres of chemicals, including 26,000kg of Masta 900 insecticide, which contains a potent neurotoxin.

It also contained 1,800 litres of methamidophos, 40,000 litres of products containing the paraquat herbicide, 19,000kg of Terbufos and many other chemicals classified as harmful or toxic.

In September last year, UPL gave affected beaches the all-clear to reopen, but the eThekwini municipality was cautious about heeding their call. 

Compiled by Nica Richards