Municipal effluent constitutes a large reservoir of human enteric viruses and bacteria. Contemporary monitoring practices rely on indicator bacteria, and do not test for viruses. Different viruses, including Norwalk-like viruses, Hepatitis A virus (HAV), adenoviruses, and rotaviruses, are important agents of illnesses in humans. The burden of disease caused by adenoviruses manifests as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, otitis media, conjunctivitis, and tonsillitis, whereas HAV infection can manifest as acute inflammatory diseases of the liver, fever, anorexia, malaise, nausea, and abdominal discomfort, followed by jaundice and dark urine. The public health implications of these viruses depend upon the physiological status of the wastewater microbial community. The occurrence of human adenovirus (HAdV) and HAV was determined in the final effluents of five wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, over 12 months (September 2012-August 2013). The viruses were detected with real-time PCR, and conventional PCR was used for serotyping. Adenovirus was detected in effluent samples from all five WWTPs and in 64 % of the total samples, whereas HAV was not detected in any effluent sample. At WWPT-A, samples were collected from the final effluent tank (adenoviral concentrations ranged from 1.05 × 10(1) to 1.10 × 10(4) genome/L, with a 41.7 % detection rate) and the discharge point (adenoviral concentrations ranged between 1.2 × 10(1) and 2.8 × 10(4) genome/L, with a 54.5 % detection rate). At WWPT-B, HAdV was detected in 91.7 % of samples, with viral concentrations of 7.92 × 10(1)-2.37 × 10(5) genome/L. The HAdV concentrations at WWPT-C were 5.32 × 10(1)-2.20 × 10(5) genome/L, and the detection rate was 75 %. The adenoviral concentrations at WWPT-D were 1.23 × 10(3)-1.05 × 10(4) genome/L, and the detection rate was 66.7 %. At WWPT-E, the viral concentrations were 1.08 × 10(1)-5.16 × 10(4) genome/L, and the detection rate was 54.5 %. Characterization of the adenoviruses revealed HAdV serotypes 2 (1.4 %) and 41 (7.1 %), in species C and F, respectively. This study is the first to report the prevalence of HAdV in the final effluents of WWTPs in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The adenoviral detection rates indicate the potential contamination of the environment, with adverse effects on public health.