The physico-chemical properties of Isinuka springs, a "wonder" water resource in Port St Johns area of Eastern Cape Province, were investigated over three seasonal regimes. Water samples were collected from the five spring sources, along Isinuka river and from Ferry Point Cottage spring and analysed for their quality parameters. Most of the water quality variables measured were found to show seasonal fluctuations. Isinuka spring water is not fresh as it contains high salt contents and the results indicate that it is not suitable for drinking without treatment. The water is moderately hard, salty and fairly neutral with pH ranging from 6.87 to 8.33. One of the five sources continually emits a characteristic odour and the five spring sources were characterised by very high concentrations of TDS, turbidity, Cl-, and NH4+-N which exceeded the maximum permissible levels recommended for drinking waters. The NO3--N and NO2--N were, however, present at levels far below the critical value of 10 mg/l above which the occurrence of blue baby syndrome (methaemoglobinaemia) due to NO2- poisoning might be a problem in pregnant women and bottle-fed infants. Water from Ferry Point Cottage spring met the water quality guidelines for drinking water.
WaterSA Vol.27(2) 2001: 241-250