Politics, Sci-Tech

Government has 13 months to stop rising acid water

By Andy Rice 24 August 2010

Senior water affairs official Marius Keet told members of Parliament’s land and environmental affairs select committee on Tuesday that his department had 17 months to stop acid mine water from rising up below Johannesburg and contaminating ground water. Keet said that the department needed to construct a new pumping station and upgrades to existing high-density sludge works, which would take about 13 months to complete. Government therefore has a four month window in which to act, to the tune of R180 million. That sum is nothing though, compared to the disaster that would occur should the acid mine water contaminate the city's ground water. The acid mine drainage, which reportedly comes from abandoned mines in the western Witwatersrand, has low pH, high sulphate levels, elevated levels of heavy metals, and, in some areas, radioactivity. Read more: TimesLive.

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