Water&Saniation March/April 2013

Page 1

Think water, think WISA! T

Water& Sanitation

The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa T

Complete wate water e r rresource e s o u rce and wastew wastewater management


PANEL DISCUSSION Mulling on mine water REGIONAL FOCUS KwaZulu-Natal: challenging constraints


W are open to the clients needs and provide them with what We t they really want to solve their water treatment problems. Golder Associates Hennie Cronje (left) and Chris van Renssen Gold G March/April 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 2

P16 1 16



Volume 8. No.2 Think water, think WISA! T

Water& Sanitation

The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa T

Complete wate water e r rresource e s o u rce and wastew wastewater management


PANEL DISCUSSION Mulling on mine water REGIONAL FOCUS KwaZulu-Natal: challenging constraints



SA YWP’s experience in the world of academic publications

COVER STORY RBIG programme gets going WISA President’s message Board banter WISA Conference Training: Process controllers SA YWP’s experience in the world of academic publications

The RBIG is being implemented in all nine provinces. In this edition, the DWA focuses on the initiatives in the Northern Cape province.


W are open to the clients needs and provide them with what We they really want to solve their water treatment problems. t Golder Associates Hennie Cronje (left) and Chris van Renssen Gold G

8 9 12 13 14

Golder’s business unit leader: Construction, Chris van Rensen and general manager: Project Engineering, Construction Services, Hennie Cronjé, expand on the organisation’s water treatment system offerings. 16

REGIONAL FOCUS: KwaZulu-Natal Mbazwane Groundwater Monitoring Network in focus Hlabisa Bulk Water Supply Scheme nearing completion oGagwini supply scheme on track Innovative purpose-built solutions for KZN toilets





PANEL DISCUSSION Mulling over mine water

P16 1 16

March/April 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 2

Hlabisa Bulk Water Supply Scheme nearing completion


39 42 46 48

INTERNATIONAL FOCUS Australia: Melbourne Desalination Plant goes “live” 50 TECHNICAL PAPER Water memory


FEATURE Mine water WTW & WWTWs

60 66

REGULARS Editor’s comment Infrastructure news Industry news

3 18 20

Melbourne Desalination Plant goes “live”

Reline, repair & renewal at Sun City



84 1

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Grand designs


he months between now and our previous edition have certainly been interesting, especially in the infrastructure sphere with President Jacob Zuma setting the national agenda with his State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of Parliament on 14 February this year.

While most of the country was almost certainly celebrating Valentine s Day, those in


the municipal and government spheres ‒ as well as those related role players in the infrastructure sphere ‒ were waiting with bated breath to see in which direction he 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 E-mail: chantelle@3smedia.co.za MEDIA

would send government s massive planned infrastructure drive. These grand plans were soon to be reinforced by Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan s budget, which he tabled shortly afterwards. Well received largely, Gordhan s budget needed to walk a tightrope between attaining the economic growth and ex-

An extra R6.5 billion for the Department of Water Affairs over the next three years

ISSN: 1990 - 8857 Annual subscription: R290 (SA rate) E-mail: subs@3smedia.co.za Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

pansion needed to create much needed jobs, while maintaining a firm hold on the country s debt. Positively though for the

All articles in Water&Sanitation Africa are copyright

water sector, the budget brought with it seemingly good news ‒ an extra R6.5 billion

protected and may not be reproduced either in whole

for the Department of Water Affairs over the next three years. According to the bud-

or in part without the prior written permission of the

get, the department will receive a total of R38 billion over the 2013, 2014 and 2015

publishers. The views of contributors do not necessarily

financial years. What makes this even more interesting ‒ and a source of greater posi-

reflect those of the Water Institute of Southern Africa or

tivity ‒ is that most of it has been earmarked for water infrastructure implementation

the publishers.

and support (and by this I would hope they mean maintenance) ‒ and the amount is


just over R6.5 billion more than the 2012 Budget estimate. The spending focus over the medium term will be on funding water infrastructure

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

management and regional implementation and support programmes for bulk water programmes, said Gordhan. Among major infrastructure projects on the cards is the construction of the De Hoop Dam and associated bulk raw water distribution systems in Limpopo, and a R2.8 billion

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


dam safety rehabilitation project involving the 315 reservoirs owned by the department ‒ some of which have been pictured in our Department of Water Affairs Cover Story detailing the expanded RBIG roll-out specifically in the Northern Cape. In our Regional Focus section, Water&Sanitation Africa highlights a number of projects in KwaZulu-Natal currently being rolled out successfully, , as well as a number of

Free State Chairperson: D.R. Tlhomelang Tel: +27(0)51 403 0800 Secretary/ Treasurer: Riana Wessels Tel: +27(0)56-515-0375

water and wastewater treatment works that have not only been refurbished, expanded and maintained, but also have had their delivery capacity substantially increased in order to continue to deliver at a high quality to the communities they serve.

KwaZulu-Natal Chairman: Chris Fennemore Tel: +27 (0)31 311 8734 Secretary/ Treasurer: Stephanie Walsh Tel: +27 (0)31 302-4077 Western Cape Chairman: Gareth McConkey Tel: +27(0) 21 712 4260 Secretary/ Treasurer: Eleonore Bondesio Tel: +27(0)21 872 0322

I trust you will find them of interest and view them much the same as I view the Budget speech and State of the Nation Address ‒ as a measure of progress towards a South Africa where all will have water and a clean environment. Africa think WISA! Institute of Southern Think water, T of the Water

itation Water& San Africa magazine The official T

Com plete

ewa ter ew rce and wast urce esou e r rreso wate

man agem


USSION PANEL DISC mine water Mulling on FOCUS REGIONAL atal: KwaZulu-N constraints

Cover opportunity


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

Endorsed by


for DWA

with what provide them s needs and to the client ent problems. W are open We water treatm 1 16 to solve their Renssen P16 and Chris van tthey really want Cronje (left) ates Hennie

Golder Associ Gold G


1990-8857 2013 • ISSN

8 No. 2 R40.00 • Vol • Cover price


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RBIG programme The RBIG is being implemented in all nine provinces. In the Northern Cape province specifically, where the distances between towns and previously disadvantaged communities was one of the challenging aspects that needed to be overcome during the planning phase, a significant focus has been on turning around the water treatment capacity of selected municipalities.







Programme (RBIG) is a departmental financial resource mobilisation plan designed to facilitate availability of sufficient funds

and expenditure management systems for the implementation of regional bulk infrastructure across the country. The projects into which this grant injects funds aim to develop bulk water infrastructure required to connect or augment existing water resources infrastructure serving extensive areas across various municipal boundaries, or large regional bulk infrastructure serving numerous communities over a large area within a municipality. The grant extends to sanitation through the building of wastewater treatment works to meet area requirements or replace those that have become inoperable. While we recognise that bulk projects by their very nature are implemented over a number of years, due to the size of the projects, the availability of funding and local absorption capacity, we are confident that this impact will be clear in improved Green Drop and Blue Drop results in the near future, says the RBIG programme manager at the DWA Northern Cape, Kobus Streuders. National Treasury is the key sole funder of the national programme and as a result, all projects and associated implementation, administration and management processes are subject to numerous legislative frameworks. Key among other




gets going legislative frameworks that guide implementation of the grant is the Public Finance Financial Act (PFMA), Treasury Regulations, Division of Revenue Act (DORA) and procurement and Supply Chain Management (SCM) guidelines within the public service context.

Challenging dynamics As in other provinces, the Northern Cape focuses on access to potable water service delivery to disadvantaged communities. Through its RBIG programme, the construction of bulk infrastructure is paramount for the expansion of reticulation systems to communities. After the installation of bulk infrastructure, which includes bulk pipelines, water treatment plants and associated infrastructure, reticulation work is undertaken by the relevant municipalities to ensure water supply to com-

FAR LEFT Upgraded bridge to accommodate water supply pipeline FAR LEFT MAIN Rising main Ductile Iron pipeline laid inside the R27 National Road reserve between the Orange River at Keimoes/ Lennertsville to Kenhardt BELOW Rising main trench excavation

was received. For this reason, the province started out small, with a groundwater augmentation project at Vanwyksvlei with a value of R5.7 million. The department s regional office quickly realised though that if it wants to increase funding flows to the Northern Cape RBIG programme, it would have to identify projects and ensure that they are `implementation ready . For that reason, the province decided to invest in the preparation of detailed feasibility studies that identify and recognise its growth and development needs and guide it in future bulk project selection. During this start-up phase, 18 feasibility studies were completed. Approximately half of these identified key projects were implementation ready. While the approach to invest in detailed feasibility studies to ensure our project pool is highly responsive

munities within its area of operations. Without viable

and able to quickly absorb funding allocations, par-

bulk services in place, reticulation work that would

ticipation in these processes raised expectations and

supply water to communities would not take place.

this is something that requires

Due to the vast distances between water sources, such as dams and rivers, towns and communities in need of potable water were quickly left behind. For this reason Northern Cape was excited when RBIG came into effect in 2007 as this meant that the region could begin to address the bulk infrastructure backlog that had developed ‒ with particular focus on backlog eradication, higher levels of service and growing settlements in remote areas. Due to the population size of the province traditionally, this meant that only 2 to 2.4% of the national infrastructure programme budgets

constant and sensitive manage-

Through its RBIG programme, the construction of bulk infrastructure is paramount for the expansion of reticulation systems to communities


says Streuders, adding

that this is partially due to many communities



long for relief and are therefore understandably excited at the prospect of a project becoming a reality. The region s project production line was now in place, so that funds could quickly be directed to these projects, if and

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COVER STORY in addition to having to manage procurement problems that could impact implementation, and the continued challenge of sustainable operations and maintenance. One can understand that these challenges test the patience of affected communities, says Streuders. The Northern Cape, like many other provinces, has experienced particular challenges relating to the condition of municipal wastewater treatment works (WWTW). These




seen in the results of Green Drop compliance



lack of investment in the maintenance of existing infrastructure over many years has also had negative results. Over time, the infrastructure when more budget became available. This proactive approach by the DWA regional office gave the province a head start on many of the other provinces, which had not focused on getting a project production line in place. The success of this tactical decision paid off, as the Northern Cape currently receives 8.5% of the RBIG budget ‒ which is a great benefit to all sectors of its diverse commu-

Bulk water supply at Port Nolloth This project entails supply of bulk water to Port Nolloth as the Alexander Bay pipeline has reached its ultimate capacity. It is recommended as a result that the seawater be desalinated in order to intensify and augment the bulk water supply capacity. This project will benefit approximately 5 172 people with an estimated cost of R27 million. Construction of the project began in November 2012 and be completed by June 2014. Upgrade of the Namakwa WTW and pipeline (Nama Khoi) Construction of this project commenced in July 2011. It is a multi-year project and should be completed by the end of September 2017. The project

ABOVE Floating raw water pump to be launched INSET floating raw water pump in the Orange River at the R27 bridge crossing


is intended to refurbish the current infrastructure of the Namakwa WTW in order to address the bulk water needs in the area. A total of 47 930 beneficiaries will benefit from the upgrade. The estimated project cost is R530 million. Orange River – Colesberg: Noupoort bulk water This project is comprised of three different phases of construction under the auspices of the Umsobomvu Bulk Supply Scheme. The phases are composed as follows: Phase 1: installation a pipeline from Orange River to Colesberg WTW. Phase 2: upgrading and extension of Colesberg WTW. Phase 3: development of




have the capacity to keep up with treatment demands, with the resultant negative impact on service delivery and the






on turning around the water treatment capacity of selected municipalities. The Northern Cape municipalities struggle with significant water scarcity challenges. Careful planning and innovative thinking is addressing these obstacles.

For many communities, access to

groundwater in Noupoort and upgrading of the Colesberg WWTW. This project, which was started in July 2011 and should be completed in September 2015, will benefit 24 610 people with an estimated project cost of R349 million. De Aar borehole development This involves the development of new groundwater resources in the Emthanjeni Local Municipality area. This also involves the development of 15 undeveloped production boreholes to the north of the De Aar – Blaauwkrans borehole field. Inclusive to this development is the installation of pipelines and a booster pump station and a rising main to De Aar. The project, which

was completed in September 2012, will benefit 20 791 people with the estimated project cost of R42 million. Thembelihle bulk water supply: Hopetown WTW and Strydenurg groundwater development This project entails the upgrading of the Hopetown WTW. It will cost approximately R75 million to service 6 752 beneficiaries. Kenhardt bulk water supply This project involves the abstraction of water from the Orange River Water Treatment plant at Lennertsville and 70 km pipeline to Kenhardt. The project is complete and is benefitting 6 192 people within the community. The total project cost was R81 million.

nities. It also proved the value of good planning and

a sustainable supply of potable water is an uphill

proactive project preparation. At present, there are six

struggle as water is just such a scarce natural resource.

regional bulk projects under implementation, three in

Through the RBIG we have managed to also bring relief

design and tender phase, with work under way on 12

to these situations, says Streuders.

more feasibility studies.

The department has assisted with the bulk pipeline project at Kai !Garib Local Municipality where water


Further obstacles overcome

has been taken from Lennertsville to Kenhardt. This

Other challenges faced by the region included the need

project brought relief to a long-suffering community

to build awareness around the cost of a bulk project,

that has had to endure harsh conditions for many years. MARCH/APRIL 2013

COVER STORY The availability of a secure supply of water will also allow development opportunities that were not previously possible. This development has resulted in the employment of six local citizens who were trained to operate and maintain




Putting this technical capacity into place will make a considerable contribution to the sustainability of gov-

RIGHT Workers busy with the installation of the steel pipe at the upgraded bridge BELOW Stabilising of river embankment for floating raw water pump

ernment s investment in this area.

Increased Impact According to Streuders, one of the most significant contributions is the contribution that the RBIG has made to the improvement of services in the Northern Cape, as it has assisted recipient municipalities to expand their reticulated services to increasing number of households. The quality of life of many citizens has improved as a result of increased municipal bulk water sup-

The Northern Cape currently receives 8.5% of the RBIG budget

ply capacity, he adds. Of course, it will be essential that sustainable operations and maintenance practices are in place once these projects are operational. It may be necessary for municipalities to consider bringing other providers on board to ensure that this is the case where they have capacity constraints, concludes Streuders.

Tsantsabane bulk water and wastewater scheme The project focuses on upgrading the bulk water and sanitation infrastructure to accommodate extensive growth in the area. The upgrading will ensure suďŹƒcient water supply and sanitation for the town of Postmasburg. The project will cost R45 million and benefit 23 590 people in the surrounding communities upon completion. Riemvasmaak This project entails a new abstraction point from the Orange River for water to be pumped to a water treatment plant. This is to ensure sufficient potable water supply to this droughtstricken area. The project was completed in December 2011 at a cost of R3 million.

Heuningvlei/Moshaweng bulk water supply The project focuses on the refurbishment of existing bulk water infrastructure as part of Phase 1 and the expansion of the scheme, which will take place during Phase 2 of the project. It will ensure sufficient water supply for the villages linked to the bulk water supply scheme, as well as water supply for livestock farming adjacent to the bulk pipelines. The project began in April 2011 and is expected to be completed by February 2014, at an estimated cost of R193 million. Vaal Gamagara pipeline: investigation and upgrading This project involves the upgrading and expansion of the current Vaal Gamagara scheme

in order to accommodate future demands up to 2030 and beyond. Apart from the mines, the following local municipalities will benefit: Dikgatlong, Kgatelopele, Siyancuma, Tsantsabane, Gamagara, Ga-Segonyana, and Joe Morolong. The project began in September 2012 and will run up to March 2017 and cost R7.5 billion. It will benefit 131 293 people. Kuruman bulk water supply This project entails construction of a ground storage reservoir, which is to be located at Bankhara-Bodulong. This includes bidirectional pipeline from the current water source to the stated storage reservoir. The project began in November 2012 and should be complete by

March 2014. It is anticipated to benefit 9 760 people, with the estimated cost of R156 million. Kathu WWTW This project is defined by upgrading and extension of the WWTW in Kathu. It began in November 2012 and is to be completed by March 2014, at an estimated cost of R50 million. Niekerkshoop bulk water supply The aim of this project is to construct a groundwater bulk scheme in order to supplement the current available groundwater in Niekerkshoop. It will benefit 2 217 people, with an estimated cost of R30 million. The project is currently under way and should be complete by June 2014.

For more information contact: Kobus Streuders RBIG programme manager, DWA Northern Cape t +27 (0)53 830 8800 • streudersk@dwa.gov.za MARCH/APRIL 2013



A shared vision The time has dawned for us to realise the importance of pulling together our resources and having a shared vision. hile I was watching the

stakeholders is also extremely important to


interesting water resources

leverage funding and to build human capac-

private, academia, civil society and public


ity in the water sector.

sector, which resulted in colossal successes






February 2013, which high-

I m convinced that we are fortunate to be

‒ we need to pursue these avenues because

lighted the many gaps in the management

blessed with the best resources in terms

it forms part of South Africa s proud history

of our water resources, my first feeling was

of tertiary institutions, world-class policies,

of achievements. We, at times, become

utter shock and at that time one thought

highly skilled water professionals, engineers,

embroiled in activities that are aimed at rein-

came to mind ‒ how can we close all these

water and research institutions (both in the

venting the wheel instead of refining it and

gaps and protect our ever so important

private and public sectors), open-minded

increasing the revolutions and efficiency, and

resources for the generations to come?

politicians and management, consultants

during the course of such exercises, energy,

and contractors, to name but a few. The chal-

time and money are wasted. Another factor

According to Dr Turton during his speech at the Stellenbosch


delaying progress is that too many a time

ever, is where

we become overly competitive and forget

and how do we

the main objective, which is to advance the

source them to

country and not criticise those who ensure

put a winning

that whatever advances we make have

combination ‒

been through a peer-review mechanism for

consumers of waters to conservators of this

this dream team ‒ together. I m not referring

quality and sustainability checks. We are all in

valuable natural resource.

to the battle of the minds, but rather the

it together.

University s launch of its Water Institute, Africans turn

South have




So outh Afrrican ns have to turn fro om bein ng consumeers of wa aters to o con nservato orss of this valua ablee naturall reesource


It s only through a profound understand-

synergising and convergence of the efforts

I would like to encourage you to be in-

ing of the so-called water-energy-food super

of like-minded people and organisations that

volved in the formation of successful teams

nexus that we will be able to sustain South

aspire to take the sector and South Africa

and partnerships across the water sector for,

Africa s economy and turn it from being

forward without dribbling around.

as WISA, it is our endeavour to engage as

an extractive one with high costs to the

A question that then comes to mind

an organisation that strives to advance the

environment into a future economy. He

is: Who are we calling upon to join us

water sector well into the future by playing

further stressed the importance of dedicated

as partners to improve water resource

a catalytic and pivotal role to constructively

training and research institutions within the

management, to be part of this winning

contribute to filling this integration gap in

field of limnology (the scientific study of

team ‒ is it a specific person, designation or

the sector.

lakes and other bodies of freshwater, includ-

organisation? As a matter of fact, if we are

I would like to end off with a quote from

ing their physical and biological features) to

in the water sector or allied to the sector in

Henry Ford which I trust will inspire us all:

ensure adequate human skills development

terms of service provision, we need to con-

Coming together is a beginning; keeping

in addressing water-related issues.


tribute to the overall sustainability of all our

together is progress; working together is success.



water resources, utilising our National Water

with all significant stakeholders, a conver-



Resource Strategy as a road map and as a

gence of thinking into a shared vision, and

point of departure.

Ronald M Brown

coordination of their research-related activ-

There are lots of evidence and case

ities, he says. Consortia-building between

studies of many very good projects and

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President: Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA)

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WISA’s vital role in water landscape WISA has played a vital role within the water industry in creating a platform for discussion and cooperation to improve and highlight the value of the industry, believes WISA Board member Gareth McConkey. Chantelle Mattheus recently had the opportunity to have a one-on-one with the newest member of the board.

cConkey has been a key role player in the


environmental integrity of a river is dependent on the way

local water industry for a number of years,

people manage their activities. It is these activities, or the

having started work at the Department of

way in which they are performed, that influences the way

Water Affairs (DWA) when he left school. My

in which a river exists, McConkey explains.

training later that year, recounts McConkey.

catchment so it becomes the waste-stream of society s

first day of work was 17 January 1968. I started my military

According to him, it could be said that as river drains a

I always enjoyed construction type things and at that

activities . Unfortunately, our rivers are rather small com-

time, the DWA was very involved in building dams so I

pared to those that meander through European countries

suppose it was inevitable that I would try to get a job at

and elsewhere. They cannot assimilate the pollution loads

the DWA.

that are generated and therefore become stressed.

McConkey adds that he has spent his working life in this industry, of which 38 years were with the DWA








to McConkey, is the fact that a lot of the water and

and the last seven on his own. My time in the DWA has always been on the water quality side. In the 1980s, we were known as the Pollution Control Branch; in the 1990s we became Water Quality Management and





Protection. So you can see from the name changes that the function changed



water resource quality, he says. He worked in the Western Cape region of the DWA from 1986 onwards and ended his DWA career as the head of Water Resource Protection for the region. So, although I had an engineering-based background, I found myself in the midst of highly qualified and well-respected aquatic and



managing the legal administrative requirements of the National Water Act, states McConkey.

Current challenges? I think that water resource management quality


started my studies. After receiving my Diploma in Civil Engineering from the Pretoria Technikon, I started a Diploma Course that was offered by the Institute of Water Pollution Control (Southern African Branch). The IWPC was the forerunner of WISA and to join the IWPC you needed to have a degree of some sort or do their entrance examination. Because I did not have a degree, I completed their two-year diploma and was then admitted as an associate member of the IWPC.

How did you first get involved with WISA? It was during the years of isolation that WISA was formed and took over the Southern African branch of the IWPC. I then became a member of WISA and kept my membership of the IWPC (UK).


approach to the management of our


How long have you been involved with WISA? I completed my military obligations and then






done without the involvement of all role players. This has possibly been

When were you first elected to the board? I became chairman of the Western Cape branch of WISA in the early 1990s and as chairman had a seat on the WISA Council. I completed two or three spells on the WISA Council and then in 2010 I was elected to serve on the board. What is your focus as a board member? As a board member, my focus has been the branches of WISA. There have always been branches in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, and now we have established branches in Mangaung and Bombela, and a branch in Polokwane will be opening soon. We have also gone into the SADC region and a branch was opened in Namibia last year and a branch will also be established in Lesotho, hopefully this year. What for you is a positive change that is currently happening in the water sector? Everybody is talking about the Blue Drop and the Green Drop. This incentive-based regulation initiative from the DWA has really shaken up the municipal sector into understanding their roles, functions and responsibilities. Some of them have unfortunately realised how far short they fall from acceptability or compliance, but the majority of local authorities (water service authorities and water services providers) have taken this initiative to heart and have upped their game. Many of them have achieved the excellence that goes with achieving a Blue Drop or a Green Drop. This is exciting and shows that when the politicians and the officials in local government cooperate and work together, they can achieve excellence. This initiative has been responsible for injecting funds into the water sector that would never have been made available. It has also brought about the realisation that water and wastewater treatment requires dedicated, well-trained professionals and that the safe quality of drinking water and safe disposal of wastewater are fundamental to the management of our water resources and the growth of our nation.

said many times before, but the MARCH/APRIL 2013


One of these is safe enough to drink. Would you know which one?

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WISA NEWS wastewater infrastructure being built is not maintained. This, of course, means that there are a lot of plants out there doing very little. What is also of concern is the fact that new works are being built, sometimes right next to the existing works, and again maintenance is an issue. The funding of new works seems to be easy to come by and the budget to maintain works is either not used or as in most cases, not approved of by the owners, expands McConkey.

Solutions available? Here McConkey quotes Albert Einstein: We can t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. They



sustainability has


pillars ‒ social, economic


environmental ‒ but I am afraid that it is difficult to find the bal-

One of the first jobs he was given in 1968 was to take samples at Hartbeespoort Dam





forces. and

Social economic



allowed all types of developments and activities to

take place in our river catchments and the consequences are now being experienced, says McConkey, adding that examples are urban areas developed with minimal infrastructure and the mining activities over the last 100 years causing the problems we are now having to deal with in the Witwatersrand. He recounts one of the first jobs he was given in 1968 was to take samples at Hartbeespoort Dam, which was being taken over by water hyacinth as a result of eutrophication. Forty years later, the problem still remains as the effects of urbanisation and activities in the Jukskei and Crocodile river catchments upstream of Hartbeespoort Dam cannot be managed, says McConkey. I don t have all the answers but I do know that we have some of the best environmental and water legislation in the world but somehow we have got ourselves snarled up in the administration of legislation and forgotten about compliance. We need to take our legislation seriously, and this does not mean having complicated administrative procedures that get bogged down. What we really need is for all spheres of government to take their responsibility seriously and ensure that compliance takes place. There needs to be a boundary that, if crossed, has serious consequences, he advises. He adds that he has always said that environmental management cannot take place from behind a desk. It needs people out there doing environmental management. If SARS can do their work so effectively, why can t the water sector? I recently filled in a tax return through e-filing and within minutes I was informed that, firstly, they had received my return with thanks and, secondly, that I owed them more money. No arguments, concludes McConkey.



For a better quality tomorrow ‘Together committed to excellent water quality for the future.’ This is to be the theme for the 4th Municipal Water Quality Conference, to be held at Sun City from 7 to 11 July 2013.


ccording to both WISA and Department


• Importance of credible laboratories

According to the organisers, a highlight of

(DWA), the conference provides

the conference will be the performance an-

• Process controlling

a platform for knowledge and

nouncement within the wastewater services

• Alternative Treatment Technologies

lesson sharing, lesson distribution and

domain for 2012/13 where, as part of the in-

• Regulatory issues and findings.



centive-based regulation approach, excep-

Jaco Seaman, events manager of WISA,

public and private sectors to upscale efforts

tional performance will be awarded in terms

says: A dedicated website will be up and

to improve wastewater services and drink-

of the coveted Green Drop awards. The con-

running soon. The Municipal Water Quality

ing water management in South Africa.

ference will focus on four disciplines, namely

Conference is going to set the agenda in the

Central to this will be discussions to ensure

wastewater management; drinking water

water sector. It is all about water and waste-

financial sustainability of the water services

quality management; sustainable economic

water quality.

business within local government, said the

municipal environment and opportunities

official call for papers, adding that the event

for partnerships. The deadline for abstracts

For any enquiries, and to investigate spon-

organisers will be endeavouring to answer

was 21 February and themes included:

sorship opportunities, please contact Zanele

the question: What does it take to achieve

• Wastewater risk assessment & abatement

Mupariwa (DWA) on +27 (0)12 336 6938 or


• Water safety planning

mupariwam@dwa.gov.za or Jaco Seaman (WISA)

• Water quality monitoring programmes

on +27 (0)11 805 3537 or events@wisa.org.za.





performance, distinctive impact and lasting


endurance in a municipal environment?





• Water reuse: Desalination & reclamation



Professionalisation essential WISA has started the process of becoming recognised as a professional body with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The first occupational designation that WISA will register with SAQA is that of process controller. Chantelle Mattheus consults with WISA’s training manager and coordinator, Anita Pillay, on this.


ISA has started by develop-

undertaken will look at the development

• Improvement of the accountability of pro-

ing a new division specifi-

of the process controller within the current

cess controllers within the context of water

cally for process controllers,

academic norm and beyond this sphere to

which will provide a platform

ensure that the gap between professional

• standardising of training and skills devel-

for this occupation. To date, there have been

process controllers and professional engi-

opment at all levels to ensure that statuto-


neers is narrowed.




in the Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

and wastewater treatment

ry and regulatory requirements are fulfilled

The Process Controller Division will serve

• enhancing the importance of process con-

as a catalyst towards the professionalisation

trollers as a professional asset within the

The process of professionalisation will

of process controllers within South Africa.

provide individuals with a professional

The process of professionalisation will focus

WISA is at the stage of preparing all the

status as well as assist with career guidance

on the following key areas:

required documentation for SAQA and

and development, and the upliftment of the

• the development of process controllers

has set up a technical task team consisting

occupation. This process will also enable the

within the current academic sphere from

of members from the Process Controller

water sector to standardise occupational

entry level to exit level

Division to assist with the inputs for the

water sector.

designations and enable the development

• the development of process controllers be-

documentation. WISA has also ensured

of water-specific Organising Framework for

yond the current academic sphere focusing

that full support is received from the

Occupation (OFO) codes, which is neces-

on critical skills development and training

Department of Water Affairs and the

sary for skills development and planning.

• provision of a career path for process

Energy and Water Sector Education and

The professionalisation of water sector


occupations will allow for the alignment

career development

occupations to regulatory components and statutory requirements.




• promotion of the image of process control-

Training Authority with regards to the professionalisation of process controllers within the water sector.

lers within the water sector

With regards to the process controller, the strategic direction that WISA has

• improvement of skills at all levels, including administrative and managerial skills MARCH/APRIL 2013

Th e N a me t h a t Re a lly H o ld s Wa ter ABECO


Est. 1983 Manufactured in South Africa Specialists In: Pressed Sectional Steel Tanks • Structural Steel • Supporting Towers • Water Storage • G.R.P Tanks

TANKS Abeco House, 6A Bradford Rd Bedfordview, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 616 7999 | Fax: +27 11 616 8355 E-mail: Abeco@icon.co.za


For more information please contact Anita Pillay on +27 (0)11 805 3537 or training@wisa.org.za




SA YWP’s experience in the world Publication in high impact cited journals is one of the measures of scholarly work in academia as well as an indicator of an institution’s progress in terms of research accomplishments and technology. Technology at the Water and Health Research Centre in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at University of Johannesburg, on her experience of the workshop. I arrived in Malaysia for the 2nd IWA-UTM



Workshop on Saturday, 12 January. On Monday morning, the first day of the workshop, introductory lectures were presented by professors Olsen and Kroiss, who are well-known in the water sector internationally. The goal of the workshop was to motivate individuals to publish ‒ by showing them how to formulate key messages in an article, identifying the audience for the article, improving writing skills and outlining the publication process. The workshop consisted





provided the necessary background information required for writing a suc-

I 14

n view of this, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) organised the 2nd IWA-UTM International Publication Workshop from 12 to 18 January 2013 at the UTM Johor Bahru campus, to provide yet

Group photo at the workshop closing ceremony

cessful publication. Thereafter, individuals were given the opportunity to implement the given information into their draft papers. Students were mentored during the interactive

another platform for strategic actions in publications

sessions with experts in the fields of publications and

within the water science and water discipline as a

specialisations. This workshop encouraged communica-

whole, involving water professionals and academia.

tion and collaboration between fellow participants and

This skills-based approach is offered to young repre-

facilitators, hence boosting their morale. All participants

sentatives of different countries as an investment plan

presented their work to the fairly diverse audience in

for future leaders within the water sector.

terms of scientific, engineering and hydrology sectors.

To follow is a personal account by YWP representative

The workshop was a brilliant platform for the 30 PhD

Sumayya Mieta-Hoosen, doctoral candidate: Biomedical

students selected from countries across the globe,



of academic publications including Indonesia, China, Japan, UK, South Africa, Brazil, Ghana, Austria and the US, to network and thereby develop partnerships in research areas of similarity. It was an outstanding workshop, which I recommend

that in turn translate into an impressive career as a

(Below from left) Sumayya Mieta presenting aim of the study

specialist in the specific field. Attending this workshop

Prof G Olsen

has given me the confidence to submit my publications

Prof H Kroiss

every PhD candidate attend as it is designed to provide the tools required for producing good publications

to international journals such as Journal of Water and Health, Water Research, etc. A key message from the facilitators was that no individual will have all their articles accepted all the time, hence rejections of articles does not spell the end of an article, instead it should motivate one to persevere and work harder to write better publications. Many thanks to Dr Norhayati Abdulla and her team at UTM for selecting me to represent South Africa at the workshop and for the well-coordinated workshop ‒ a balance of work and entertainment. I am eternally grateful to my mentor Dr TG Barnard and Prof A Swart (Dean of FHS: UJ) for supporting this endeavour and always motivating me to aim for nothing but excellence.



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Always on the Move

Talking the torque at Electra Mining Stand C19 Hall 6



Maintaining momentum Although Golder Associates has historically been a purely consulting business, things are definitely changing. Chantelle Mattheus speaks to the company’s business unit leader: Construction, Chris van Renssen, and technical lead for water treatment design and construction, Hennie Cronjé, about the company’s water treatment system offerings and its plans for expansion in this field.

Challenging continent There are a number of challenges that are often overcome by the unit in the roll-out of their projects. There is a greater awareness lately of the effect that polluted water


t is in Golder s strategic plan that we move down the value chain into construction services as well, but we are very clear in what we want to do in construction. We are not moving from a consulting company to a

construction company. We want to provide the added service and added value to our clients and we will only do that in the fields that we have specialist knowledge in, says Van Renssen. With regards to the organisation s African division, the construction services were launched at the beginning of 2012. In Golder in Africa there is a very strong water focus

(Above left) 60 m3/hr containerised drinking water treatment plant for a gold mine in Mali, North Africa (Above right) 40m3/hr sewage effluent recovery WTP for industrial use

has on the environment, with stricter laws coming out ‒ and not just in South Africa, Van Renssen says. He adds that we are in Africa and the continent has huge challenges in terms of water, water treatment and wastewater treatment. Wherever there is an opportunity or challenges, where there is a need for these services to upgrade communities or to better their systems, we are willing to assist in the countries that we operate in within Africa. Obviously we focus on closer to home first and collaboration is key. Even more importantly, we can apply technology

related to all aspects of water. The specialist knowledge

accessible to the people, interjects Cronjé. He believes

exists within Golder to vastly contribute in the construc-

that importing technologies from abroad is not always

tion sphere in the water sector, he adds.

the best solution. He says that when designing and

It is the predisposition towards the water sector that then facilitated the meeting ‒ and merging ‒ with Cronjé s company in the final quarter of 2012, enabling them to deliver the complete package with regards to water treatment systems ‒ from manufacturing the product to project roll-out.

“In Golder in Africa there is a very strong water focus.” Chris van Renssen

We have seen lots of opportunities and we feel we can




local conditions it is important to build a facility that is accessible

play a significant role. To cite some examples on the small-


er scale, we will look at water treatment ‒ specifically po-

on the ground,

table water treatment for mine camps, sewage treatments


for the same facilities, going into water treatment for

assist in, because

villages and towns at or close to mining sites, states Van

we have worked

Renssen. However, both men agree that it is not limited to





people we




these options as even more sophisticated treatment solu-

we have a sound

tions, such as those dealing with mine water reclamation,

understanding of

are also available.

the conditions. MARCH/APRIL 2013

HOT SEAT actually



risk to the client and to ourselves because we don t have to price for risks ‒ we only price for what is really needed by the client. This allows for a number of contracting models through which they can add value for clients, explains Van Renssen. There are various ways in which we can interact with our clients and it We can therefore add immense value, because we have no water treatment products directly off the shelf. Each and every product or project is designed for a specific application and requirement, continues Cronjé.

Value-added vision It is through their holistic focus that they envision adding value for their client base. Let s not only tell you how to solve the problem ‒ but let s solve the whole

(Above left) 40 kℓ/d sewage treatment plant – biological upflow reactors with internal media

all depends on what the client wants, what the project

(Above) 2 m3 skidmounted WTP complete

For larger projects the preferred option is usually engi-

entails and what capabilities we have in-house or partner up with. If Golder Associates can do it in-house, the choice is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) route. neering, procurement and construction management (EPCM). This makes it quite flexible, but our preferred contract-

problem for you. In that process we like to involve the

ing model is the early contractor involvement where

clients in the solutions as well. They must collaborate

the whole development is done in partnership with the

and think with us. It makes us flexible and it makes the

clients. It saves money and time, and builds

implementation process flexible as well, so that we can

a lot of trust within the team between the

really modify and give the client exactly what they want

engineer, the client and the suppliers. So we

as we go along.

are very open to the clients needs and their

Another advantage, explains Van Renssen, is that as

procurement systems to provide them with

consultants, Golder is aware of the design intent. This

what they really want, or rather need, to solve

means we don t need to explicitly spell out every last

the problem, adds Van Renssen.

detail of how it must look because we know what the

In addition, the components of the treat-

design intent is and if it does what it is meant to do, then

ment plant can entail a wide variety of op-

it is a successful solution and conclusion to a project.

tions, including flocculation, sedimentation,

Cronjé agrees, adding that the fact that Golder can

filtration, chlorination where applicable, and

run the project, from the first initial concept to the en-

then membrane filtration, including reverse

gineering process requirements, the equipment specs, the physical detailed design and manufacture of the equipment or water treatment plant ‒ either mobile, containerised or fixed ‒ of any medium according to clients preference, making it so much easier because there is a single entity responsible to the client. If they experience a problem they only go to one person and not a number of suppliers and contractors and we know what the clients requirements are, and at the end of the day that is what we give them.

“We have worked in Africa and we have a sound understanding of the conditions.” Hennie Cronjé

osmosis or ultrafiltration. All this depends on the quality of the water stream coming in, continues Van Renssen. In closing, both feel it essential to highlight that Golder is not an agent for specific manufacturers. The client can specify suppliers ‒ we are the engineers and designers. We supply the equipment as requested by the clients requirements and specifications, concludes Cronjé.

A number of projects not finished and a lot of money wasted been




miscommunication between the supplier and




but we are

not only the supplier, we are also the engineers and this is where the difference comes in. The engineering



According to Cronjé, Golder Associates has just been awarded several projects in the Congo. Due to a lack of expertise in certain fields, the team suggested they send operational personnel up once every three months to take samples and do certain process adjustments to the chemical dosage and so forth. “So in other words, to expand our business and deliver the whole package to the client, we can also do the operational management and monitoring afterwards, which actually gives the client the surety that the plant will be operated according to the design,” says Cronjé Another project, successfully completed in the last quarter of 2012, relates to an industrial client in Mozambique with a shortage in industrial water due to non-consistent supply to the plant. “We were contracted to collect their effluent from their existing sewage treatment plant and treat it to a standard acceptable for industrial use, specifically in this case for use in the cooling system and/or circuits. It entailed the complete collection system at the sewage plant, the transfer pump station and pipeline, as well as containerised water treatment plant manufactured in South Africa and shipped as a complete unit to site and installed and commissioned for the client,” explains Cronjé.

component MARCH/APRIL 2013



Biodiversity contributes substantially to economy


he benefits derived from biodiver-

She called on the relevant stake-

sity or ecosystem services are es-

holders to

timated at R73 billion per annum,


according to the Minister of Water


and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa. Molewa was speaking at the Seventh Pan-African ABS Workshop, held on 25 February 2013 at the Hans Merensky Hotel

debunk the myth that management by




biodiversity sector as a major contributor to job creation and the fight The workshop was held in part-

in Phalaborwa, Limpopo. The workshop


was the second to be hosted by South


Africa, the first of which was held in Cape

by the Gesellschaft für Internationale

Town in 2005. According










ap water is safe to drink in Mogale City. Remember, in Gauteng we are leading in

against poverty. with

Tap T ap wat water ter safe in Mogale Mogale City City


which was established as

terms of safe drinking water,

said Gauteng MEC for Agriculture and




Mayathula-Khoza, in Krugersdorp on 26 February 2013. The MEC was in Krugersdorp on an

this contribution amounts



awareness campaign on acid mine

to 7% of South Africa s

in 2005 by the German

drainage (AMD) and mining pollution




in the West Rand. She assured com-

Economic Cooperation and

munity members of Mogale City, his-

Development. It is funded

torically predominantly a mining area,

broader green economy,



that their tap water is of a drinkable

is therefore our country s




standard and therefore safe to drink.






biodiversity which



economy, part





growing our economy and addressing climate change adaptation, said Molewa.

Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs




European for


The MEC emphasised that the release

Francophonie, as well as

of contaminated mining water into





the rivers had been affecting quality in both surface and groundwater since

Danish governments.

mining started in the region. Even though the majority of the mines in the area have since closed down, they left

Wetland conservation takes centre stage

behind the legacy of AMD. According to the MEC, the problem became more acute when the mining activities stopped as responsibility for


he Deputy Minister of Water

deposited by the receding floodwaters.

dealing with the issue was not accept-



We are here to evaluate the impact of

ed by any of the parties involved.

chose the recent 16th World

the interventions we have implement-

The MEC said high-level government

Wetlands Day to highlight the

ed to address the above mentioned

intervention was initiated in 2010 and

problems, said Mabudafhasi.

an immediate and short term inter-


conservation initiatives on the community in Kareedouw in the Kou-Kamma

Over the past 11 years, 11 large ga-

vention by the Trans-Caledon Tunnel

b bions and concrete

Authority (TCTA) aimed to neutralise

in the Eastern Cape,

s structures


untreated water decanting from the



b been built at a total

Western Basin and to pump and treat

to the Kromme River

c cost of over R10 mil-

water from voids in the West, Central


l lion

and Eastern Basins.





e erosion

of floods in 2006 that

t tinues to threaten


t remaining large, the

combination has been selected to

i intact wetlands.

neutralise the pumped water in the

physical nature and sustainability of the river. The


Abu Shawka

experienced a number severely impacted the




The United Nations G General





Density and



(HDS) reagent

Western, Central and Eastern basins,


but the process will not remove all

Catchment is a significant water source

h declared d l d 2013 as the International has

dissolved salts, heavy metals and radi-

for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan

Year for Water Cooperation, recognis-

oactive contaminants.

(NMBM) in that it supplies 40% of Port

ing that water is critical for sustainable

Elizabeth s water via the Churchill Dam,



treatment plant in the Germiston area

situated on the Kromme River.



The contract to build a new HDS

well-being. This calls for conservation

has been awarded, said Mayathula-

In some places the river was gouged

of our wetlands and other sources

Khoza. She said more interventions by

down to bedrock level, while in oth-

of water, as water is a catalyst for so-

national government were planned in

ers large amounts of sediment were

cio-economic development.

the West Rand.


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A company with a difference, making a difference When interviewed just prior to the 20th anniversary of Rheochem’s inception in 1993, the company’s founder and MD, Jacqui Swart, was asked about the highlights of the past 20 years. plants. Particularly in outlying areas there remains a significant skills shortage that is only relatively recently being addressed on a countrywide basis. From inception, Rheochem has played a positive role through operator training, either in the form of formal short courses or through our service technicians working closely with plant personnel and thereby sharing knowledge, she explains. According to Swart, one of the major challenges we face as a nation is anticipated water shortages relating to global warming. Recycling and advanced treatment processes will become the norm rather than the exception in the future and Rheochem remains cognisant of this in terms of our strategy going forward. Although in value it comprises a small portion of our turnover, Rheochem is experienced and trusted in the treatment of industrial effluent, where we have in-house capability to operate small plants. Being involved in this sector also creates opportunities for the placement of previously unemployed people who

The Th T he h eM Mu Mutale uta ttal alle a River R Riv Ri i er er in nS So South outh h Africa’s A frric icca ica ca’s ’s LLimpopo imp po pop op o po po province pro ovin vin ince ce

have completed the Rheochem Learnership.

Capable collective Swart believes that most people are capable of so much more than they realise and that giving people an opportunity and expecting them to achieve their defined goals while simultaneously providing a strong support base, is the reason for numerous employees success stories.


of its success. The sector is extremely dynamic despite a

“Rheochem is experienced and trusted in the treatment of industrial effluent.”

generally sluggish economy. This is due to the provision

Jacqui Swart

he responded by saying that the water treatment industry is so diverse and dynamic that it would be difficult to select one particular highlight, but that what had been particularly rewarding was to

have not just experienced the growth of the company but to have witnessed the personal and professional development of the people that have been such an inherent part







people should mainly (if not practically always) be happy with what they do to earn a living and within their work environment. Inclusivity is another key factor in terms of how the company is structured and operates, with black employees enjoying the benefits of ownership, and all employees being financially rewarded based directly on company perfor-

of water being considered a basic human right and the

mance. This underlying philosophy creates

need for continuous progress towards the goal of supply-

the pleasant and positive working environment that

ing drinking water to all South Africans that consistently

is apparent the moment one enters the Rheochem

meets international standards, says Swart.

reception area.

Rheochem has and continues to contribute through

The notion of inclusivity can be expanded to include

providing a high level of technical support to rural water

the entire industry, she notes. The exciting thing MARCH/APRIL 2013

with water treatment is that it is `happening throughout the country and alongside all communities. Unlike other sectors that are restricted to certain geographic areas due to factors such as distribution, access to resources, etc., there is no reason to exclude any section of society from a positive spin-off from the water treatment sector, says Swart. She adds that rural water plants usually draw on local people to run them and there has to be sensitivity to the fact that the local water or sewage plant may be a rare opportunity for some people to work close to their homes and families. We need to train and inspire these people so that they can be positive inuences in their communities. This is just one example of how inclusive this industry can be ‒ it provides considerable employment opportunities countrywide, says Swart.

Skills development in focus Well before BBBEE was legislated, Rheochem focused on skills development, an ongoing effort that has benefited numerous employees as well as people external to the company, including in-house trainees who gained valuable work experience with Rheochem. The concept is to `give back to the water treatment industry by passing on specific and scarce skills that enable people to play a useful role in related sectors of the economy. The Water and Waste Water Operations Learnership currently being run in-house includes eight learners, four of whom were previously unemployed. Through this initiative they can look forward to placements as water plant operators when the course ends in mid-2013. Rheochem s corporate social investment programme aims to support rural schools that otherwise receive little of no external sponsorship due to their remote locations. After three years assisting Ntlambamasoka Junior Secondary School







through computer-related donations, the company is in the process of identifying a new project. The core attitude is that it is a privilege to be able to help, as well as being a social imperative because as South Africans we all need to be proactive in finding solutions to the many challenges this country faces. In conclusion, Swart expressed her gratitude to the many customers and suppliers who have and continue to support Rheochem, adding that it has been an absolute pleasure to meet and interact with so many different and interesting people over the years. Apparently something that she instils in Rheochem personnel is that in any organisation it is the customer who pays salaries and one should not forget that people doing business with a company is a matter of their choice rather than a supplier s `right . At Rheochem, we aim to earn business through technical support, attention to detail and efficiency. This has certainly created a winning formulation.




he biggest challenge in

though need to take into

the effective treatment of

account that all mine water ‒

acid mine drainage and

not only AMD ‒ is complex in

other sources of


its treatment and each mine

water in South Africa is finding

has its own specific needs or

solutions that integrate the tech-

uses for the treated water,

nical, financial, environmental and

therefore a case by case ap-

community aspects and that are

proach is necessitated.

accepted by all stakeholders. In this panel discussion, Chantelle Mattheus talks to a number of key industry role players about the options available and what the current mine water landscape

Mulling over mine water

looks like locally.

It is also important to note, as one panellist indicated, that dealing with mine water is not unique to the South Africa landscape and therefore solutions and technologies can often be sourced

Mine water ‒ and the treatment thereof ‒

decant of AMD into the environment poses

from the international arena and adapted

does not necessarily refer only to acid mine

a number of risks, not least of which is the

to meet local needs and requirements ‒ or

drainage (AMD), but it is due to the extensive


alternately international solutions can be

news coverage over the past few years that

resources required for agricultural use and

the latter comes to mind when discussing

human consumption.

mine water .




sourced from our very own shores. The most interesting to note in this panel,

Therefore a number of approaches, tech-

however, is that the panellists come from a

The formation of AMD is a result of mining

nologies and processes have been designed

number of different sectors, albeit research

operations exposing the metal sulphides

and suggested to proactively deal with mine

and development or the private sector, and

in the rock to water and air, leading to

water before it becomes a problem, also

yet all need to ‒ and are ‒ collaborating

oxidation. When these oxidation products

allowing the mines to access this liability as

to come up with sustainable solutions for

dissolve in water the result is AMD. The

a resource instead, to the benefit of a num-

the treatment of mine water in the South

flooding of the mines and the subsequent

ber of communities as well. These solutions

African context. 



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The Water Research Commission (WRC) has dedicated many years of research to improving the quality of life of all South Africans, combating water poverty, through improving water productivity while managing water scarcity.

Now in its fifth decade, the WRC research funds are channelled towards studies aiming at achieving excellence in the production of knowledge required for the sustainable management of our water resources, water-linked ecosystems, and domestic, agricultural, mining and industrial water use and waste. This includes research focused on water service delivery, O&M, on-site and offsite sanitation. The WRC actively builds and supports the development of research capacity in previously disadvantaged universities while ensuring that water is one of the core research themes in South Africa’s academic and research organisations. In all research fields, the WRC addresses key challenges facing our country on water security, sustainability of resource ecosystems and the water energy nexus, water quality, water use efficiency and development of new technologies.

Contact us on Tel: 012 330 0340 or E-mail: info@wrc.org.za or visit www.wrc.org.za



WATER RESEARCH COMMISSION (WRC) What makes mine water treatment unique? Actually,

Dr Jo Burgess

Research manager: Mine Water Treatment and Management

operations that have not yet

depend on

started mining.

what pollutant

because the amount

the water itself is not totally

Every site is different,

is to be treated,

of water that needs

for example:

to be treated the

others are similar in many

What has the WRC been advocating as the best treatment solution? There

be removed from water by

water to be treated, and the

ways to mine water. The

is no such thing as the best

chemical oxidation, biological

characteristics of the desired

difference arises because with

solution . We need to employ

oxidation or complexation;

resulting water all affect what

a tannery, the production of

a suite of solutions ‒ there is

radioactive nuclides can be

treatment is needed. For

the wastewater stops when

a whole toolbox available to

removed by precipitation or

example, saline drainage (which

the tannery closes down. With

use and each tool is used to

ion exchange.

has sulphate concentrations of

mine drainage, the wastewater

do a different job. There are

continues to be generated

four main categories of active

extensive. The way in which

or alkaline pH and only low

long after the mine has closed.

mine water treatment methods

treatment of mine water must

metal concentrations) needs a

So the financial plans for its

(i.e. those that require pumps,

be done is selected on the basis

completely different treatment

treatment need to allow for

treatment plants and

process to acid mine

water treatment to continue for

people to run them),


decades, possibly centuries.

categorised according to

unique. Liquid effluents from metal finishing, tanning and

cyanide can

The whole list is very

characteristics of the

>1 000 mg/ℓ, a circumneutral

The best

what you want to achieve

technique is the one

What is the biggest challenge? There are two

using the method. These

that can handle the

are: (1) neutralisation,

kind of mine water

main challenges. One is that

(2) metals removal, (3)

you have, and from

we do not yet have clear

desalination, and (4)

it produce the kind

alignment between the legal

specific target pollutant

of water you want.

requirements placed on a

treatment. Within each

company to ensure decant

of these categories there

of mine water is prevented in

are between ten and 20

perpetuity and an institutional

different techniques or

What is the most common misconception?

framework that enables that

products, each of which

That there is a silver

to happen. The second is that

does something slightly

bullet ‒ a panacea

while people often talk about


THE treatment for mine water, the quality and quantity

are used to adjust the

of mine water that arises in

pH of the water to close

different places mean that we

to 7 (i.e. neutral) and

actually need about 20 different

include: lime or limestone

treatments for tens of different

processes, sodium-based

mine waters.

alkalis, ammonia,

Our mandate is one of

treatment method

The future of mine water treatment is that prevention is better than cure.

Neutralisation processes

that can be used at every mine site.

How is the treatment of mine water changing? There is a trend towards processes

biological sulphate

research and generation of new

reduction, wetlands and anoxic

of the quality and quantity

that produce drinking quality

knowledge. The WRC therefore

drains, and other technologies.

of raw (untreated) water and

water; as the human population

has funded decades of research

The processes used for metals

the desired treated water

increases, so does our demand

into different ways to handle,

removal include: precipitation

quality, as I said above. Also,

for water. There is also a greater

treat, or better yet, prevent

as hydroxides, precipitation

water treatment is usually only

effort spent at the beginning of

the generation of mine water.

as carbonates, precipitation

possible using a combination

mining operations.

We have invested in methods

as sulphides and wetlands/

of treatment processes. We call

like irrigation with mine water,

oxidation ponds.

each process a unit operation

genuinely didn t understand

A century or so ago, miners

and put several unit operations

the terrible environmental

that it will not harm the plants

(i.e. removal of dissolved salts

together to a tailor-made

legacy they were leaving. Now

or soil; and we have funded

from the water) can be achieved

process train for each individual

we do understand, and much

the creation of treatment

using: biological sulphate

situation. For example, if the

more work is being done on

methods like the BioSURE

removal, precipitation processes

water is acidic and contains

methods of mining, materials

process. We ve also funded

such as ettringite, membrane-

heavy metals, then treatment

handling and mine backfilling

research into the best options

based processes, ion exchange,

technologies would be selected

to prevent mine water ever

for mining methods and

and wetlands or other passive

from the lists for neutralisation

becoming a problem than at

methods of storing over- and

treatment processes.

and for metals removal, and

any other point in history. The

placed in series in the process

future of mine water treatment

which can be tested and shown

inter-burden while the mines

The process of desalination

Lastly, there is a long list of

operate, to prevent mine water

processes for specific target

train so that all the pollutants in

is that prevention is better

from becoming a problem at

pollutant treatment that

the water are removed.

than cure.



Water Conservation & Water Demand Management Saving Water to Power Your World

Primary Energy Division: Water & Environment



Nandha Govender


General manager: Water & Environmental Operations Primary Energy Division: Group Commercial & Technology

Why is mine water a key focus? Due to the strategic

liabilities through management


of excess water during

to water

nature of Eskom s business

production and closure of

stewardship and

Initiative Agreement

to South Africa and the

coal mines.

to reducing its

(JIA), whose mandate is

region, Eskom is classified as

own freshwater

to investigate common

footprint. Eskom recognises

challenges around mine

the need for collaboration,

water and implement these

assurance of water supply

What role will mine water treatment and recovery play? As one of

and solving water challenges

projects in a cost-effective and

by the Department of Water

Eskom s water strategy s

requires a collective effort,

sustainable manner. The JIA

Affairs. However, Eskom has

imperatives, we have focused

with the link between water,

signatories are Eskom, Anglo

identified a number of possible

on promoting corporate

energy and waste needing

American Thermal Coal, Exxaro,

risks to its business, including

water stewardship as one of

to form an integral part of

Xstrata and BHP Billiton.

the fact that the pollution of

the priorities for engaging

all interventions.

freshwater resources will make

outside of the factory

water unusable or drive up

fence line. This is partially

acknowledge that Eskom must

the costs of treatment and the

achieved through Eskom s

lead by example through

management of waste, if not

Water Conservation and

the WCWDM programme

What examples of best practice in mine water reuse has Eskom been involved with? The Kriel-

addressed timeously.

Water Demand Management

and other initiatives in

Matla Mine Water Recovery

(WCWDM) programme, which

anticipation of climate

project was identified by the

for freshwater resources to

has identified an internal

change impacts on water

JIA as a strategic project in

be abstracted closer to the

water saving target of 2.5%

resources in South Africa.

addressing the challenges

demand centres, Eskom as

freshwater reduction by 2016.

Eskom must also work through

with excess mine water in the

an industrial user of water

WCWDM initiatives include

its global climate change

Highveld Region.

has a strategy to diversify its

improved thermal efficiency,

linkages in incorporating

water resource mix to include

operational excellence and

best practices and

pursue mine water recovery

effluent and wastewater ‒

internal energy efficiency

cutting-edge technologies.

projects between it and the

such as treated mine water,

during the refurbishment of

treated municipal effluent

existing power stations, as well

Strategic Water Partnership

the existing coal supply

and seawater for cooling

as investigating alternative

Network s Effluent and Waste

agreements as part of its

and desalination ‒ for other

water supply options, such

Working Group, which was

WCWDM strategic initiative.

purposes at coastal power

as mine water treatment

established to explore and

stations. For example, flue gas

and recovery.

investigate how effluent can

Mine Water Recovery project

a strategic water user. This means that it is given 99.5%

Due to the competition

We understand and

Eskom is also the chair of the

Eskom has undertaken to

different mines through

The aim of the Kriel-Matla

be used to close the water

is to treat the mine water

Medupi can use this treated

been initiated into capital

resources gap in the country

from both Matla and Kriel

water instead of fresh water.

projects to identify mine

by 2030 by replicating and up-

collieries, while at the same

However, Eskom will still be

water recovery and effluent

scaling mine water treatment

time treating the cooling

reliant on water transfers from

reuse as alternate sources

projects in specific catchments.

water blow downs from Kriel

other catchments through a

of water supply in order to

The group comprises several

and Matla power stations.

network of reservoirs, dams,

facilitate the reduction of

mines and municipalities as

The brine generated by

pipelines, pumping systems

freshwater consumption.

well as the Department of

this plant will be managed

Water Affairs, with the support

by implementing a brine

of the Minister of Water and

solution in line with Eskom s

Environmental Affairs. Eskom

Zero Liquid Effluent

is also a member of the Joint

Discharge philosophy.

desulphurisation at Kusile and

Technical studies have also

and canals. The majority of Eskom power stations are located in the Upper Olifants Catchment

What role do you envision Eskom playing in the mine water sector? Eskom is

in Mpumalanga ‒ where Eskom sources most of its coal from. The catchment has two major problems, these are the pollution of the water resources and water deficit in the catchment. The pollution is characterised by excess polluted mine water and poorly treated sewage effluent entering the natural streams. As part of its supplier due diligence, Eskom requires its coal suppliers to manage environmental and financial MARCH/APRIL 2013






Rob Holmes Technical director

What makes the treatment of mine water unique? Mine

How can this challenge be overcome? There are

assist in treating mine water?

technology. We are

water treatment is different

technologies being developed

Typically, a mine

to bring a pilot plant

from other industrial water

that minimise the amount of

water treatment

into the country to

treatment mainly in the way it

liquid waste, in some cases,

plant will include

is created. Mine water can be

depending on the water

several technologies integrated

technology. The next 18 months

formed before, during or after

characteristics, they can

in a unique way. The nature of

will be a very interesting time.

mining activity takes place in a

eliminate it completely (zero

the solution will be dependent

region. Unlike other industrial

liquid discharge (ZLD)). The

on the mine water composition,


water treatment, mine waters

traditional approach to ZLD is

which is largely due to the

can continue being a concern

to employ thermal processes

surrounding geology. Even

to the environment for long

(evaporation), which are

small changes in composition

periods after the mining activity

expensive when viewed over

can have a dramatic impact on

has ceased. Also, mine water

the duration of a mine water

the choice of technology. In the

can often be a result of multiple

treatment system.

near term, mine water solutions

Steel Mill effluent: 7 Mℓ/d wastewater treatment – Water is fed to the plant through a high rate clarifier, which acts as a high turbidity protection step, two ultrafiltration (UF) skids and three two-stage reverse osmosis (RO) skids. Brackish water: 1.6 Mℓ/d water treatment plant – Blended water from two borehole sources, iron oxidation by aeration, UF, two-stage brackish water RO, partial blending of RO permeate with UF filtrate. Municipal wastewater: 2.3 Mℓ/d direct reclamation plant –UF, two-staged RO, permeate water treated by ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide as an advanced oxidation step.

will comprise clever integration

entities operating in a region.

of precipitation technology

unique aspects of mine water,

Many advocate that mine water be seen as a resource as opposed to a detriment ‒ would you agree? We

but it is often not significantly

absolutely agree. In a water

osmosis), with the goal of

different to some other industrial

scarce region like South

reducing the cost of treatment

or groundwater treatment.

Africa, the sheer volumes of

and waste disposal. In particular,

mine water that will require

liquid wastes will need to be

What is the biggest challenge? The main

treatment in the future, and

minimised or eliminated. New

the long-term nature of the

technologies like vacuum

challenge is definitely the

problem, mean that it must

membrane distillation will soon

management of liquid wastes

be considered as a resource.

be deployed to eliminate the

or brines. Most mine waters are

I believe mine water will

final volumes of liquid waste.

found inland. The salt content

simply become another source

cannot be destroyed, only

of water, like surface and

converted into different forms

groundwater, used to replenish

or concentrated into smaller

our water resources.

This makes the management of the water quite difficult. In terms of water quality, there are some

volume. Another challenge is the commercial management of the water.

What technologies or products are available to

and membrane treatment (microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nano filtration and reverse

What is the most common misconception with regards to mine water treatment?

currently preparing

demonstrate the

I think it s the term AMD

How is the treatment etc. of mine water changing ‒ if at all ‒ and what does its future look like? The need for

(acid mine drainage). Many

extremely high water recovery

problematic mine waters

(ZLD) means that every mine

are not acidic at all, and

water project is unique and

this changes the treatment

interesting. QFS will specialise

approach. However, the phrase

in the integration of proven

AMD has become synonymous

technologies to drive the

with all mine waters.

cost of ZLD systems down. By combining multiple membrane

Which relevant projects have you been involved in that are of note in this context?

processes, a small footprint and

QFS have been involved in

treatment will come down. In

the development stages of

addition, where water quality

several projects, in reviewing

requires a thermal evaporation

the water quality and assessing

process to complete the ZLD

the potential solutions, with

solution, QFS can provide the

a specific focus on unique

answer. However, one thing

membrane applications. With

is certain ‒ the technologies

our international partners, we

for treatment of mine water

have been involved in pilot

in the future will be different

work that has demonstrated

from today, but the ability to

the uniqueness of some of our

integrate these technologies

low civil requirements, the cost of mine water

together for specific water

Ultrafiltration: 8 to 10 Mℓ/d MARCH/APRIL 2013

quality will differentiate solution providers.


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Project Management Swagelining CIPP Water Treatment

Tel: 011 906 8000 info@rare.co.za www.rare.co.za



Hennie Roets


Director: New Business Development

What makes mine water treatment unique? All mine

market, distribute and install electrocoagulation technol-

plants are

water is complex in its treatment

ogy that enables water to be


and each mine has its own

cleaned for reuse or release as

but larger

specific needs or uses for the

well as metal recovery from the

built-to-order designs are also

Which projects have you been involved in? RWTT was

treated water. A single treatment

sludge. The result will be lower

possible. RARE offers outright

only launched towards the end

is seldom adequate and a

costs and increased profitability.

purchase of the units, but build,

of last year. Projects to the value

Electrocoagulation is an

operate and maintain options

of R100 million are in the final

is often required. This situation

advanced and economical

for off balance sheet treatment

stages of approval.

makes comparison of treatments

water treatment technology. It

of water are also available.

In most water treatment

difficult, which leads to a drawn-

effectively removes suspended

out decision-making process.

solids to sub-micron levels

combination of technologies


combination of different technologies.

processes brine, sludge or slurry is formed and must be disposed

and precipitates dissolved

How does your organisation facilitate the process? RARE

What is the biggest challenge? When the mining indus-

heavy metals from water

has been a JSE-AltX listed

made a proposal to a mine

without the use of filters and

company involved in the fluid

where the mine recycles the

try is booming, capital is readily

only the addition of minimal

conveyance industry for many

sludge for increased recovery

available for water treatment but

separation chemicals.

years. The company will

of copper and cobalt. Here the

typically be involved from the

mine will achieve a compliant

unfortunately the contrary is also

RWTT uses electricity to

of at high cost and effort. RWTT

true. Water treatment and the

destabilise the dissolved

project scoping stage, including

effluent while simultaneously

associated cost thereof is neither

contaminants by using charge

water analysis, water balance

achieving increased copper and

a core function nor a prime focus

neutralisation and creates

and design of the tailor-made

cobalt recoveries.

for mines.

nucleation sites of polymeric

solution. Its services will include

metal hydroxides, which then

the supply, installation and

provisions in their business

leads to flocculation. During the

commissioning of the RARE

How is the treatment of mine water changing? Mines are

planning for sufficient water

electro-flocculation process, the

Water Treatment plant and

starting to think out of the box

contaminants become trapped

technology. If required, the

within the metal hydroxide

company can also operate and

scum. The resulting sludge is

maintain the treatment plant.

Mines must make adequate

treatment, even in the event of early unplanned closures. Water policing authorities must enforce the law and non-compliance should be met with the full power of the environmental laws.

Many advocate that mine water be seen as a resource as opposed to a detriment ‒ would you agree? There are

(Above from left) AMD entering chamber RWTT Unit Clarifier and clear water

many views about when South

then very simply removed, al-

Africa will run out of water .

lowing the purified water to be discharged, reused or recycled

What do ROI timelines look like? A major coal-washing

in terms of their water treat-

The fact is that five years from now, water for new industrial

as process water.

facility is considering an offer

this out to a specialist. Mines are

for water treatment where the

also looking at potential income

and mining developments will

The technology thickens

ment. A new trend is to contract

not be readily available. The

sludge without the addition of

capex will be in the region of

from water, be it the selling of

polluted mine water could be

polymers, settles readily and

R50 million and the payback is

water for potable use or the

an inevitable complementary

can be easily dewatered. The

less than a year. In a package

recovering of valuable metals in

water source, hence my view

innovative electrocoagulation

plant application in the copper

the sludge. This opens the door

that mine water is a valuable

treatment, with adaptive

industry, the water treatment

for innovative and progressive

opportunity. Cost will be a ma-

software and remote control,

cost was offset by the recovery

water management companies.

jor consideration and low-cost,

eliminates the requirement for

of copper and cobalt in the

small footprint and low energy

precise chemical dosing and

sludge, rendering a payback

Anything further?

consumption technologies will

does not run the risk of being

within a few months.

Scientists and academics are

have a major advantage.

ineffective or producing slurry

correct by saying South Africa is sitting on a time bomb

ment is the reduction of power

What is the most common misconception when dealing with mine water? Mine water

consumption. Power consump-

treatment is complex and a

Decision-making processes are

tion is at such a low level that it

single technology is seldom

slow and complex. This is not

Treatment Technology (RWTT)

allows the use of solar power to

a total solution. It is advisable

good for the industry in the

has the exclusive rights to

drive the unit in some cases.

to look at all options and the

long term.

that cannot be dewatered.

What unique technologies/ techniques or products are available to assist in treating mine water? RARE Water

The biggest recent develop-


regarding water availability and the ongoing pollution.





Richard Bewsey Director

What makes mine water treatment unique? In some

technology with the patent

the growth

are hoping to

holders. Negotiations are under

of aquatic

have operating

regards it is unique, in others

way to build and operate a


later this year is

it is not. It is unique when

demonstration plant.

and plants.

unique as it will

compared to municipal and it generally does not contain

What do ROI timelines look like in this context? This

are not just seen in the wider

organics and has high levels of

is entirely dependent on the

the whole country through the

dissolved metallic ions. It is not

condition of the mine water.

impact on agriculture, i.e. food

unique when compared to a lot

The worse the water, the more

production is decreased.

of process plant effluents.

ions dissolved, the better the

sewage water treatment as

be utilising the

Its impacts

KNEW process. It is a holistic

environment but are also felt by

solution to the AMD problem.

How is the treatment of mine water changing, if at all? I hope it looks like the KNEW process. This process is

ROI of three years was expected.

Which related projects have you been involved in that are of note? We have only

The estimate is considered

been involved in the design

up the mine water problem.

biggest technical challenge

conservative; however, the feed

of AMD treatment plants,

facing mine water treatment is

to the plant is more favourable

none of which have been

the creation of an economically

‒ high amounts of dissolved

implemented yet.

viable treatment process that

ions ‒ than the average

provides a total solution.

mine water.

How can this challenge be overcome? The KNEW

What is the most common misconception p or mistake

economics. On a potential

What is the biggest challenge with regards to mine water currently? The

project recently considered, a

capable of producing a profit for the operator while cleaning

Anything further you feel I have missed? I deliberately avoided the topics of the role

What makes them unique ‒ and how were you able to add to this uniqueness?

of government, politics and the

The demonstration dem plant we

clean-up faces.

mining industry. These are the biggest challenges mine water

(Potassium Nitrate Ex-Waste) process is a technology that can be used to overcome this challenge. It is economically viable and produces clean water and saleable products.

Many advocate that mine water be seen as a resource as opposed to a detriment.

(Above) Western Utilities Corporation ultrafiltration plant concept design (Right) Vaal Reefs reagent plant (Below) AMD outfall adjacent to Krugersdorp Game Reserve

I agree. The KNEW process the water and turns them into

made when dealing with mine water? That

valuable commodities.

neutralisation is a solution to

utilises the dissolved solids in

the problem. Neutralisation

How does your organisation facilitate the process?

removes the majority of ions

ULS has been involved with

leaves the dissolved sodium

the development of the

in the water. Sodium inhibits

from the mine water, but it

ULS MINERAL RESOURCE PROJECTS is a project house formed last year by South African engineering service providers

UWP CONSULTING and LOGIPROC to provide turnkey solutions to multidisciplinary engineering design and project management requirements in the mining industry.



Nalco technologies empower vigorous and effective mine water management.

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© 2013 Ecolab USA Inc. All rights reserved

Nalco Africa Operations Building 14, Ground Floor, Greenstone Hill Office Park Emerald Boulevard, Greenstone Hill, South Africa Tel: +27 10 590 9120 Fax: +27 10 590 9130 nalcoafricareception@nalco.com www.nalco.com/sa



Brett Dunbar


Marketing communications specialist to be incorporated into the current national water strategy issued by DWA.

What is the most common misconception or mistake made when dealing with mine water? When talking about mine wa-

What unique technologies/ techniques or products are available to assist in treating mine water? In general

ter, it is perceived and treated

there are RO and pH balance

scarcity in South Africa, which

and control technologies

is not the case.

as an unsolvable problem. Also, mine water is seen as the only problem affecting water

available currently.

How does your organisation facilitate the process? We

Which related projects have you been involved in? We are involved in various projects,

have proprietary technologies

but are not authorised to dis-

that help the efficient opera-

close the information of them.

tion of RO plants such as the

proprietary chemistries that

What makes them unique ‒ and how were you able to add to this? These projects

are environmentally friendly

are not unique; the technolo-

and are used in conjunction

gies that we are employing and

with our skilled expertise and

skills that are being applied are

know-how to maximise water

what is unique.

Nalco 3D TRASAR® Technology for Membranes. We have

treatment efficiency, including recycling and reusing water.

How is the treatment of mine water changing, if at all?

What do ROI timelines look like in this context?

There is public awareness for

It is difficult to indicate as

try is starting to take account-

infrastructural costs such an

ability for it. The government

RO plant (depending on the

needs to be more involved in

that has accumulated over

What is the biggest challenge with regards to mine water currently?

capacity and automation) and

tackling the problem.

the years, and which now is

Infrastructure costs and short-

cost of expertise can influence

contaminating the water basins

age of local technologies, skills

the time frame for expected

Anything further? General

and catchments. Conventional

and expertise.

ROI. Based on experience, we

water treatment in the indus-

would say an estimated two to

try, such as cooling water and

three years. Looking towards

boiler water is also applicable

and pH neutralisation are

How can this challenge be overcome? Through clear

the overall life expectancy of a

to the mines and their process-

available to treat this form of

policies and direction on who

typical mine, this is actually a

es. These are also part of mine

water; however, the investment

needs to treat the water and,

relatively short period.

water in the general scope.

required is very high and the

ultimately, who is responsible

industry cannot do it alone

for this water problem and its

without partnerships between

treatment. This challenge will

the mines, government and the

only be overcome through

private sector.

the partnerships of private

What makes mine water treatment unique? Referring

water and energy savings and

to mine water as acid mine

environmental footprint.

the lessening of the mine s

drainage (AMD) water is a unique problem due to the properties of the water itself

water treatment technologies such as reverse osmosis (RO)

this issue of late and the indus-

companies such as Nalco, an

Many advocate that mine water be seen as a resource as opposed to a detriment ‒ would you agree? Yes, we

Ecolab company, the mines and government agencies such as the Department of Water Affairs (DWA). This also needs

agree that it is a resource, as once the water is properly treated the potentially wasted water can now be recycled and reused into processes, therefore bringing about

(Above) Nalco Service Engineers taking readings from the 3D TRASAR for Membranes (Right) 3D TRASAR for membranes MARCH/APRIL 2013



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PRENTEC What makes the treatment of mine water unique? Mine water is not unique in its challenges. When compared to conventional potable water

Adrian Viljoen Process director organic quality and the extent

the regulated


of biological activity in the


compliance. This is

feed water have up to now not

standards imposed

therefore a necessary

always been incorporated in the

for discharge of

investment. The

feed water specification.

water into the

treatment, mine water requires

cost of treatment

environment. The technology

itself and the water treatment

How can these challenges be overcome? The current

for treatment of the mine

process is small in comparison

processes and process controls

water provides both physical

to the infrastructure required

to ensure that it meets the

practice of mine water

filtration barriers as well as

for mine water collection, feed

required potable or discharge

modelling over the life of mine,

chemical treatment to be able

dams, environmental dams,

standards. When compared to

together with groundwater

to ensure the quality of the

brine dams (if necessary), etc

industrial water treatment the

modelling studies, is proving to

water, with the final treatment

to ensure the management of

challenges are similar. Mine

be effective at predicting the

barrier being reverse osmosis.

mine water on-site.

water will contain contaminants

water quality, which will be fed

Stringent process monitoring

dependant on the mining

to the mine water treatment

and effective management

activity (coal/gold/platinum

plants. This involves in-depth

of mine water treatment will

mining) and may occur as either

water quality sampling and

ensure compliance to the SANS

What is the most common misconception when dealing with mine water?

neutral with mineral pollutants,

testing and, together with

standards for potable use.

If a mine water process is

or highly acidic with significant

statistical prediction tools, the

levels of contaminants that

basis for design is determined.

need to be removed. The most

The risk, however, is that the

significant aspect is the need

sophisticated treatment

suitable for one mine, it is not necessarily suitable for

water may change over time

What technologies and techniques are available to assist in treating mine water?

for high recovery processes,

and the plant has to then be

Prentec has the competence

consider each mine s water on

thereby reducing the volumes

able to adapt to maintain

and experience in all processes

its own merits.

of effluents from the mine water

effective treatment of the

currently being used for mine

treatment processes.

mine water. Prentec provides

water treatment and is able to

flexible processes that can

offer Low Capital, Low Operating

be engineered to operate

another mining application. Therefore it is necessary to

What is currently the biggest challenge with regards to mine water? The effective

Cost, Low Chemicals, Low

Which projects has your company been involved in? We are completing the

differently due to changes

Power and Low Waste mine

installation of integrated

in the feed water quality.

water technology (LoRO). We

wastewater and mine

treatment of mine water

The layouts of the envisaged

take particular pride in the art

water solutions at Anglo s

requires the following:

plants have to be able to

of uniquely configuring LoRO

Twickenham and Xstrata s

• an accurate prediction of the

accommodate such changes.

systems to meet the specific

Horizon mines. The solutions

needs of each particular case for

use a combination of biological

optimal results.

processes, membrane

mine water quality

the life of mine (and after

In your opinion, is mine water seen as a resource as opposed to a detriment?

mine closure)

• a process design that can be operated effectively over

bioreactors and reverse osmosis to attain our goal

Mine water can be considered

How does your organisation facilitate the process?

a resource. It has been proven

We are able to provide

zero waste results from the

that treated mine water meets

added value to the client

treatment of shaft water.

The chemical quality of mine

the SANS potable water

through specific interaction

Prentec has further been

water may be relatively easy

standard, and in some cases

throughout the planning,

awarded the design contract

to predict. The prediction of

exceeds this in order to meet

execution and operation of the

for a 10 Mℓ/d LoRO plant at

mine water treatment project.

Exxaro s Matla mine.

• the ability to achieve zero liquid discharge

of LoRO. In these cases,

Prentec is an ideal partner reports for EIA approval,

What makes your solutions unique? We continue to

efficient process design,

develop new ideas and

fast-track project management

technologies through our

and water treatment

in-house water testing and

operation services.

design development. Overall,

able to provide professional

we have to ensure that the

What do ROI timelines look like in this context? Mines

plant layout and design is

will have to continue to treat

expand and can be optimised

mine water in order to ensure

for varying water quality while

appropriate to be able to

being able to maintain the

Integrated wastewater and mine water treatment plant MARCH/APRIL 2013

plant and minimise the overall cost of treatment.




Clean, safe water world s most advanced wastewater recla-

TA C T I C A L & P R A C T I C A L S O L U T I O N S

mation plants ‒ the Singapore Public Utility Board s (PUB) Bedok NEWater Factory. This facility reclaims 55 million litres per


completely modular and mobile water

day of high-quality water from secondary

treatment and reverse osmosis (RO) desal-

sewerage effluent to supplement the island

ination plants that can be deployed within

country s limited water resources. In fact,

weeks, rather than the normal months or

most of the reclaimed water is used by the

years for conventional plants, and have

high-tech electronics industry due to its

demonstrated the potential for these

purity, with the balance going back into

solutions through successful projects in

the potable water supply. The reclamation



of wastewater is significantly more cost-ef-

for our plants cover the provision of high-

fective than other alternatives such as

quality potable water from mine wastewa-

seawater desalination.


he United Nations World Water

ter, contaminated river and groundwater,

Day, held on 22 March 2013, and

and industrial wastewater.


Africa s


Although Singapore is unique in certain respects due to its population density and


While our flexible and rapidly deployable

well-respected ability to deliver ambitious

National Water Week highlight the

solutions do not negate the need for stra-

projects, NuWater has demonstrated that

challenges the world, and particularly dry

tegic centralised infrastructure, we believe

the same technology and reclamation and

countries like South Africa, faces in meet-

they have a key role to play in helping to

reuse model can be successfully applied in

ing the increasing demands of industry,

bridge the significant gap between the

developing countries such as South Africa.

agriculture and growing populations for

demand for clean and safe water and the

For example, NuWater s complete mod-

clean and safe water. Although the debate

available supply. We see our NuWater

ular and mobile 20 million litres per day

on how best to address these challenges

solutions as providing immediate tactical

mine wastewater reclamation plant at

often seems to centre on macro policies



Anglo American s New Vaal Colliery near

such as water diplomacy, conservancy,

infrastructure projects and to plug service

Vereeniging not only serves to clean up the

allocation, strategic infrastructure and its fi-

delivery gaps. In addition, the commercial

environment but also has the added benefit

nancing, two more practical topics close to

models we offer, including rental and own

of providing Eskom s Lethabo power station

NuWater s heart are also receiving growing

and operate models, enable our customers

with high-quality cooling water. The water

attention, namely Tactical service delivery

to avoid costly capital investment, allowing

produced could equally be used for drink-

and Wastewater reclamation and reuse.

them to stretch their financial resources

ing water at it surpasses international water

further and to deliver higher quality services

quality requirements.

Tactical service delivery



to more people.

Complete solutions

At NuWater we believe strongly that flexible distributed or decentralised water

Wastewater reclamation

At NuWater we focus on delivering com-

and wastewater treatment infrastructure is

The reclamation and reuse of wastewater is

plete solutions, tailored to our customer s

required to complement conventional cen-

essential for sustainable water management

specific requirements. This includes the

tralised infrastructure that is costly, inflexi-

in order to supplement available water

delivery of supporting any infrastructure

ble and takes a significant amount of time

resources. Wastewater reclamation also has

required, such as power, as well as project

to deliver. We are a leader in sophisticated

the added benefit of ensuring that waste

funding solutions that allow the upfront

and rapidly deployable modular mem-

streams are more safely managed and do

capital cost to be avoided and rather

brane-based water and wastewater treat-

not have an adverse effect on the environ-

recovered by NuWater over the life of the

ment plants to public and private sector

ment and higher quality water reserves.

project. In essence NuWater carries much

customers both in South Africa and around

Nuwater pioneered the use of large-diam-

of the project performance and technol-

the world. We are pioneers of large-scale

eter 16-inch RO technology at one of the

ogy risk allowing our customers to rest assured that they are getting the most reliable and cost-effective supplies of clean and safe water.

(Top) NuWater Small Mobile Plant Drinking Water (Far left) Singapore PUB Bedok NEWater Factory Interior (Left) NuWater 20mℓ/d Modular & Mobile Plant





Mbazwane Groundwater Monitoring Network in focus The development of a groundwater monitoring network and aquifer characterisation of the greater Mbazwane area of KwaZulu-Natal involved the application of good hydrogeological principals, Jeffares & Green executive associate Mark Schapers tells Chantelle Mattheus.

In addition, Schapers adds that the site work element of the proposal offered an opportunity for training DWA graduate staff members in geophysical



borehole drilling supervision and test pumping supervision.

Site specifics Jeffares & Green was appointed on an existing term contract with the department, due to its extensive knowledge of the area gained when



boreholes for the Kwangwenase and




schemes directly to the north of the project area. The





this project are to develop eight pre-identified




these locations will be installed as groundwater monitoring installations and two as groundwater supply boreholes. The principal project aim is to expand the groundwater monitoring




project area, and the supply boreholes are to provide groundwater to



initiatives, says Schapers. Drilling was




Drilling using the Rotary Mud Flush drilling method. Two predominant aquifers were targeted, namely the shallow sugar sands of the Kwambonambi for-


he Department of Water Affairs (DWA), in conjunction with the University of Zululand commissioned the development of a number of geohydrologically strategic positions, focusing on the Sodwana to

Lake Sibayi region. The University of Zululand was trying to develop the monitoring network in Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, in con-

Specialised rotary mud drilling of a monitoring borehole on the border of the Sodwana Nature Reserve

mation, and the deep semi-confined calcretes of the Uloa formation. Single and multiple installations targeting both aquifers were implemented at the monitoring locations and larger diameter production-type boreholes developed at the groundwater supply locations. Aquifer characteristics were determined through test pumping (conducted by AB Pumps) and the respective in-

junction with the South African Environmental Observation

teraction between the deep and shallow aquifer measured

Network (SAEON). Eight areas were identified throughout

where possible. Water quality sampling was undertaken to

central and northern KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Flats, where an

establish geochemical signatures of the respective aquifers.

increase in groundwater monitoring coverage is desired, explains Schapers. The monitoring boreholes were aimed

Challenges conquered

at identifying and determining the geohydrological char-

Time frames were one of the challenges the team had to

acteristics of primary aquifers located in the central portion

overcome on the project, as the project had to be com-

of the KwaZulu-Natal Coastal plain, to refine the numerical

pleted in a very small window. Good subcontractors and

groundwater model being developed by Prof Bruce Kelbe

determined project management realised the completion

of the University of Zululand.

of the project on time and within budget. The scope was MARCH/APRIL 2013


Test pumping of monitoring boreholes to determine aquifer characteristics

clear but there was limited technical detail due to limited available information on the aquifers of the Coastal Plain, so budget was utilised in the best manner to give the client a value-added

J&G – in the water cycle from start to finish

product, says Schapers. Several of the holes were drilled within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and standard procedures and environmental controls had to be adjusted to conform to stringent codes of conduct in order to

At J&G we have professional specialists connecting all the dots along the water cycle route, from source to consumer and discharge back into the environment. This holistic approach to water management means we can find sustainable, well-engineered and innovative solutions to any clients’ needs – and we’ve got the track record to prove it.

minimise the environmental impact on the whole, says Schapers. As a result, close liaison with the iSimangaliso Park Authority was required and all implementation was conducted in the presence of an environmental control officer in accordance with a strict management plan.

Sustainable impact Two of the positions were developed with the view to upgrade the boreholes to production status to help with community development, a need which was rapidly confirmed by opportunistic water collection by the surrounding communities in those areas.

Our services include: Water resource management Dam planning, design and construction supervision Water abstraction and pump stations Water and wastewater treatment works Water reticulation and wastewater collection Water conservation and demand management Water sector analysis Institutional development and support Hydrological investigations (catchment and design flood) Geohydrological investigations Irrigation. .

Contact Neal Bromley on +27 33 343 6700 or bromleyn@jgi.co.za

According to Schapers, rural communities, industry, and municipalities on the Coastal Flats rely on groundwater as a major source of potable water for domestic consumption. Many schemes are solely dependent on groundwater; however, they are developed in isolation and often involve limited or no groundwater monitoring, poor pumping practice, and even indiscriminate abuse. Increased forestry ‒ much of it unlicensed ‒ is a major generator of income in a predominantly poor rural


setting, but it also has a severe potential impact on the shallow groundwater condition,

Eight areas identified for an increase in groundwater monitoring coverage, detailed below, but Jeffares & Green’s value added product was the development of 14 locations, some with multiple installations. • The western shore of Lake St Lucia • The aquifer conditions between the town of St Lucia and Lake Bhangazi South • The aquifer conditions between Lake St Lucia and Lake Bhangazi North • The aquifer conditions between Lake Bhangazi North and Lake Mgobezeleni • The aquifer conditions between Lake Mgobezeleni and Lake Shazibe • The aquifer conditions between Lake Shazibe and Lake Sibayi • Groundwater supply borehole in KwaMshudu • Groundwater supply borehole in Manaba





environments. Additionally,



portion of the flats is a world heritage site where little or no technical data on groundwater aquifers is available. The results of the longer term monitoring of these boreholes will be used to develop a groundwater model for the flats, quantify broader aquifer characteristics, and optimise potential and sustainable use of the groundwater reserve in a broader context from both a direct consumptive perspective, as well as sustainable forestry. Communities will benefit because they will be able to sustainably maximise the use thereof, concludes Schapers.



Hlabisa supply extended The Hlabisa Bulk Water Supply Scheme is set to supply approximately 51 431 community members in the Hlabisa area, 18 606 community members in the Ezibayeni area, as well as the town of Hlabisa with a total demand of 4.17 Mℓ/d, Robert Moffat, Bigen Africa principal: Water & Sanitation, and Willie Marais, Bigen Africa resident project engineer, tell Chantelle Mattheus.


he scheme will serve households with bulk and reticulation networks and there is further capacity to extend the bulk infrastructure, says Moffat, adding that considerable planning on a regional

scale has been performed in the region, which to a large extent influenced the Hlabisa project. The project is located in the local municipality area of Hlabisa under uMkhanyakude District Municipality (UDM). The scheme covers the tribal authority areas of Mdletshe, Hlabisa Abasempembeni and Hlabisa Abakwahlabisa. The latter two areas are all-inclusive whereas only the western portion of Mdletshe is included; the eastern portion of Mdletshe is currently serviced by a scheme from Hluhluwe Dam (Mhlathuze Water). The total demand for both the Mandlakazi and Hlabisa areas is 7.26 million cubic metres per annum. Despite UDM being the client, Mhlathuze Water was appointed by the municipality as the implementing agent. Bigen Africa was then subsequently appointed by Mhlathuze as the consulting engineer on the project, responsible for the project s business plan, tender administration, as well as the civil engineering on-site

“The scheme will serve households with bulk and reticulation networks and there is further capacity to extend the bulk infrastructure”

and site supervision and disbursement. In order to ensure community buy-in to the project and involve all stakeholders, a fully representative project coordinating committee (PCC) was also set up. Some of the representatives forming part of the PCC are from UDM, DWA, Hlabisa Local Municipality, councillors, public liason officers (PLO), consultants and so forth. Site meetings are held monthly between the implementing agent,

contractor, PLO and consultant. This creates a platform to discuss and report on key performance indicators and other issues relating to the project, says Moffat.

Sourcing supply According to both Marais and Moffat, there are a number of existing schemes within the area ‒ specifically the Hlabisa Local Municipality ‒ and although some are functional, some are dysfunctional too. The water source for this project is the adjacent Mandlakazi Regional Bulk Scheme under Zululand District Municipality who in turn gets their water from a private source. The feasibility study refers to the fact that bulk water supply for Hlabisa will be sourced from the adjacent Mandlakazi Bulk Water Supply Scheme in Zululand District Municipality. Both Mandlakazi Bulk Water Scheme and Hlabisa Bulk Water Scheme are being implemented concurrently by the Zululand District Municipality and UDM respectively, says Marais. Both men warn that the Hlabisa project is dependent on the timeous completion of the Mandlakazi portion of the bulk scheme where the two projects tie in. The scheme itself is designed to cater for a demand of 4.1 Mℓ/d, having used the following design parameters: • Bulk ‒ 60 litres per capita per day • Losses ‒ 10%



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REGIONAL FOCUS The design horizon is projected for 2025, with a design population of 51 431 for that year.

Rand and cents Funding has by large been sourced from the DWA, which is the principal funding agent having contributed approximately R169 million through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) programme

PROJECT ROLE PLAYERS Client: uMkhanyakude District Municipality Implementing agent: Mhlathuze Water Funder: DWA Consultants: • Civil – Bigen Africa Services • Electrical – Ulungeni • Geotech – DLP • ISD – SPM Services • Environmental – K2M Technologies

with approval for the project having

According to Marais, the local labour has received informal site training from the material suppliers and contractors, with this training commencing prior to construction and still continuing. The training is/was on trench excavation, manhole and valve chamber construction, pipe laying and jointing, pipe bedding and backfilling, concrete mixing and placing, to name just a few. Institutional Social Development (ISD) training was also provided on-site, relating

been done in 2006. The total capital cost of the project

to project management, financial/account management

is estimated to be R198.9 million, with the remaining

and water supply scheme management, among others.

R29.9 million having been sourced from the Municipal

Progress to date

Infrastructure Grant (MIG) through UDM. However, Moffat and Marais indicate that only on com-

While initially the project was to be implemented as a

pletion of the final phase will exact figures be available

single venture with a number of emerging contractors

on the project cost. The difficulties experienced on the

working on it, due to financial constraints the entire

various contracts has been limited. Currently, escalation,

scheme was subsequently scheduled to be completed in

contingencies, retention and performance guarantees

different phases.

on the various projects have covered the additional costs

Marais and Moffat both indicate that of the 96 km of

experienced, says Marais. He adds that because the

pipes to be installed, 66 km have been installed to date,

project has been completed over an extended period ‒ it

making this aspect 70% complete. Eight of the 14 reservoirs

was originally planned for three years, versus the expect-

have been completed, with 24 of the 42 reservoir chambers

ed duration of five years ‒ an increase in the cost for the

having been completed, ensuring this aspect of the project

professional teams is expected.

was 57% complete at the beginning of the year.

It is, however, expected that the additional cost on the

Additionally, 90 of the 197 air valve chambers have been

professional team and the cost for the completion will

completed (46% complete), with 14 of the 39 control

be offset against possible savings that will be realised on

chambers completed (36%). While the project engineering documentation (PED) was

the construction cost. To date, all the projects have been

completed in February 2008 and the design in September

completed within their original budgets, says Marais.

of the same year, construction still continues on a num-

Challenging context

ber of the contracts awarded to date. According to both

The key challenge therefore, as indicated earlier, is the

Marais and Moffat, various snags on the uncompleted

financial constraints and difficulties that both large and

projects are still to be completed and all the reservoirs

emerging contractors have on the project. Although they

and approximately 13 km of pipes are as yet untested.

all meet the required CIDB gradings, some contractors are

This is despite initial construction deadlines starting

more experienced than others and in both cases ‒ experi-

in June 2010, difficulties were experienced with all the

enced and less experienced ‒ contractors have major financial difficulties.

contracts with the exception of the pipe


supply contracts.

The appointment of

The rugged rural conditions and chang-

capable implementing agents and an engi-

ing weather conditions, including rain,

neering consulting company to oversee the

also make access to the site a challenge

implementation of the project has been a

at times.

success, says Marais.

Labour intensive

have been completed and paid for are

He adds that the sections of work that Marais notes that the execution of the project has been purposefully based on labour-intensive methods in order to provide employment opportunities to the local communities in these highly rural areas. With the training envisaged, we hope to provide skills, which may lead to economic empowerment of those communities

of acceptable standards.

Female youth 8% Female adult 15%

difficulties could be experienced, the

Male youth 54%

Male adult 22%

baskets, removal of topsoil, excavation and placing of bedding, among other tasks. As a result, from project commencement in 2009 to January this year, 2 965 people have been employed onsite, the majority of which (54%) have been male youths.

the clients get value for money. Currently, the revised expected comyea year to February 2014 for the final con-

Some of the labour-intensive tasks include clearing and of pipeline, collection of rocks for the filling of the gabion

implementing agent will ensure that

p pletion dates are from September this

currently deprived thereof. grubbing of the trench routes, placing of bedding, laying

Although final

commissioning is not possible and some

tract, which is still to be awarded with the ten-

Job creation onsite unpacked Total people employed during period 2009 – Jan 2013: 2 965 Average: 71 per month

der process having been initiated in December 2012. The sustainability of the project outcomes, however, will be largely based on the operation and maintenance of the project once commissioned ‒ which Mhlathuze has taken ownership of. The future of the Hlabisa project depends on the full integration of existing infrastructure with the bulk system, concludes Marais.





oGagwini supply scheme on track The oGagwini community has finally won its battle for clean water, according to Sibusiso Mjwara, head of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant at the uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.





boundary and the east side of the project

for the construction of Phase 1 and Icon

abuts Ugu District Municipality.

Construction for the construction of Phase 2.

Project priorities

the oGagwini community water supply

water in 20 ℓ bottles will soon come to

According to Mjwara, the aim of the

scheme sources bulk water from the Eston/

the end for the oGagwini community,

project is to provide the community with

Umbumbulu bulk pipeline (Umgeni Water

says Mjwara.

a stable supply of potable water, create

pipeline), which is located on the northern



border of the project footprint. Water from

Scheme is situated in the Mkhambathini

and transfer professional skills to the

an existing bulk supply line supplies all the

Local Municipality (KZ 226), which is in the

local community.

reservoirs via a 150 mm steel pipe. From the

Municipality is bringing clean water closer to the people. The days of walking long distances to collect

The oGagwini Community Water Supply

extreme south of the uMgungundlovu

Broadly unpacking the project specifics,


Kantey and Templer Consulting Engineers appointed



source bulk line, two separate chambers are

District Municipality boundary, south of



provided for Umgeni Water and uMgungun-

the Provincial Road 21, approximately 1 km

lovu District Municipality to design and

dlovu District Municipality to monitor the

west of Umbumbulu. The project is approxi-

implement the contract for Phase 1 and

volume of water supplied.

mately 30 km2 in size. The northern footprint

Phase 2 of the project. Hydrotech was the

Mjwara notes that Phase 1 reservoirs have

of the project abuts the Durban Metro

contractor appointed by the municipality

a capacity of 350 and 750 Kℓ, with both feeding to 47 km of domestic reticulation, ranging in size from 32 to 250 mm diameters and 124 stand pipes. Phase 2 reservoirs on the other hand have a capacity of 75, 100 and 300 Kℓ, all feeding to 61 km of domestic reticulation, ranging from 32 to 160 diameters and 144 stand pipes. The reservoirs are constructed with a reinforced concrete roof covering to prevent contamination and evaporation

750 kℓ reservoir during construction



REGIONAL FOCUS Mjwara adds that a security fence with a double opening gate for vehicles has been erected around each reservoir to prevent acts of vandalism and/or theft.

the local community, with an emphasis on gender and youth equality, states Mjwara. This project has created employment opportunities for the community. Skills were imparted to the local community through

Typical stand pipe

Training focus

active participation in the construction and

As with most projects of a similar nature,

management of the project through various

training is a key focus. According to Mjwara,

employment opportunities. The project

beside the ISD capacity building workshops

reduced unemployment and assisted in

and training of the PSC members, an ac-

promoting local emerging contractors.

credited skills development training course of the stored water. The storage reservoirs

was held on-site, where local community

Enjoying the benefits

are provided with a scour valve and scour

members were selected based on their edu-

The days of using river water for domestic

chamber to facilitate removal of the reser-

cation, employment and poverty level.

use are long gone for some part of the

voir contents for cleaning and maintenance

In each phase, a total of 10 people from

oGagwini community since the completion

purposes. The level of water in the storage

the community were trained, varying from

of Phase 1 earlier last year. The remain-

reservoirs is controlled by a Bermad valve.

plumbing, pipe laying, concreting and steel

ing parts of the community will soon be

High-level chambers have been con-

fixing. In addition, two student technicians

enjoying the benefits of this project as we

structed at the reservoir to maintain pres-

were also appointed in each phase, which

are now focusing on Phase 2, which will be

sure from the bulk line and then be able to

enabled them to gain practical experience

completed at the end of March 2013.

feed future stands pipes that are higher or

in the engineering field.

at a similar level than the storage reservoirs.





This contract was operated under the

Supply Scheme has assisted in creating an

Water from the storage reservoirs is gravity

auspices of the Expanded Public Works

infrastructure that will cater for the basic

fed via the network of different types and

Programme (EPWP) and as such the ma-

needs of the community. It is envisaged

size piping to feed the project area. Isolation

jority of the tasks were undertaken using

that this will promote the growth of

valves are provided at the entry and exit of

labour-intensive methods on a task work

economic activity within the community,

the reservoir for maintenance purposes.

basis. Unskilled labour was employed from

concludes Mjwara.





Innovative purpose-built solutions for KZN toilets The uMhlatuze Municipality project, which recently won a CMA award, involved the installation of 8 470 of Rocla’s Ventilated Improved Double-Pit (VIDP) toilets, which were assembled using precast concrete panels. Chantelle Mattheus unpacks the project challenges at length with Rocla representatives.


his phase of the project formed part of the

sanitation units that were manufactured on the site

Department of Water Affairs (DWA) Sanitation

with significant community involvement.

for a Healthy Nation plan,

explains Simon

Wells, Rocla s business manager of sanitation.

According to Craig Waterson, Rocla s marketing di-

rector, this was the third phase of a project that formed part of the DWA s Sanitation for a Healthy Nation plan. Close liaison with local communities ensured that the quality and toilet placement requirements were met, says Waterson. Waterson believes the project s uniqueness lies in the fact that the end results are high-quality, durable


He adds that while Rocla was not initially involved with

The project, which involved sanitation units manufactured on-site, commenced in March 2011 and was completed at the beginning of this year

Phase 1 of the project, it acquired the company D&D that was responsible for Phase 1 approximately six years ago while it was still busy with that contract. Rocla successfully tendered using a purpose-designed improved solution and was awarded phases 2 and 3. The Rocla product is well accepted and is now an integral part of the rural sanitation landscape of the district, says Waterson. The project started in March 2011 and was completed in January 2013.


REGIONAL FOCUS Purpose designed The Rocla sanitation units were purpose designed to meet the

double pit


quirements specified in the contract by the company, in conjunction with the uMhlathuze District Municipality and the consulting engineers, in accordance with the technical requirements of the area. The system utilises sophisticated moulds and fabric reinforcement to create lightweight panels.

The advantage of this

technology is that the number of elements and consequently number of joints involved in each structure is minimised. The factory can be easily erected close to the project area and the manufacturing process is simple and tailored to be labour intensive to provide employment to members of the local community, explains Waterson. He





included in the design were a stainless steel door and child safe locking mechanism, which makes it impossible to be locked inside the structure. In addition, according to Waterson, the use of precast concrete panels ensured a

CMA AWARD WINNING INNOVATION Rocla was the only contender that walked off with two Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) awards in different categories at the recent prize-giving ceremony. Craig Waterson, Rocla’s marketing director, says: “The two trophies were a huge morale boost for everyone at Rocla as they not only confirmed our position in the infrastructure sector as a preferred partner in the supply of precast concrete products, but also bear testament to more than 90 years of industry experience in Southern Africa.” Rocla, a precast concrete manufacturer, received recognition in the Community Excellence category for its uMhlatuze District Municipality Rural Sanitation Phase III, Northern KwaZuluNatal project. The other award was for the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme – KwaZulu-Natal/ Free State border project in the Technical Excellence category, “both of which illustrate the company’s commitment to provide custom-made, high-quality concrete products using the latest technologies and innovations”. The Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme project that won the award for innovative technical merit entailed the design and construction of a permanent precast shuttering solution, instead of deploying a traditional shuttering system. The project faced challenging constraints, such as confined space and limited access to the underground works to support a 400 t gantry crane in the electricity generator hall. The engineers assembled and reinforced 552 of Rocla’s concrete columns, beams and corbel elements in 38 product modifications on-site. These elements vary in weight up to 8 t a piece and 1.5 to 11 m in length. Extremely tight tolerances of 3 mm for linear dimensions and about 2 mm for vertical alignment were met through stringent quality control measures. The manufacturing process that Rocla undertook was complex. For example, male joints needed to be cast into the upper ends of each column and female joints into the bottom ends due to the design of the concrete shutter. “The challenge of handling these complexities meant designing for all possible scenarios to accommodate each column’s unique centre of gravity,” explains Waterson, adding that the process required the design of a special handling system. “This was definitely a unique project for Rocla and the acknowledgement from our peers of our engineering excellence is indeed rewarding,” he concludes.

high-quality end product, and a simple yet highly effective design ensured ease of

innovation, installation and product quali-

approximately 7 000 t of concrete for the

assembly and best practice installations.

ty, states Wells.

sanitation structures and 1.1 million con-

A total of 177 local community members

crete blocks to line the pits.

On-site skills training

were employed in the factory and nine

All raw materials, building materials,

Skills training was provided on-site during

local BEE subcontractors transported the

services and equipment were sourced

the project for bricklayers, welders and

concrete panels, built the latrine pits and

from local business where available, con-

security guards, among others, as well

erected the toilets. The project consumed

cludes Waterson.

as relating to computer skills, health and safety in the work place, basic business principles and stores control.

Rocla, in

conjunction with the uMhlathuze District Municipality provided


Local community residents were involved in all facets of the operation, from the digging and lining of the pits to the manufacture and installation of the toilet units

training, which equipped the trainees with skills for further employment opportunities, says Waterson, adding that local community residents were involved in all facets of the operation, from the digging and lining of the pits to the manufacture and installation of the toilet units. The panels were manufactured in a factory, purpose built by Rocla at Port Durnford, employing approximately 390 local community members, 70% of which were women.

We were proud to win

this award as the judging criteria and evaluation in this category were strict and a careful process decided on factors such as job creation, sustainable skills transfer to the local community, design

The stainless steel door and child safe locking mechanism are considered innovative because they make it impossible to be locked inside MARCH/APRIL 2013




Melbourne Desalination Plant Consortium,

Following the finalisation of the reliability test on 17 December last year, the Melbourne Desalination Plant has commenced with 27 years of operations in which it will be delivering drinking water into the Melbourne water system, finds Chantelle Mattheus.



comprising Environnement,

Degrémont Thiess


Macquarie Group, in partnership with the Capital Projects division of the Australian Department




Environment. The AquaSure Consortium will therefore maintain and operate the plant until 2039. The Melbourne plant is an emblematic model for Degrémont Suez Environnement, with the organisation set to operate the plant for the next 27 years once operations have




one third of Melbourne s population with 450 000 m³/d of drinking water produced from seawater. Australia remains a strategic country for Degrémont as the group continues to expand its operations in the country in both waste management and water supply. They currently supply 30% of the country s drinking water and have also won contracts in Adelaide. According to reports from Degrémont at the end of last year, the majority of the work has been completed and several major technical challenges successfully resolved. The tunnels and marine facilities ‒ namely the water intake and brine discharge ‒ have been completed and are ready for operation, as well as the 84 km treated water main.

In September 2012, the plant completed a seven-day performance test in 100% automatic mode

The high-voltage power line and its substations have also been installed. At 87 km long, the 220 000 volt (200 Kv HVAC) buried cable appears to be the longest


ast year was a notable year for the

to the body of knowledge on the complex-

of this capacity in the world, with the line

plant, with a number of milestones

ities of large-scale BOT water projects, says

being especially constructed to power the

being reached. June saw the first

Degrémont Southern Africa s deputy MD,

desalination plant. Energisation of the plant

reverse osmosis water being pro-

Dumi Luthuli.

is progressively undertaken until all the fa-

duced and in August the plant commenced production





are brought into service.

September, not only did the plant enter into

Construction included a 1.1-km-long, 4 m di-

Concerning the reverse osmosis plant, the

full capacity hydraulic testing, but it also

ameter intake tunnel and a 1.4-km-long, 4 m

team is happy to report that the engineer-

completed a seven-day performance test in

diameter outlet tunnel, as well as an 84 km

ing work was completed on time with the

100% automatic mode.

1.9 m diameter reverse flow transfer pipe-

equipment on-site and the first tests carried

line and co-located power and fibre optics,

out successfully. The start-up was carefully

connecting the plant to Melbourne s water,

prepared, with the teams ready to move

power and communications networks.

into action. Once again, we wish to empha-

The in



which 130

was km




Melbourne, is the largest desalination plant ever to be constructed in Australia and in-

Design and construction plans were devel-

cludes the construction of a 150 billion litres

oped with a commitment to minimising any

our teams in the execution of this contract,

per year (expandable to 200 billion litres)

adverse effects on the local landscape, cul-

says Francine Dubreuil, Degrémont market-

reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant.

tural heritage and fauna and flora. The plant

ing manager for Southern Africa.

The Melbourne project takes the size of

therefore occupies a very small footprint,

desalination plants to an entirely different


cilities and seawater desalination processes

Project breakdown

taking up only 38 ha of the 263 ha site.

sise the quality of the work done so far by

Local implications

level. The fact that it is structured as a BOT

The project is a public-private partner-

According to Luthuli, the likelihood of

(build, operate and transfer) project adds

ship to be undertaken by the AquaSure

a plant of this size and stature being



goes “live”

ABOVE Aerial view of plant RIGHT The reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant should treat 150 billion litres per year (expandable to 200 billion litres)

constructed locally cannot be ruled out. At

change the current water supply constraints

The biggest lesson to be learnt from the

least one municipality and a water board

in South Africa. South Africa is classified as a

success of the Melbourne plant though,

are investigating large-scale desalination

water-stressed country. On the other hand,

according to Luthuli, is that with the right

plants for the next few years, although the

the country is blessed with a long coastline

technologies, proper planning and minimi-

sizes are likely to be much lower than the

stretching more than 2 500 km. This is a val-

sation of risks, knowledge of local conditions

Melbourne plant. As to what the future

uable source of water that should be utilised

and proper management of resources,

holds, anything is possible, he says. Should

to cover the present and future shortfalls,

desalination projects of this size and com-

this become a reality, this could dramatically

advises Luthuli.

plexity can be successfully executed.



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 mornay.de.vos@degremont.co.za George van der Merwe – Technical Manager george.van.der.merwe@degremont.co.za

Tel: +27 (0) 11 807 1983

Fax: +27 (0)10 591 5095



TCTA is a state-owned liability management entity responsible for bulk raw water infrastructure development

The Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) is proud to contribute towards a system which aims to deliver a sustainable water supply across Southern Africa. 2XU VSHFLDOLVW VNLOOV IURP VRXUFLQJ SURMHFW ÂżQDQFH WR planning, design and construction, place TCTA in the ideal position to facilitate development of bulk raw water infrastructure. From an initial single project, TCTA now manages a portfolio of nine. These are the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 1; the Berg Water Project (Western Cape); the Vaal River Eastern Subsystem Augmentation Project (Mpumalanga); the Mooi-Mgeni Transfer Scheme Phase 2 (KZN Midlands); the Olifants River Water Resource Development Project Phase 2 (Limpopo); the Mokolo-Crocodile (West) Water Augmentation Project (Limpopo); the Komati Water Scheme Augmentation Project (Mpumalanga) and, more recently, the Acid Mine Drainage Project (Gauteng) and the Metsi Bophelo Borehole Project (across six provinces). TCTA is also expected to play a key role in the funding of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 2, the implementation of which was announced in a joint statement issued in August 2011 by the Governments of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa.

The provision of water serves as a catalyst for sustainable economic development. The manner in which TCTA implements and manages its projects is governed by principles of transformation and sustainable development. We consider ourselves an instrument of social purpose, formed within society to accomplish social objectives. Consequetly, we are obliged to create new patterns, processes and strategies to tackle complex socio-ecological issues. TCTA has committed itself to the progressive ideals and principles of sustainable development and their integration into various aspects of our business processes, giving us an opportunity to create value for all stakeholders, including social, economic and environmental facets. All the above services are in support of government’s development agenda to make a better life for all. TCTA is committed to assisting government to achieve its socioeconomic objectives.

For more information on TCTA visit: www.tcta.co.za or call +2712 6831200

Komati Water Scheme Augmentation Project (KWSAP) National Water Month: The Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority Delivers Water To Eskom Eskom operates several power stations in the Mpumalanga Province, a number of which are located in the eMalahleni/Middelburg area. Electricity demands in South Africa have increased rapidly and Eskom is required to increase the electricity generation at its operating power stations. 7UDGLWLRQDO FRDO ÂżUHG SRZHU VWDWLRQV FRQVXPH ODUJH volumes of water as part of their operating and cooling processes.

Social Responsibility Initiatives through Project Implementation Sustainable socio-economic development is central to TCTA’s project implementation methodology and management. Our socio-economic strategy strives to uplift the lives of affected local communities; we have developed a transformation strategy which includes the following critical aspects: (i)

Enterprise Development – which is aimed at developing a minimum of two enterprise GHYHORSPHQW EHQH¿FLDULHV E\ DOORFDWLQJ RI the contract value to them.

(ii) Preferential Procurement – which promotes the The generation of energy depends mostly on the procurement of services and goods from blackreliable supply and provision of water to power stations owned enterprises, women-owned enterprises operated by Eskom Soc Ltd. Two of Eskom’s power and local enterprises. generation stations (Duvha and Matla) in Mpumalanga require a substantial amount of water supply to meet (iii) Employment targets ¹ UHFUXLWPHQW RI the increased electricity demand in the country, hence, XQVNLOOHG SHUVRQQHO DQG RI EODFN VHPL in September 2008, the Minister of Water Affairs skilled personnel from the local communities. directed TCTA to fund and implement the Komati Water Employment opportunities created on this project Scheme Augmentation Project (KWSAP). This pipeline SHDNHG DW PRUH WKDQ ¿YH KXQGUHG project aims to augment the existing Komati Water 6FKHPH IRU WKH VROH EHQH¿W RI (VNRP 7KLV HQWDLOV WKH (iv) Skills development and training – entails supply of an additional 57 million cubic metres of water training of local unskilled and semi-skilled labour. per annum to the system. TCTA closely monitors socio-economic development TCTA appointed AECOM (formerly BKS Engineers) in targets on a monthly basis and carries out half-yearly April 2009 to undertake the design and construction audits as part of the process to ensure the targets are supervision of the scheme. SSCC Pipeline Joint met. Venture (comprising Stefannuti Stocks, Cycad Pipelines and Ceremele Construction) was awarded Environmental Sustainability the construction contract in December 2010 with the construction commencing in January 2011. The KWSAP TCTA is fully committed to upholding and improving is scheduled for commissioning during February 2013. on the environmental and social integrity of its project footprint through implementation of sound and best environmental and social practices. We continue to comply with national environmental legislation and strive to achieve international best practices in the protection of the natural and social environment. The environmental impact on KWSAP being mainly a pipeline project is of a temporary nature with only minor impacts on the long term.



Water memory In the technological age where computers are part of our daily existence, the word ‘memory’ is often associated with the memory chip in a personal computer – not with water.


ater memory is a fascinating concept. The human brain, for instance, is an array of billions of neurons and the conducting fluid between the neurons consists of about

80% water: The connection between water and memory is therefore not too difficult and in fact a concept pervasive to our existence.

By Mias van der Walt

suspended matter compared to a river downstream of an industrialised mining town. Once the constituents are

Bigen Africa, PO Box 29, The Innovation Hub, 0059, 012 843 9085 (T), 012 843 9000 (F) mias.vanderwalt@ bigenafrica.com

added to a river course the unique character remains relatively unchanged. This means that the characteristics of a Gauteng river will not change to that of a Drakensberg river even if it is left for an indefinite period. The ability of water to remember the constituents that

This paper will explore the relationship between

were added to it is referred to as water memory . Some

water and memory from a different perspective. The

readers may also refer to this as water fingerprinting or

basis of the paper is to demonstrate the concept of water

water DNA , but for the rest of this paper the term water

memory and that the origin of water can to a large extent

memory will be used. The constituents in the water are

be determined by decoding the memory . The correct

not necessarily added all at the same time and if the river

decoding of water memory has significant practical impli-

water was characterised at a number of different locations

cations in terms of water cycle management.

along its course the water memory could be read in se-

The concept of water memory was developed and

quential order to read the water story .

applied during a number of studies including distribution

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how water

system water quality root cause analysis, mine water man-

memory can be read and how this concept assisted a

agement and a water treatment plant dosing strategy.

number of water users to understand their respective

During an extensive investigation in the City of Tshwane

water stories .

distribution system (Van der Walt, Cronje & Coetzee, information in water quality data that needs to be mined

2. THE WATER MEMORY MECHANISM 2.1 Water memory generation

to identify trends and changes in the water sources, the

Any constituent that is added to water changes its pure

water and wastewater treatment plants in the catchment

form and contributes towards its unique character re-

area and the distribution system. Consumer complaints

ferred to as the water memory . Rain water falling on a

require decoding in order to understand the root cause(s)

grassland with loose soil will generate muddy runoff with

of water quality problem. If more than one source is sup-

some dissolved metal content. Potable water supplied to

plied into a distribution system, the level of mixing needs

consumers, which already contains a memory due to its

to be controlled and the consequence of mixing needs

mineral content, builds up additional memory through

to be understood. A number of subsequent studies lead

its use by consumers by the time it is discharged into the

to the development of the water memory concept. This

sewer system.

2009), it was concluded that there is a body of hidden

paper will proceed in explaining the concept, the mechanism and illustrate the application of the concept by a

2.2 Water memory fading

number of recent case studies.

In some cases water memory can fade with time due to natural and technological processes. After a heavy thun-



derstorm in the Drakensberg, turbid water flows down a

The literal meaning of the words water and memory

creek and is gradually cleaned as the suspended solids

provide some clue to the concept water memory . Oxford

are retained in pools along the river. The sedimentation

Dictionary provides the following definitions: • WATER / wᴐ:tǝ(r) noun, a liquid without colour, smell or taste • MEMORY / memǝri/(pl. ies) noun, the part of a computer where memory is stored. Water is a pervasive and universal carrier of various materials around the globe. Consider for instance the contents of a river just after a heavy thunderstorm: a mixture of various soluble and suspended organic and inorganic materials. The type of constituents in the water course essentially characterises the water source. This is why a river in the Drakensberg will contain different soluble and

effect fades the suspended solids memory. In other cases organic compounds in the water are transformed through natural biological processes that fade the water memory. One of the most common processes that is prominent in

FIGURE 1 Typical Water Memory Block Suspended Neuron 1

polluted environments is nitrification and de-nitrification; during these processes anthropogenic ammonia and nitrates are transformed to nitrates and nitrogen gas

Dissolved Inorganic Neuron 2


Dissolved Organic Neuron 3

Biological Neuron 4

Spatial reference Neuron 5

Timestamp Neuron 6

TECHNICAL PAPER FIGURE 2 Typical Water Memory Thread

respectively. Other processes that can fade water memory include oxidation, precipitation, and various other physio-chemical and biological processes.

2.3 Erasing water memory In natural processes water memory can fade, but it is seldom erased completely. However, technology makes it possible to erase water memory almost completely. The memory of seawater with a high concentra-

concentrations and a

tion of dissolved minerals can be erased

red colour represents

using reverse osmosis technology. Many

high concentrations.

other examples exist where the memory of very polluted water can be semi-erased with advanced treatment technology.

2.5 Water memory threads Water memory blocks

2.4 Water memory blocks

taken at different times

Water memory is read by performing analy-

or different locations

sis of water samples taken from the water

in a water system are

system under consideration. The types of

referred to a water

analyses that are performed depend on

memory thread. Figure

the type of water story that is expected to

2 represents the water

unfold. The water story on a mine will be


different from the water story in a water

municipal water sys-

distribution system of a large city with many

tem. The thread can

water sources. For the purpose of this paper

become fairly long and

the following convention will be used:

complex to analyse in

Water memory can be presented by a




large water systems.

FIGURE 3 Typical urban water cycle water memory build-up

memory block. The memory block contains memory areas (neurons) for suspended, dis-

2.6 Water memory story

final memory block is known (the symp-

solved (organic and inorganic) and biologi-

Combining a number of water threads

tom) forcing the practitioner to read the

cal characteristics. Each block also includes a

in time and space can develop into a

water story in reverse. The case studies

neuron for a spatial reference (location in a

water story.

that follow will demonstrate how the water

specific water system) and a time stamp (the date and time of the sample). Figure 1 is an example of a water memory block.

As an example of a water story, Figure 3 portrays a typical urban water cycle.

memory concept was used to solve water management problems.

It is evident from Figure 3 that after po-

Once the water memory was read from

table water was supplied into a domestic

grab samples additional information can

water supply network at part (1), a signifi-

3.1 Case study 1 ‒ Distribution system root cause analysis

also be learned by taking additional samples

cant amount of suspended solids, inorganic,

When faced with a number of complaints

over an extended period of time. A num-

organic and biological constituents are

from consumers, a large water authority

ber of techniques can be used to analyse

added to the water memory. Some of the

embarked on a study to understand the



memory is removed during sewage treat-

root cause(s) of the complaints. The study

analysis can be used to understand cyclical

ment, impoundment and treatment. If fresh

initially focused on an isolated area of the

trends, percentile distributions can be used

water with low dissolved inorganic content

network, but it was soon realised that all

to understand variability trends and artificial

is not bled into the system at part (2), the

the sources feeding into the entire network

neural networks can be used to identify hid-

continuous reuse will lead to a salt trap and

need to be assessed.

den or more complex relationships between

the water memory will continue to build up

During the investigation water quality

water memory neurons.

until dissolved inorganic compounds will

samples taken at consumer locations, where

have to be removed from the system with

complaints were detected, were separated

expensive desalination equipment.

from non-complaint related samples. It



The following example demonstrates how natural and anthropogenic constituents

became evident that the water memory

build up water memory found in a typical urban runoff and reuse system. The four


of the complaint related samples showed

colour coded blocks indicate from left

The key challenge is that water memory

different characteristics from the water

to right the suspended solids, dissolved

blocks are often not in place, making

supplied from the water source that was

inorganic, dissolved organic and biological

the memory thread incomplete and the

originally suspected to be the root cause

concentrations. A spatial reference and

practitioner unable to read the water story.

of the complaints. Figure 4 indicates how

time stamp blue colour represents low

Another challenge is that often only the

for instance the percentile distributions of



TECHNICAL PAPER uncovered using the water memory were identified as follows: • The mixture of sources 1, 2 and 4 showed low CCPP and occasional high iron concentrations. • Source residual


showed chlorine

occasional and



concentration spikes. • 65% of complaints originated (at the time of the study) from a mixture of source 1 and 2. • Sources 2 and 3 showed high levels of ammonia that caused nitrification, high bacteriological activity and low chlorine residual in the distribution system. • The disinfection strategies and tech-

FIGURE 4 Chloride fingerprinting

Not all sources used chloramination as

operational deficiencies experienced at the

the disinfection method, causing sec-

chloride concentrations of four different

various treatment plants and in the distribu-

ondary complications when mixed with

sources were used to fingerprint the origin

tion system.

of water sources in the distribution system.


non-chloraminated water. could

The insight gained by reading the water

Chlorides could not uniquely fingerprint all

also trace if the root cause was source

memory enabled the water authority to


related, treatment related or distribution

initiate immediate actions and this led to a

system related:

number of infrastructure upgrade projects

fore also identified by analysing the water

• Source related problems included high

such as ammonia mitigation in the catch-

memory of all complaint and non-complaint

dissolved manganese, high iron and high

ment areas, improved iron and manganese

related samples using artificial neural net-

ammonia as well as unpleasant taste and

removal processes, improved dissolved or-

work (ANN) classification software. Reading

odour compounds.

ganic carbon (DOC) removal, improved taste

Water memory constituents were there-




the water memory using this advanced neu-

• Treatment related problems included

and odour removal, improved management

ral network technique enabled the water

dissolved and suspended manganese

of supernatant recycle and alignment of

authority to understand the problem caus-

and iron spikes, low Calcium Carbonate

disinfection technology. The importance of

ing substances in each of the four sources

Precipitation Potential (CCPP), nitrifica-

a water safety plan and the implementation

supplied into the distribution system. The

tion, non-uniform disinfection methodol-

of an integrated early warning system that

ANN was also used to uniquely identify

ogy and poor disinfection control.

informed operators of rapidly changing raw

six different sources using chlorides, iron,

• Distribution system related problems

magnesium and copper concentrations as


water memory fingerprints. Figure 5 shows

uncontrolled mixing of different sourc-

that all sources with chloride levels lower

es, elevated iron levels, nitrification,

than 16.5 mg/ℓ was either from source


1 or source 4. Iron levels below 2 mg/ℓ

bacteriological activity.








water characteristics should improve proactive adjustment of treatment, mixing and distribution strategies.

3.2 Case 2 ‒ Mine water management In an effort to reduce potable water

isolated source 1. A further distinction was

In a dynamic system such as a water dis-

consumption, a water balance study was

possible between sources 1a and 1b based

tribution system where the demand and

commissioned by a platinum mine in the

on the copper concentrations. Sources 2

supply from each source changes continu-

North West province. The study initially

and 3 could be distinguished based on the

ously the water memory in the distribution

focussed on performing a quantitative

magnesium levels.



water balance based on historical meter

Apart from concluding that no single

variation depending on the movement and

readings, but shortly after commencing

source was responsible for the customer

mixing of water through the distribution

with the study it was realised that the water

complaints, the water memory from the dif-

system. Using the water memory concept

cycle management at the platinum mine

ferent sources also emphasised the impor-


tance of controlled mixing and uniformed

authority to trace

treatment approaches of different sources in

the origin of the

the distribution system.


During the investigation the water memo-




cess. The source

system as well as the water memory after

related problems

treatment. The water memory at the three

FIGURE 5 Water source fingerprint of eight different water sources

problems that could be expected from the


to the source or

tem, but the raw water source feeding the

not only insight in the typical water quality



ry was not only read in the distribution sys-

different steps in the water cycle provided


nology of all sources were not aligned. source, but also highlighted process and



TECHNICAL PAPER FIGURE 6 Typical simplified platinum mine water cycle

presented a number of challenges and that additional sampling was required in order to understand the full water story. After collecting additional samples and reading the water memory in conjunction with historical surface and ground water memory a very interesting story emerged. The majority of the water used at a platinum mine is used in the concentrator process where ore is mixed with various chemicals to change the surface characteristics of the target mineral and removal by induced air flotation. A large portion of water is required in the milling and flotation processes and subsequent transported as tailings (slurry) to a tailing storage facility. As can be imagined, the concentrating process add a significant amount of water memory. The concentrating processes are often operated very efficiently in order to extract as much of the platinum group metals as possible. The water memory of the water

linked through the surplus underground

at the same time only a single stage RO was

reaching the tailings dam therefore does not

water discharged into the return water dam.

required to remove other salts. A reduction

normally exhibit high levels of heavy metals,

The key questions that arose in an effort to

of the nitrate source feeding the return water

but very high levels of chlorides, calcium,

reduce the water demand were as follows:

dam would therefore reduce the need for ex-

magnesium, nitrates and sulphates. Water

• Can potable water use be reduced by

pensive treatment technology significantly.

from the tailings dam is recovered from a

more efficient water use?

The water memory concept was applied

return water dam and returned to the con-

• If efficiency cannot be improved, can

by conducting a detailed investigation to

centrator plant for reuse in processes that

water be treated and reused to reduce

understand the linkage between surface

do not require clean water. By reusing the

potable water demand?

and underground water cycles. It was

return water dam potable water consumption can be reduced, but eventually leads

• What






underground water?

noted that during the early development of the mine (this is often the case in the

to a continuous build-up of water memory

• Can ground and surface water circuits be

Western Limb) that opencast pits have

and results in a gradual increase of the salts.

separated in order to limit the spreading

been developed, some of which were reha-

Water captured from the tailings dam is

of nitrates across the entire water system?

bilitated and others left open. As these pits

the largest source feeding the return water

It was established that the reuse of water

are not dewatered they fill with rain water.

dam. The return water dam also captures

from the return water dam was the most ap-

The water in these man-made aquifers now

effluent from the sewage treatment works,

propriate abstraction point for a water recla-

exerts significant pressure on exploratory

limited stormwater as well as surplus water

mation plant required to reduce the potable

drillings that are in some cases linked to

generated from underground operations.

water demand. The treatment technology

shafts and haulages. The net effect is that

The return water dam is often high in algae

was determined by the water memory of the

rain water contained in the open cast

concentration as a result of high nitrates,

return water dam, which contained remnants

pits are short-circuiting with the under-


of the concentrating process and the under-

ground water circuits as shown in Figure

ground mining process. After reassessing

7. Detailed analysis of the water memory

the water use requirements of the different

of the fissure water at level 1 (closest to



opencast pit) and the water memory of

In order to understand where water

process, it was established that a number

the opencast pit water revealed that the

memory was added in the water current

of processes do not require potable water,

fissure water originated from the opencast

a number of samples were taken across

but could be supplied from water treated

pit directly above the level 1 haulage. By

the entire surface and underground water

to a lower standard. The return water dam

separating the level 1 water circuit from the

circuits. It emerged that the calcium, mag-

reclamation plant was therefore designed

rest of the process water used in the mine

nesium, chlorides and sulphates originated

to produce two different classes of water:

the nitrate load to the return water dam

from the operations at the concentrator

one to a potable standard and one to an

can be reduced significantly and the cost of

and the processing of the ore. High levels of

industrial standard. It did, however, became

the reclamation plant can also be reduced

nitrates and ammonia originated from the

evident that in order to achieve SANS 241

significantly. Not only will the mine save in

underground operations as a result of the

potable standards, the high level of nitrates

terms of treatment cost, but significant sav-

use of ammonium nitrate based explosives.

(above 150 mg/ℓ) required a multi-stage

ings can result by circulating less water and

The surface and underground systems were

reverse osmosis (RO) treatment process while

at a lower water pressure up and down the





of sunlight. Figure 6 is a simplified schematic of a platinum mine water system.






TECHNICAL PAPER which the memory is read maybe too short. A large data set of many years (long shutter speed) is sometimes required to understand trends, cycles and hidden relationships. In this particular case very little trends or cycles were observed by visual analysis, but a strong relationship was found between raw water turbidity, colour, alkalinity, treatment process and coagulant polymer type using an advanced water memory reading tool such as ANN. Unpacking the water memory at the large water treatment plant tells a very interesting story and resulted in a very useful water management tool that was considered not possible before its application.

FIGURE 7 Surface to shaft water short circuit

CONCLUSIONS observed. Percentile distribution analysis

Water memory may at first appear to be

shows significant variations of turbidity,

a strange concept, but after applying the

shaft. The net water pumped will reduce

Chlorophyll-a, colour and faecal coliform.

concept it was demonstrated that it can

by at least 30% and the pumping head of

An artificial neural network was construct-

be applied to a range of water manage-

the fissure water will reduce by at least 12

ed (Naidoo & van der Walt, 2012) to read

ment problems. Accessing water memory

levels or 300 meters.

the underlying relationships of the raw

can be a rich source of information, and

water memory and the impact on chemical

viewed in context, can often uncover a

dosing rates.

very interesting water story . Analysing

In the case of the mine it was realised that water is not an infinite resource and the only option was to reuse water. As a

By assuming a simple relationship be-

water quality results should therefore not a

result of significant build up memory from

tween turbidity, alkalinity and dosing rate it

boring exercise, but an interesting journey

accumulation of minerals in the water

can be seen from figure 8 that the predicted

experienced by a few water drops encoun-

captured from tailings dam, the advanced

chemical dosing showed similar trends to

tering many interactions along its journey

technology was required to erase some of

the actual dosing rates, but the accuracy

in a water system.

the water memory in order to meet water

was not acceptable. Additional refinement

quality requirements. Analysis of surface

to the model improved the predictability

and ground water memory assisted in

with a prediction error of less than 1 mg/ℓ

identify a significant short-circuiting in the

for polymer as shown in figure 4.

mine water circuit and will reduce the cost of treatment and reuse.

This example showed that in some cases it will not be sufficient to read the water memory directly as the shutter speed at

3.3 Case 3 ‒ Water treatment dosing strategy Water quality results and operator log

Reading water stories are not difficult, it just requires a bit of curiosity.

This paper has been edited and abridged for publication. For references or information about the complete paper, please contact the editor at chantelle@3smedia.co.za.

FIGURE 8 – Actual versus predicted ANN polymer dosing prediction using basic inputs

sheets are often accumulated in the hope of using it productively in the future. This is exactly what was done at a large water supplier where large quantities of accurate water quality data and operator log sheets were available and the operator issued a request for proposal to understand the water memory and read the water story in order to implement a coagulant dosing control strategy. Thousands of analysis spanning several

FIGURE 9 – Actual versus predicted ANN polymer dosing prediction using advanced inputs

years were analysed including raw water quality, chemical dosing rates, treatment method and operational aspects in order to establish if the water memory could be used for the prediction of chemical dosing rates given the raw water quality and treatment process. After analysing the data using time series analysis no significant cyclical trends were





Turning a liability into a resource The eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant in Witbank, Mpumalanga, which is currently undergoing a major expansion, serves as a “best practice” example of how a former liability – mine water – can be turned into a valuable resource – potable water – with extensive benefits for the community, the environment and its feeder collieries, Anglo American Thermal Coal’s Manager: Hydrology, Thubendran Naidu, tells Chantelle Mattheus. would enable compliance, says Naidu. The need to treat the water was identified as a major immediate


and the SACE (South African Coal Estates) complex was identified as the primary area for implementation of a large-scale water treatment project, taking away the responsibility of water treatment from the three Thermal Coal mining operations in this locality, namely Kleinkopje, Greenside and Landau collieries.

Considered collaboration Naidu adds that Thermal Coal



with BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA) which had




adjacent to Landau Colliery


pproximately 130 million cubic metres of wa-

‒ the South Witbank Colliery. The parties recognised

ter is stored in Thermal Coal s underground

that there was significant economies of scale that could

operations alone, with that figure rising daily. According to Naidu, Thermal Coal originally

managed mine water on each operation separately as satellite sites ; as the operations expanded, so did the volumes of water that needed management. This formed the basis for a collaborative approach on mine water management between the operations within close proximity. The eMalahleni Local Municipality has long had water

“AMD is something that tends to be a legacy issue if not managed up front.” Thubendran Naidu

be achieved in working together to solve a common problem. Thermal Coal entered into a joint investigation with BECSA, which eventually resulted in an agreement that BECSA could contribute approximately 15% of the water input to the reclamation plant. Over the years, Thermal Coal had investigated various technologies that could be suitable for the water qualities coming from

supply and demand constraints, which have been

these mines; however, as Naidu notes, some

exacerbated with extensive industrial, commercial

were not scalable, some were relatively

and residential expansion being experienced over the

immature and others weren t competitive

past decade.

from a life cycle cost perspective. We were instrumental in developing the technology

Historic context


with Keyplan and the project was approved

In order for us to meet the high environmental man-

in 2005 at a then value of R300 million.

agement standards that Anglo American has set for all

Today this would be the equivalent of an

its operations, we took a view that we needed to start

approximately R550 million investment. The

looking at newer and more efficient technologies that

project was implemented from early 2005









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MINE WATER until October 2007 when we commis-

there is a need for additional water supply

sioned the first phase to treat 25 Mℓ/d of

for the municipality, states Naidu.

water, says Naidu. The project is a public-private part-

Optimal operations

nership between Thermal Coal and the

To date, the plant has over five years of

eMalahleni Local Municipality, through a

operational and maintenance experience,

bulk water supply agreement between the

with the team having ensured that water

parties with the plant being wholly owned

quality compliance is non-negotiable. We

by Anglo American.

run at full capacity. We implemented a mini upgrade in 2011 of another 5 Mℓ/d,

Ensuring service delivery and supply

so the current plant capacity is 30 Mℓ/d.

Since 2007, the plant has been treating

In the five years we have operated the

25 Mℓ/d. It is at this time that Thermal

plant, there has never been a call from

Coal also concluded a 20 Mℓ/d supply

our participating mines to cut back on

agreement with the eMalahleni Local

production due to lack of water. Looking

Municipality, having identified initially

back, the question of whether we needed

in 2005 that the municipality had a need

the plant or not has been answered, so the

for additional water. The municipality has

investment decision has been well prov-

a licence to abstract 75 Mℓ/d from the

en, says Naidu.

Witbank Dam and its demand in 2005 was in excess of 100 Mℓ/d.

Part of the investment rationale for Thermal Coal was to take care of post-

We approached the municipality on the

closure the water liabilities in the area,

basis that we were treating water that is

which remains a concern in the current

suitable for discharge to the local reserve,

acid mine drainage (AMD) context. Naidu

which is the Noupoortspruit that even-

states: We recognise that AMD is some-

tually feeds into the Witbank Dam and

thing that tends to become a legacy issue

The acid neutralisation that takes place

enquired whether it would be amenable

if not managed up front. This plant is part

in the primary neutralisation reactors re-

for us the upgrade this treated water into

of Thermal Coal s proactive approach in

sults in a mix of liquids and solids, which is

drinking water for supply directly into

this regard. The plant is here to stay.

then settled out in clarifiers, with the clear

their distribution system, explains Naidu.

On the process itself, the mine water is

water pumped to the ultrafiltration and

The supply agreement has since been

fed into on-site dams and from there into

reverse osmosis processes. Ultrafiltration

neutralisation reactors where hydrated

removes the fine particulate matter and

amended to 16 Mℓ/d.

This is partly

through demand side management, says Naidu, adding that the latest data, six years later, shows a demand in excess of 130 Mℓ/d. Supply is therefore still fairly constrained, so we still recognise that

prepares the water for

Each repetition recovers more water, ultimately achieving a world-class water recovery of 99.5%.

reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis does the desalination,




dissolved salts, that then gives us permeate, which

lime and limestone is used to neutralise

is our product water. We repeat that

the acidity, which varies between 20 to

process train a second and a third time,

2 000 mg/ℓ across the mines that supply

says Naidu, adding that each repetition

the water, and precipitate out any metals.

recovers more water, ultimately achieving

The feed dams help to stabilise both the feed quality and balance feed into the plant, explains Naidu.

a world-class water recovery of 99.5%. Let s put the recovery into perspective. A typical seawater desalination plant

The contributing mines are either open-

operates at a feed TDS (total dissolved

cast or underground operations and are

salt) of about 35 000 mg/ℓ but can only

impacted differently by the summer rain-

economically achieve a water recovery

fall period and infiltration into existing and

of about 60%, leaving a large volume of

old underground workings. Surface water

reject or brine. This is not a problem along

management on the opencast operations

the coast where one can sink the brine

are a high priority during the summer

back to the sea. In the Highveld, we don t

rainfall period. We therefore adjust our

have the luxury of the sea and would oth-

abstraction from the mines to accommo-

erwise need to build huge brine storage

date seasonal changes and operational

dams. Therefore maximising our water

needs. Having multiple mine feeds also

recovery is absolutely essential and is one

means we can assure the municipality of

of the keys to the success of this project.

a sustainable supply of drinking water, says Naidu.

The plants energy footprint is also exceptional ‒ at 3 to 3.5 MW/Mℓ treated ‒ comparable to sea water desalination

The first phase capacity of the reclamation plant is 30 Mℓ/d



plants that are operating at much lower water recoveries.

MINE WATER won t be producing any more brine and we will never need to build another brine pond, adds Naidu.

Essential expansion On the back of the success of the first phase, Thermal Coal continued to collaborate with its mines looking at their life of mine and closure requirements.


identified the Kromdraai section of Landau Colliery as an area that needed long-term water





requirements. There was also a need for additional water management at Landau Colliery to support an extension of its existing mining operations, says Naidu. This led to the decision to expand the eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant to a treatment capacity of 50 Mℓ/d. The expansion commenced in September 2011, with commissioning scheduled for the end of the first quarter in 2014.Currently, the expansion project is approximately 70% complete with the civil works scheduled

The reclamation plant's expansion was well under way when WASA visited the site in the final quarter of 2012

for completion in April, and mechanical and electrical installation already under way.

We plan to start commissioning

To date, the plant has over five years of operational and maintenance experience, with the team having ensured that water quality compliance is non-negotiable

from around mid-2013, which will take us As a final quality control, the permeate

to approximately the first quarter of 2014.

300 people are on-site and we expect

from all three stages are blended into a

Construction activities on-site are there-

single product stream that undergoes

fore fairly mature with relatively good

would have employed up to 600 people,

salt stabilisation and disinfection using

performance on keeping to schedule and

says Naidu.

chlorine before it reports into our final

cost, according to Naidu. We remain on

reservoirs for supply to our consumers,

track to complete the project within the

New network

says Naidu.

budget of R732 million.

As part of the expansion, Thermal Coal has

that once the project is completed we

The brine is stored on-site at a brine

Safety remains a top priority on site,

commenced the construction of a 23 km

evaporation dam ‒ the final disposal site

with the large team of people on a rela-

pipeline and pumping system that brings

for the brine. As part of the expansion, we

tively small site. At the moment about

water from Kromdraai to the plant.





Major milestone in AMD fight The start of construction of the pump station and treatment works at the South West Vertical mine shaft marks a milestone in government’s fight to prevent acid mine drainage from the closed Witwatersrand gold mines entering the Vaal River.

CRITICAL FACTS Western basin

Central basin

Eastern basin

Volume of AMD that needs to be treated

27 Mℓ/d

57 Mℓ/d

82 Mℓ/d

cid mine drainage (AMD) could

Environmental critical level

1 550 m amsl (165 m bcl)

1 467 m amsl (186 m bcl)

1,280m amsl (290 m bcl)


Current level

0.88 m bcl





of water to the consumers in Gauteng and the surrounding

provinces. This is according to a statement released by the TCTA on 22 February 2013.

256 m bcl

423 m bcl

Breach of ECL if pumping Breached already. Objective is does not commence to draw the water down to ECL

Sep/Oct 2013

Nov 2014

Location of treatment plant

South West Vertical Grootvlei No. 3 Shaft, Germiston Shaft, Springs

Rand Uranium, Mogale City

With funding and environmental author-


isation given, and agreement reached

The scale and the complexities of the

agent TCTA, will transform the area with the

with ERPM for access to land, infrastruc-

project are enormous. The mine shaft is over

construction of a state-of-the-art treatment

ture and tailings facility, TCTA was able

1 500 m deep (nearly seven times the height

plant and will provide approximately 300

to give the green light to Group Five to

of the Carlton Centre) and the pumps,

temporary jobs during construction and 30

commence construction.

which are 15 m high and weigh 25 t, must

to 40 permanent jobs when operating.

Time waits for no man and while all the

be lowered 200 m down the shaft without

It will therefore be a race against time

challenges were being resolved, AMD con-

dropping them. The treatment works is

as construction will only be completed by

tinued to fill the mines, so that as of today

three times larger than the next biggest

November 2013.

the water level is approximately 256 m below

similar treatment plant in South Africa at

the top of the shaft, leaving only 70 m before

eMalahleni with its highly complex concrete

the reaching the environmental critical lev-

structures, piping and electrical systems.

el, said TCTA s media liaison officer, Luzamo

The site, bordered by Tide, Brammer

Sandlana, in the statement. According to

and Power streets, is part of the former

Sandlana, at the current rate of rise it is pre-

East Rand Proprietary Mine, and has been

dicted this will occur in September 2013. The

unused since 2008 when all the buildings

environmental critical level was determined

and headgear were demolished after the

by scientists and engineers and is the level

closure of the old AMD treatment plant

where AMD will be safely contained in the

and shaft. The construction of the new

mines and will not seep out and pollute the

plant by the Department of Water Affairs,

external environment.

in conjunction with their implementing


The site is part of the former East Rand Propriety Mine


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Water treatment works with a difference LEFT Meulwater Water Treatment Works BELOW Filter gallery

dosing equipment, flocculation, rapid gravity filtration and disinfection. Facilities for recovering spent backwash water have also been included. This system returns most of the spent wash water to the head of the works for retreatment, which substantially cuts water losses, says Richard Miles, Bateman Africa project manager. He states that the plant inlet control valve and the filter outlet control valves are electrically controlled and modulate according to requirements set by the plant operator via the SCADA control system. The plant has

Exceptional attention to plant design, construction and finishing, together with innovative solutions to environmental protection needs, has resulted in a special product that is intended to be a heritage for the community served by the Drakenstein Municipality.

a 200 kW back-up generator system to ensure that there is continuous power to site. The





proposed in 2001 after the Drakenstein Municipality identified the need to secure its own reliable water source and, the project was given the go-ahead after a comprehensive environmental impact assessment






all equipment to suit the civil structures that

Treatment Works (WTW) in Paarl is

were constructed under a separate contract.

When the Department of Environmental

a plant with a difference. Situated in

The treatment capacity of the works is

Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP)

and 2006.

the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve

8 Mℓ/d and is upgradable to 15 Mℓ/d.

approved the project, a number of require-

overlooking the Paarl valley, the Drakenstein

The treatment process has been optimised

ments were stipulated regarding the size

Municipality required a system that would

to suit the relatively good raw quality of

and appearance

not only perform its primary task of treating

mountain water. The WTW has also been


water, but would also be environmentally

designed to allow future incorporation of


friendly and aesthetically pleasing to ensure

an additional dissolved air flotation process

and the overall

that the sensitive ecology of the area was

within the existing filters, should the water

impact on the

disturbed as little as possible. Bateman

quality deteriorate. This is a possibility


Africa, supported by its technology partner,

considering the relatively poor quality of

Tenova Bateman Technologies, was the

the Berg River water that will supplement

that as a result,

main contractor for the mechanical and

the mountain water. The process is one of


electrical works, engineering and supplying

direct-filtration and comprises chemical

had a number




plant, levels

says project

Photographs courtesy of Chris Hardie, Urban Water

(EIA), which was carried out between 2001 he

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WTW & WWTW of unique challenges. mechanical




equipment needed to comply with a set of very strict requirements and the fact that we were able to achieve what we did, thereby contributing further to these ideals, is testament to our systems and teamwork. For



The Meulwater plant has undergone full equipment testing and handover took place at the end of June

placed acoustic doors on the machine room, both internally and externally, in order to minimise the plant s noise impact, he says. The DEADP requirements included instructions to limit the aesthetic impact of the structure by blending it into the



To achieve this, the plant

anything that gets wet ‒ such as pipework,

was set as low into the ground as possible,

valve internals and fasteners ‒ is made of

sitting up to 5.5 m deep into the ground in

stainless steel, which also helps minimise

places, displacing 1 500 t of granite. Almost

maintenance requirements. We have also

half of the displaced granite was retained

PROJECT ACCOLADES The project recently achieved the award for Best Project with a value under R50 million at the Consulting Engineers South Africa’s (CESA) Aon Engineering Excellence Awards, the Best Environmental Project award at the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa (IMESA) Awards, as well as a Certificate of Merit from the Drakenstein Heritage Foundation. Aurecon has also recently walked away with one of the construction industry’s top accolades at the 2012 Construction World Best Projects Awards, as the highly acclaimed Meulwater WTW was named the ‘Overall Winner’ in the Professional Services category.

on-site for use as cladding to the outside of

Raw water inlet works

subcontractor gather seeds from various

the main buildings. Sections of the structure are built completely underground and are planted with

impacted by construction activities.

fynbos, and landscaping of the site was

The Meulwater plant has undergone full

done in such a way as to limit visibility of the

equipment testing, and handover to the

structure from the valley below. Trees have

municipality took place at the end of June

been placed strategically to hide aspects of

2012, with strict adherence to safety, health

the structure and, where possible, berms

and environmental requirements being

have been created to make the structure

a prerequisite. No injury or safety related


incidents occurred throughout the entire





department has helped the landscaping


reserves, which were used to reseed all areas

contract period.


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WTW to receive R50 million upgrade The 100-year-old Umzonyana Water Treatment Works is to be refurbished in a R50 million upgrade project, which will increase its treatment capacity from 120 to 150 Mℓ/d, according to Royal HaskoningDHV, the consultants appointed for the project by the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

where supernatant is drained back into the dam. Sludge lagoons fill up quickly, hence construction of additional capacity nearby is needed, including appropriate fencing around new and existing lagoons.

Upgrading of the Mdantsane Pump Station Number 2 This pump station comprises two pump sets, and the new works will include installation of a reflux valve on a 525 mm AC rising main, upgrading of pump motors with new switch gear, as well as a possible



he Umzonyana Water Treatment

sedimentation tanks, sludge ponds, up-

Works (UWTW) was built in the

grading of the Mdantsane pump station

early 1900s as the main water

Number 2, new chlorination and ammonia

supply to the borough of East

plants as well as the completion of the

New chlorination & ammonia plant: Chlorine dosing plant

new inlet works.

The existing plant will be replaced by a





upgrading of the adjacent substation.

enlarged from the initial small, slow sand

The project is especially challenging

new construction, which is envisaged to

filtration plant to the existing sophisti-

as portions of previous upgrade work

be detached from the main building. The

cated treatment works with an output

were designed by other consultants and

design of the new plant will be future-

of 120 Mℓ/d of purified water, explains

construction of certain works has been

focused to accommodate upgrades and

project manager Victor Helberg.

started but not completed, says Helberg.

compatible with the proposed modular

The aim of the project is to meet the

Part of our remit is to investigate and in-

form of design where plant trials (1/3) for

increased drinking water demand caused

corporate those portions of works into the

flocculent can be run parallel to regular

by new developments and the increasing

new upgrade to ensure their effective and

chemical (2/3), dosing efficiency, etc.

number of households in Buffalo City

beneficial use, he says.

Ammonia dosing plant

Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) area. This project will ensure that the required

Sedimentation tanks

The current position of this plant is

volumes of clean water for BCMM s

There are six sedimentation tanks with

awkward in terms of deliveries, hourly

communities could be provided at the

varying capacity from 9.7 to 43.8 Mℓ/d.

inspections as well as safety of process

lowest possible cost, thus enabling the

To increase treatment capacity, as well

controllers, especially at night.

municipality to fulfil its mandate of being

as improve final water quality, additional

put forward an improved solution to the

the Water Services Authority (WSA) and

sedimentation processing is required.

client, which addresses current shortcom-

We will

ings as well as investigating and recom-

provider (WSP) to its constituents.

Sludge lagoons/ponds

mending other forms of ammonia for use

meet the anticipated water demands

Currently, there are three sludge lagoons

at the UWTW.

for the next 15 years, will involve the de-

built in rocky outcrops situated above in

signs and implementation for additional

the north part of the Umzonyana Dam,

This upgrade, which is calculated to

Completion of the new inlet works The 900 mm diameter siphon from the dam was due to be replaced by a 1 200 mm diameter outlet from the bottom of the dam, but the construction was never completed and this work is part of our scope of works, states Helberg. Also construction of new holding tanks of flocculent to suit the increased capacity and dosage trends is part of the works. Completion of the new inlet works includes the refurbishment of the existing ±1 km bypass canal around Umzonyana Dam, together with fencing of the dam perimeter. The project was awarded to Royal HaskoningDHV early in November 2012 and work was to have commenced early this year, with an anticipated completion date of December 2014.





Refurbishment and extension progressing With the Homevale Wastewater Treatment Works in the Northern Cape operating above its design capacity of 30 Mℓ/d, coupled with substantial growth within the catchment area of the works, the Sol Plaatje Municipality identified the urgent need to increase the treatment capacity of the works. Chantelle Mattheus interviews Aurecon Associate Les O’Connell on the progress of the project.


Sustainable focus

capacity to 48 Mℓ/d and diverting

same time addressing environmental issues

purified effluent by pumping it through a

related to a large flamingo population that

WWTW refurbishment

700 mm pipeline to a high point from where

inhabits Kamfers Dam,

says O Connell,

This aspect of the

it could either gravitate to the Vaal River or

adding that the transfer of purified effluent

project was carried

be utilised by farmers, explains O Connell.

will also provide economic

he project entailed refurbishing an

unavailable locally, were

existing 30 Mℓ/d wastewater treat-

The project lays the basis for sustainable

ment works (WWTW), extending its

development in Kimberley while at the

Aurecon was responsible for the planning,

opportunities for agricultural

design and construction supervision of

use to farmers in the vicinity

the project, with numerous other contrac-

of the transfer pipeline.

required, notes O Connell.

“The project lays the basis for sustainable development in Kimberley while at the same time addressing environmental issues.” Les O'Connell

tors involved in additional aspects of the

The project also has re-

project, including Marange Construction,

gional significance in that the

Empa Construction, Eigenbau, Botjheng

transfer of effluent and the

Water, Entsha Henra Construction, HSH

associated lowering of the level of the pan

out in three phases under five contracts, of




will ensure the security of a main railway

which Phase 1 was the emergency inter-




lines, which is critical for the export of man-

vention to address the most pressing re-

ganese from the Northern Cape.

quirements when the project commenced


Projects, Tau

Joint Venture. The broad thrust of the programme was to

Additionally, from the sustainable employ-

in June 2009. It involved clearing blocked

refurbish the WWTW in order to stabilise the

ment viewpoint, a number of community

pipes in the works, replacing a collapsed

effluent quality and simultaneously extend

liaison officers were recruited through the

outfall sewer and creating a buffer pond to

it to accommodate additional inflows and to

ward councillors in the area and local people

increase retention time before the effluent

implement a scheme to divert effluent from

were employed, with contractors only using

reach the pan.

Kamfers Dam to a balancing tank.

permanently employed personnel to carry

Phase 2 referred to the refurbishment of

out work for which specific skills, that were

the existing works in order to ensure that the works were in proper working order. Part of this second phase included the





WTW & WWTW In order for this to be achieved,

Johannesburg under threat since 2011.

a new inlet splitter was required

According to O Connell, the project in its

to divide the effluent between

entirety is progressing well to date, with the

the old works and the extension.

Homevale WWTW having already been re-

The extension is being imple-

furbished and the contract for the extension

mented through civil, mechani-

on track, to be completed in May 2014. The

cal and electrical contracts.

Effluent Diversion scheme is also nearing

MIG funding was also obtained

completion and, when Water&Sanitation

for the extension of the works,

Africa spoke to O Connell in February, the

with the approved funding com-

scheme was on track to be fully operational

prising R153 million MIG funds

by the end of March this year.

and R22 million to be sourced from the municipality funds.

Challenging conditions

Additionally, in July last year, a

The biggest challenge on-site to date,

further R15 million was made

according to O Connell, has been the soil

available by the DWA under

conditions whic comprised very deep clays

the Regional Bulk Infrastructure

subject to ground water infiltration. This

Grant (RBIG) for the utilisation on

has posed a challenge in terms of the stabili-

the Homevale WWTW project.

ty of structures, he says.

Diversion of effluent

sign of the interface between the clay, the

Care has therefore been taken in the de-

The extension of the WWTW is on track to be completed in May 2014. The refurbishment has already been completed

This project comprises a tech-

foundation of structures and under-floor



drainage. In addition, pressure relief valves

well as a developmental portion;

have been included in all the structures that


are susceptible to floating, notes O Connell.




struction portion is currently the

He adds that an interesting technique uti-

most important in addressing

lised on-site is the founding of water retain-

what has been termed crisis levels at the

ing structures without layer works in order

Kamfers Dam.

to minimise the possibility of groundwater

The technical construction portion is to be completed in two main phases comprising

provision of an additional secondary set-

five separate contracts. The developmental

tling tank (SST) to add to the three existing

aspects relate to a further two

SSTs. The purpose of this SSST was to pro-

phases, which will be imple-

vide operational flexibility with the added

mented subsequent to the

benefit of a slight increase in the WWTW s

completion of the technical

capacity to 33 Mℓ/d. During the refurbish-

aspects and involve making

ment of one of the existing SSTs, the floor of

water available to commercial

the SST failed and the whole structure had


to be replaced.

establishing emerging farmers



This is a creative method of handling the prevailing soil conditions. Working on an opera-

It is anticipated that the extension of the capacity of the WWTW will be sufficient to sustain the city until 2020

Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) fund-

on a portion of municipal land

ing, as well as R7.2 million from Department

utilising purified effluent to

of Water Affairs (DWA), was made available

irrigate crops ‒ although the

for the refurbishment of the works. To

latter phase has as yet not pro-

date, R67.4 million has been expended on

gressed beyond the conceptual stage.

tional plant has required careful



the municipal staff at the WWTW and a close working relationship



staff and municipal staff. Much of the success of these interactions can be attributed to the continuous support of Boy Dhluwayo, who




Director: Infrastructure and Services at the

the refurbishment, and it is estimated that

A recent update on the level of the pan

once the balance of the retention payments

notes that, with the rainfall experienced

is made, the total expenditure will be

in 2012, the Johannesburg line no longer

Forward planning

R67.9 million.

appears to be in danger and the level of the


pan is steadily dropping to the point where

requirements were informed by various

WWTW extension

the submergence of the Hotazel line has


The extension of the WWTW comprised an

decreased from 900 mm in September 2011


additional 15 Mℓ/d treatment lane, which

to a current 400 mm as of the end of 2012.

Spatial Development Framework and by

Sol Plaatje Municipality


O Connell,








consists of an inlet works, a biological

The Development Bank of Southern Africa

interrogating the institutional knowledge

reactor, two SSTs, two detention and one

(DBSA) is funding an amount of R18 million

of the planning and technical staff within

buffer pond, two lane sludge recycling

towards the diversion of effluent, while

the municipality.

pump stations, an aerobic sludge digester,

the R74 million balance is to be funded

It is anticipated that the extension of the

a thickening sludge pump station, sludge

by Transnet, given that at this stage it is

capacity of the WWTW will be sufficient to

drying beds, as well as a number of an-

most seriously affected by the rising levels

sustain the city until 2020. However, he


in the dam, with the Hotazel trajectory

concludes that the project does allow room

having to be closed and the main line to

for expansion.


and roads.



accumulating from the surrounding clays.





Picture: GSM-2 system for water level measurements


Level Sensor







'DWD /RJJHU '&; (&2


'DWD /RJJHU '&; $$




Upgrade & expansion continues Currently having reached Stage 2 of the upgrade process, which involves the construction of the sludge management process, the upgrade of Zeekoegat is well under way, discovers Chantelle Mattheus on consultation with principal for Water & Wastewater Treatment at Bigen Africa, Ian Pollard. Construction of the new anaerobic digester under way at Zeekoegat WWTW of the digester through a series of heat exchangers. Additionally, digested sludge will be routed to a new dewatering facility where the sludge will be dewatered by means of belt filter presses to a solids content of approximately 20% before being spread on a 30 000 m2 concrete slab for solar drying prior to being made available to an external party for the production of fertiliser. The provision of all sludge loading, spreading and turning equipment has been included under the scope of this contract. A further feature of the sludge management process is the treatment of phosphate-rich liquor discharged from the digested sludge during dewatering. This liquor stream will be chemically conditioned by means of lime for the precipitation of sol-



ith construction of the new

be pumped to two new fermenters, where

uble phosphate, with the resultant chemical

40 Mℓ/d activated sludge

the sludge will be retained for a period

sludge being routed back to the belt filter



of three to six days for the formation of

presses for drying and subsequent disposal,

Stage 1 nearing comple-

volatile fatty acids to enhance biological

adds Pollard.

tion at the City of Tshwane s Zeekoegat

phosphorus removal at the works, before

The project is being managed for the City

Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW), con-

being pumped to one of two new 6 000 m3

of Tshwane by Izak de Villiers, Koot Snyman

struction of the new sludge management

anaerobic digesters for stabilisation. WAS

and Stephan van der Merwe. The design and

and treatment process under Stage 2 com-

extracted from the biological reactors

contract administration for this stage of the

menced in November 2012. Three months

and thickened by means of dissolved air

project is currently handled by Corrie Marx

into the 20-month contract, the contractor,

flotation will be de-aerated and pumped

and Ian Pollard of Bigen Africa Services as

a joint venture (JV) between Civcontract

directly to the anaerobic digesters, which

part of the BAKV3 JV between Bigen Africa

Civils and WEC Projects, has made good

will be completely mixed units designed

and Kwezi V3 (now WorleyParsons). As men-

progress and the majority of earthworks

to operate at 16 days hydraulic retention

tioned earlier, the contractor is a JV between

have been completed on this R188 million

time and 35̊C to facilitate the formation of

Civcon and WEC Projects, with Electron

contract, reports Pollard.

The objective

biogas. This will in all likelihood be utilised

Technologies as the electrical subcontractor.

of the new infrastructure is to provide a

in the nearby future for the (co)generation

comprehensive sludge handling, treatment,

of electricity.


During the peak of civil construction activities between March and September

stabilisation and dewatering process for the

Based on the expected production

2013, between 70 and 100 people will be

Zeekoegat treatment facility as a whole, and

of biogas and specifically methane, it is

employed on-site as general workers, steel

it is envisaged that approximately 8.5 t pri-

envisaged that between 800 and 1 200 kW

fixers and shutter hands, many of them

mary sludge and 15 t waste activated sludge

electricity, which is roughly 30% of the

employed from the local community.

(WAS) will be routed to and treated by the

plant s total electrical demand, can be gen-

In addition, the majority of the building

new process in the medium term, he says.

erated at the works and routed back into

works, fencing, paving and small bore

the local electricity supply grid, describes

pipework will be subcontracted to local

Process unpacked

Pollard. In the short-term, the biogas will

emerging contractors as part of the contrac-

Pollard adds that primary sludge captured

be used as fuel for two hot-water boilers,

tor s local economic development initiative,

by the primary sedimentation tanks will

which will be used to heat the contents

concludes Pollard.




Proactive wastewater reuse a reality? The current debate with regards to wastewater reuse is about whether the ‛polluter pays’ principle should apply or whether companies be proactive about their water issues, Dow regional commercial manager: sub-Saharan Africa, Susan Cole, tells Chantelle Mattheus.


e believe in the reuse of

generation is a water-intensive industry,

realise savings and still operate optimally

wastewater as a way to

yet without power other industries cannot

and efficiently, she states.

reach sustainability. Water

grow. The more we industrialise the more

With increasing demands on water to

is an important element of

we need water and, as we do so, the more

support population growth and industri-

life and the most scarce of commodities

we contaminate our limited water sources.

alisation, we need to change our mindsets

in the world and in our country. There

This leads to the need for more advanced

about water, believes Cole. In areas where

are seven billion people in the world and

methods of purification to return the wa-

clean, potable water is available, it is often

another two billion are expected to join

ter to a state fit for drinking or for reuse in

undervalued and in essence considered

by 2050. Each of us will aim to consume

an industrial application.

free . The cost of water is often not linked

around 100 to 200 ℓ of water every day.

However, as Cole notes, wastewater

to the value of water, making conservation

Therefore, we have to stress that every

reuse is relatively new to this part of the

and water management a lower priority

drop matters and is HIGHLY precious,

world. It is only just being considered in

than it should be.

says Cole.

the local landscape by companies looking

According to Cole, there are good waste-

to make the most out of their water usage.

water discharge standards in this region,

South Africa s economy, is driven by water

The cost of potable water is a driver and

but currently under discussion is whether

usage either directly or indirectly. Power

by reusing wastewater a company can

the ‛polluter pays principle should apply

She adds that industry, and ultimately



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or whether companies need to be proac-

our scarce water re-

tive about their water issues?

sources, she says.

This is

where Dow can play a role in facilitating

According to Cole,

solution creation and in the same space


save companies money. A win-win for


all involved, including the environment,


says Cole.



many options


treat rang-

She adds that Dow s mission is to pas-

ing from conven-

sionately innovate what is essential to hu-

tional treatment to

man progress by providing sustainable so-

alternative technol-

lutions to its customers. We are constantly

ogies such as RO,

working in our research and development

UF, ion exchange,

laboratories on solutions that treat waste-


water effectively and efficiently. We focus


on making water usage more efficient.

discharge, to name

Dow has a number of technologies that

a few.

can do just that cost-effectively.



What type of op-

Dow Water & Process Solutions ultra-

tion you choose is

filtration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO)

very much depend-

technologies have recently been used in

ant on the water

plants built to treat coal mine drainage

problem itself.

wastewater, processing the water to a




standard used as feed water for a nearby

Dow is the only


COOL COWS In a unique project that reflects its sustainable approach to dairy farming, Al Ain Dairy, the United Arab Emirates’ leading dairy producer, is using state-of-the-art water recycling technology to reuse 300 000 ℓ/d of treated wastewater. The technology, from Dow Water & Process Solutions, filters and purifies the treated wastewater, which is then sprayed through an automated cooling system designed to keep the herd cool and comfortable during the summer season, thereby maintaining optimal dairy production levels.


manufacturer to offer a full portfolio of

to electrodeionisation products that con-

This a good example of wastewater reuse

water treatment technologies, from ion ex-

tinue to set an industry standard for quality

playing a very efficient role in conserving

change resins, RO membranes, UF modules

and reliability, concludes Cole.




Global knowledge Engineering and expertise for water industry

Delivering leading edge solutions for more than 4 decades: •Chemical & Petro Chemical Industries •Tank Farm & Pipeline Infrastructure •Water and Waste Water Treatment •Industrial Plant Design & Build •Food & Beverage Plants •Civil Infrastructure •Oil & Gas Refining •Bio Fuels Plants •Coke Ovens

Uhde A division of ThyssenKrupp PDNA Engineering (Pty) Ltd. Tel: +27 11 236 1000 e-mail: info.tkpdna@thyssenkrupp.com www.uhde.co.za





Inspired innovation Lesira-Teq has introduced a water meter to the market that has transformed the meter numbers into rand and cents – and with that a water-saving paradigm shift among end users, Lesira-Teq’s MD, Edwin Sibiya, tells Chantelle Mattheus.


or the first time, we have a water

within their wa-

benefit of free water how many litres they

meter that is user-friendly and not

ter pipe systems

have remaining.

just a series of numbers that re-

that may not be

Finally, says Sibiya, it enables end users

mains a mystery to end users. Our

obvious to them.

full access to the meter. They can lock it

water meter does not only provide the end

It also enables

and open it at their own convenience,

user easy access to important information

them to monitor

in that way they are able to prevent

about their water use, but also educates

their water usage

water wastage.

them on how best to manage and preserve water, explains Sibiya. He adds that the water meter is completely unique and has a totally integrated design that offers multiple modes of operation in one, consisting of, among others: • Pre-paid mode

Local dynamics

“We remain the only company that supplies intelligent water meters with multiple modes and sophisticated functionality.” Edwin Sibiya

The biggest challenge facing the water industry currently is how best to contribute to the country s water conservation efforts. South Africa is the 30th driest country

• Conventional mode • Post-paid mode

throughout the month and therefore helps

in the world, but lags behind in terms of

• Flat-rate Mode

to save water. It further enables the end

water conservation. There is a move in the

• Property leak detection

users to check their balance in the comfort

industry to provide innovative meters that

• Indigent audit system

of their own homes, avoiding the long

will help the country to preserve water,

• Offers various options for end users to pur-

queues at the pay points, he states.

says Sibiya.

chase water credit, including through the

Further value, according to Sibiya, is

Lesira-Teq provides a comprehensive

internet, the bank, BP garage, Spar, Engen

added because the meter also enables end

range of state-of-the-art intelligent water

garage, Pick n Pay, Shoprite Checkers,

users to activate usage of their emergency

meter technology in South Africa and

7 Eleven, Shell garage, Clicks and Sasol.

water at a time of their own choosing, as

according to Sibiya, Lesira-Teq remains

well as enabling them to load water in

a leader in this field. We remain the only

accordance to their specific water needs.

company that supplies intelligent water

Value-add verified This translates well into value and ben-

Additionally, it is user-friendly, ena-

meters with multiple modes and sophis-

efits for the end user in a variety of ways,

bling end users to read and understand

ticated functionality that accommodate

according to Sibiya.

Our water meter

their own water meter data and has the


enables the end users to detect any leaks

functionality to inform those with the

water dispensers.




Metering is therefore uniquely suited to assist in sustainable solutions to this challenge. We need innovative products that can help educate our citizenry on the importance of water conservation. We need meters with functionalities that will enable end users to interpret numbers so as to contribute to a culture of water conservation on a large scale in our country, says Sibiya. However, there are specific challenges relating to the roll-out and effective utilisation of metering technology in the local context as well. Our conventional meters disempower





technologies and innovations that are customer-centric. The end-users are clear about their needs from this industry; it is for us to listen carefully to their needs and produce water meters that will meet these needs, concludes Sibiya.



Saving Water, Saving Lives YARD WATER METER OVERVIEW


The Intelligent Water Meter and the supporting Meter Management System (MMS) provides a revolutionary approach to Water Demand Management. The Intelligent Water Meter ensures signiÀcant water savings through consumption management and leak detection with the added beneÀt of no billing costs. Bad debt is reduced and the lower consumption contributes towards reduced demand on reticulation and treatment plant.

• Intelligent Meter options ȩ Conventional Mode: Revenue collection via standard billing. The client can check the status of his/her debt at any given time ȩ Pre-paid Mode: the client buys credit in advance from a vending point ȩ Post-Payment Mode: the user is assigned a negative credit limit in litres or rand value ȩ Flat rate Mode: Àxed amount per month for unlimited volume • Optional metered Lifeline Áow (40 ȳ/hr) when credit runs out • High air Áow detection and correction • Insensitive to lightning, freezing water, ambient temperatures up to 700 C, water hammer and dirt particles in water • Optional built in radio for AMR (no loose wires or antenna) • Arrears collection via User Tag (mode dependent)



The Community Standpipe Water Meter and supporting Meter Management System (WAS) is designed to offer a solution to the provision of water at communal water supply points. It requires low capital investment and can be used in both rural areas and informal settlements. One Meter can typically serve up to 40 households. The unit consists of a Class B multi jet water meter with electronic read out and built in Áow control valve. A patented valve system ensures extended battery life. The unit is meteorologically sealed and provides a high level of resistance to physical tamper and is immune to magnetic tamper. Should the meter become faulty, it can be replaced in the Àeld within ten minutes.

• Eight programmable tariff steps • Physical tamper resistant. Full encryption and copy protection • Immune to magnetic interference • Meter accuracy unaffected by sand particles • High air Áow detection and correction • Adjustable Free Basic Water • Daily consumption limit for water-scarce areas • Full calendar clock • Patented low power consumption system • Battery can provide 90 000 valve applications • Robust metal housing with security screws • Delivered fully assembled and pressure tested to 20 bar • SANS 1529-1 and SANS 1529-9 approved



The Handheld Vending Unit is used in conjunction with the Intelligent Water Meter and Community Standpipe. It provides the link between the Meter and the Meter Management System (MMS). A network of conveniently located Vending Units provides the customer with easy access to “point of sale” where credit can be purchased. Each transaction is supported by a receipt printed from a dedicated printer.

• • • • •

523 Church Street, Provisus Building, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0083, South Africa Tel: +27 12 440 9885 | Fax: +27 12 440 9751 Naphtali Motaung | +27 72 736 2995 info@lesira.co.za | www.lesira.co.za

56 MB internal data memory, LCD display Single membrane keypad with standard key functions Built in battery with battery charge-level indicator Charged batteries provide 8 hours continuous operation Re-chargeable from a 220V AC source using the supplied charger. A car charger can also be used • High level of security with password protection • Theft risk is low as only dedicated functions are provided • Weighs approximately 350 g • Supplied with dedicated printer • Optional increased internal data memory (up to 2GB) • Optional GPRS module for automatic real-time downloading of data and online transactions • Optional collection of capital repayments and service charges




The no-valve metering revolution is here with Qdos Watson-Marlow Bredel SA has started the ‘no-valve metering revolution’ with the launch of its Qdos 30 pump range.


eveloped in response to extensive industrial customer feedback for improved chemical metering, the Qdos 30 pump range eliminates ancillary equipment, enhances productivity

The new Qdos 30 series pumps from Watson-Marlow Bredel SA

Other features include a menu-driven intuitive HMI and clearly visible status indicators. The keypad, display and all of the input and output connections are easily accessible. ReNu pumphead technology ensures that the

and reduces chemical waste through more accurate,

Qdos 30 is fully sealed for safe maintenance without the

linear and repeatable metering than typical solenoid or

need for tools. Pumphead removal and replacement is

stepper-driven diaphragm metering pumps.

quick and easy, reducing downtime for maintenance. No

This new range of pumps can be installed in restricted

special tools are required to replace the pumphead, and

environments and is suitable for chemical metering

technicians do not need special training to carry out the

applications, such as disinfection and pH adjustment

work. It only takes a minute to replace the pumphead,

of drinking water, flocculation, industrial cooling water

which significantly reduces maintenance costs, explains

preparation and reagent dosing in mineral processing,

Van Schalkwyk.

says Watson-Marlow Bredel SA general manager, Nico van Schalkwyk.

The Qdos range follows the successful launch of WatsonMarlow s APEX pumps earlier this year. APEX offers levels

According to Van Schalkwyk, the pumps can safely handle caustic, abrasive, viscous, shear-sensitive and gaseous

of versatility unrivalled by any other positive displacement pump ‒ and is effectively three pumps in one.

fluids, as well as those that are slurries or contain suspend-

The pump s unique geometry allows easy field conver-

ed solids. The Qdos 30 Universal is the premium model in

sion between three different hose elements to double or

the range and features a fully configurable response to the

triple the flow without the need to invest in a new pump,

4 to 20 mA input and output signal and alarm. Four other

Van Schalkwyk points out. This low-cost scale-up pro-

pump variants are available in the range.

vides ultimate future proofing against rising production

Watson-Marlow has given particular consideration to customer preferences during development of the new Qdos 30 pump, says Van Schalkwyk. He cites the display of the residual level in the tank as an example. Users can now keep an eye on the level at a

volumes. Users can also select any type and

“The pumps deliver extremely accurate dosing performance, even under difficult conditions”

glance. Linear dosing is another outstanding

specific process conditions. APEX hose pumps are perfectly suited for handling difficult fluids ‒ corrosive, viscous, shear-sensitive, gaseous, crystallising or even fluids with a combination of these properties.

feature of the Qdos 30 series pumps, which are described

Offering the best performance available on the market

as valveless pumps .

for pressures up to 116 psi, along with reliable and stable

The pumps deliver extremely accurate dosing performance, even under difficult conditions when pressure,


brand of motor gearbox to suit their own

flow up to 317 GPH, APEX is an ideal choice for ongoing, precise dosing.

viscosity and solids content vary, he adds. Volume flow

This is boosted by a new generation of long-lasting

ranges between 0.1 and 500 mℓ/min at up to 7 bar. IP66-

hoses that also support repeatable accuracy when dosing

compliant manual, analogue and Profibus control options

additives; while continuous pumps speed up to 100 rpm

simplify integration. In addition, the pumps do not require

provide a wider capacity range compared to alternative

seals or valves, which can clog, leak or corrode.

hose pumps.


The world’s most popular water meter wins more enthusiasts

The V110 KSM incorporates all the advanced engineering attributes of its popular cousin, the PSM, plus its engineering-plastic body makes it unlikely to be stolen. Having no second hand value virtually eliminates the potential for theft. While the tough, UVstabilised, engineering-plastic body repels undesirable interest, its internal mechanism is unsurpassed for low


Tel: (011) 470-4900 Tel: (031) 266-4915 Tel: (021) 511-8465/6 Tel: (051) 430-2603 Cell: 082 458-3439

Fax: (011) 474-0175 Fax: (031) 266-9521 Fax: (021) 511-8446 Fax: (051) 430-6165

and high flow accuracy in any position. Over the last six years every component in our meters has been refined and improved for greater accuracy and longevity. For the full story on our V110 KSM meter range, visit our website or call our offices. Often copied, never equaled.

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 www.elstermetering.co.za 8360/6/2012

Vital Connections



Local entity receives highest accolade Subsurface pipeline construction and rehabilitation company Trenchless Technologies has been awarded the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) 2012 Annual Project Award for a contract that the company undertook for the Mandela Bay Development Agency involving the rehabilitation of two parallel sewers located in the heart of the Port Elizabeth CBD.


renchless Technologies

managing member

the 1050DN sewer was located underneath a newly

Sam Efrat says that the ISTT Annual Project

constructed BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) lane. Considering

Award is the highest accolade available world-

that the BRT and road lanes are utilised every day, only

wide in the trenchless technology industry,

non-destructive trenchless techniques could be em-

adding that the winner is chosen from nominations

ployed for the rehabilitation of these pipelines.

received from companies that are members of the 30

Efrat states that condition assessments were carried

ISTT-affiliated trenchless societies across the globe. The





out on both sewers using CCTV inspection and cutting


of windows from the sewers for physical inspection. It

Technologies in conjunction with Afri-Coast Consulting

was ascertained that the 525DN sewer was severely

Engineers, Sekisui Rib Loc Australia (part of SPR Asia),

corroded around its entire circumference due to acidic

subcontractor Tuboseal as well as consultants Pipes

effluent with pH values measuring as low as 3.3. The

cc and Engineering Advice and Services. Efrat explains

sewer s mortar had corroded out of the construction

that this was the second phase of a two-phase project

joints and was no longer watertight.

‒ Phase 1 was completed in 2009 and involved the rehabilitation of 570 m of 450DN sewer using SPR EX technology, as well as 560 m of 840DN sewer using SPR PE spiral wound technology. The pipeline rehabilitation took place concurrent with an urban environmental upgrading project involving decorative paving and resurfacing works on the surface above the existing pipes. Further downstream, the 450DN and 840DN sewers increased in capacity to 525 mm and 1 000 mm in diameter. Phase two involved the rehabilitation of these two sewers. Efrat explains that what made this project unique was its location: the 525DN sewer was located beneath one of Port Elizabeth s busiest and most heavily congested streets ‒ Govan Mbeki Avenue. Additionally,


Additionally, the 1050DN sewer was severely corroded

ABOVE Sam Efrat, Trenchless Technologies’ managing member

above the water line and the reinforcement was ex-

BOTTOM LEFT Phase 1 (before) 450 cast iron pipe before cleaning

along the sections of the sewer where the fluid velocity

BOTTOM RIGHT Phase 1 (after) 450 cast iron pipe after cleaning

posed and corroded away at places. Particularly severe deterioration occurred at the sides and invert of the sewer due to a combination of corrosion and erosion was high. Efrat says that this corrosion is typical of what occurs in a sewer downstream of a rising main where there is an accumulation of gas due to long retention times. He points out that it was estimated that sections of the sewer would collapse within 10 years. Speaking on the technology used by Trenchless Technologies on the project, Efrat describes: Altogether the project used five different trenchless techniques


LEAK DE TEC TION & MAINTENANCE ‒ spiral wound expanded to a close fit, spiral wound-in-place, ambient curedin-place pipe (CIPP), UV CIPP and pipe bursting. The contract was awarded based on the fact that the company utilises spiral

RIGHT Phase 1 (before) 840 concrete sewer with deep sill worn away at pipe base BELOW RIGHT Phase 1 (after) 840 concrete pipe after relining with Ribloc Ribline BELOW Phase 2 1050 Rotoloc

wound technology, namely SPR EX for the 525 sewer and SPR RO for the 1050 sewer. However, during the project unforeseen site conditions, such as a 15 m 90-degree radius bend on the 525 pipe and a 43 m length of 800 mm diameter pipe was discovered where the 1 000 sewer reduces in size, which required the introduction of additional ambient cure and UV CIPP methods. Additionally, pipe bursting of a 225DN clay lateral pipe became necessary as a cracked and leaking lateral 225DN

problems. With CIPP, once the liner cures,

clay pipe was preventing plugging and

it is extremely difficult to remove in the

over-pumping at a critical manhole.

event of a failure, whereas with Spiral

Efrat adds that the wide range of technologies used on this project allowed for a complete no-dig solution that enabled rehabilitation




Wound it is far easier to remove the liner if there is a failure, thus the risk is lower. Despite the challenges encountered, the


combined team managed to pull off the

through access chambers. What s more,

successful rehabilitation of the two sewer

options to address unanticipated site

the solution was design-compliant and the

pipelines without any disruptions to traffic

conditions allowing the project to be com-

risk was lower as the entire process could

or the public. This project is an excellent

pleted successfully without excavation

be reversed in the event of unforeseen

example of using trenchless technology

and site disruption, concludes Efrat.



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Reline, repair & renewal at Sun City When the main 200 mm uPVC pipe to the clamshell water feature evidenced a leak, causing major water losses and ensuring the feature became non-functional, the only viable solution was to reline the pipe with Nu Flow technology, SA Leak Detection Distributors’ David Wade tells Chantelle Mattheus.

he first South African project for the Benoni-based


Tried and tested technology

firm, relining a clamshell water feature pipe at Sun

The Nu Flow system is currently manufactured in Canada,

City, in South Africa s North West province, was

where it has been used for more than two decades. SA

necessitated because the pipe ran for approxi-

Leak Detection Distributors, however, will soon be man-

mately 145 m under a 1.5 m thick reinforced concrete slab

ufacturing epoxy and liners locally. The Nu Flow relining

with distinctive stone paving on top. To chop up a 1.5 m

process comprises two systems ‒ one for potable water

thick reinforced concrete would have had time, money,

and one for drains ‒ which serve to rehabilitate the inner

aesthetic and business continuity issues, explains Wade.

infrastructure of deteriorated or failing water and drainage

The Nu Flow relining system had the added advantage of being less time consuming. If normally you are going to excavate 145 m of pipe under a 1.5 m thick reinforced concrete slab, this would entail weeks of work on-site. If we are relining it, it is a day or two, depending on how

“If we are relining it, it is a day or two, depending on how many bends and laterals are in the pipeline.” David Wade

Although there are competitors in the market that could possibly compare cost-wise on large diameter pipes,




place epoxy pipe lining solutions. Epoxy coating is not only used as

many bends and laterals are in the pipeline and so on, says Wade.


a long-term solution to prevent corrosion and leaks, but it is commonly used as a preventative tool to preserve the life of existing pipe systems, says Wade.

none of the competitors can do multiple 90-degree


bends without excavating launch pits on either end of the

Potable properties

pipe, says Wade. Nu Flow is able to launch from existing

With the potable water pipe relining system, the pipe

access points like rodding eyes, fire hydrants, drain outlets

network is first sand-blasted to clean the pipes interiors,

and air release valves.

before the red epoxy is air-blasted through the network.



The epoxy unfolds itself evenly due to the air pressure and temperature, attaining an even lining throughout. The potable water system can be applied to pipe diameters from 15 to 300 mm. The potable water solution is primarily used to fix pinhole leaks. From a preventative point of view, because the water is no longer in contact with the metal, there is no rust, corrosion and build up in the pipes, Wade states.

The blue epoxy is used when relining drain systems

sleeve then sets. You are basically making a new pipe inside the old pipe. With plastic pipes specifically, the epoxy relining is going to be stronger than the original pipes and this system can

Leaks in water networks, even pinhole leaks, not only waste water but they also put people s health at risk by allowing bacteria and germs to enter the potable water supply, he adds.

“The difference is that with this system you can fix huge holes. You can have a whole section of pipe missing and this system can fix it”

Drain dynamics The second system is the drain system, in which the blue

be applied to pipes with diameters measuring between 2

epoxy layer is much thicker. The difference is that with

and 12 inches (300 mm).

this system you can fix huge holes. You can have a whole section of pipe missing and this system can fix it, says

Progressive project

Wade. This is because of the presence of a felt sleeve that

Sun City had a problem with the main water pipe feeding

is impregnated in the epoxy.

the clamshell water feature at the palace. The job was

A rubber bladder is then inserted into the felt sleeve and

undertaken and completed in the first week of December

inserted into the pipeline. The rubber bladder expands as

last year. The water supply pipe had a diameter varying between 4 and 8 inches, as well as three 90-degree bends

it is inflated and when inflated, the epoxy impregnated

The entire process – including camera inspection and relining – should take an average of two days, depending on the extent of the damage and the length of the pipe network

and one 45-degree bend. The biggest challenge on the job is always bends, says Wade. This is in part due to the weight of the liners used when impregnated in the epoxy, in addition to pulling the heavy liner through multiple bends. The solution for the team proved as easy as doing it in sections. Whenever a relining project is undertaken, pipeline inspection via camera is essential. You basically need to use the camera to not only check the condition of the pipe and location of the leaks and damage, but also to do all





Leaking Pipes? Why re-pipe? There’s a better way! How it Works Step 1 – An inspection camera is sent down the pipe to reveal blocked and damaged areas. Step 2 – The pipe is cleaned with a cutting tool. Step 3 – A felt liner soaked in epoxy is pulled into place. Within the liner is an inflatable bladder. When the liner is in place the bladder is inflated. Step 4 – The epoxy is left to cure. After curing the bladder is removed leaving behind a structural “pipe within a pipe” Are you concerned about elbows & tees in pipes? Nu Flow re-lining process can effortlessly get around 90 degree bends!

AFTER While the potable water system is used to fix pinhole leaks, the drain system can fix huge holes the measuring, then build the liner according to these measurements, explains Wade. The system itself required very little space and the relining process also resulted in very little noise being generated. One of the key advantages of using this method was that the park was able to stay open and operational while the relining was taking place. Actually there is a restaurant on the premises that stayed open and the diners were completely unaware of the fact the pipe was being relined directly under their feet while they were eating, says Wade.

Trade and training Wade adds that SA Leak Detection Distributors is selling licences for small to medium contractors to do the relining. We are selling a limited number of these licences per province to ensure high standards and allow specialists to flourish. The number of licensees per province depends on the market, says Wade. The company will be providing full training and support to licensees. In these economic times start-up costs can be prohibiting. We therefor encourage new licensees to get a physical relining job on which we train then on-site. This way, licensees can often recover their licence and equipment costs during training.

CCTV footage of internal pipe damage



From 15mm - 300mm AC / Copper / PVC/HDPE / Earthenware / Galvanized

For more information on becoming a nu flow licensee please contact us



Tel: (+27) 11 425 3379



Future-minded functionality The Rovion system – the newest edition to South African supplier Octopus Electronics’ CCTV pipeline inspection and maintenance portfolio – is designed to offer professional inspectors everything they need for their working base, excelling in its power, robustness and agility, says Octopus Electronics owner, Gavin Nunn.


mported from overseas and launched

other manufacturer has in the mar-

largest European manufacturer of

in May 2011, we have already sold eight

ket in South Africa at the moment,

CCTV pipeline inspection equip-

units into South Africa, which is an indi-

he adds.

ment and is celebrating its 25th

cator that it is doing exceptionally well,

The Rovion system is mostly used for sewer and stormwater

says Nunn of the newest system. As a pipeline inspection camera system,

inspections and mainte-



Octopus Electronics, has a 10-year

its versatility is increased by the fact that it


is a software-based system and therefore

and projects. Locally

the functionality grows with every software

we have an ageing

update. All this, without having to do any

infrastructure, so the

hardware updates and we are developing

necessity is there. The

Training essential

it constantly.

sewer infrastructure is

There is quite a bit of training

Additionally, the system is designed for


anniversary this year. Nunn

becoming very old and if

history with iPEK, which was recently




America-based IDEX.

involved in being able to accurately and effectively use the system

use in pipelines from 100 mm to 1 500 mm,

inspection and maintenance

centralised in the pipeline, with the new

is not carried out it will fail ‒ and this is not

and similar systems, says Nunn.

crawler launched in February this year in

something new or unheard of, states Nunn.

that training on the equipment when we

the United States. There are three crawler

He adds that while in its entirety, it s a mas-

supply the systems, as well as training on

options that enable the operator to cen-

sive network of infrastructure, within my

the WRC MSCC4. This is the manual of sewer

tralise the camera in pipelines ranging

knowledge the City of Tshwane has done

condition classification, and although not

from 100 mm to 1 500 mm in diameter. The

the most work to date on its infrastructure

everybody in South Africa uses it, I promote

ranges are from 100 to 200 mm for the small

network. Currently, contractors in Tshwane

it because it is the basis of all international

crawler, 150 to 1 000 mm for the medium

are using two of the Rovion systems.

related standards.

crawler and from 400 mm to 1 500 mm for the large crawler, says Nunn.

We do

Proactive investigation is key. Then all

Octopus Electronics also supplies after

the data is collated and the software will

delivery support of the system, as well as

identify the bad areas most in need of at-

maintaining a stock of small parts for main-

Awareness on the increase

tention, and also what the good areas are,

tenance and repair purposes. If parts I don t

The need and demand in the market is

says Nunn.

carry are needed, stock is available in two to

growing constantly, as is the awareness of

three days, so downtown is minimal. All of

the product and the processes involved in

Substantial investment in R&D

this is made easier though by the fact the

the market. We have been in business for

The research and development required to

Rovion system is small, has a light capable,

17 years and currently have 40 iPEK crawler

produce a system like the Rovion system

very robust cable, it is easily upgradeable,

systems in the market, which is more than

and introduce it to the market is exorbitant,

easy to maintain and very versatile for wide

double the number of crawler units any

explains Nunn. iPEK is at this stage the

range of pipes, concludes Nunn.


Specialists in CCTV Pipeline Inspection Solutions providing the most comprehensive package in Africa “from Pipe to Report”

Distributors of: Crawler driven and pushrod systems pushrod systems and Pipeline Database and Reporting Software Inflatable Pipe Plugs Phone: 082 771 7705 Fax: 086 546 5930 eMail: gavin@octopuse.co.za www.octopuse.co.za




Helping to minimise your risk The importance of a reliable calibration partner? While calibration certainly plays a role in saving raw materials and passing quality audits, it also guarantees your “recipe” is adhered to and, above all, promises your end-users a consistent level of quality of product. Calibration is globally supported by stand-

ISO 17025 three main drivers

Training, accreditation and reproducibility to reduce your risks

service technician for flow calibration con-

ards such as ISO 17025 and consists of

Most companies would say:

sists of different modules:

three main drivers:

our team is trained! However, is a training

• Metrology

course really sufficient to certify the service

• Flow calibration

1. quality




For example, the qualification of a

Of course


2. validation and traceabil-

Flow products

Each of these modules

ity (methods)

has to be validated inde-

3. competency

pendently, covering both


theoretical and practical



aspects, in order for each

system is well-known and

participant to obtain the

you can easily check if

qualification in each specif-

your partner qualifies, es-

ic module. This guarantees

pecially if they are already

our customers the value

certified or accredited.

of the training provided.

The methods used are

On top of this, for specific

also easy to verify as your partner is either

technician as competent to operate and

types of calibration, our technician s ability



maintain your process? Are your risks un-

is backed up after the certified training by

usage of validated methods or not ‒ this

der control? At Endress+Hauser, service

proficiency testing, compliant with ISO

is a black or white situation. Standard op-

training and proficiency tests are con-

13528. Internal certification is given based

erating procedures (SOPs) availability is an

ducted worldwide with participants from

on successful assessment during training,

example of this.

various countries. The objective is not only

and allows us to assign competent techni-

However, when it comes to employee

to train service people to perform calibra-

cians to calibration jobs around the world.

competence it gets a little bit trickier. Even

tion using proven methodologies but also

if handling competence seems simple to

to ensure that when they are back in their

Endress+Hauser calibration is performed:

check at first, in reality competence is not

respective countries, the methodologies

• in compliance with worldwide standards

as easy to establish as the two first drivers!

used are relevant and efficient.

• with a high level of competence.




This global initiative ensures that your

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