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Water Quality – 7 January 2022, 12h00
Issued George Municipality

Water samples for the Touw River have returned all clear – Acceptable Limits for full contact.
Swimming and Water Sports is permitted at all areas of the Touw River including River Mouth and Lagoon within designated swimming areas.

George Municipality reported a sewerage spill at the Ebb and Flow pumpstation on the 24th December 2021. The spill was treated and testing of the river water was undertaken in three areas (upstream, lagoon and river mouth) on a daily basis to monitor the water quality for the safety of residents and visitors, as well as any possible impact on the Blue Flag Beach at Wilderness.

Testing has continued throughout the festive season and erratic results received were cause for concern. George Municipality thoroughly reviewed our Ebb and Flow Sewerage pumpstation equipment and Incident Alert System and have ruled out further failure. A comprehensive investigation of all private and business conservancy tanks has been launched.

This investigation has to date revealed a number of private homeowners who are non-complaint i.e. either allowing their conservancy tanks to overflow and/or having illegal connections thereby contaminating groundwater and stormwater which discharges into the river. Responsible homeowners have been alerted to where there are issues for rectification and action will be taken against non-compliant homeowners.

We thank those residents who have willingly allowed our officials access to their property. Legal action can and will be taken against those property owners who with no valid reason, refuse George Municipality access to their property. Our officials are wearing identifying tags and will provide the homeowner with a letter indicating reason for their requiring access. The full investigation is expected to be concluded within the next 10 days.

Residents and visitors are reminded that the potable water in Wilderness area remains completely safe as the intake from the Touw river that feeds the Wilderness Waster Treatment Works is above the waterfall with a supplementary feed to Wilderness from George.

George Municipality together with SANparks has faced queries for alleged pollution this season and are working together to address and rectify the problem. The consistent water quality testing and subsequent investigation should result in a successful solution.

The Wilderness area holds great natural beauty, diverse and fragile eco-systems and is one of the Garden Route’s largest tourism drawcard. SANparks and George Municipality are committed to protecting and retaining this natural attraction and ensuring it is safe for all residents and visitors.

6 January 2022, 13h45

Water samples for the Touw River have returned showing non-compliance for the River.


Swimming and Water Sports ONLY PERMITTED at River Mouth and Lagoon area between Lifeguard Flags.

We ask the residents and visitors to adhere to safe swimming rules and follow instructions of the Lifeguards in the designated areas.

George Municipality continues to investigate the cause for non-compliance and water sampling will continue to monitor water quality with updates provided.