SANParks rangers continue to take deep water samples in the Knysna estuary despite recorded progress and most ecoli-readings looking relatively lower than in February 2019.
Although water in deepwater channels was not affected largely by the February incident, SANParks continues to sample as a precautionary measure. Park Manager for Knysna, Megan Taplin also continues to meet stakeholders at least once a month regarding the progress of the estuary. Partners include SANParks, the Garden Route District Municipality, the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA), the Knysna Municipality, the Knysna Basin Project and the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.
While sampling for ecoli is one intervention, partners take different samples at different spots in the estuary. Results of water samples taken 3 weeks ago show most sites are compliant except for four sites. The Ashmead channel E.coli counts are still high. The Bongani stream is still over the limit at 3200 cfu/100ml and higher than the previous sample of 2100. The Queens Street outlet has shown a drop to 13 cfu/100ml after a number of consecutive readings of over 30 000 cfu/100ml. Salt River is also non-compliant at 970 cfu/100ml.
Partners continue to find ways to lower counts in the four sites including medium to long term solutions.
Picture: Jene Konradie and Phumlane Qaba, Knysna marine rangers taking water samples in the main channel