Page 1

Promoting professional excellence in the water sector

Water& Sanitation The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa

Complete water resource and wastewater management


OPINION Managing groundwater through technology sharing

ODOUR CONTROL Managing plant odour

WASTEWATER Quality and sustainability in service delivery

RAND WATER Partnering change in Africa


The best way to promote sound water resources management principles is through working and sharing lessons with other organisations. Phakamani Buthelezi, CEO of BGCMA P14


July/August 2014 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R50.00 • Vol 9 No. 4

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Volume 9. No.4 Promoting professional excellence in the water sector

Water& Sanitation The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa

Complete water resource and wastewater management


OPINION Managing groundwater through technology sharing

ODOUR CONTROL Managing plant odour

WASTEWATER Quality and sustainability in service delivery


Rand Water looks to develop African water professionals p4


RAND WATER Partnering change in Africa


The best way to promote sound water resources management principles is through working and sharing lessons with other organisations. Phakamani Buthelezi, CEO of BGCMA P14


July/August 2014 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R50.00 • Vol 9 No. 4

Challenging greenhouse gas emmissions

Regulars Editor‘s comment Africa round-up

3 20

COVER STORY Capacity building in Mozambique


WISA President's comment Special custodians of the water sector Overcoming the hurdles to academic publication WISA 2014 Wetskills highlights young talent Excellence recognised at WISA 2014

6 8 9

Panel discussion Elster Kent Metering Sensus Utility Systems Lesira-Teq Precision Meters

47 48 50 53 55

mining water Mintails pioneers AMD solution Bespoke water storage Beyond water use Discharge to Elburgspruit under control Storage options for mining sites

56 60 61 63 64

11 14

HOT SEAT Breede-Gouritz CMA's continued success


industry news Joint venture spells the future


opinion Unsustainable groundwater mining



Unsustainable groundwater mining


Boosting supply through Caesar’s Dam

trenchless technology The lowdown on SASTT Technical paper – Horizontal directional drilling in the South African context

25 27

odour control Successful treatment of wastewater odour Technology trumps odour at WWTW

33 36

wastewater Channelling greenhouse gas emissions Pump efficiency: the key to success Boosting supply Assessing performance and compliance

38 41 43 44


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Editor’s comment

Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Maryke Foulds Head of design Frédérick Danton Senior designer Hayley Mendelow Designer Kirsty Galloway Chief sub-editor Tristan Snijders Sub-editor Beatrix Knopjes Contributors Jo Burgess, Wanda Henning, Nick Carne, Neil van Rooyen, Hennie Smal, Jay Bhagwan, Gerhard Hope, Shanna Nienaber, Inga Jacobs Marketing manager Hestelle Robinson Digital manager Esther Louw Client services & production manager Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Financial manager Andrew Lobban Administration Tonya Hebenton Printers United Litho Johannesburg +27 (0)11 402 0571 Advertising sales Avé Delport Tel: +27 (0)11 467 6224 • Cell: +27 (0)83 302 1342 Fax: 086 502 1216 • Email:

Defining success The WISA 2014 conference and exhibition was a highlight on the water industry agenda for the year. With over 1 800 delegates attending, it was a successful event giving choice networking opportunities to all players.



media Physical address: No 4, 5th Avenue Rivonia 2056 Postal address: PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 Email:

ays WISA CEO Lester Goldman:

“WISA’s vision is uncompromis-

• CEO Award for most active branch: South African Young Water Professionals.

ing: access to potable water for

The collaboration between the Dutch and

all. We want to promote innova-

South African water sectors is long standing

tions beyond the technical. We want to

and they formed an active part of the con-

see innovations to solve the capacity and

ference with positive inputs and outcomes.

training challenges ahead. Solving South

Dutch Ambassador to South Africa Andre

Africa’s water challenges is predicated

Halspels was vocal in his support for the

on innovation. We wish to increase our

South African water industry and highlight-

All articles in Water&Sanitation Africa are copyright protected and may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publishers. The views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Water Institute of Southern Africa or the publishers.

assistance to struggling municipalities

ed addressing critical skills shortages in the

and increase awareness of WISA as an

industry and the forming of knowledge

ally and a resource.”

pools. Their philosophy of ‘teach one, teach

WISA contacts:

nised the leading role players and this

ISSN: 1990 - 8857 Annual subscription: R300 (SA rate) Email: Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

WISA 2014's awards evening recog-

Head office Tel: +27 (0)11 805 3537 Fax: +27 (0)11 315 1258 Physical address: 1st Floor, Building 5, Constantia Park, 546 16th Road, Randjiespark Ext 7, Midrand

Eastern Cape Chairman: Hennie Greeff Tel: +27(0)41 453 3102 Secretary/Treasurer: Chris Dickson Tel: +27(0)41 507 8200

Western Cape Chairman: Gareth McConkey Tel: +27(0) 21 712 4260 Secretary/ Treasurer: Eleonore Bondesio Tel: +27(0)21 872 0322

Rand Water, who reiterated the need for clear governance and knowledge building

• Most improved WWTW: Waterval Treatment Works, Ekurhuleni

in the sector: “We need to prioritise the eradication of corruption at municipal level; corruption is at the heart of our problems. To achieve universal access, we

• Wilson Award: Plettenberg Bay WWTW

need to improve water skills and create

• WWTW Award (Larger than

competent municipalities.”

25 Mℓ/day): Olifantsvlei WWTW, Johannesburg Water • Mine Water Award for best pres-

South Africa is at the cusp of real transformation in the water industry. It is a challenge put to our new Minister of Water Affairs and

entation: Johanna Mtimunye for her

Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, to make

paper entitled: ‘Uranium reduction by

a reality.

facultative anaerobes in excellence

sector in the water

itation Water& San Africa

WISA mission statement The Water Institute of Southern Africa provides a forum for exchange of information and views to improve water resource management in Southern Africa.

Endorsed by

• SAIWA Piet Vosloo Award:

paper: S Motaung et al.

Free State Chairperson: D.R. Tlhomelang Tel: +27(0)51 403 0800 Secretary/ Treasurer: Riana Wessels Tel: +27(0)56-515-0375 KwaZulu-Natal Chairman: Chris Fennemore Tel: +27 (0)31 311 8734 Secretary/ Treasurer: Stephanie Walsh Tel: +27 (0)31 302-4077

eloquently put by Advocate Petlane of

• SAIWA Pressley Hughes Award for best

The challenges facing the industry were

year the WISA awards went to: Umgeni Water


all’ continues to be an inspiration.



magazine The official

Com plet e

urce wate r reso

ewa ter and wast

Institute of the Water

man agem

of Southern


mining tailings’


OPINION groundwater Managing ing nology shar through tech TROL ODOUR CON r plant odou Managing WASTEWATER sustainability Quality and ery in service deliv

D WgeAinTAfEricRa RAN ering chan Partn


Maryke Foulds

gement resources mana sound water other to promote g lessons with MEDIA The best way ng and sharin P14 through worki CEO of BGCMA 4 principles is ani Buthelezi, • Vol 9 No. price R50.00 ns. Phakam 7 • Cover organisatio • ISSN 1990-885 ust 2014 July/Aug

Cover opportunity In each issue, Water&Sanitation Africa offers companies the opportunity to get to the front of the line by placing a company, product or service on the front cover of the magazine. Buying this position will afford the advertiser the cover story and maximum exposure. For more information on cover bookings contact Avé Delport on +27 (0)83 302 1342 or email

july/august 2014


cover story

Capacity building in Rand Water is testament to the powers of technology transfer and knowledge sharing.


s the largest water

who implemented sweeping chang-



es in the country, the country has

Water is committed to

entered a peaceful phase where the

sustainability of projects

real work of rebuilding a country is



in active progress. The expansion

skills transfer. This is evident in the

and improvement of infrastructure

set-up of the FIPAG Academy for

for clean water and sanitation,

Professional Development in the

its use and maintenance is still a

water sector. This project forms

major concern, both in urban and

part of Rand Water’s contribution

rural areas.










Development Community for roll-

The project

out within an African sister utility.

UNESCO-IHE engaged Rand Water

Mozambique is one of the growing

with a scope of work for the setup of

economies on the African continent.

the FIPAG Academy. Rand Water has

The legacy of conflict and civil war is

been engaged in this for the project

evident in the country’s struggling

implementation through the Rand

infrastructure. However, under the

Water Academy. The project, called

presidency of Joaquim Chissano,

‘Set-up of the FIPAG Academy for

JulY/august 2014

cover story

Mozambique Rand Water stands out as one of the innovative success stories in the water milieu in South Africa the Professional Development in

stakeholders in the project, such as

Water and Sanitation’ is funded by

the National Water Directorate, the

the Dutch government as a member

WATSAN Management Units in sec-

of an international consortium led

ondary towns, the Water Regulatory

by UNESCO–IHE Institute for Water


Education. “The main objective of

sanitation providers, other training

the project is to contribute to the

institutions, consulting companies


and NGOs in Mozambique.







services and infrastructure in the water




Rand Water deliverables

sector in Mozambique. This will be

The following has been identified

done by strengthening the capacity

and agreed for implementation by

of FIPAG (Fundo de Investimento e

Rand Water within the agreed pro-

Patrimonio do Abastecimento de

ject period. These include:

Aqua) to implement investment

• a comparative study of occupa-

programmes in peri-urban water

tional profiles and competencies


including the vision, mission and





provision of potable water and



tation to the population, with a gender and labour market perspective.” and




implementation of the training programme for FIPAG staff • development of curricula for short

“This will be achieved by setting up

strategy of the FIPAG Academy • assistance in the development and



FIPAG possess

sound institutional management, ­academic excellence and good links

courses run by the FIPAG Academy • preparation of the procurement

success stories in the water milieu in

Academy venue in Maputo

South Africa.

with WATSAN stakeholders and oth-

of the marketing plan and the programme of the FIPAG

as in the Southern African region.”

Map data © AfriGIS, Google Maps

• assistance in the development

er providers of WATSAN education and training in Mozambique, as well

stands out as one of the innovative

list and refurbishment of the FIPAG

Academy launch • development of quality assurance and accreditation

Who are the beneficiaries?

framework for FIPAG Academy

Some of the benefits that will accrue due to the project include support sustainability and growth in building capacity for

training programmes • assisting in the organisation of exposure visits of FIPAG staff to Since 1994, South Africa has come

and support for the

a long way in supplying water and

water sector. FIPAG

sanitation facilities to its citizens.

Academy staff and

As the benchmark of delivery in the


Basic project data

South Africa.

the employees in FIPAG,


African region and through projects



facilitated through local and inter-




national professionals in the devel-

ciaries, as are all

opment of this sector, Rand Water

Country: Mozambique Project name: Setup of the FIPAG Academy for Professional Development in water and sanitation Funder: Nuffic Implementing organisations: UNESCO-IHE Delft (lead organisation), Delft University of Technology, the IRC Water and Sanitation Centre, joined by the University of Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique), Rand Water (South Africa) and UNESCO-HydroEX (Brazil) Project period: 1 October 2012 to 1 October 2016

july/august 2014


President ’s comment

Hindsight and foresight Hindsight is always there just after you need it, but if we look at the road that took WISA from the 2012 conference in Cape Town to the iconic giraffes of Mbombela Stadium for WISA 2014, I hope you’ll agree that we have had two solid years.


ooking at the numbers

people to other sectors or coun-

over the past two years are deeply

of different WISA members,

tries, perhaps the brain drain is not

appreciated, as is her continued

we see that while it looks as

quite as catastrophic as we feared.


if there are some winners

Nobody would deny that it is real,

we are in a good position to take

and some losers in terms of the

but the numbers may indicate that

advantage of the fresh ideas of the

number of members in different

the water industry still has a number

new board members and CEO as we

groups within WISA over the past

of dedicated, inspirational people

appraise the road from Nelspruit to

two years, the total number of WISA

who create a community of practice

Durban, for WISA 2016, and beyond.

members varied by just three. Is this

around them.

good? Well... yes and no.

OPPOSITE Jo Burgess, president of WISA BELOW WISA members comparison




With 75-plus years of rich history,

The AGM in Mbombela saw us

WISA has a great deal of experience

Looking at the negative side, the

usher in several new members of

to draw on and a little updating to

numbers show that WISA has not

the board and council, as well as

do. I first joined WISA in 2002, for

grown in terms of membership over

being the first AGM for our new

reasons I could not quite articulate

the time between conferences. On

CEO. Our ACE has done a marvellous

at the time – and I was baffled by

the positive side we can see that

job of stabilising the WISA ship and

it. But baffled as I was, one thing

while we mourn the loss of skilled

keeping it afloat and her services

impressed me greatly: the mutual understanding,



and the sheer quality of those professionals from vastly different backgrounds, as well as the intellectual stimulus of meeting and debat-


ing with them. That has remained a continued pleasure.


I soon came to understand that WISA in those early days was


really run largely on unwritten rules, which everyone understood


without having to spell them out (I know, I exaggerate somewhat, but

April 2012

not much). Don’t misunderstand me – this was in its own way highly professional, but it did not really

April 2014

Professional Members …



Water Board

have in place the basis for a world-


Local Authority

Affiliate Associate Fellow Retired Fellow Member Retired Member Senior Fellow Retired Senior Fellow Process Controller Honorary Student Company


wide professional organisation. It knew this, however, and was working hard on it, through a handful of really impressive people. It was, for me, very stimulating and still is. I saw it as a worthwhile enterprise – building a worldwide organisation and defining and distilling what it was about, largely on the hoof and with near-zero real resources. The WISA of the 21st century is a slightly different animal and nowhere is this


JulY/august 2014

President ’s comment

WATER Water Supply | Water Treatment | Industrial Water Management Minesite Water Management | Water Reuse & Recycling Chemistry and Geochemistry | Numerical Modelling

Water management for sustainable business more apparent than in its governance. Debate over the role of company boards invariably intensifies when things go wrong, as has happened occasionally over the years. Many of the companies whose corpses litter the industrial and financial landscape were undermined by negligent, overoptimistic, or ill-informed boards. Not surprisingly, there’s been a renewed focus on improved corporate governance: better structures, more rigorous checks and balances, and greater independence by non-executives, for example. Governance arguably suffers most, though, when boards spend too much time looking in the rear-view mirror and not enough scanning the road ahead. We have experienced this reality all too often in our work with companies over several decades. Today’s board agendas, indeed, are surprisingly similar to those of a century ago; directors still spend the bulk of their time – 70% is not atypical – on quarterly reports, audit reviews, budgets, and compliance instead of on matters crucial to the future prosperity and direction of the business. The coming year will see WISA embarking on a new round of strategic and tactical planning that will involve all of its members to one degree or another. In an age of information overload and access to an Internet full of noise, we will be working harder at providing WISA members with only what they want, and offering a more focused basket of member benefits. We’re going to be asking the water sector what they look for in their professional association, why they joined WISA

WorleyParsons has a strong track record in delivering innovative solutions utilising pipelines, groundwater and membrane technologies and sustainability modelling for cost-effective water solutions.

(or why they didn’t), and what roles they want to play. It is the members of WISA who represent the engine room, especially those who devote their time to the activities of the branches and divisions, and so it’s the job of the WISA office to provide an enabling environment for that volunteerism to flourish in.

- Over 30 years’ experience - Deep local knowledge - Global expertise - BBBEE Level 2

If we are going to reverse that brain drain and increase the number and value of WISA members, then we need to attract and retain them good people in our industry. Recruiting and retaining water professionals requires us to have a thriving community of practice for them to join and revel in. I think WISA is just right for that.


Jo Burgess President – WISA July/August 2014







wisa news

Special custodians of the water sector Ronald Brown, outgoing president of the Water Institute of Southern Africa made a heartfelt speech to delegates to live up to their responsibility as custodians of the water sector. Maryke Foulds reports.


s custodians of wa-

larger percentage than prior to

of the National Water Resource

ter, our most precious and

1994. We still need to ask ourselves

Strategy and related imperatives.”



the all-important question – what

The diverse programme of WISA

the processes and activ-

about our fellow compatriots in

2014 was very topical, with the

ities that reside within the water

the rural areas or on peripheries

headliners as:

cycle are hinging on a special kind

of our large cities and towns who,

• domestic and municipal wastewa-

of person. Being entrusted with the

after 20 years of our democracy, still

custody and management of water

need to walk vast distances to fetch

should give us a sense of spiritual as

water for their households? These

utilities and urban planning

well as physical accomplishment in

instances are becoming fewer by

• acid mine water prevention,

a manner that should cast aside any

the day and should hopefully be

treatment and management

complacency or neglect.

eliminated in the foreseeable future,

• water, energy and food nexus

but water quality has now become a

• wetlands

serious concern.”

• cities of the world

Says Brown, “In South Africa, the majority of our citizens are in a very

• biogas treatment

fortunate position to be able to

The quality of life in any progres-

open a tap at any given time (and

sive society/country is determined

expect water to flow from it and at

by the level of access to quality basic

small communities

Blue Drop quality) at a significantly

services. The water sector has a very

• the green economy

instrumental role to play to ensure that

• developing, rural and

• our first ever process controller village.

this becomes a reality

WISA has now positioned itself as

for our citizens.

an organisation striving for promotalso

ing professional excellence in the


water sector and is now solidifying

continuing its catalytic

the professionalisation of process

role alongside other

controllers under the guidance of

strategic partners and

Professor Alvin Lagardien and his

stakeholders such as

technical team.

“WISA committed


ter treatment • planning and management of

has itself


DWA and WISA has also signed an


MOU providing WISA with the man-

NRF, local government

date to implement the profession-

and energy and water

alisation of the process controllers

SETAs, and others, to

project and also to strengthen the

ensure that the rele-

relationship between us. In support

“What about our fellow compatriots in the rural areas or on peripheries of our large cities and towns who still need to walk vast distances to fetch water for their households?”

vant platforms and forums

thereof, WISA already has a MOA

are created to draw the criti-

in place with the EWSETA and a

cal knowledge and skills pools

technical committee in place to en-

in the sector together to have

sure alignment with DWA policies,

the desired impact – the

which include Regulation 17. The

objective is to optimise their

vetting criteria will be presented to

energy and resourcefulness

the board; the announcement of

in an integrated manner that

the professionalisation was made at

Ronald Brown, outgoing president, WISA

will address the objectives

the conference.

JulY/august 2014


Overcoming the hurdles to academic publication The publication of articles in journals not only establishes a researcher’s expertise and reputation in a chosen field, but is also a requirement for the training of all postgraduate students. By Shanna Nienaber and Inga Jacobs


culture of academic

Supply, Prof Olsson is highly expe-

publication is important

rienced in the publishing and aca-

to develop among Young

demic domain. He has also served

Water Professionals (YWP).

as a member of the IWA board of

By monitoring the paper accept-

ance rate associated with the last

directors and IWA strategic council. The



three YWP-ZA Conferences, the YWP

Series took place in Johannesburg,

National Committee realised that

Thoyando and Stellenbosch over

YWPs are in need of support in terms

a three-week period in January/

of understanding journal editors'

February 2014. Core funding was

requirements and how to get their

received from the Department of

work published. This realisation gave

Science and Technology and the

birth to the YWP-ZA Publication

Water Institute of Southern Africa,

Workshop Series.

with workshop specific co-funding

The purpose of these workshops was to equip students with the skills

YWP-ZA provincial chapters Each of the YWP-ZA provincial chapters have their own committees. Their duties: • organise fun events on a regular basis for YWPs to meet and share knowledge • provide oppor tunities for and encourage social and professional development • provide career development oppor tunities and suppor t employer recruitment of YWPs • promote the programme and encourage engagement and par ticipation of YWPs in the association’s activities • provide representation for YWPs in the national YWP Council, WISA, and the IWA Strategic Council • interact with the Council for Distinguished Water Professionals on issues of common interest.

from the University of Johannesburg and University of Stellenbosch. of the University of Johannesburg

needed to publish in leading inter-

from 20 to 23 January 2014, in

followed a diverse programme cov-

Workshop 1: University of Johannesburg

ering writing skills, practical activi-

The Johannesburg workshop was

Health Research Centre. A total of 33

ties, review systems and extensive

held at the Doornfontein campus

participants attended the workshop,

national journals. The workshops

partnership with the Water and

BELOW The YWP workshop at the University of Venda

interrogation of participant papers. To participate in the workshop, students had to submit an extended abstract that was then reviewed by a review committee. The review committee based their decisions of acceptance on late-stage research (research that had results to publish). Once the extended abstracts were accepted, students then had to revise them as much as possible before the workshop. They therefore needed to come to the workshop prepared with a draft manuscript, which they could develop into a fully fledged paper. The workshops were facilitated by Prof Gustaf Olsson who is the current IWA Publishing Award holder. As the former editor-in-chief of Water Science and Technology and Water Science



Water july/august 2014



LEFT Workshop at the University of Johannesburg BOTTOM LEFT The final workshop was held at the University of Stellonbosch

Workshop 3: University of Stellenbosch The final workshop was held at the Stellenbosch University Water Institute at Stellenbosch University from 3 to 6 February. Fourteen

along with five co-facilitators.

participants attended the workshop,

The co-facilitators included the

along with four co-facilitators.

organisers of the original IWA UTM

The co-facilitators included

publication workshop, Dr Norhayati

Maronel Steyn from the CSIR,

Abdullah, and the editor of Water SA, Tamsyn Sherwill.

Elizabeth Ward and Gregg Brill from the University of Cape Town and Nora Hanke from the

Workshop 2: University of Venda

African Union/NEPAD Southern

The Thoyando workshop was held

African Network for Water Centres

at the GIS Resource Centre at the

of Excellence.

University of Venda from 27 to


In total, 65 students were

30 January, in partnership with the

supported through this programme.

School of Environmental Science.

It was really exciting to work with

Seventeen students attended

all these students to complete and

the workshop, along with two

revise their manuscripts and ensure

lecturers that provided assistance

that they are ready to be submitted

as co-facilitators.

for publication.

JulY/august 2014

wisa 2014

Wetskills highlights young talent At the gala dinner at WISA, the winner of the Wetskills Challenge South Africa 2014 was announced, writes Maryke Foulds.

Winning Case no. 3: Business-wise training development and delivery


and the responsibilities ‘on-the-job’.

Vocational training can bridge the gap




he winning team was



Several Dutch initiatives in South

Team Three: Business-wise

Mozambique and South Africa had

Africa focus on capacity development.

training and development

been working on different case

However, these projects are mainly

and delivery. Four young

studies since 19 May, when they

based on Dutch funding resources. If


started their Wetskills Challenge

training is important in South Africa, it

stage to collect their award: Erin

South Africa with a brain-hurricane

has an added value. This value can be

Parenzee who delivered the pitch,

on four specific water issues in

translated into money. World Water


Southern Africa.

Academy in the Netherlands would








Tharanga, all from South Africa,

like the Young Water Professionals to

and Maarten van der Meer from

Four water cases

make a business model for the devel-

the Netherlands

All the participants had been divided

opment and delivery of practical and

into four teams and were challenged

self-supporting training.

Earlier on Tuesday, 27 May, the Young




ABOVE The winners were announced at the WISA 2014 Gala Dinner

to come up with out-of-the-box

Wetskills South Africa 2014

sented their innovative concepts


and plans at the WISA conference

were tapped into to come up with

Waterskills Water Challenge is a

in Mbombela Stadium. Nearly 20

innovative ideas on:





july/august 2014






Supply and installation of electrical instrumentation and control/PLC SCADA n Construction specialist in all major sectors across Africa

EnI Electrical


Mini Substations n Transformers n Switchgear

WEG Transformers Africa



Packaged Switchgear Motor Control Centres n E-Housing n Containerised Substations

Shaw Controls


Power Generation & Energy Solutions n Substations & Electrical Infrastructure n Mobile Power Solutions

ZEST Energy



Electric Motors Variable Speed Drives n Soft Starters n Transformers n LV Switchgear n Diesel Generator Sets

ZEST Electric Motors





24/7 technical back-up n Fully qualified technicians n 5 Fully equipped training centres across Africa n 187 site visits into Africa per year




+27 11 723 6000





wisa 2014

of Human Capital Water and Delta Programme and is organised by Netherlands



(NWP), in cooperation with Royal Netherlands and




Network within


water sector. This Wetskills Water Challenge





supported by Rand Water Board, NWP,








Salland and Hydrologic, H2Oost, the Centre of Expertise in Durban (a cooperation of Vitens-Evides and eThekwini Water and Sanitation) and the World Water Academy.

Wetskills worldwide More than 250 students and young professionals have participated in twelve Wetskills Water Challenges since 2010: • World Expo 2010 Shanghai in China • 400-year economic relations in Morocco (2010) • International Water Week in the Netherlands (2011) • Delta Summit in Indonesia (2011)

• Water Seminar Wittenberg

Wetskills Group at the awards ceremony

• Canadian Water Summit in

Council which is the official Dutch

Toronto (June 2014).

government d ­ elegation to Israel, headed by Dutch Prime Minister Rutte (2013) • WISA conference in South Africa (2014)

Follow them on facebook, or go to Join the daily blog at

• Royal visit of the Dutch queen in Oman (2012)


• WISA conference in South Africa (2012)


Dutch experts in Egypt (2012) conferences in Romania (2013) • launch of PLAMA - water platform in Mozambique (2013) • International Water Week / Industrial Leader Forum in The Netherlands (2013)



Rand Water

Efficient and cost-effective solutions to address water and sanitation challenges


Centre of Exper tise

Transforming waste from a wasteDurban metropolis water treatment plant into business


World Water Academy

Business-wise training development South Africa and deliver y


Water Board Groot Salland

Designing a smar t water app All over the world for farmers, citizens, water managers and perhaps even Kruger National Park

• bilateral meeting of Egyptian and • ExpoApa water exhibition and


Rural areas of Mpumalanga

july/august 2014

Drowning in complex or changing water legislation? Our knowledgeable experts are your lifeline. Get your project back on-stream. Think of the cash flow. Visit:

Resourceful / experienced / worldwide


wisa 2014

Excellence recognised at WISA 2014 Four of ERWAT’s larger WWTWs were recognised for their achievements. These WWTWs are Waterval, Olifantsfontein, Dekema and Rondebult. By Wanda Henning


he Isidigi award is present-





In both categories, certain parame-

Works’, two of ERWAT’s WWTWs

owner and works manager

tres are used during the evaluation of

received recognition; prime spot was

of WWTWs larger than 25

the WWTW, including efforts by the

taken by Dekema, with Rondebult

megalitres per day. During the recent

owner and works manager, operating

also being commended.

WISA conference held in Mbombela,

efficiency, plant maintenance and

recipients of this award were an-

servicing, laboratory control, devel-


nounced at a gala dinner.

opment and improvement, general


administration, housekeeping, safety,

Waterval, was announced as the

categories, namely ‘Best Wastewater


winner, while Olifantsfontein was

Treatment Works’ and ‘Most Improved

and professionalism. In the category

The award is divided into two


Wastewater Treatment Works’.

ed by WISA bienially to the


JulY/august 2014


In the category for the ‘Most Wastewater


highly commended.




wisa 2014

TOP ROW Opening ceremony WISA 2014; (left to right) Trevor Johnson, Ranny Makgoatla, Sibusiso Mhlongo and Phillip Theron of Zetachem; (left to right) Rob Holmes, Herman Smit and Shawn Chaney of Quality Filtration Systems SECOND ROW Poi fire artist at work; Veolia stand THIRD ROW (left to right) Lester Goldman, CEO of WISA, with Ronald Brown, outgoing President of WISA, and Anil Singh, newly appointed DDG; Anil Singh during the opening ceremony; (left to right) Ian Love and Jacques van der Linde of Elster Kent INSET Proud workers manning the stand of the newly appointed Department of Water and Sanitation BOTTOM ROW Waterwise at WISA 2014; singing cowboy and star of the show july/august 2014


hot seat

Breede-Gouritz CMAs continued success The Breede Water Management Area is situated in the south-western corner of South Africa. CEO Phakamani Buthelezi speaks about recent developments at the organisation and the way forward in 2014/15.

The Gouritz region was recently incorporated in its mandate. Please explain in detail what this means to the organisation moving forward

to improve service delivery and

The amalgamation came

all people and the environment,

after the former Minister of the

ensure good a ­ dministration of

Department of Water Affairs,

water registration and licensing,

Edna Molewa, approved the

promote economic growth

expansion of the boundary and

in a sustainable way and also


area of operation of BOCMA in

address development need of

t derives its name from the largest river within its boundaries,

terms of Section 78(4) of the

the people and contribute to

the Breede River. The WMA (Water Management Area) is bound-

National Water Act, 1998 (Act

the eradication of poverty.

ed by the Indian and Atlantic oceans to the south, the Olifants/

No 36 of 1998). The area of

Doorn WMA in the north-west, the Berg WMA in the west and

operation of the Breede-Gouritz

Amongst other things, the Breede-Gouritz CMA will continue to ensure water quality for

the Gouritz WMA in the east. It falls entirely within the Western

Catchment Management

Cape province.

Agency includes the previous

What is the biggest challenge currently facing the organisation? Managing

Breede-Overberg Water

organisational change and

Management Agency (BOCMA) is the second CMA to become opera-

Management Area and the

ensuring that the transition is

tional in South Africa. The CMA was established in line with the intent

Gouritz catchment.

Established in November 2007, the Breede Overberg Catchment

of the National Water Act of 1998. It is the lead agent for the water


sustainability of water resources.

The mandate of the Breede-

embraced by all workers to ensure that service delivery is not

resources management within the Breede-Overberg CMA. BOCMA

Gouritz CMA is to manage

hampered in any way. This does

plays a key role in protecting, developing, conserving, managing and

water resources in the Breede-

not only pertain to employees,

controlling water resources.

Overberg and -Gouritz areas and

but stakeholders as well.

JulY/august 2014

hot seat How to you aim to overcome these? We will have a

metres of the Public Finance

three-pronged approach and

Management Act. The internal

will focus on proper research

control systems at BGCMA are

and planning, regular engage-

sound and geared towards

ments with employees and

running the organisation as a

stakeholders, giving feedback

first-class business entity.

on issues of concern as well as

functioning within the para-

The agency is a body corpo-

the maximum participation by

rate and has the powers of a

water users.

natural person of full capacity. This governing board is a

What are some of the historic challenges being faced?

composition of representatives

Historical social inequalities

•e  merging farmers

have resulted in the uneven

•W  estern Cape provincial

development regionally and between households coupled to stressed water resources.

from different interest groups:

government National Treasury through the

•w  ater, environmental civil

Department of Water Affairs,

society/ NGOs

•v  alidation and verification of the water-use project • r emoval of invasive alien

Another area of concern is that

• c ivil society

BGCMA may also raise funds

the aquatic ecosystem's health

• industry and business

required by it for the purpose

in parts of the system is under

• c ommercial agriculture

of exercising any of its powers

• r iparian rehabilitation

stress and rapidly deteriorating

• s tatutory conservation and

and carrying out any of its

•A  dopt-a-River

duties in terms of the National

•e  mpowerment

Water Act.

•w  ater quality monitoring.

and of major concern is the incomplete water resource and water-use data.

environment •a  ccess to water by the poor/ •p  otential agricultural water

that BGCMA calls for interested

use by emerging farmers

donors to fund some of its em-

• c ommercial agriculture:

The biggest and most

• local government:

memorable success of the CMA is the organisation’s continuous attainment of

Breede-Overberg catchment area for the following projects:

• c ommercial agriculture: surface water scheme

audit report.

has the mantle to keep the boat stable and to steer BGCMA

partnership agreement that

to even higher grounds”, says

involves a sister organisation

CEO Phakamani Buthelezi.

Olushandja Sub-Basin

ing programmes within the

integrated planning

“The above-mentioned team

in Namibia, namely the

powerment and capacity-build-


receiving an unqualified We also introduced a

It is against this backdrop

rural settlements

Please expand on the organisational success and your vision for the future


Although BGCMA receives seed funding from the

“The mandate of the Breede-Gouritz CMA is to manage water resources in the Breede-Overberg and -Gouritz areas and to improve service delivery and sustainability of water resources” Phakamani Buthelezi, CEO, BGCMA

Management Committee. It remains our conviction that the best way to promote sound water resources management principles is through working and sharing lessons with other organisations within SADC and Africa at large. The vision of the organisation as well as the project can be summed up as follows. The Breede-Overberg Catchment Management Agency manages water resources at a regional or catchment level to involve local communities. It is also

Breede-Gouritz CMA will continue to ensure water quality for all people july/august 2014


Industry news

Joint venture spells the future The Salberg Group of Companies has proudly announced its merger with Samuels & Samuels, trading as Ubuntu Pre-cast.


his marriage of one of the

organisations have complementary

of culture and values between the

oldest concrete companies

assets which is seen to create a single

two organisations.”

with one of the youngest

high-performance company in the

Continues Barbara Parker, chairman:

in South Africa promises to

pre-cast concrete space. When asked

“Both companies share a strong entre-

shake up the market. Entry to the con-

what brought about the coming to-

preneurial and service-driven ethos,

crete market is vast and this merger

gether of these two family businesses,

they both share an understanding

will produce one sleek, highly efficient

Russell Samuels, newly appointed

and excitement about the opportuni-

competitor who is ready to stake its

CEO, says, “Family businesses have

ties and growth prospects within the

claim in the pre-cast concrete market.

unique dynamics that both these

pre-cast concrete industry and finally

One of the reasons for the merger

companies share. This has contribut-

they both share profound recognition

is the realisation that together the

ed enormously to the compatibility

of the value of diversity.”

(from left) Barbara Parker, chairman, Salberg Concrete Products; Russel Samuels, new CEO, Salberg Concrete Products and Darin Samuels, executive director, Salberg Concrete Products


july/august 2014

Welcome to the future – a future of Mwangaza We are all writing a part of the script which tomorrow’s society will play out. At Royal HaskoningDHV we would like the title to read: ‘Welcome to the future’ - and for our chapter in that script to read ‘Mwangaza’ - a Swahili word which means ‘light’. Together with our partners and clients we consider how we can create a welcoming future - developing efficient and smart living. Whether switching on a light, travelling to work or drinking a clean glass of water - the solutions and work of our engineers surround us, making lives better and brighter. Our work contributes to the sustainable development of communities. Together, we deliver innovative sustainable answers to today’s challenges. Royal HaskoningDHV is an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy.

africa round-up

Infrastructure news from around the world

in association with

zimbabwe Clean water a rare commodity in Zimbabwe

another cholera scare has hit Harare,

While in most developed countries

have been affected by “suspected

tap water is safe to drink, in

cholera-related diarrhoea” in the

Zimbabwe, tap water is not only a

Mabvuku high-density suburb

rare commodity, it is contaminated

alone, with the same symptoms

and not safe for consumption.

being reported in other suburbs.

with over 900 people reported to

A Zimbabwean environmental

The affected residents blamed it on

outlook report published in 2010

dirty water and the bucket system

identified mining, sewage treatment

they have resorted to because of a

plants, industry and agricultural ac-

shortage of running water.

tivities as some of the main sources

Zimbabwe has for some time now

of water pollution in the country.

been characterised by outbreaks

The Environmental Management

of cholera, typhoid, dysentery

Agency (EMA) blamed it on poor

and other diseases related to the

waste management.

consumption of dirty water.

Today, it is no longer a secret that

Back in 2012, a report was

which have become the main source

clean drinking water has become a

presented to Zimbabwe’s parliament

scarce commodity in Zimbabwe.

exposing that Harare City Council

In spite of the widely held belief

According to Wikipedia, “The

of drinking water.

that it was safe enough to drink. The Standard Association of Zimbabwe, which certified Harare

(HCC) was releasing raw sewage

that all underground water is clean,

tap water as safe to drink, even

state of water and its cleanliness

into rivers that feed into the capital’s

groundwater is susceptible to many

when tests showed it to be heavily

in Zimbabwe is at its lowest. In

water sources. This was despite

pollutants. Material such as fertilisers,

contaminated, is the same body

Zimbabwe, water contains not life,

their insisting they could not afford

pesticides, toxic substances from

that has put stamps on most of the

but life-threatening diseases due to

to purify the contaminated water

mining sites, used lubricants, untreat-

bottled mineral water being sold

contamination... “

before sending it to people’s homes.

ed waste from septic tanks and leaky

in the cities.

EMA, on the other hand, has

The HCC blamed obsolete infra-

landfills, among many others, can all

Although what is mostly required

declared on their website: “Many

structure for its inability to provide

contaminate groundwater, making it

is the injection of funds towards an

areas of Zimbabwe are affected

potable water to the people of

dangerous to consume.

overhaul of the country’s entire water

by water pollution and microbial

Harare. They said the infrastructure

water-bound contaminants. The

was designed to service only

areas are not protected and therefore

problems that those responsible for

increased demand on water supplies

250 000 people but must now serve

easily contaminated.

the country’s water management

have often led to water that is

2.1 million people. Water leakages

unfit for human consumption being

owing to old pipes were also cited as

people of means have had to resort

Reducing the pollutant flow into

inadvertently supplied to your tap.

another reason.

to bottled mineral water. They have

water sources and proper diversion

The clean water woes appeared

Many wells in Zimbabwe’s urban

Because of this health scare, many

and sewerage system, there are some

should correct immediately.

spent a lot of money buying and

of sewage effluent, reducing

set to come to an end when the HCC

stocking the supposedly purified

unnecessary water losses through

managed to secure a $144 million

water in their homes, which they

an effective leak-detection and

President Robert Mugabe, who

loan from China, for the overhaul

would reserve for drinking. But the

water-loss-reduction programme,

admitted that Zimbabweans were

of the Morton Jaffray Waterworks.

Government Analysis Laboratory

are some of the areas that require

drinking sewage-contaminated

But for one reason or another, the

recently dropped a bombshell,

immediate attention.

water. He said this during the official

loan has so far failed to produce any

announcing that some of this

opening of this year’s Zimbabwe

results and the taps remain dry!

so-called purified water was actually

ernance and financial accountability,

This is often the case in many towns throughout Zimbabwe.” Adding weight to the claims was

International Trade Fair in Bulawayo. But it is in the country’s capital that the water situation has reached alarming levels. While many


NewsDay reported that yet

Councils need good corporate gov-

dangerous to drink! The experts said

which most of them lack. Responsible

Harare still have to find alternative

the bottled water contained harmful

authorities cannot continue

water sources.

organisms and chemicals that “slowly

conducting business in the same

poison the human body”.

manner and expect different results.

So, the majority of the residents of

It is now a necessity for each

expected the situation to have im-

household in Zimbabwe to possess

proved by now, the contamination

a well or borehole. Because wells are

speculation on how safe bottled

of water bodies only appears to

cheaper to set up than boreholes,

water sold in Zimbabwe was, many

be worsening.

most people have dug their own,

seemed to have taken it for granted

Although there had been much

JulY/august 2014

A new approach to the water process is required.

Source: stories/201406290139.html

Africa round-up

Africa Sanitation solutions for Africa A lack of adequate

plate or trench latrine. Latrine

sanitation can lead up to 2.2

have been damaged during a crisis.

million deaths per year – all

The construction is lightweight and

caused by sanitation-related illness

easily transported.

superstructures can be also used to replace previous toilet facilities that

and diseases.

and over 2.5 billion people

Kenya Unveiling KSh64 million water project for Kiambu

– roughly 36% of the world’s

Kiambu County has started imple-

population – still lack what many

menting an ambitious KSh64 mil-

people take for granted: access to

lion plan for water-related projects.

A high percentage of children under the age of five are affected

Governor William Kabogo

adequate sanitation.

pledged to drill 16 boreholes,

Taking note of that, Dunster House, a leading manufacturer

each at a cost of KSh3million, in all

of timber garden buildings in the

the constituencies.

UK, has designed new sanitation



More than KSh15 million has


solutions for humanitarian aid and

been set aside for piping, tanks, the

international development.

related labour and operating costs for water harvesting.

The company recently got

Kabogo made the revelation

involved in a charity project in cooperation with Oxfam and has

while launching three water

already started launching its raised

projects in Kiambu Town.

latrines and latrine superstructures

“The county government has

to the Sudan and Central

embarked on the massive devel-

African Republic.

opment projects with a view to

Dunster House director Chris

ensuring that every household has

Murphy believes these products

access to clean water before 2015,”

could provide potential solutions

said Kabogo.

for many other communities across





He, at the same time, sent a stern

the globe. “Our latrines offer full

warning to individuals politicising

privacy and security, allowing

the Kiambu government's devel-

individuals to have access to a

opment agenda, warning them

dignified toilet facility.

of consequences should they

They are ideal for domestic and


organise more demonstrations.

communal use during the interim

He was referring to the Thika

stage following an emergency

town demonstrations that saw

situation,” he says.

businesses at a standstill earlier in the week.

Dunster House’s raised latrine

“It is so unfortunate that some

has been designed for built-up urban areas and locations with

politicians are stooping as low

rocky ground or a high water table.

as hiring goons to distract the

It features stairs, which can be

development of our county. We

positioned from the front or side.

will take the people behind the

The raised platform and waste

looting and the demonstrations

collection tanks present a stable

to court because those are side-

construction for multiple cubicles –

shows,” he added. Protests over

latrine superstructures, which can

increased levies have also taken

be also securely positioned on top

place in Nairobi, Meru and most

of an 800 mm x 1 200 mm squat

recently Mombasa.

July/August 2014



Unsustainable groundwater To avoid running short of clean freshwater, globally, there is an urgent need for better governance of groundwater and the rapid global sharing of technologies, policies and practices. By Nick Carne

a leader in developing a strategic national groundwater plan. Internationally, involved of


it the










A a

major project with such partners as the International Association of



Hydrogeologists, the UN’s Food and



how quickly it can be depleted, or



how quickly it is recharged.” We have

and the World Bank.


tended to ignore the fact much of it is


Groundwater and






now contaminated and undrinkable.


Organisation, researcher



Ross is currently working as a spe-

Australia is adamant that one of

“In the coming decades, as the

cialist with UNESCO IHP in Paris.

the main reasons groundwater is

climate changes and human water

His role is to assist global projects

becoming depleted and polluted is

demand soars, there needs to be a

on groundwater governance and

that it is managed very poorly at an

much greater focus on groundwater

manage trans-boundary aquifers –

international level.

governance; on putting in place the

groundwater bodies that can span

Many countries have overestimated

wisest and best practices for manag-

multiple jurisdictions, both regional

their available reserves and are min-

ing this precious resource,” Simmons

and national.

ing them unsustainably, resulting in

says. “We need good laws and regu-

This is one of the major focus areas

major economies such as China, India,

lations, effective policy options and

of the global framework, which aims

the US and parts of the Middle East

greater public awareness.”

to provide policy guidelines and

facing critical scarcities, which may imperil their future growth.

The NCGRT has made some signif-





icant recent contributions toward

proved groundwater management at a country and local level.

Groundwater provides around 30%

making this happen and is gaining

of all freshwater used in Asia, for ex-

international attention for its focus

“Australia plays a valuable role in the

ample, and a sustained or permanent

on the nexus between science, man-

Groundwater Governance project,”

shortage could threaten food security,

agement and policy – and for some

Simmons says. “Ours is one of the

economic growth and even the exist-

world firsts.

very few countries to have launched

ence of huge cities.

Nationally, it commissioned Deloitte

a successful bid to reverse a decline

“Countries where this is happening

Access Economics to estimate the dol-

in a major groundwater resource

are aware of the risks but this is not a

lar value of groundwater to Australia,

when we capped bores in the Great

simple issue to resolve,” says Professor

which was itself commissioned by

Artesian Basin.

Craig Simmons.

the National Water Commission to

“We are also pioneers in the field of

The problem is that often we simply

develop Australian Guidelines for

water banking – injecting surface wa-

“don’t know how much we have, or

Groundwater Modelling and has been

ter into underground aquifers during times of plenty, so it can be recovered and used in times of scarcity. And we are international leaders in hydrogeological modelling, which is helping us avoid the sort of nasty shocks that have occurred elsewhere when nations have over-extracted water.” The Deloitte report, which estimates that groundwater directly contributes around AU$6.8  billion a year to the Australian economy and industries with production worth AU$34  billion a year directly depend on it, is believed to be the first of its kind. Similarly, planning for the national strategy – which is due to be finalised during 2014 – was seen as groundbreaking because input was sought from all key stakeholders, including


JulY/august 2014

Save Time


Reduce coSTS eliminaTe The RiSk of TRench digging damage

water managers, policymakers and researchers across national, state and territory jurisdictions. The framework focuses on three priority objectives: sustainable extraction and optimal use, confidence for investment, and planning and managing groundwater for the future. “To many people, groundwater is all but invisible, or there as a last resort when surface water runs short,” Simmons says. “In reality, it drives many of our most productive industries – and, if carefully managed, can be maintained as a sustainable resource. “Australia is in the fortunate position of being able to plan our increasing reliance by using groundwater sustainably. But to do that we need the world’s best science and technology for measuring and understanding the scale of our resource, how it behaves over time, and how to manage it sustainably.” Established at Flinders University in 2009, the NCGRT is now one of the largest centres of its kind in the world. It has trained and employed more than 250  staff, including 40  chief investigators and 80  postdoctoral fellows, and welcomed 100 academic  visitors. And it could claim to be quite literally looking high and low in the search for groundwater. In the past year, the centre has mused about water (and life) on Mars and reported the discovery of huge reserves of freshwater kilometres below the sea. The latter research, which was published in the international scientific journal Nature last December, reveals that as much as half a million cubic kilometres of low-salinity water is buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves off Australia, China, North America and South Africa. That’s more water than has been extracted from the Earth’s subsurface in the past 100  years, proving that scientists were wrong in their previous belief that freshwater only occurs under the seafloor in rare and special conditions. The potential of this discovery is enormous, but in practical terms more recent trials on the Colorado River in Mexico and the Coorong in South Australia are even more exciting. NCGRT researcher Dr Margaret Shanafield is testing new technology that measures how much water is stored underground when big rivers are allowed to flood. The sophisticated mathematical model, which she developed while completing her PhD, describes what goes on when ephemeral rivers (those that flow only part of the year) flood, by using calculations involving the speed of a flood-wave or advancing streamflow and the rate at which water can flow through the subsurface material. This can reveal which sections of a riverbed will allow water to seep through the ground and estimate how much water escapes downstream and how much soaks in to be stored underground. The model can be used in any situation where surface or groundwater removal by industry, agriculture and local communities has the potential to threaten aquifers and dependent ecosystems. It means that instead of making generalisations about groundwater recharge volumes over long stretches of a surface water system, water managers, policymakers and users can have access to quite specific data. “It provides the sort of information we need to keep the world’s water bank balance in the black, rather than in the red,” concludes Shanafield. May/June 2014

Horizontal drilling is a practice of trenchless technology that involves drilling an underground hole, while seamlessly feeding in the necessary drill rods, without first having to dig a trench or ditch above it. Our cutting edge directional drilling equipment leaves the ground surface and other infrastructure completely undisturbed throughout a drilling project. The drill head is remotely controlled and can accurately bore holes for hundreds of metres in varying diameters to install gravity lines, pressure lines and cable sleeves.

Contact us for more information or for a FREE Quotation. Tel: 010 040 3219 •




Trenchless technology

The lowdown on SASTT The Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology (SASTT) is aware of the necessity for maintaining a healthy environment and addressing the changing needs of the community. Maryke Foulds asked SASTT vice president Neil van Rooyen to take us through some of the day-to-day missions of the organisation.


ho is SASTT? As fellow

How is SASTT able to meet these challenges? In recent

developments in pipeline tech-

all stakeholders in an effort

nology. In brief, by engaging

to seek workable and rapid

asset management sector,

times, we have become aware

SASTT, asset owners are able

solutions to underground

in particular underground

of the increasing challenges

to access all the relevant pro-

pipeline infrastructure

pipeline infrastructure, the

facing our municipal structures

fessionals in order to provide

issues. Some of these

Southern African Society

in the face of service delivery

trenchless solutions to their

interventions are:

for Trenchless Technology

issues and resource shortages.

infrastructure challenges.

•P  roblem solving (reduce

is a non-profit organisation

We are also cognisant of

whose membership comprises

our ageing underground

engineers, municipal

infrastructure, which has lead

managers, contractors and

to an increase in unaccounted

suppliers. As a society, SASTT’s

for water (water sector) as

mission statement is simply

well as surcharging sewers

As a society, how does SASTT market its mission strategies and what platforms are utilised to achieve this? SASTT strives

to promote and grow the

(due to blockages, pipe

to inform the local market

innovative construction sector

failures or under-capacity).

through initiatives such as the

• Providing information on the

commonly referred to as

The impact of these system

upcoming No-Dig conference.

various trenchless solutions

trenchless technology.

failures is crippling the

The conference serves as an

which are relevant to the

maintenance budget as well as

ideal platform for local and

project requirements as well

Why use trenchless technology and how does this benefit the South African market? By

municipal resources.

international stakeholders

as putting clients in contact

to rub shoulders with client-

with specialist professionals,

ability to connect municipal

bodies, asset owners and

contractors and suppliers.

entities to specialist engineers,

other interested parties. Apart

eliminating the need for long

suppliers and contractors as

from the No-Dig conference,

open trenches – an inevitability

well as advise on the latest

SASTT has resolved to engage

stakeholders in the

non-revenue water and

As SASTT, we have the unique

sewer surcharging). How trenchless technology can be used as an asset management resource to address non-revenue water and sewer infrastructure challenges.

Pipe-ramming installation in Du Noon, Cape Town

with conventional open-cut pipe installation – trenchless construction methods not only benefit all stakeholders by providing rapid installation, they are also significantly less disruptive to local users as well as the natural environment. Contrary to what may be expected, the use of this innovative technology does not solely rely on mechanical plant and equipment, but is reliant on labour as well. This creates opportunities for unskilled workers in communities where trenchless projects are being implemented.

South Africa appears to be stifled by a great number of service delivery issues. july/august 2014


trenchless technology

• Education. Through work-

the installation of pipeline

ABOVE LEFT Directional drilling installation at Cape Town International Airport

closed circuit television sys-

shops and presentations,

conduits under obstructions

SASTT seeks to inform the

such as roadways, railway lines

market of the benefits of

and rivers. Trenchless methods

trenchless construction

such as pneumatic moling,

versus open cut, and how

horizontal directional drilling,

its place. Trenchless methods

this technology can be used

pipe ramming, auger boring,

such as cured-in-place pipe,

to increase the lifespan of

pipe jacking and micro-tunnel-

slip lining, fold-and-form

Any closing thoughts on the industry as a whole?

ling fall into this category.

pipe, and pipe bursting are

With our struggling economy

common techniques used for

and ageing infrastructure, we as the private sector

pipeline infrastructure.

• Pipeline rehabilitation –

ABOVE Butt welding pipe

tem, pipeline leak detection and cable/pipeline location through handheld locators and ground-penetrating radar.

What trenchless techniques are currently deployed in the local market? Trenchless

where the existing pipeline is

pipeline rehabilitation.

renovated to extend the life-

• Asset management and

span of the service. This seg-

inspection – non-destructive

technology to fast-track service

technology incorporates a

ment can be non-destructive,

specialist technologies have

delivery and infrastructure

broad spectrum of specialist

where the host pipe remains

been developed to assist asset

roll-outs – thus stimulating

construction methods and

intact and a new pipeline is

owners to inspect, evaluate,

growth in our economy. The

activities that are practised

‘constructed’ inside of the

record and locate their pipe-

implementation of trenchless

locally can be categorised into

host pipeline; or destructive,

line infrastructure – without

construction technology is one

the following disciplines:

where the host pipe is dis-

the need for digging. These

such intervention that is able

• New pipeline installa-

placed and destroyed whilst

methods include pipeline

to swiftly and efficiently meet

the new pipeline is installed in

inspection by means of a

this challenge.

tions – typically used for


have the required skills and

JulY/august 2014

Trenchless Technology Specialist

Our range of services include: • Pipe Bursting • Horizontal Directional Drilling • Pipe Rehabilitation

• Pipe Ramming • CCTV Inspection • Dewatering

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technical paper

Horizontal directional drilling in the South African context This paper seeks to outline the various aspects of horizontal directional drilling in South Africa, contextualised by three case studies; namely the Berg River duct installation and the Diep River water pipeline installation and bulk water main. By Neil van Rooyen of TT Innovations







• obstruction traversed: Berg River –


construction, such as construction

approximately 140 m wide and 9 m

Mossel Bay desalination plant

inconvenience, environmental deg-

deep (approximate measurement


radation, project duration and so on,


roadways was





• understanding the client’s

taken along the bore path) • client: local power utility

are often overlooked.

following considerations:

The aim of this paper is to explore

• main contractor: Racec Electrification • drilling contractor: TT Innovations.

project objectives, construction

the implementation of various hori-

constraints and importance of its

zontal directional drilling projects and

successful implementation

assess the reasons behind the choice

Project background

to use HDD as well as the lessons

The installation of the duct pipelines

by considering all construction

learnt from the installations. A holistic

under the Berg River formed part

options and why the eventual

approach to construction technology

of an initiative to upgrade the ex-

decision to use horizontal

is an essential part of the paradigm

isting power supply to the Velddrift

directional drilling (HDD)

shift that will enable us to make the


• determining the best solution

• the construction process for each HDD installation • lessons learnt and future recommendations.

Introduction The issue of getting from Point A to Point B has been a major motivation for technological advancement. In the underground construction sector, the status quo is more or less the same – constructing a pipeline from Point A to Point B. The evolution from opencast excavations requiring the digging of trenches, to no-dig or trenchless solutions, has been spurred on by ne-




CASE STUDY 1: BERGRIVER DUCT PIPELINE INSTALLATION cables, suspended below the bridge, transition from unsustainable to sustainable construction practices of crossing thenorth river, served as the • Location: Berg River, Velddrift– (approximately 145km of Cape Town); • Diameter of pipeline installed: – 4 x 160mm ductstown. (installed in two parts); which trenchless technology andmulti-duct in main power diameter supply HDPE to the • Length of installations: 168m and 164m particular horizontal directional drillThe upgrading of the ageing power • Obstruction traversed: Berg River – approximately 140m wide and 9m deep (approximate measurement ing is attaken the forefront. supply cables was of critical imporalong the bore path); • Client: local power utility; tance as the fish factories formed • study Main Contractor: Racec Electrification; a major part of the local economy. Case 1 • Drilling Contractor: TT Innovations (Pty) LTD Berg River duct pipeline installation: The Carinus Bridge was built in 1959 Project Background • location: Berg River, Velddrift and was earmarked for future upFIGURE 1 View grades by the provincial roads author(approximately 145 km north of ofthe theexisting drill rigpower The installation of the duct pipelines under the Berg River formed part of an initiative to upgrade Installing new cables Cape Town) supply to the Velddrift area. Two existing powerity. feeder cables, suspended below alongside the bridge crossing the river, served positioned as main power supplyinstalled: to the local fish factories and the town Thebridge upgrading of the alongside aging power thesupply the existing onesitself. on the soffit • dthe iameter of pipeline mulcables was of critical importance as the fish factories formed a major part of the local economy. Any prolonged Berg River power ti-duct – 4 x 160 mm-diameter HDPE would require future relocation when outage would therefore spell disaster for the factories and local economy. and opposite ducts (installed in two parts) the bridge is eventually upgraded. perspective • length of installations: 168 m The option of installing the new of the and 164 m cables under the river was therefore Carinus Bridge

cessity, convenience and cost – especially as our urbanised areas become more densely populated and impact assessment on the environment. The installation of pipelines using HDD seems to meet these considerations. Unfortunately, asset owners and stakeholders are still reluctant to implement this technology en masse – citing construction costs as the major deterrent. This is more prevalent in South Africa, where labour is abundant and imported technology and equipment is quite costly. Many unaccounted-for

components Figure 1- View of the drill rig positioned alongside the Berg River and opposite perspective of the Carinus Bridge july/august 2014

The Carinus Bridge was built in 1959 and was earmarked for future upgrades by the provincial roads authority. Installing new cables alongside the existing ones on the bridge soffit would require future relocation when the bridge


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technical paper considered. Apart from the obvious

drill rig in order for the next reaming

a device that attached to the end of

construction constraints with regards

or installation stage to continue.

the drill rods, which extended a set of

to trenching across a river of this

During one of these reaming stages,

cutting blades when forced outward

magnitude, the importance of this

the spindle of the reamer detached

by the drilling fluid pressure. With the

water body to the local fishing indus-

due to a suspected bearing failure.

blades extended, the drill rods were

try, tourism and its ecology played a

Upon retrieving the drill rods (from


major role in deciding on the method

the pipe-entry side) and reamer, it

the HDPE pipe and

of construction.

became apparent that fragments

releasing it from the


Asset owners and stakeholders are still reluctant to implement this technology en masse – citing construction costs as the major deterrent

The adjacent marsh areas and

of the damaged reamer were left

reamer. This option

wetlands adjoining the Berg River

behind in the tunnel. The tunnel was

rendered the HDPE

serve as habitats for water birds such

consequently abandoned and a new

pipe unusable as any

as the blue heron, redshank and

pilot bore installed adjacent to the

attempts to remove

flamingo. Other wildlife also frequent

previous tunnel. With the new tunnel

the partially installed

this area. The natural symbiosis and

successfully bored and all the reaming


picturesque scene have also attracted

stages completed, the original three-


human settlement on the bank of

pipe 160 mm-diameter HDPE duct

which deformed and

the river.Any diversion of the river

configuration was attached to the

restricted the usea-

course or activities which would cause

reamer and inserted. The installation


flooding of the river banks with

however ground to a halt just as the

area of the pipe. The reamer was

dire consequences.

reamer and product pipe passed the

retrieved and reused.

pivot point along the final incline of




Despite these trying circumstanc-


the curved bore bath. The rapidly in-


As records of the river invert were

creasing forces had exceeded the rig’s


not available, the contractor (TT

pulling capacity.

bentonite was used for this attempt






Innovations) resorted to physically

Later investigation revealed that this

and the bore path lengthened to

plotting the invert of the river using

was largely due the bentonite being

168 m to allow for a flattened incline

a hired boat tethered to the shore

degraded by the high salt-water con-

curve. It was also decided to increase

and a survey staff. Incremental meas-

tent of the in situ soil. The drilling fluid

the tunnel size and change the pipe

urements were taken. The depth of

(water and bentonite mixture) could

arrangement from a three-pipe to a

the river was determined to be ap-

therefore not perform its primary

two-pipe configuration. The client

proximately 9 m at the deepest point

function of transporting the soil cut-

duly elected to also install a fourth

(due to close proximity of the sea and

tings to the surface. The resultant soil

duct for future use. These measures

subsequent tidal nature of the river,

build-up in the tunnel (increasing the

were successful and culminated in

a mean water level between low tide

friction along the pipe), in conjunction

two successful installations measuring

and high tide was used for the depth

with the steep final incline ultimately

168 m and 164 m each.

calculation). A bore plan was derived

led to a rapid increase in pulling force.

Many positives were derived from

using this data with a maximum pilot

The salinity of the groundwater was

this project. Trenchless technology

bore depth reaching 3 m below river

never considered as the Berg River is a

was reaffirmed and HDD proved

invert level. The contractor elected

freshwater river. A nearby freshwater

invaluable as a construction solution.

to proceed at this depth despite the

lake also seemed to support this no-

Ultimately, the client’s faith in inno-

risk of losing signal as any frac-out,

tion. It was however later learned that

vative trenchless technology was

and the resulting loss of fluid during

the river becomes salty at high tide

rewarded with the successful comple-

the drilling operation, could result in

and fresh again, during the low tide.

tion of this project.

a tunnel collapse or a stuck pipe. An

After numerous unsuccessful at-

additional risk is spilling bentonite

tempts at getting the pipe unstuck,

Case study 2

into the river. The initial pilot bore

the only apparent solution was to free

Diep River water pipeline installation:

proceeded without incident apart

the product pipe from the reamer. To

• location: adjacent to Gie Road, Table

from intermittent navigational signal

do this, the contractor manufactured

View, Cape Town

Figure 2 Aerial view and layout of AC pipeline (Source: Google Maps 2011)

losses and, after various steering corrections, reached the target. The approximate length of the pilot bore installation measured 150 m. Reaming commenced immediately thereafter. The drill rods were attached to the rear of the reamer, trailing it during reaming. Upon completion of the reaming stage, the drill rods would then line the entire bored tunnel. This reduces the overall project time as the rods can simply be disconnected from the reamer and reconnected to the july/august 2014


technical paper • diameter of pipeline installed:

the client objectives from an environ-

eventually exited on target at the

315 mm-diameter HDPE PN12

mental, technical, financial and pro-

preconstructed exit pit.

• length of installation: 200 m

ject-duration perspective and was duly

• obstruction traversed: Diep River –

accepted as an alternative proposal.

seasonal river and wetland ecosystem • client: City of Cape Town – Water and


pressure tested and in position for the


installation. The pipeline itself was also

With the contractor appointed, the first

filled with water to counteract buoy-

• main contractor: TT Innovations

task was to determine the actual align-

ancy – in an effort to reduce frictional

• drilling contractor: TT Innovations.

ment of the existing AC pipeline to

resistance. A suitably oversized tunnel

ensure the new pipeline was installed

was bored and the pipeline installed

Project background

as close as possible to the existing line.


A 250 mm-diameter asbestos cement

Previously, the pipeline was only iden-

The pipeline was then reconnected

water pipeline, installed by means of

tified on municipal drawings and was

to the existing network and the



‘positioned’ based on the approximate

water rerouted through the newly

two decades prior, spanned this river

location of the leak. Other identifiable

installed pipeline.

system and provided potable water

appurtenances such as valve cham-

to end users on either bank of the

bers and air valves were not located

Lessons learnt

river. This pipeline formed part of the

along the straight section of pipeline

As with the previous river-crossing

distribution network emanating from

earmarked for replacement and conse-

case study, a detailed geotechnical

an upstream reservoir, which fed the

quently were of no use in determining

investigation was not undertaken. This

residential area of Table View. Upon

the alignment. Eventually, the position

however, did not impact on the overall

further investigation as to the recent

of the leak was accurately determined

installation cost. The contractor, now

unprecedented and rapid decline of

in addition to a hidden scour valve

armed with the previous river-crossing

the upstream reservoir reserves, tech-

chamber being found – both of which

experience, was able to submit a

nicians traced a major leak to a section

enabled the accurate plotting of the

competitive but realistic project bid.

of the pipeline situated within the

existing pipeline alignment. The drill

This not only enabled the works to be

river stream. Ironically, the preceding

rig was set up on the residential side

adequately resourced but also ensured

drought conditions, which expedited

of the river embankment alongside a

that both client and contractor shared

the resolution of the depleting water

communal swimming pool. This raised

the project risk. Despite the successful

reserves, also caused the river flow to

vantage point allowed for improved

outcome, a detailed geotechnical study

recede, thus allowing the previously

navigation signal reception during the

is still imperative for any HDD project.

concealed leak to be detected. Due to

initial stages of the pilot bore instal-

the high groundwater table, wetland

lation. The actual water stream was

Case study 3

area, location and depth of the dete-

minimal and enabled the pilot bore to


riorated pipeline, the local authority

be tracked by conventional walk-over

pipeline installations:

turned to its list of previously approved

methods. Due to the urgent nature

• location: Mossel Bay, Western Cape

trenchless pipeline rehabilitation con-

of the project, extensive geotechnical

• diameter of pipelines installed:

tractors to bid for a solution – with the

investigations were not performed but

aim of replacing this pipeline by means

the in situ soil conditions were largely

• length of installations: 46 m and 50 m

of pipe bursting. This option was how-

considered to be argillaceous.

• obstruction traversed: two main

Sanitation Department

Figure 3 View of the final reamer size and 800 mmdiameter HDPE sleeve

At this point, the 315 mm class 12 HDPE pipe was already welded,








800 mm diameter

ever discarded due to various bends

The actual tracking of the pilot bore

along this section of the pipeline, its

proved to be the most challenging as-

depth and the associated dewatering

pect of this project. Major interference

required. Fortunately, one of the bid-

was encountered along sections of the

ding contractors, who also utilised HDD

bore path, leading to an erratic signal

• main contractor: Entsha Henra

as one of its service offerings, provided

and improper drill head location. A

• drilling contractor: TT Innovations.

this solution as an alternative. HDD met

large portion of the pilot bore was

roads, Louis Fourie Road and Alwyndal Road • client: Mossel Bay Municipality and PetroSA

installed ‘blindly’ as the rig operator

Project background

lost signal as well as navigation visuals

Owing to a spate of droughts in the

on the on-board instrumentation on

Southern Cape area, which left one

the drill rig. Being closer to the signal

town without drinking water, the

source (sonde located within the drill

local municipality of Mossel Bay and

head), the field operator was able to

private sector stakeholders financed

receive the signal and view the visual

and approved the construction of a

display on the handheld navigation

desalination plant along the nearby

instrument. This enabled the field

coastline. As construction progressed,

operator to relay vital information such

the adjoining pipeline networks – link-

as the drill head position, inclination

ing the desalination plant to the local

and location to the drill rig operator

reservoirs and end users – also had to

via two-way radio. After much correc-

be constructed. The main contractor

tion and adjustments, the pilot bore

was appointed to install the bulk of the

JulY/august 2014

technical paper greenfield pipeline network using con-

site to house the drilling mud spoil. A

contractor and co-habitants, the fol-

ventional opencast construction. The

TLB was utilsed to remove the drilling

lowing can be derived:

local roads authority, however insisted

mud from the drilling pits.

• The client needs to have an understanding of HDD process, it’s advan-

in the use of trenchless technology

Due to the large diameter of the

for the main road crossings. HDD was

pipe to be installed, the frictional force

decided as the trenchless solution to

caused by buoyancy had to be coun-

• Stakeholders and decision makers

be employed and various contractors

teracted. Instead of the conventional

need to consider the project cost, the

were invited to submit bids for the

closed front end, where the pulling

environmental and ecological impact

installation of these works. The project

head connects to the pipe, it was

of the construction method chosen.

consulting engineers selected the ap-

decided to leave this front end open –

• The more information available at

proved drilling contractor on the basis

thereby creating an open ended pipe

tender stage, the more accurate

of their technical ability and previous

and cancelling any buoyant forces.

the initial financial assessment and

project experience.

After installation, any drilling mud or

consequential project budget. This

tages and risks.

spoil which collected within the pipe


could be removed by conventional

On completion of the necessary plan-

pipe cleaning methods.

Apart from the financial consideration, construction solutions should take into account efficiency as well as the environmental and social impact

ning and approval of the bore plans,

Further to this, the shallow cover

the drilling operation commenced

over the pipe also increased the risk

with the installation of the pilot bore.

of drilling fluid escaping to the surface

From previous excavations undertaken

through the above soil layers due to

it was apparent that the prevailing

excessive fluid pressures within the

soil conditions were favourable for

tunnel (frac-out). Once all the reaming

drilling and comprised largely of

stages were successfully completed,

dried clayey homogenous material.

the hen compared to the various

also allows the contractor to submit

The pilot bore under Alwyndal Road

reaming stages. Using the drill rig, the

a more accurate bid, taking all known

commenced without any incident

560 mm diameter HDPE product pipe

risks into account (made available at

and was completed on schedule. A

was inserted within the 800 mm pipe.

continuous shift was planned from

The product pipe simply displaced

• The more experienced the contrac-

pilot bore to final pipe installation and

the drilling mud and no additional

tor, the more likely the project is

was done to Minimise the time period

pipe cleaning was equired. The Louis

to succeed – as unknown risks are

the bored tunnel remained open and

Fourie installation proceeded in sim-

inherent in trenchless construction.

unoccupied. This never materialised as

ilar fashion, with the only delay being

Experienced contractors are more

the drilling operation soon fell behind

caused by mechanical failure on the

likely to have the necessary expertise

schedule due to various reaming

mixing tank.

and resources available in order to

tender stage).

stages proceeding at a slower than

In order to prevent any possible

resolve the ensuing risks and issues.

anticipated rate. Operations ground

future settlement, the client requested

They are also more likely to provide

to a halt during the early hours of the

the contractor fill the annulus between


morning when the effluent water sup-

the bored tunnel and the 800 mm

project problems.

ply valve failed causing a disruption

diameter sleeve pipe. The preceding

• When both the client and contractor

to the supply. Without an alternative

drilling mud removal not only removed

understand the project risks and

water source, work was halted until

drilling mud from the drill pits but

commit to cooperate in the mitiga-

the supply could be restored. The

also drained drilling fluid from within

tion and resolution of these issues,

effluent water seemed to produce

the tunnel, resulting in visible voids

projects can be successfully complet-

a high quality drilling fluid mixture

around the ends of the pipe. To fill the

ed even if the required outcomes fall

resulting in excellent suspension prop-

voids, the tunnel ends were sealed and

beyond the conventional scope of

erties. In further testimony to this, the

the drill rods inserted from one end.

the process or equipment parametres

tunnel, now bored to approximately

Drilling fluid was then pumped into the

– providing certain technical funda-

400 mm in diameter, remained open

tunnel while slowly retracting the rods,

mentals are adhered to.

and unaffected for the duration of the

thereby filling any voids.





shut-down period – despite the continuous vehicular traffic. By midday the

Lessons Learnt

following day, the water supply was

From the preceding projects, se-

objectives to be met a sound under-

restored and drilling recommenced.

quenced in chronological date order,

standing of the available construction

Reaming proceeded at a slow but

it is apparent that the various issues

technologies is required. Furthermore,

steady pace with the reaming rate of

and challenges arising from these case

apart from the financial consideration,

progress slowing as the reamer size

studies seemed to have decreased as

the selected construction solution

increased. This slow progression in

the drilling contractors knowledge

should take into account efficiency and

conjunction to the tunnel size being

base increased – lessening the impact

environmental and social impact. The

bored produced a large volume of

of any ensuing difficulties and issues.

appointment of an experienced and

It is clear that in order for the client’s

drilling mud. A temporary holding

Where the successful use of HDD

‘pond’ was created adjacent to the drill

has proved beneficial to the client,

well-resourced contractor will ensure for a successful project outcome.

july/august 2014

This paper has been edited by Maryke Foulds. For the full paper, please contact


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odour control

Successful treatment of wastewater odour Increasingly, odour complaints feature on management agendas at wastewater treatment facilities, writes Hennie Smal of VitaCure Systems. Characteristics of odour

Organic sulphides

A general understanding of odour

These complex molecules are also

and the properties of odorants and

produced as a by-product of an-

their perception is useful for under-

aerobic decomposition of organic

standing the implications for odour

materials present in the wastewater.

abatement technologies.

A diverse group of higher molecular

Airstreams can contain spectrums

weight compounds such as methyl

of odorants each with their own

mercaptan, ethyl mercaptan, dime-

unique characteristics.

thyl disulphide, and dimethyl sul-

The key parameters or character-

phide are garnering more and more

here are a number of

istics of interest for odour control

attention for ensuring all odours are

reasons for this. As urban

systems are:

effectively contained and treated at

areas expand, distances be-

• water solubility

wastewater treatment plants.

tween municipal wastewater

• molecular weight


These compounds have a wide

treatment plants and neighbours de-

• molecular structure

variety of solubilities and charac-

crease. The capacities of wastewater

• vapour pressure

teristic odours ranging from rancid

treatment plants have not kept up

• odour detection threshold.

and skunk-like to decayed cabbage.

with increased demand and plants

These parameters all have a direct


are routinely overloaded. Collection


methyl mercaptan, tend to be more

systems have been widened to

degradability of the compounds,


include growing towns and cities, re-

as well as their potential to cause

have very low detection thresholds.

sulting in longer sewer lines, causing

an off-site negative impact upon

Detection thresholds can be as low

increased septicity.

surrounding communities.

as 0.03 PPB.

The collection, conveyance and





compounds, to



than and

LEFT Biofilter installed at a sewage plant BELOW Dry scrubber installation at Val De Vie estate

The major groups of odorants that

treatment of municipal wastewater

require consideration are:

present a number of challenges

• hydrogen sulphide

that must be managed in order to

• organic sulphides

minimise the impact on neighbours.

• ammonia and nitrogen compounds

Controlling odours is one of these

• VOCs.

management challenges. Aerobic




Hydrogen sulphide

variety of odour-causing compounds


such as organic acids, esters, alco-

through anaerobic decomposition of

hols, aldehydes as well as indole

the organic material contained within

and skatole. Also, when oxygen is

the wastewater. It is a colourless, toxic

consumed in the wastewater, due

gas that has a characteristic odour

to extended detention times and

of rotting eggs. Hydrogen sulphide



is heavier than air, contributes to

areas develop and release odours

corrosion of infrastructure and can

at a much greater rate. Hydrogen

be immediately dangerous to life

sulphide and other organic sulphides

and health above concentrations of

such as methyl mercaptan (MM), di-

100 ppmv.






methyl sulphide (DMS), and dimethyl

It is soluble in water and is readily

disulphide (DMDS) have very low

biodegradable in biological systems.

detection thresholds and can lead to

The odour detection is reported to be

health and safety issues.

as low as 5 PPB. july/august 2014


odour control Ammonia and nitrogen compounds

present in the air stream, they are

Odour treatment technologies

becoming increasingly more impor-

Technologies used to control odours

As organic material in wastewater

tant as consideration for optimised

rely on the following processes:

is degraded, ammonia, amines and

odour control applications in sensi-

biological, chemical, electrochemical,

other nitrogen-bearing compounds

tised urban environments.

thermal or physical and selection depends on the following factors:

will be released. These compounds tend to be highly water soluble and readily biodegradable.


• chemical and physical characteristics of odorants • required removal performance

The characteristics of the odours that

• space available

There are many other potential odour

are emitted from the various types of

• maintenance requirements

contributors that can be released

wastewater unit treatment processes

• capital cost

from treatment processes. These vary

vary considerably in terms of constit-

• life-cycle cost

greatly in composition and their im-

uents and concentrations.

• influent concentrations

pact on the corresponding selection

Wastewater treatment processes

of abatement equipment. Organic

can be classified into three main

acids such as acetic and butyric acid

segments: collection, liquid-phase

Biological systems

are readily biodegradable. Aldehydes,



ketones and aliphatics may also be

biosolids treatment.




• variability of loading.




organisms are used to biodegrade

present in the airstream. The com-

While biological technologies are

odorants into simple compounds.

position and concentration of these

robust and flexible, not every applica-

The odorants are first absorbed into a

components are a function of the raw

tion can be addressed appropriately

water film that contains microbes. The

sewage sources.

with a single technology. Knowing

microbes metabolise the pollutants in


when and how to use a technology

order to obtain energy and nutrients.


is a critical element in the success-

Perhaps, because this process is similar

­sulphur-bearing, and to a lesser ex-

ful implementation of an odour

to the process used to treat wastewa-

tent, nitrogen-bearing compounds

control strategy.

ter, biological filters are outstripping

While typically


Odour emissions for individual wastewater unit treatment processes





JulY/august 2014

odour control competing technologies on municipal

range of odorants and low energy re-

scrubbers is that a short retention

wastewater treatment plants.

quirements. Disadvantages are: high

time results in a compact footprint.

Biological systems either employ

running costs because the carbon

Negatives are an inability to cope with

organic or inorganic media and

has to replaced (especially in case of

fluctuating odorant loadings and the

are divided into biotrickling filters,

high odorant loadings); humid air can

effluent is toxic where oxidants are

biofilters or combinations thereof.

affect the adsorption process when

used. With airstreams where multiple

Systems can either be open or closed.

the media is saturated; break-through

odorants are present, a series of

A closed system is preferable because

is sudden and the spent media is tox-

scrubbing vessels using different re-

of improved control of the factors

ic and has to disposed of in landfills

actants and operating at different pH

affecting performance. Modern bio-

for hazardous materials. Carbon is

levels are required.

logical systems use inorganic media

sometimes used as the final stage in

because the media usually does not

a multi-stage odour control system to

Electrochemical systems

require replacement and lower pres-

remove traces of remaining odorants.

Ultraviolet or photocatalytic oxida-

sure losses mean savings in energy

tion is used to convert odorants to a

consumption. Biological systems can

Thermal systems

non-odorous state. With photocata-

treat airflows with variable odorant

Thermal energy is used to oxidise

lytic oxidation, UV lamps are used in

loadings. Biological systems require

odorants. Although thermal systems

conjunction with a catalyst surface.

water supply and drainage points.

are effective, the high energy costs

The catalyst surface becomes active in

result in very few being found in

the presence of UV light. The odorant

wastewater treatment plants.

is adsorbed onto the catalyst surface

Physical process The most common example is a car-

and then decomposed similar to cata-

bon adsorber where foul air is passed

Chemical systems

lytic oxidation. Advantages are a small

through a virgin or impregnated

The most widely used examples for

footprint, no water or drain is required,

carbon bed. The odorous substance

treatment of wastewater odours are

low maintenance requirements and

is physically captured in or on the car-

wet scrubbers. Odorants are dissolved

low energy consumption. However,

bon. Advantages of carbon adsorp-

in water that usually contains a re-

the UV lamps and catalyst must be

tion are its ability to capture a wide

actant. The major advantage of wet

replaced at regular intervals.

july/august 2014


odour control

Technology trumps odour Odorous gas emissions from urban and industrial wastewater treatment plants must be controlled by capturing gases as soon as they are emitted and by covering emission areas.

A biological

variety of technologies from Degrémont can be used


releases, and

limit such


The treatment is carried out in




to the principle of the streaming






towers, towers

adhering are


odour control for exhaustive des-

equipped with a mineral media

ulphurisation, using Azurair Boost,

(biolite) to which microorganisms

and biological odour control to treat

are attached to break down the

hydrogen sulphide and mercaptan,

odour-causing compounds.

using Azurair B-Twin. The focus here

In order to optimise this breakdown, a sequential sprinkling system

will be on the latter. Azurair B-Twin can eliminate the

is integrated, maintaining optimal

olfactory nuisances of small waste-

moisture content. The foul air is in-

water treatment plants with no

troduced and goes through the first

changes of media and without the

acidic pH biofilter (first tower), which

use of reagents.

promotes the elimination of H2S,

Based on the combination of two types


advanced treatment of mercaptans.



before being directed at a neutral pH


(second tower) to facilitate the elim-

equipment, the system allows the

ination of mercaptans, with no use

operation not only a full treatment

of reagents or regulation. This com-

of hydrogen sulfide, but also an

bination provides a comprehensive

JulY/august 2014

Degrémont, a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, is the world specialist in the design and construction of water treatment plants and an important contributor towards sustainable development. Degrémont South Africa has the ability to propose various technologies to suit the clients’ requirements and site constraints.


Its teams design, build and commission facilities for: • Potable water production • Desalination • Wastewater treatment & recycling • Sludge treatment • Industrial process water and wastewater treatment Degrémont also specialises in: • the supply of package pre-assembled and skid-mounted potable water and wastewater treatment plants, • the refurbishment of old plants to their original design capacities and/or upgrading of old plants to produce higher quantities of water. The latter is achieved by installing additional high-performance equipment to existing concrete structures. Degrémont also provides the following additional services to its clients: • Execution supervision • Installation & Commissioning • Plant operation • Technical assessment • Spare parts Mornay de Vos – Business Development Manager George van der Merwe – Technical Manager

Tel: +27 (0) 11 807 1983

Fax: +27 (0)10 591 5095

odour control

Sensitive but strong

at WWTW odour treatment solution, with 95% of H2S and mercaptans removed. Azurair B-Twin is an entirely biological solution based on an entirely natural process with advantageous costs and an ease of operation: continuous-use mineral media that do not require replacement or reloading.

Accurate flow measurement for partially filled pipes? The TIDALFLUX 2300 F from KROHNE has got you covered. Backed by over 90 years of expertise in flow measurement, there’s a KROHNE meter for every job. The TIDALFLUX 2300 F reliably measures flows in pipes filled to between 10 % and 100 % of their inner diameter. Even fat and oil floating on the surface are not a problem for the TIDALFLUX 2300 F – its capacitive sensors are integrated into the liner and are never in direct contact with the liquid. Featuring a sturdy polyurethane lining, the TIDALFLUX 2300 F is also perfect for demanding wastewater environments. Ex approvals to ATEX and IECex Zone 1 are available as an option. When a rugged job demands a high degree of precision, the TIDALFLUX 2300 F performs and never quits. KROHNE – Water is our world. KROHNE South Africa 8 Bushbuck Close Corporate Park South Randtjiespark, Midrand Tel.: +27 113141391 Fax: +27 113141681 Cell: +27 825563934 John Alexander July/August 2014


wastewater case study

Channelling greenhouse gas emissions Globally, little attention is paid to gaseous emissions from wastewater treatment processes. Maryke Foulds asks Mari Heinonen, process manager at Viikinmäki, how they are monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. Viikinmäki emissions control centre




extremes below -20˚C and even

The organic matter contained in the



-30˚C, so the plant was built almost

sludge produced in the wastewater


entirely underground to avoid the

treatment process is exploited by

freezing temperatures.

digesting the sludge, and the biogas


may be strictly mon-

itored, but the same cannot be said for the plants' gaseous emissions.


However, in Helsinki, Finland, a large



is collected for further use. Thanks to


the energy produced from biogas,

municipal wastewater treatment fa-

270 000  m³ of wastewater per day,

the treatment plant is self-sufficient

cility continuously monitors its emis-

which amounts to about 100 mil-

in terms of heating and about 70 per

sions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to

lion m³ per year. The wastewater

cent self-sufficient in terms of elec-

help in the city’s efforts to combat

is treated in compliance with the

tricity. However, the plant aims to be

climate change and help improve the

Finnish Wastewater Discharge Permit,

fully energy self-sufficient in the near

wastewater treatment process.

which is stricter than the EU Water

future, and around 60 000  tonnes of

Employing a multigas FTIR (Fourier

Framework Directive for parametres

dried waste sludge is sold each year

Transform InfraRed) analyser from

such as nitrogen removal, phosphate

for landscaping purposes.

Gasmet, a Helsinki-based manufac-

content, BOD, COD and suspended

turer of analytical instrumentation,

solids. Following treatment, treated

Gas monitoring

the plant’s managers are able to

wastewater is conveyed 8 km out

As a result of the size of the plant

measure the effects of process con-

to sea and to a depth of over 20 m.

(E-PRTR reporting) and the com-

trol on GHG emissions such as carbon

This might seem superfluous, but the

mitment of the Helsinki Region

dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

16 km-long discharge pipe was built


This also provides an insight into the

in the 1980s and was designed to en-

(HSY) to the protection of the envi-

fate of nitrogenous compounds with-

sure that discharged wastewater did

ronment, it was necessary to monitor

in the wastewater stream.

not accumulate on the shallow and

or to model gaseous emissions. At the

scattered shore and nature reserves

beginning of the E-PRTR reporting re-

along the coastline of Helsinki.

quirements (2007), HSY modelled the



generated in the digestion process





The Viikinmäki wastewater treatment

The treatment process is based on

annual gaseous emissions based on

plant was built in 1994 to process

the activated sludge method and

grab samples. However, monitoring



includes three phases: mechanical,

was relatively simple to implement

(85%) and industrial (15%) sources.

biological and chemical treatment.

because the plant is enclosed under-

However, the average temperature



ground and a gas exhaust system was


been enhanced with a biological filter

already in place. Initially, a portable

that utilises denitrification bacteria.

FTIR analyser from Gasmet was hired






and February is around -4˚C, with


The Viikinmäki plant is the largest


JulY/august 2014


wastewater case study for a short period to assess the plant’s

a collection of 5 000+ gases. This

equate to 3.5 g of methane and 1.34 g

emissions and for research purposes.

means that it is possible to reanalyse

of nitrous oxide. Looking forward,

However, as Mari Heinonen, process

produced spectra with the instru-

Mari believes that it will be possible

manager at Viikinmäki, reports: “The

ment’s PC-based software (Calcmet)

to use the gas monitoring data to

gas emissions data were very interest-

and thereby to identify unknown

improve process control: “Traditional

ing but they were not representative

gases – a major advantage of FTIR.


of the annual emissions, and posed more questions than they answered.



Whilst FTIR is able to analyse an

on concentrations of oxygen, nitrate

enormous number of gases, the tech-

and ammonia in the water, but if we detect high levels of N2O gas for

“We therefore purchased a contin-

nique is not suitable for noble gases,

uous emissions monitoring system

homonuclear diatomic gases (e.g., N2,

example, this may indicate a problem

(CEMS) from Gasmet, which was in-

Cl2, H2, F2, etc) or H2S (detection limit

in the process that we can use as a

stalled in late 2012 and we now have our first full year’s data for 2013.

too high).

Gasmet's FTIR technology was cho-

feedback control. “The monitoring data for gaseous

“Very little data has been published

sen for the Viikinmäki plant because


on the GHG emissions of wastewater

of its ability to monitor multiple

NOx) complements water analysis

treatment and, as far as we are aware,

gases simultaneously. However, Mari


Viikinmäki is the only plant in the

Heinonen says: “The system has

picture of the nitrogen cycle in the

world conducting this type of mon-

performed very well, with very little

treatment process.

itoring, so our data is likely to be of

maintenance required. Zero point

major significance.”











“Clearly, further research will be


required, but this work may indicate

The Gasmet CEMS employs an FTIR

ground) just takes a few minutes each

a need to consider the fate of nitrog-

spectrometer to obtain infrared spec-

day and is fully automated. Water

enous compounds beyond just those

tra from the waste gas stream by first

vapour calibration is conducted at

in the wastewater. The removal of

collecting an ‘interferogram’ of the

least once per year, but under normal

nitrogen from wastewater is a key

sample signal with an interferometer,

circumstances no other calibration

objective, but if this results in high

which measures all infrared frequen-

is necessary.”

N2O emissions the process may need

cies simultaneously to produce a spectrum




With the benefit of the monitoring data, Mari Heinonen

and quantitative data are produced.


For example, the CEMS at Viikinmäki


continuously displays emissions data

for methane to be

for CH4, N2O, CO2, NO, NO2, and NH3.

around 350 tonnes,




Over a number of years, Gasmet has

and for nitrous oxide

established a library of FTIR reference

around 134 tonnes.

spectra that now extends to simul-

This means that the

taneous quantification of 50 gases

emissions per cubic

or identification of unknowns from

meter of wastewater

July/August 2014


to be managed in a different way.”

The facility monitors emissions of greenhouse gases to combat climate change


Pump efficiency: the key to success A contract to upgrade Mangaung Metro Municipality’s Maselspoort low- and high-lift pump station has been awarded.


he 12-month contract,

size increased to bring its

which began in September

capacity in line with the

2013 and aims to ensure

two new ones. “The pumps

the plant continues supply-

and motor operation will be

ing 34% of Bloemfontein’s treated

installed with features that

water, comprises mechanical and

enhance maintenance effi-

electrical upgrades.

ciency and overall system

The high-lift centrifugal pumps, which join an existing refurbished pump, will run on VSDs to regulate them according to water demand

reliability, while pump and

an unconfirmed possibility of replac-

placing four low-lift vertical turbine

motor operations will be remotely

ing the existing header pipework.

pumps with two low-lift centrifugal

monitored,” says Haig.

“We feel that the maximum design

The improvements comprise re-

self-priming pumps, the motor sets

pressure, which is just under 30 bar,

and associated pipe work; and two

Additional requirements

may create overburden on the cur-



“The high-lift pump-suction pipe-

rent header pipework,” he explains.

pumps take the place of five hori-

work remains primarily the same,”

The upgrade, due for comple-

zontal centrifugal pumps.

comments Thabo Mogadima, busi-

tion in August this year, includes



ness development manager, Veolia


equivalent capacity of two of the

Water Solutions and Technologies

drive installation, power supply and

dated pumps, effectively providing

South Africa. “The only exceptions

switchgear modernisation, as well as

a combined capacity equivalent to

are that the weir needs to be ex-

replacing appurtenant valves.

the four replaced pumps. The duty

tended and suction pipe replaced.”

Veolia has been retained for a five-

pump will be controlled remotely

The contract also calls for new pump

year monitoring and maintenance

by DOL (direct online) and the

legs to tie in to the existing header

contract to meet specific MTBF and

other by variable speed drive (VSD),

pipe and, according to Mogadima,

MTTR requirements.







Inside the pump house. Maselpoort's low- and high-lift pump station

allowing the operator to regulate pump




delivery flow.

Sump and pipework The low-lift pump sump will be changed from a dry to a wet well sump requiring additional suction pipework. “In order to tie the new piping in to the existing pipework infrastructure, installation will take place in conjunction with a section of the discharge pipework,” says Michael Haig, lead engineer, Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies South Africa. The high-lift split-casing centrifugal pumps, which join an existing refurbished pump, will run on VSDs to regulate them according to water demand. As part of the contract, the refurbished pump will have its impeller replaced and motor july/august 2014


tel +27(12)803 5486


Boosting supply The town of Paterson in the Eastern Cape is facing water shortages due to the increased water demand.


he upgrade of the Caesar's Dam water treatment works in the Addo region is in its final stages and will alleviate the problem. Gibb is currently involved in the

final phase of the project. The scope of work on the

project, which commenced in August 2012, is valued at some R13.7 million and includes the upgrading of the Caesar's Dam water treatment works in Addo. The upgrading of the water treatment works is part of the Paterson Bulk Water Supply project aimed at supplying water to Paterson and its surrounding areas, catering to an estimated population of 8  680  people. Thulani Gumede, design engineer at Gibb, says the town needs at least 250  m3 of water per hour, but the water treatment works currently only pumps 145 m3 per hour. “The town currently obtains all of its potable water from groundwater, extracted from boreholes. The water is supplied via five boreholes located outside the town, but only four boreholes are used for domestic consumption as the fifth borehole is contaminated. The upgrade will alleviate the problem of the town obtaining its water from boreholes, which remains largely inadequate and a health risk.” Gibb’s scope of work includes the upgrade of two raw-water pumps with the combined capacity of 266  m³ per hour and a standby pump, the upgrading of 50 m of rising main from 150 mm diameter to 250 mm diameter, a new concrete clarifier and a set of rapid gravity sand filters, and the upgrade of a chemical storage and dosing system. The upgrade of the water supply is expected to contribute positively to agricultural activities in the area, which have, over the past year, been severely affected by the water shortage. This has had a concomitant negative effect on employment sustainability and job creation in the area. The upgrade of the Caesar's Dam water treatment works is critical because the municipality has considerable ecotourism and agricultural potential. The Addo Elephant National Park is an important economic driver in the area, while the Sundays River Valley – which the Paterson town forms part of – is regarded as one of the key production areas for citrus and ­deciduous fruit farming in South Africa.

Upgrade of the Paterson water supply project

July/August 2014



Assessing perfomance Inappropriate wastewater technology choices compromise quality and sustainability of service delivery in municipalities, Jay Bhagwan of the WRC explains.

The study considered a national







and assessed these in terms of the appropriateness of their technology


choices in relation to the current abil-


BELOW Amanzimtoti Waste Water Treatment Works



engineering, scientific and techno-

ity of the municipality to implement

Water Research Commission

logical aspects of wastewater treat-

and administer such choices. The

study done in partnership

ment in South Africa. More recently,

objective of the study was to assess

with the South African Local

attention has been redirected to

the consistency between the various


assess the performance and compli-

aspects of regulation, design and

that 44% of the studied wastewater

ance status of wastewater treatment

management as crucial elements in

treatment plants may have opted

facilities; to identify the challenges

sustainable technology selection and

for less suitable, even inappropriate,

and root causes that underpin poor

implementation. It was therefore a

technologies when considering their

performance, in particular by mu-

‘quick and dry’ analysis of technology

resource base capacity to manage

nicipal institutions. When examined,

considerations, which allowed for a

and provide effluent quality require-

it has been found that the existing

selection of 18 municipalities.


systems failed due to poor main-

Poor technology choice would be

tenance, lack of skilled operators

influenced by insufficient funding

and lack of capacity; not due to the

or fund allocation within munic-

technology itself.

ipalities to institute effective and


ABOVE Jay Bagwan






options were questionable. Over





attention has been devoted to the

adequate preventative maintenance programmes and procedures. Many municipalities seem to follow a reactive



whereby assets are run to failure. The lack of funding can be ascribed to a host of root causes, including low tariffs which are not cost reflective, lack of ring-fencing of the functional cost involved in wastewater treatment, inappropriate and unnecessarily expensive technology choices as well as billing and revenue collection difficulties. When applying the 44% statistic to a comparative national base (consisting of 850 municipal plants), it would


JulY/august 2014


and compliance translate to approximately 374 plants

by municipal decision-makers. The

proposed technologies, on a mu-



Green Drop incentive-based regula-

nicipality and catchment basis, the

technologies in place. This number is

tion initiative is excellent. However,

WRC study points out. Regulators

significant enough to support further

the licensing issues are compro-

need to take a holistic and strategic

investigation and measures to mit-

mising the regulatory initiative and

view of the implementation of the

igate this as a key risk to sustainable

require attention.



and improved performance in the

According to the project leader, Dr

municipal wastewater services sector.

Marlene van der Merwe-Botha, there

Existing works are often inadequate

is a vast range of adequate technol-

for the demands that are being made

ogies that are available to deliver

upon them, most often in terms of

against almost any specification set.

physical loading or suitable treatment

“The competing demands for other

processes. A combination of different

services and infrastructure in munic-

factors contribute to poor perfor-

ipalities result in an unsustainable

mance of chosen technologies like

and destabilised environment, and

proposed technologies, based on the

increased service provision, often via

therefore calls for regulators and

sustainability of the business of water

housing development (inadequate

decision-makers to make trade-offs.

services, and adopt design princi-

long-term and integrated planning),

Thus, the selection needs to consider

ples appropriate to rural and small

and unplanned extraneous flows

the sensitivity of the catchment and

municipalities, providing leadership

allowed to enter the wastewater

the revenue base of the municipality,

through their sector support and

system thereby placing an artificial

the ability to attract specialists or the

approval units.

hydraulic and chemical load onto the

right skills to manage

infrastructure (lack of by-laws or im-


plementation thereof to adequately


regulate industrial effluent, storm-

Botha. “The overreli-

water ingress, potable water losses

ance of municipalities

and so on).


systems,” der





Sophisticated wastewater systems

another big problem.

require more maintenance, more

Consultants have a

skilled operators and more energy

myopic vision driven

and finances to operate and main-

by business princi-

tain. In many of the small towns,

ples and, thus, the

municipalities have revenue bases

broader principles of

that are not sufficient to cover the

society, environment

costs of operation and maintenance.

and economy may

The blind drive for achieving uni-

not necessarily be en-



capsulated, which all

discharge is not solving the problem

municipalities should

in the long term, but is rather fuelling

strive to achieve.



the problem.


The study indicates that there has

should request their

been a history of problems, often

advisors to provide

relating to aspects such as sewer

them with a cost/

pipe blockages, ageing of the sewer


infrastructure, vandalism of cables at


sewer pump stations, design issues

wastewater technol-

and a maintenance backlog, but


that these were being addressed by


the municipality.

of the main drivers.”

The inception of the Department

comparison different





each there

of Water Affairs' wastewater services

needs to be greater








tified innovative approaches and

approvers of capital

appropriate technologies to ensure


that sustainable choices are made

departments – of the

July/August 2014




Sophisticated wastewater systems require more maintenance, more skilled operators and more energy and finances to operate and maintain

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Copyright Š Elster Group. All Rights Reserved. Elster and its logo, are trademarks of Elster Group. The company's policy is one of continuous improvement and the right is reserved to modify the specifications without notice 8360/6/2012

Vital Connections

panel discussion Leon Basson

Elster Kent metering


Sales and marketing director

ow does South Africa measure up in terms of water meters installed and technology suited to end use compared to the rest of Africa and other developing nations? LB South Africa

How do water meters help to conserve water, especially in a water-stressed country such as South Africa? To

is the leader in both meter

measure is to know. The water

installation and the use of suited technology in Africa.

action is being taken to resolve

L-Bus outputs

products that will be

this crisis.

and a 15-year

launched shortly.

battery life put this meter at the top of bulk metering, globally.

What are the standards set for water meters in South Africa and are there non-compliant ones being installed? Domestic water

engineer must have accurate

Does Elster Kent have a unique technology that sets it apart from its competitors?

meters must comply with

information on his system in

Elster spends $100 million

SANS 1529-1:2006 and must be

We have more constant and

order to control leaks. System

annually on research and

approved in terms of Section

cleaner water supplies than

maintenance is crucial and it is

development, which is evident

18 of the Trade Metrology Act

many African countries. In

very important to get consumers

in our various world-leading

of 1973 and Regulation 80 of

most African countries, water

to trust readings in order to pay

solutions, including our

Part II of the Trade Metrology

supplies are interrupted when

for their usage.

hybrid and smart metering

Regulations to Class B/C/D

solutions. Our local R&D

specification. All water meters

division then optimises these

offered must be tested and

solutions for South African and

sealed by an authorised official

African conditions.

in a SANAS (SANS 10378:2005)

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing this industry today? Major

Please give me a breakdown of your product and how it fits into the development of a working and up-to-date water infrastructure plan in Southern and South Africa

water reservoirs run dry during some parts of the day, which causes tremendous damage to meters and the rest of the

A typical world-leading

accredited laboratory. Elster

product is the Elster H5000

also has one of the few local

Hybrid Woltmann Meter, the

accredited test facilities that

Elster’s brass PSM meter has

next generation of Woltmann

can accommodate bulk meters

been around for more than

(turbine) bulk water meters.

up to 300 mm. Yes, there are

challenges include optimised

50 years. The Polymer KSM

With a range of important

occasionally chancers in the

distribution of water resources,

meter is also the first polymer-

features, H5000 represents

industry and Elster has, on

together with educating

produced water meter in South

the very highest performance

numerous occasions, brought

all consumers on water

Africa; both these meters have

in bulk-flow water metering,

illegal meter installations under

conservation and the impact of

often been copied, but never

making it ideally suited to both

the authorities’ attention.

leaks on our water resources.

perfected. Elster has the only

billing (improved revenue) and

Also, the ability to accurately

locally designed and produced

water distribution applications

measure these resources is

prepaid meter that has seven

(conservation). Available in five

challenging, especially the

projects running longer than

sizes from DN 40 to DN 150 for

Any further thoughts that you might want to share with our readers? Yes, our

control of quality revenue-

11 years and 154 projects in

flow rates between 40ℓ/h and

business mission statement

enhancement products and

total. These projects are installed

200 m3/h, the H5000 operates

is to offer a broad range of

solutions against cheap

in South Africa and across

at a maximum working pressure

high-quality, leading-technology

imports that are not suited for

borders as far as the Caribbean.

of 16 bar.

water management solutions

African conditions.

Our new H5000 Woltmann-type

reticulation system.

The Elster Q200 SmartMeter

to customers in all key markets,

hybrid bulk meter with its

with full electronics is the only

with an optimised internal

water is a ticking time bomb but

extra-wide measuring range

smart meter that is available

structure and highly effective

we are confident that sufficient

is unchallenged in the market.

with a replaceable battery.

supplier, logistics and

Finally, Gauteng’s acid mine

distribution business

The H5000 is the only

measuring range

Any special projects or products you would like to mention? We had a bulk

capable of replacing

meter replacement project in

a combination meter

Ekurhuleni municipality that

and is the world’s

utilised the H5000 meters

most accurate

extensively. The project has a

commercial turbine

payback of less than one year.

meter, providing the

Elster believes in changing

widest measuring

the goalpost all the time and

range for a single-

therefore has some exciting new

bulk meter on the market that has the

partners for the benefit of all stakeholders.

element technology. The electronic register pre-equipped for AMR/AMI with

LEFT Elster H5000 Hybrid Woltmann Meter

pulse, encoder, Aquabus, M-Bus,

RIGHT Q200 SmartMeter

july/august 2014


Panel discussion



ow does South Africa measure up in terms of water meters installed and technology suited to enduse compared to the rest of Africa and other developing nations? BB

Basil Bold Managing director

Without this information, it is

A ‘smart meter’ is

not possible to identify critical

essentially a ‘dumb

loss areas, or to develop a

meter’ if not

coherent intervention strategy.

supported by an effective data

Metering is the starting point,

transmission system and meter

irrespective of the age or

data management software.

condition of the network.

Sensus manages some of the

more sophisticated smart

largest systems worldwide

metering systems.

South Africa is on par with

installing meters which offer an add-on upgrade path to smart metering • capacity to adopt and sustain

lack of skilled personnel to

Please give me a breakdown of your products and how they fit into the development of a working and up-to-date water infrastructure plan in South and Southern Africa Sensus South Africa

implement and sustain the

is a subsidiary of the global

in measurement accuracy,

• SANS1529-1 and SANS1529-9.

latest smart meter/grid and

Sensus Group, which is active

with a 15-year maintenance-

Generally, these standards and

prepaid technologies.

worldwide and is one of the

free service life and smart

regulations are adhered to.

largest manufacturers of

grid compatibility.

most sub-Saharan countries but lagging behind countries like Algeria and Morocco.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing this industry today? The

How do water meters help conserve water, especially in a water-stressed country such as SA? A commonly

water meters and affiliated

used phrase, “to measure

largest manufacturer of

is to know”, is applicable. Before any non-revenue

grid solutions.

What are the standards set for water meters in South Africa and are there non-compliant ones being installed? Two regulatory

Does Sensus have a unique technology that sets it apart from its competitors?

standards are applicable:

Yes. The iPerl is a world first

• Trade Metrology Act of 1973

the world.

communication system offers

Any further thoughts you might want to share with our readers? Prepaid

an advanced smart grid

electricity-vending systems

capability, which is not only

are generally accepted and

bulk water meters in sizes

capable of water management,

are workable, whereas the

DN 40 – DN 800.

but can incorporate both

long-term reliability and return

electricity and gas.

on total capital investment

Also, the Sensus Flexnet

Sensus is the world’s

contemplated, measurement

iPerl domestic smart meter

network inflows into

already linked to Sensus smart

long-range radio data

The revolutionary Sensus

districts within the

with over 80 million end points

data management tools in

water intervention strategy is of isolated zones and

on prepaid consumer

offers utilities an unrivalled performance

Any special projects or products you would like to mention? Sensus is

water-dispensing systems is debateable. Capital costs are high, the end-point equipment

the reticulation

in terms of

a partner is a consortium

is complex, and maintenance

system and

a 15-year

providing the radio frequency

costs are high. The latest

outflows to


communications technology

smart-meter and smart-grid

consumers is

free service

for the Great Britain Smart

technologies offer a lower


life while

Metering Programme. It

initial capital outlay and more

maintaining its

will initially cover 33 million

accurate metering over an

original supreme

households and businesses –

extended maintenance-free

the largest smart grid project

period of 10 years or more.

of its kind in the world today.

Furthermore, prepaid water

accuracy performance. The

systems are unfortunately

meter is equipped with the latest data management and radio frequency data transmission technology, making it ‘future proof’. Its low-flow accuracy is not equalled by any manufacturer. This provides groundbreaking leak detection capabilities.

How does Sensus assess which water meters should be placed in which conditions? Primary factors

LEFT iPerl offer a world first in measurement accuracy

prone to tampering. This is frequently a consequence of consumers being cut off due to non-payment.

to be considered are:

inferential meters, which

Tell us about a recent international project highlight Sensus has been

are less susceptible to

selected to install 8 000 iPERL

stoppage and wear than

smart meters over the next

volumetric meters

four years in Syndicat des

• water quality: poor water quality might require

• funding available: lack of


smart metering by

Eaux de Basse-Vigneulles et

funding might necessitate

Faulquemont (SEBVF), France.

taking the interim step to

The roll-out will increase meter

JulY/august 2014

panel discussion readings from 400 per day to

meters, whilst reducing the

2 000, giving more visibility on

time needed to take meter

usage and network conditions

readings. The renewal of its

to consumers and utilities.

meter fleet to comply with

“iPerl offers utilities a guaranteed 15-year maintenance-free service life.”

new regulatory requirements,

Basil Bold, managing director, Sensus

SEBVF has eight deep underground boreholes and

which requires a meter

supplies 84 municipalities,

exchange every 15 years

It provides better leakage

becoming apparent. The need

with a combined population

without calibration and to

detection and an increased

for accurate billing coupled

of 41 500 people. It wanted

inform the end users of their

meter-reading speed, thanks

with time-consuming access

to move to a new technology

potential overconsumption,

to wireless technology and

issues makes the change to

presented the ideal

advanced communication

smart metering the ideal way

options integrated into

forward. The cost efficiencies

the end point.

that can be achieved with

to overcome difficulties in reading hard-

opportunity to consider


a new technology.

iPerl end points will provide

SEBVF engaged with Sensus, whose iPerl

example in South Africa – will

meter readings by radio from

be able to accurately bill

of measuring

400 to 2 000

and collect revenues more

• detection of leakages in

effectively. The iPerl smart

with no degradation

order to alert the end users,

water meter is at the cutting

in measurement

preventing water loss and

edge of smart water meter

accuracy over time.

incurred costs.

technology. It is our flagship

LEFT Standardised equipment is also available 8/18/13

benefit the supplier who – for

only one capable very low flows


benefit the consumer, but

• major time savings for meter readings, increasing daily

solution was the

Sensus iPerl Ad2013(1).pdf

smart water metering not only

SEBVF with:

5:20 PM

More and more, the

technology and is increasingly

requirement to move to

being embraced throughout

smarter water metering is

the USA and Europe.

july/august 2014


Panel discussion

Utility systems


Peter Rodseth Managing director

ow does South Africa measure up in terms of water meters installed and technology suited to end use compared to the rest of Africa and other developing nations? PR South Africa is

such as South Africa? Smart

the utility to

by ICASA for radio

and prepaid meters do help to

upload data


conserve water in a number of

on consumption, leaks and

ways. They help to identify leaks,

tampering, and so providing it

educate consumers on wastage

with all the information required

of water, reduce unaccounted-

to run a fully integrated

Any special projects or products you would like to mention? We have a number

for and non-revenue water

demand-based water metering

of large and very successful

the market leader in Africa in

and improve water authority

solution. The reduction in

projects running in Durban,

this field and especially in the

revenues. The implementation

water consumption that occurs

Cape Town, Mogale City,

fields of smart and prepaid

of prepaid water metering

after the implementation

Ilembe District Municipality,

water metering.

especially improves revenue

of our systems reduces the

Nelson Mandela Bay Metro

collection and significantly

institutional capacity needed

and elsewhere in South

reduces wastage.

by water service providers. This

Africa, but the prepaid project

means fewer dams are required

implemented by Lusaka Water

as well as less treatment and

and Sewerage Company has

pumping of water that is

been especially successful.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing this industry today? The provision of funding to replace old and leaking infrastructure and to fund the purchase of meters.

How do water meters help to conserve water, especially in a waterstressed country

Please give me a breakdown of your product and how it fits into the development of a working and up-to-date water infrastructure plan in Southern and South Africa.

not going to be paid for by end users.

How does Utility Systems assess which meters should be placed in which conditions? It is our belief that

when fitted to a pulse output

Does Utility Systems have a unique technology that sets it apart from its competitors?

conventional meters need to

water meter is able to offer the

Yes, it is not only the first

be enhanced by the addition of

water utility either electronic

NRCS (National Regulator

our WMD in order to upgrade

flow limitation or STS (standard

for Compulsory Standards)

what are referred to as “dumb

transfer specification)

approved electronic flow-

metering” installations to smart/

based prepayment.

limitation device but also the

prepaid meter installations in

The device has an

first STS- and NRCS-approved

any application where revenue

prepaid water metering system.

collection needs to be enhanced,

The system is also approved

or where flow restriction

Our water management device

in-built radio that enables

ought to be implemented due to wasteful, indigent or delinquent consumers.

What are the standards set for water meters in South Africa and are there non-compliant ones being installed? The standards are set by the NRCS and by and large all water service providers do install meters that comply with their standards.

Any further thoughts that you might want to share with our readers? Water metering technology and the whole

TOP LEFT Mobile data collector with WMD


JulY/august 2014

panel discussion

“The reduction in water consumption reduces the institutional capacity needed by water service providers.” Peter Rodseth, managing director, Utility Systems issue of data management is

houses and to improve ways

undergoing a long-overdue

of collecting revenue. Water

and much-needed quantum

utilities have historically been

leap. Given the global water

conservative and slow to adopt

scarcity, it is becoming more

new technologies, but they no

and more important for water

longer have the luxury of time to

service providers to look at

consider adopting them. It has

innovative ways of reducing

to happen now if we are to avert

water wastage and increasing

a global crisis.

revenue collection. Conventional metering is no longer able to provide the solution and water utilities have to increasingly look to being able to control the flow of water to consumers’

RIGHT Prepaid water and bulk metering solutions TOP RIGHT User interface unit and Water Management Device (WMD)

july/august 2014

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523 Church Street • Provisus Building • 1st Floor • Arcadia • Pretoria t +27 012 440 9885 • f +27 012 440 9751 • email Naphtali Motaung, Executive Sales & Marketing Manager • t 072 736 2995

panel discussion Naphtali Motaung



Marketing manager

ow does South Africa measure up in terms of water meters installed and technology suited to end use compared to the rest of Africa and other developing nations? LD

Lesira-Teq provides a

South Africa is emerging from

comprehensive range of

a history where efficient service

state-of-the-art intelligent

• is user friendly, enabling

delivery was only enjoyed by

water meter technology in

the end user to read and

How does Lesira-Teq assess which meters should be placed in which conditions?

a few and therefore needed

South Africa. Our water meter

understand their own water

Municipalities know their

immense effort and innovation

is completely unique and has

meter data

customers’ needs and because

to come up with tools capable

a totally integrated design,

of improving services to cover

which offers multiple modes of

to the meter; they can lock

functional modes, the same

the entire populace.

operation in one, consisting of:

it and open it at their own

meter can cater for all municipal

• pre-paid mode

convenience in that way

customers’ needs, economic

advanced in comparison to

• conventional mode

they are able to prevent

class and conditions.

most of our counterparts

• post-paid mode

water wastage

in the continent, we are

• flat-rate mode

currently the 30th driest

• property leak detection

those with the benefit of ‘free

country in the world and

• indigent audit system.

water’ how many litres they

Though South Africa is far

Please provide a breakdown of your product and how it fits into the development of a working and up-to-date water infrastructure plan in Southern and South Africa

of non-payment

enduser to

of water services

activate usage

as well as built its

of their emergency water at a

capacity through training of

time of their own choosing

employees for maintenance of

• enables the end user to load

the entire system.

water in accordance to their water needs

• enables end users full access

• has the functionality to inform

lag behind in terms of water conservation technologies.

• enables the

have remaining.

Does Lesira-Teq have a unique technology that sets it apart from its competitors?

of our meter’s multiple

What are the standards set for water meters in South Africa and are there non-compliant ones being installed? Lesira-Teq is ISO 9000/9002 accredited and

Lesira-Teq has introduced into

Any special projects or products you would like to mention? In the Rustenburg

the industry a water meter

Local Municipality, Lesira-Teq

compliance to a stringent code

biggest challenge facing our

that is user friendly and not

installed 6 383 intelligent meters

on a test bench approved for

industry today is how best to

just a series of numbers that

and provided 36 months,

this purpose by SANAS. Our

contribute to the country’s

remain a mystery to end users.

site support for Lethabong

water meter has also been fully

water conservation efforts.

Our water meter does not only

Township. It is a project that

certified in accordance with

Our industry needs innovative

provide the end user with easy

has had major positive impacts

SANS 1529-1:2003 and complies

products that can help educate

access to important information

for both the community and

with all the requirements

our citizenry on the importance

about their water use but it

the municipality. The project

stipulated by SANS1529-9:2003,

of water conservation. We need

also educates the end user

created employment for

for meters with electronic

meters with functionalities

on how best to manage and

members of the community

read-outs. Our suppliers of

that will enable end users to

preserve water. Our intelligent

and provided economic

electronic boards have ISO

interpret numbers so as to

meter – unlike the common

opportunities for local

9002 accreditation and our

contribute to a culture of water

conventional meter – has

contractors. As a result of the

suppliers of battery packs work

conservation on a large scale in

benefits to end users in that it:

implementation of this project,

to military specifications for

our country.

• enables the end users to detect

the municipality has been

high-reliability applications, such

able to eradicate a culture

as electronic metering.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing this industry today? The

any leaks within their water

How do water meters help to conserve water (especially in a water-stressed country such as South Africa)? We

obvious to them • enables the end user to monitor their water usage throughout the month and

we have participated in that

therefore helps them to

installations, the usage

and then tests each meter in

pipe systems that may not be

have seen in most projects after a few months of meter

controls the assembly of meters

save water • enables the end user to check

drop between 40% to 50%,

their balance the comfort of

which reflects a responsible

their own homes avoiding the

consumption when a user is

long queues at the pay points

able to view the remaining free basic water, leaks in the property and also loading credit up front.

RIGHT Dual functionality on water use and water management july/august 2014


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JulY/august 2014

panel discussion Michael Hardman

Precision meters


Chief marketing officer within the company

ow does South Africa measure up in terms of water meters installed and technology suited to end use compared to the rest of Africa and other developing nations? MH

products supplied to some

with water running

to enable us to give

utilities throughout the country.

24/7. The actual

solid advice and good

This is a serious problem that

conservation of

after-sales service.

creates an economic domino

water is a far bigger issue in that

effect throughout the industry.

its more to do with building

I believe that the water meter

dams, looking after our rivers

industry is not united enough

and making people aware of the

Any special projects or products you would like to mention? Besides working

Regarding South Africa in terms

and that too many products

need to conserve what we have.

on local projects we are busy

of basic water meters installed

are thrown into the market

for RDP housing and the catch

without any forethought and

up we are attempting to do to

then sold to end users who,

the housing backlog, I think

without technical knowledge,

we are not as far as we could

unwittingly spend huge

have been. I think, generally,

budgets on the wrong products.

we are ahead of our neighbours in Africa technology-wise,

with projects across Africa, in Tanzania, Liberia and Chad.

The knock-on effect is wasted

Please give me a breakdown of your product and how it fits into the development of a working and up-to-date water infrastructure plan in Southern and South Africa.

man hours and money spent.

Precision Meters carries a

such as water quality, flow rate,

taking into account that most

Lastly, theft in our industry of

complete range of mechanical,

pressure and where the meters

water meter technology

brass components is a major

domestic and bulk, as well as

are to be installed.

emanates from Europe or the

concern. We are not keeping up

electronic domestic and bulk,

East. Regarding the use of new

with basic and essential river-

meters. It is dependent on the

meter technology, we are way

water cleaning in our country

quality of water and flow rate

behind Europe and the rest of

and the imminent fracking

that will decide on what meters

the world. I also believe that

in the Karoo is questionable

to use in different conditions.

a lot of the technology that is

regarding groundwater.

Our domestic meters, which are

What are the standards set for water meters in South Africa and are there non-compliant ones being installed? I sit on the

used at present in certain areas

The unpredictable rand and

type approved, and having a

WMMA and we do our best to

is not correctly thought through

labour unrest at the mines is

SANAS-accredited laboratory in

monitor non-compliance in

and that some companies will

detrimental to many industries

Cape Town help us fit the bill for

the country. The main policing

sell anything into the market to

and water meter manufacturers

local South African RDP projects

arm, NRCS, also battles with this

make a buck without any care

are no exception.

at reasonable prices. Our

because to comply as a water

agricultural meters for farms and

meter manufacturer one must

How do water meters help to conserve water, especially in a water-stressed country such as South Africa? Water

electromags for mines all play a

have NRCS-type-approved

part in the present infrastructure

meters and a SANAS-accredited

with the forethought to many

laboratory as a starter. Any

more advances in the future

manufacturer/supplier outside

meters do not conserve water,

from our company.

of these parameters is outside of

or after sales service. One needs to follow up their business deals with good after sales care and technical help.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing this industry today? The

but rather monitor the flow of

How do you assess which meters should be placed in which conditions? This is dependent on a few factors

the law. I believe that there are

unacceptable attitude of late or

are cases in rural areas in South

non-payment of construction

Africa where communal stand

Do you have a unique technology that sets you apart from your competitors?

pipes are installed with water

Precision Meters is a relatively

them in the field. Meters with a

meters and the taps are left on

young, up-and-coming

SA number are the compliant

company, with its main focus

meters as a rule of thumb. There

being service and quick delivery.

is always talk of cheap Eastern

Presently, you could not call

meters in the market but one

anything that is being traded

must be corrected in that most

in the water meter industry as

products today have some

unique, as most manufacturers/

Eastern components and the

suppliers deal in very similar

water meter industry does not

products. We are however

differ much. Remember, some

proud that we can – at this

of the best R&D in the world

time in our young existence

comes from the East.

water to the end user. There

meters in the ground in SA that are non-compliant but we can only battle against this if we see

– compete with other brands and have the technical ability

FAR LEFT Brass ASM LXH 20 mm LEFT Plastic ASM LXHS 20 mm july/august 2014

Any further thoughts that you might want to share with our readers? Yes, next time you turn on a tap, think: water conservation!


Mining water

Mintails pioneers AMD solution Mining company Mintails has pioneered a tailings water treatment (TWT) process that can be applied successfully to the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Western Basin, reports Gerhard Hope.




future treatment of AMD and reduce

off the void by either halting the


the void levels, you need to push the

ingress of rainwater, or backfilling

Basin earlier in the year,

treatment to a level that is maintain-

mined material into the void,” says



able, sustainable and manageable,”

Milne. So severe is the problem that

in a single 24-hour period, ended

says Mintails CFO Eddie Milne, at 18

Mintails argues in its ‘Approach to



Winze on the West Rand. This means

Closure Mining’ briefing document

of the Rand Uranium treatment

a treatment capacity of 60 Mℓ to

that “the Western Basin should

plant to deal with the uncontrolled

70 Mℓ a day, while Rand Uranium’s

be considered a national disaster

decant from the 17 Winze and

current capacity is only 30 Mℓ a day.

area because of the AMD flows




200 mm



in particular.

“Over the long term, it is about

“To really make an impact on the

closure mining. This means closing





that have breached environmental critical levels.”

JulY/august 2014

Change that

doesn’t cost the earth


















S 086 112 ICAT

Mining water

OPPOSITE The barren tailings stream ultimately ends up at the West Wits pit BELOW Unprecedented rainfall in the Western Basin has resulted in an upsurge of decant from the 17 and 18 Winze shafts

Uncontrolled decant The mining company recently hosted a site visit to the Winze shaft area in order to demonstrate the extent of the uncontrolled decant of what is essentially diluted sulphuric acid from abandoned underground workings. This comprises what is termed a ‘void’. Jan Jacobs, general manager of operations at Mintails, explains that there were originally 12 different reef outcroppings on the company’s current mining-right area, of which four or five were mined extensively, thereby creating a void. This dips about 30° , all the way to where it is intersected by the Witpoortjie Fault. “It is a massive aquifer that has filled up over a relatively short period,” says Jacobs. “The last shaft closed down in 1998, and was overflowing by 2002.” The problem with this water in the void is that, if left unmanaged, it decants to the surface in the form of highly toxic AMD, which is characterised by a low pH, together with a high concentration of dissolved heavy metals.

Major impact The decant from the Winze shaft area flows into the Tweeloopies Spruit, which eventually goes underground and then re-emerges in the area of the Sterkfontein caves. “It has quite a big impact on the Cradle of Mankind heritage site. From there it ends up in the Limpopo River,” says Jacobs. 

July/August 2014


Mining water

has been rendered null and void.

around the upper regions of the

However, Mintails is so confident

Wonderfontein Spruit, which drains

about its proprietary solution to

a highly impacted area focused on

this problem that it is “in advanced

the Lancaster Dam.

discussions” with the DWA to adopt





The TWT process uses AMD that

water usage at present comprises

is abstracted from the void and

treated mine water, compared to a

neutralised so that it can be used as

zero base only five years ago. This is

process water to mine tailings in the

believed to be the highest uptake of

form of slurry. It is a particularly el-

safely processed AMD in the mining

egant solution that uses the source

industry to date.

of one environmental headache,

ABOVE Converting all surface-striking reefs into opencast mining will reduce the ingress of rainwater, which results in AMD

Jacobs says that more than 80% of

its process.





The resultant slurry is pumped


back to a processing plant, where

Despite the Department of Water

environmental hazard, the numer-

it is blended with ore at the mills

Affairs (DWA) dramatically ramp-

ous tailings dumps that litter the

in order to boost the run-of-mine

ing up the high-density sludge

Johannesburg mining landscape.

throughput and thereby increase the profitability. The subsequent

treatment plant at Rand Uranium, the heavy rains have meant it has

Tailings disposal facilities

blend of recovered tailings slurry

barely coped with the void recharge

At present, the mining company

and crushed ore forms the feedstock

rate of 27 Mℓ a day. “After the latest

has rights to about 100 million


rainy season, we are back to square

tonnes worth of tailings disposal

Mintails currently operates a 30 Mℓ-

one,” says Jacobs. This means that

facilities, known collectively as the

a-day water treatment plant, but

all the effort and expense that has



has plans to commission a second

gone into reducing the level to date

ity of these dumps are clustered

350 000 tonne-a-day plant, which







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JulY/august 2014

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mining water

will increase its capacity to 70 Mℓ to 75  Mℓ a day. “That is the biggest AMD treatment plant there will be,” says Jacobs.

Barren tailings stream The barren tailings stream is finally disposed of at the West Wits pit, where the long-term plan is to treat it to grey-water standard for use elsewhere in the economy. Jacobs cautions that such a strategy will only fly if the DWA and Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) collaborate on a regional closure plan for the mining industry, involving one massive tailings dump, as opposed to the 300 dotting the landscape at present. “This is the only way that such a closure strategy can work: it is about partnerships. If we can forge a partnership with the DMR, we can enforce it. However, we need high levels of cooperation in order for us to be able to achieve this,” argues Jacobs. been

tailings dumps, Mintails also has

engagement forum,” says Jacobs.

removed, the site is rehabilitated

to contend with a number of sur-

We are planning on entering into

for future use. Mintails is currently

face-striking reef outcroppings in its

a memorandum of understanding

running a nursery project that “feeds

mining-right area. In general, each

with the local community in terms

directly into our requirements for

of these outcroppings has a hole to

of mining in the area. It is going to



the surface every 100 m, due to ear-

take time to address some of the

removed the tailings dam from the

lier, shallow mining operations that

legacy issues we are faced with.”

surface, what happens to the land

deployed natural ventilation. Not

Despite such challenges, Mintails

at the bottom? You need to reha-

only does this mean that the area is

continues to forge ahead with its

bilitate, so having a plant-and-tree

rife with artisanal mining, but that

closure-mining approach, which it

nursery within the area is important

such illegal activities have rendered

upholds as a long-term solution to

for our vision, and it supports the

it geotechnically unstable.








the myriad problems, both environmental and social, faced by the

objectives of the West Rand District

The solution proposed by Mintails

Municipality and Mogale City,” com-

to this particular problem is to

ments Milne. “When we enter into a

remove all surface-striking reefs by

“The recent decant from 17 and 18

project like this, it is essential that it

means of opencast mining, spe-

Winze shafts offers an opportunity

is sustainable and creates opportu-

cifically in the form of a long and

to rethink the logic underpinning

nities for both the community and

narrow pit that can be backfilled si-

the solution that has been used until

the employees.”

multaneously from one end. This not

now, by showing that government

only eliminates the entry points for

cannot solve these complex prob-

Hydraulic mining

illegal miners, but also reduces the

lems alone. Mintails wants to be part

Milne explains further that the tail-

ingress of the rainwater that results

of the solution, rather than being

ings dumps themselves are removed

in AMD.

part of the problem confronting

by means of hydraulic mining, with

mining industry in South Africa.

society as a whole,” it concludes in

the resultant slurry transported to

Community consultation

the processing plant via pipeline.

It has not been an easy road for

Such has been the success of this


approach that Mintails has been

mining operation suspended by

able to report a 99.72% success

Mineral Resources Minister Susan

rate of all tailings recovered in this

Shabangu following protest activity

manner, with an ultimate target of

by the local community. “We are

achieving a <0.25% spillage rate.

engaged in further consultation,

Apart from recovering gold from

ABOVE Mintails aims to build a second goldprocessing plant




its briefing document.

What is closure mining?


and have established a community

Not yet in widespread use in the Witwatersrand, closure mining is being pioneered by Mintails as an adaptive response to changing circumstances. This maximises benefits to society over time, as the historic externalities of mining, now manifesting as constraints to future development, are dealt with systematically in par tnership with key stakeholders.

july/august 2014


Mining water

Bespoke water storage Assisting water storage provision to mining companies throughout South Africa continues to be a challenge, reports Maryke Foulds.


ccording to Structa

• Venetia mine A recent water

•T  he profile panel sections provide

Technology Director for

tank was provided to the De

excellent strength properties and

Prestank Rodney Cory, the

Beers Venetia mine in January

are structurally sound for storing

product has proven itself

2014. This Prestank is an elevated

water. The stand is designed

as a hygienically safe, cost-effective

water tank on a 22 m stand with

strictly in accordance with SANS

and reliable way to store water for

a 200 000ℓ capacity. The tank has

10160 for wind and SANS 10162

communities, commercial sectors,

been fabricated according to the

for structural steel work. Elevated

private sectors and even for person-

strictest quality specifications of

tanks mounted on steel towers

alised storage. “We are one of the

Anglo American.

preferred suppliers of water storage tanks to municipal authorities and

water tanks were provided to the

mines because we are known as a

Kriel colliery, namely a 500 000ℓ

transportation over long distances

supplier who always strives to de-

and a 55 296ℓ one.

to remote areas, regardless

liver our water tanks on time, within

BELOW Costeffective and reliable Prestank on-site

above ground level have an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

• Kriel colliery Two ground-level

• It facilitates easier handling and

of the final dimensions of the

• Sishen iron ore mine A 155 296ℓ

budget, adhering to the best quality

ground-level tank was provided to

standards,“ says Cory.

Sishen iron ore mine.

Recent Prestanks fabricated and installed for mines are as follows:

• Impala Platinum Two water tanks,

achieved without the need for sophisticated tooling methods.

both 103 000ℓ, were provided to

• Minimum maintenance is required.

Impala Platinum Shaft 20. • Anglo American Structa provided

• Access to the water tank can be restricted by means of a lockable,

a tank of 10 000ℓ to the Isibonela

ventilated access cover.

colliery in Witbank. manufactured

The thickness of the hot-dip gal-

according to SANS guidelines and

vanising coat is applied within a


range of 80 to 100 µm. This is more


products South




than five times the thickness of zinc

galvanising requirements. There


assembled unit. • Assembly on-site is quickly





on pre-galvanised corrugated steel

choosing Prestank:

cylindrical tanks. The purpose is to

• It facilitates construction of a range

ensure extended maintenance-free

of sizes and configurations to meet

life in situations where water with

the specifications and needs of

aggressively corrosive properties is

the client.

required to be stored.

JulY/august 2014

mining fire prot 5334

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mining water

Beyond water use Stringent environmental legislation has resulted in on-site dust suppression systems playing a role of continued importance in the African mining industry.


retoria-based I-Cat is a leading environmental solutions company that specialises in the development of products and services that ensure environmental compliance for its indus-

trial clients. Non-executive director Professor Jan du Plessis notes that dust suppression has evolved from an optional minimal-compliance system into a fundamental necessity in the local mining sector. “Dust is a pervasive problem that undermines the health of workers, impacts negatively on the surrounding environment and substantially reduces the lifespan of machinery. It can damage even the most sophisticated equipment and technology. It is, therefore, imperative to effectively control dust on a continuous basis with objectives that reach far beyond legislative compliance,” he explains. Numerous variables can be associated with excessive dust generation in the mining sector, however, the main contributor is widely recognised as haulage roads with large volumes of traffic. Other operational processes such as blasting, drilling, dumping and loading are also major contributors. Although water is the most commonly used dust suppressant, it is severely limited in its effectiveness, states du Plessis. “Using only water to control dust is a perpetually

BELOW I-Cat is able to ensure efficient dust control for its clients

July/August 2014


mining water also easily incorporated into routine dust-suppression procedures with no requirement for special equipment or handling precautions. For permanent dust roads, I-Cat supplies a bitumen-based dust suppression solution called GreenBit.

Camera-based technology Water and fuel are precious commodities in opencast mines, and spillage and overfilling are a major challenge in the industry. In order to overcome this costly and wasteful trend, Du Plessis points out that I-Cat developed the E-CAM system with

DustMonster boasts a throw of more than 100 m




achievement that would not be

era-based technology that assists

suppression. The futility of wasting

possible without RDC 20.”

water bowser operators in lining up

time, money and precious water

85 000ℓ water bowsers at the filling

resources is increased as the water

Misting systems

quickly evaporates and dust is again

The DustMonster range of machin-

“In the past, this tedious task in-

released into the environment.”

ery minimises the effects of dust

volved the driver regularly climbing

points located across the mine.

Through its commitment to con-

by creating an ultra-fine mist that

out of the vehicle before aligning it

tinuous research and development,

attracts dust and encapsulates the

with the filling point. The element

I-Cat is able to ensure efficient dust

airborne particles, before driving

of human error often resulted in

control and full environmental com-

them to the ground. The units are

misalignment and spillage. I-Cat’s

pliance for its clients, through inno-

fully automatic, easily adaptable

E-CAM camera technology ensures

vative and cost-effective products

and portable. “With its rugged

pinpoint alignment without the

that assist with surface stabilisation,

44 Kw motor and user-definable

driver having to set foot outside

while ensuring a significant reduc-

359˚ oscillation, the DustMonster

of the bowser. This substantially

tion in water usage.

boasts a throw of more than 100 m,

reduces the risk of spillage, and also

thereby ensuring that its dust-trap-

leads to significant time and cost

Dust-suppressant products

ping atomised mist has a coverage

savings,” he continues.

RDC 20 is a water-soluble anionic

area of 2.6 ha,” adds Du Plessis.




I-Cat was established from humble


I-Cat is also the exclusive local dis-

beginnings in 2007, and today the


tributor of the Scrub Mist System – a

company boasts a complement of

It is an innovative formulation of

technologically advanced mist-noz-

internationally recognised clients



zle system developed and manufac-

from across Africa. In addition to

and ionic modifiers. When sprayed

tured in the USA. Du Plessis reveals

its dust-suppression solutions, I-Cat

onto the road surface, RDC 20

that the most notable advantage

also offers clients environmentally

forms a durable cross-linked matrix.

of the Scrub Mist System is the fact

sustainable services in the fields

The matrix binds fine soil parti-

that it boasts ecologically neutral

of water solutions, environmental

cles into larger, heavier particles,

technology. “This technology breaks


which are less prone to become

down water drops between 50 to

solutions, and agro-forestry and

airborne. RDC 20 is used on tem-

200 microns, thereby neutralising

fire solutions.

porary roads, as it is a cost-efficient

and controlling dust at the source of

Looking to the future, Du Plessis

means to improve road and dust

emission via the grouping of dust el-

is optimistic of continued growth.

conditions exponentially.

ements into larger agglomerations.”

“Environmental compliance is more


developed emulsified


Du Plessis reveals that I-Cat has



costly task that offers limited dust



important than ever before and,

received overwhelmingly positive

Green solutions

given the rapid acceleration of

feedback from mines where the

GreenGrip is a natural, polymer–

growth across all major industries in

product is applied, and especially

based, gravel-road sealant. It is an

Africa, demand for suitable products

where I-Cat is contracted to manage



and services is set to increase. I-Cat

the dust control on mine roads. “The

to chemically based products for

has established itself as a proven

overall ambient dust at our largest



market leader over the years. As a

operation in the Northern Cape has

on mines and residential areas.

result, the company is recognised as

improved by more than 40%, when

The solution produces a durable,

a preferred supplier to the industry,

compared to the readings prior to



and has placed itself in a strong

I-Cat managing the secondary roads

with fewer maintenance intervals.

position to achieve future growth,”

at the mine. This is an extraordinary

GreenGrip is water soluble and is

he concludes.





JulY/august 2014

Mining water

Discharge to Elburgspruit under control The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) has to provide short-term solutions to AMD challenges in Gauteng.


he IMC comprises the

the Central Basin AMD treatment



plant has come to completion and


the IMC co-chairpersons themselves

Mineral Resources, Finance,

witnessed the lowering of the new

Science and Technology, as well as

pumps into the mine void. The

the Minister in the Presidency re-

pumping, treatment and release

sponsible for National Planning. The

of the AMD from the plant com-

IMC is co-chaired by the Minister

menced on 12 May 2014.








and the

Environmental Minister


Mineral Resources.

The operation of the plant was As expected, the discharge from this plant has an effect on the

menting the short term action

Elsburgspruit River, the river into

plan in the Western, Central and

which treated AMD is released. As

Eastern Basins of the Witwatersrand

such, it is necessary to keep down-

Goldfields, as recommended to the

stream users, as well as other inter-

Inter-Ministerial Committee by the

ested and affected parties informed

team of experts, chaired by the CEO of the Council for GeoScience. The decant in the Western Basin and breaching of the environmental critical level (ECL) in the central and eastern basins. The construction of

TABLE 1 Chemical levels of the AMD before and after treatment

implemented in two phases:

This project is aimed at imple-

short-term action plan is to prevent

BELOW Installation of AMD solution at Central Basin

Water quality variable

Average water quality across all three basins

HDS plant effluent standard

of the following:


4 344 mg/ℓ

2 400 mg/ℓ

• t he full capacity to 84 Mℓ/day was-




768 mg/ℓ

<1 mg/ℓ

be reached on 30 May 2014 • t he treated AMD is not harmful to the end users • t he quality of the treated AMD is as per Table 1.



35 mg/ℓ

<1 mg/ℓ


127 mg/ℓ

<3 mg/ℓ


0.2 mg/ℓ

0.05 mg/ℓ

july/august 2014


mining water

Storage options for mining sites SBS Tanks recently held an appreciation dinner for their dedicated staff, suppliers and clients. The event was the first such annual event and was held in SBS Tanks’ new, bigger and better facility in Maxmead, Pinetown, in KwaZulu-Natal.

• The Steelbank Award for Continuous Excellence – Mark Hawkins • The BMG Award for Inspirational Leadership – Sipho Ngubo • The Chris Leah Award for Innovation in the Workplace – Edga Mnyaiza • The MPower Consulting and Training Award for Quality Excellence – Terri Turner


arious suppliers sponsored awards

• The BTL Engineering and Project

to acknowledge SBS's dedicated staff

Management Award for Technical

members for various attributes and contributions to SBS Tanks. The award

Excellence – Bruce McPhail. SBS also took this opportunity to

winners were:

announce their newly certified SABS

• The Travel Dynamix Award for Client Support

ISO 9001:208

– Edga Mnyaiza



Systems, with delegates from the SABS

• The Process Steel and Tube Award for

attending to hand over the esteemed

Outstanding Commitment on the Job –

SABS ISO flag and certificate. SBS Tanks

Charmaine Israel

is a leading supplier in the manufacture and installation of premium-quality

Left to right – Chris Leah, SBS Tanks director; Ron Pillay, SABS operations manager; Delayne Gray, SBS Tanks director; Mava Gwagwa, SBS Tanks director; and Heiner Freese, SBS Tanks director

Zincalume panel liquid storage tanks. With a strong work force of 56 permanent employees, SBS is big enough to deliver, yet small enough to care.

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Water&Sanitation Africa July/August 2014  

The July/August 2014 edition of Water&Sanitation Africa.

Water&Sanitation Africa July/August 2014  

The July/August 2014 edition of Water&Sanitation Africa.