Homestead Dam safe to swim in – EMM

A photograph of Homestead Dam.

Some residents have raised concern days before the Aquatic Gauteng Open Water Championships that the water quality in Homestead Dam is unsafe for people to swim in.

The event is happening on January 27 and 28 at the dam.

Odd-smelling water is okay to drink

Event organiser Willie Vorster said the event is a provincial championship and added swimmers from KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State will be competing.

Ward 28 Clr Malanie Haggard said she has concerns about possible health risks and it is her responsibility to make people aware of it.

“My concern is sewage leakage, but the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) informed me there is low E. coli content in the water,” she explained.

She admitted that the hike in hyacinth is somewhat worrying to her as excessive hyacinth was removed last year and the dam is again ridden with the plants.

She said sewage is known to spur the growth of hyacinth.

When asked if she believed people should swim in the dam, she said: “I’m not going to tell people they must or mustn’t swim. People must take responsibility for their own safety.”

She added, however, that Benoni is known as the City of Lakes and residents must encourage such events.

“Benonians shouldn’t always find problems,” she said.

Vorster said if the EMM indicates the water is clear to swim in, the event will proceed.

He said residents in the area have been bombarding him with complaints and warnings.

Vorster said all of his paperwork is in order and the event is in place.

“We are not here to make money,” he assured the community and said the event is for the love of the sport.

The City Times requested the test results from the EMM, but was informed it will only be made available on Friday (January 26).

Also read:

Farrar Street residents swim in water leak

Johané Turkstra

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