Water monitoring project – know the status of your water

Hanlie Smuts -- Thu, 02/18/2016 - 15:44

Water monitoring project – know the status of your water

The Physical Science students from the School of Educational Sciences on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), is on a mission. They want to not only determine the status of natural water sources but also to teach the community how to determine if water is suitable for human consumption.

Heading-up this project is Ms Irene Muller – a lecturer within the School of Education Sciences. “Water monitoring is of utmost importance as it provides the status of water and indicates whether or not it is fit for human consumption,” says Ms Muller and adds the campus grounds – with its abundant water sources, serves as an important training opportunity for the students taking part in the project.

After participation in monitoring activities on campus, the students will visit various schools in the region to monitor the water status of communal water.  

The water monitoring team displayed their knowledge about water at a local teaching symposium at the Riverside Hotel in October 2015.

From left to right: Pearl Majola, Onke Mbele, Gratitude Masuku, Fisto Buthelezi, Percy Mohosho, Precious Xaba, Cheney Nolte and Archi Kgnaka.

Why the need for monitoring?

The Grade 10 National Physical Science Curriculum includes the quality testing of water and so Ms Muller gained permission from the Gauteng Education Department to perform monitoring activities at schools. This way, Ms Muller and her team aims at lightening the workload of teachers by performing the practical activity for them, which can then be included in the Physical Science portfolio.

“The water monitoring team further wants to provide a service to the community by performing water quality test on communal water samples with unknown health status,” says Ms Muller. “Our project wants to indicate the simplicity of water quality testing and how schools can serve the community in attaining water health and knowledge.”

Taking hands to make a difference

Rand Water, as national water monitoring expert group, is assisting the monitoring group with needed expertise and the validation of findings regarding water data. According to their website, Rand Water benchmarks the quality of water supplied to local authorities against the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Drinking Water Quality Guidelines. All needed equipment for the water monitoring is supplied by the NWU Vaal water monitoring team. Ms Muller and her team cordially invite all local schools and the community to contact them if they want the students to help with water testing. Results from the tests are available within three days and any type of water – be it tap, borehole or water from dams and rivers, can be tested.  Contact Ms Muller for more information about water quality monitoring in the local community. She may be reached via e-mail at 12765074@nwu.ac.za or telephonically on 016- 910 3097 (during office hours).