Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) chairperson Luther Mambala says the water it supplies to Liwonde Township and surrounding areas is not contaminated.
The SRWB board chair made the sentiments in Liwonde, Machinga during a tour to appreciate the process of pumping water from Shire River and how it is treated for consumption.
This comes against assertions by the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change that Shire Lodge and Hippo View Lodge discharge sewage into Shire River, which is also the source of water for SRWB downstream.
The committee’s chairperson Werani Chilenga earlier said what is worrying is that SRWB pumps its water some 20 or 30 metres away.
But during the tour, it was learnt that septic tanks and sock ways the two lodges use are almost 70 metres away from the Shire River.
“Above all, the distance between Shire Lodge septic tank and soakways is 110 meters not 20 metres from the SRWB intake contrary to what was earlier communicated,” said Mambala.
A team of scientists from the board and other stakeholders carried out various tests on the water and the results proved the water is not contaminated.
“We also established that the pipes that were believed to be disposing sewage from the lodges into the Shire River are those pipes the two lodges use in pumping water from the river to irrigate flowers, grass and some vegetables they grow within their premises.
“Some of the water is treated as a backup for future use,” said Mambala.
Hippo View Lodge conference manager Thokozani Maulana said the issue was publicised before conducting tests on the water.
He said: “We cannot dispose sewage into the river as our staff and their families use the same for consumption,” he said.