KLEIN RIVER ESTUARY, STANFORD, RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY
The water is routinely sampled and laboratory tested for E.coli and enterococci, which are recognised indicators of possible faecal pollution. The fitness of the water for recreational activity is assessed, in accordance with Department of Environmental Affairs guidelines, and classified into one of the following four categories:
The current recreational water quality is classified as:
The risk of contracting gastrointestinal infection from swimming is:
For more information about recreational water quality, click here
To view a graph of E.coli and enterococci levels, click here
KLEIN RIVER ESTUARY MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY The National Estuarine Management Protocol (NEMP), allocates the responsibility for coordinating the management of the estuary to the Overstrand Municipality. With co-funding from a private source, the municipality commissioned the drafting of the Klein River Estuarine Management Plan (EMP) sets out a vision, objectives and strategy for looking after the estuary. Although the estuary falls wholly within the boundaries of the Overstrand Local Municipality, there is an unfortunate lack of clarity in the Integrated Coastal Management Act (ICMA) regarding delegations to local governments. Intergovernmental processes are under way to resolve the issue. As a consequence, the Klein River estuary, and all other estuaries within the Overstrand, currently has no government management authority actively coordinating estuary management activities. Civil society organisations have established the Klein River Estuary Forum (KREF) to aid the coordination of government agencies responsible for the various estuarine management activities and to monitor the implementation of EMP.
MAJOR CONCERN: RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY In common with many estuaries in an urban setting, the Klein River Estuary’s ecological functions have been affected by anthropological influences. Eutrophication, reduced water flows, discharging of storm water and treated sewage, reed infestation all affect both ecological functioning and recreational water quality. Recreational water quality in the section of the estuary running through Stanford is a serious concern and presents major challenges that the KREF and government agencies must deal with in order for the water to be safe for recreational use. Currently, the indicators used to gauge the level of faecal pollution in in the estuary imply that the recreational water quality is unacceptable, according to accepted norms (Ref: DEA, 2012. South African Water Quality Guidelines for Coastal Marine Water. Volume 2: Guidelines for Recreational Use. Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa). For an explanation of how recreational water quality is assessed, with reference to the DEA guidelines, refer to Sue Matthews’ Basic Introduction to Bacterial Indicators of Faecal Pollution. Bacteriological tests are routinely done to monitor the human health risks associated with swimming in all the estuaries in the Overstrand. A graph showing an analysis of the E.coli and Enterococci levels in the Stanford section of the Klein River Estuary can be viewed by clicking here
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