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Expert warns of groundwater pollution from cemeteries when COVID-19 deaths surge

5 June 2020 5:14 PM
Tags:
Groundwater
gravesites
COVID-19

TimesLIVE has reported on the work of an academic who is encouraging municipalities to monitor groundwater close to cemeteries.

Times Live has reported on the work of a University of Pretoria (UP) academic, who is encouraging municipalities to monitor groundwater close to cemeteries, given that thousands of Covid-19-related deaths are forecast in South Africa in the coming months.

Joanne Joseph spoke to professor Matthys Dippenaar who works in hydro-geology and engineering geology at UP’s faculty of natural and agricultural sciences to find out more.

Ground water is quite abundant, it outweighs surface water like river water.... a lot of our cities, towns, agricultural areas and rural villages depend on groundwater.

Professor Matthys Dippenaar

Currently the siting of our cemeteries places them in situations or conditions where in the natural ground, most of this possible contamination or pollution can be attenuated before it reaches ground water.

Professor Matthys Dippenaar

Most importantly would still be the sanitary handling of the bodies, limit the handling of the body and also if you bury, do not bypass the environmental legislation. We need deep graves, it can't be shallower on surface, it can't be next to water, it can't be poorly sited.

Professor Matthys Dippenaar

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...


5 June 2020 5:14 PM
Tags:
Groundwater
gravesites
COVID-19

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