The Meulen River in George, on the beautiful Garden Route in South Africa is in a terrible state.  It has become a dumping ground for not only plastic bottles, car tyres and trash but more disturbingly, sewerage.

For some time the residents of Ballots Bay have suspected this, as first the Dragonflies, then schools of bait fish (mullet) disappeared.

Today, the high levels of E-Coli (between 5x to 6x over the legally allowed amount ) confirm that sewerage is indeed entering the river system.  Legally, up to 500 parts is acceptable for swimming and 100 parts for drinking.  The independent reports below indicate up to 30,000 parts and a massive health risk to anyone entering the water!

Download E-Coli Reports

George Municipality Laboratary Services – 06 Nov 2018
2018-11-06 molen meulen – municipal tests
Feacal coliforms (count/100mL) >2420

George Municipality Laboratary Services – 28 Jul 2017
Microbial Jul 2017
Feacal coliforms (count/100mL) 370
E-Coli 370
(it was later discovered that the above samples had been taken from the smaller
Klip River – a tributary to the Meulen)

George Municipality Laboratary Services – 26 May 2017
Muelen River May 2017 water sampling results
Feacal coliforms (count/100mL) >30,000 (sewerage grade)
E-Coli >30,000 (sewerage grade)

Western Cape Laboratory Services – 26 Oct 2016
Feacal coliforms (count/100mL) >3000 (sewerage grade)

George Municipality Laboratary Services – 16 Oct 2016
Feacal coliforms (count/100mL) >2420 (sewerage grade)

This is not only unacceptable, but unlawful. Something must be done to address the disturbing decline and we aim to record the progress made by the relevant authorities.

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The people of George would like the Meulen river to be returned to it’s former pristine state, a river where children can swim and play safely without fear of disease.  Above is a picture from 2007 – when it ran clear and clean.

The Meulen is only 1km south of Victoria Bay, the swimming beach of George, and 3km south of Wilderness (with it’s Blue Flag Beach status).  Today, if you swim or collect shellfish along this coastline, you could end up with a nasty E Coli infection as levels from this river system are 5x higher than the acceptable Swimming Water Standard.

Please sign out petition to help Clean the Meulen river again.

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Please make contact if you have anything to share about the current state of the Meulen River.