WARNING: High E.Coli levels in Knysna estuary

10:52 (GMT+2) Tue, 12 Mar 2019
: Dolphin in the unaffected part of the Knysna estuary taken by SANParks ecologist, Jessica Hayes

SANparks has erected four signs around the Knysna estuary to warn recreational users not to fish, collect bait or swim in the area.

This is due to the high levels of E.coli currently in the water making it unsafe for recreation use.

Park Manager for Knysna Megan Taplin says it is not safe at all to enter the water in the vicinity of the Ashmead Channel such as areas next to Cathy Park, Loerie Park and towards Costa Sarda.

Water samples were taken by the Garden Route District Municipality on the 4th of March and nine of the 15 areas in the Knysna Estuary were not compliant with the Department of Water Affairs regulations.

Last week, the Knysna Municipality confirmed there was chemical contamination at its Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) which is a cause of concern.

These types of chemicals kill the good bacteria introduced to balance the E. Coli levels in the water before it is released and as a result of the above, the latter has increased significantly.  

SANParks is working together with the Knysna Municipality and Garden Route District Municipality to investigate the sources of pollution as well as measures to address the impacts of this pollution.

Further sampling is underway this week to identify the possible sources of oil/grease pollution.