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Promoting professional excellence in the water sector The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa

Water& Sanitation Complete water resource and wastewater management

Africa

Cape Town

Henk Smit Managing Director, Vovani Water Products

Unpacking Day Zero

Industry Insight The latest in treatment solutions

ImproChem

Value added, one drop at a time Industrial Water Driving efficiency in the

hot seat

Master Plan

Building an investable sector

“What really sets the company apart from its peers is the ability to go beyond simply supplying a liquid storage solution. We engage on all project levels.” James Preston Marketing Manager, SBS Tanks P10 May/June 2018 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 13 No.3


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Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Danielle Petterson Managing editor Alastair Currie Head of design Beren Bauermeister Designer Jaclyn Dollenberg Chief sub-editor Tristan Snijders Sub-editor Morgan Carter Contributors Dhiren Allopi, Siyabulela Fanie, Lester Goldman, Mike Muller, Valerie Naidoo, Farouk Robertson, Kieresh Singh, Dewald van Staden, Paul Viljoen Client services & production manager Antois-Leigh Botma Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Financial manager Andrew Lobban Printers United Litho Johannesburg t +27 (0)11 402 0571 Advertising sales Hanlie Fintelman / Jenny Miller t +27 (0)11 467 6223 h.fintelman@telkomsa.net / jennymiller@lantic.net Publisher

Physical address: No 9, 3rd Avenue, Rivonia, 2191 Postal address: PO Box 92026, Norwood, 2117, South Africa t +27 (0)11 233 2600 • f +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 alastair@3smedia.co.za ISSN: 1990 - 8857 Annual subscription: R330 (SA rate) subs@3smedia.co.za Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. All articles herein are copyright

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

www.ewisa.co.za WISA Contacts: Head office Tel: 086 111 9472(WISA) Fax: +27 (0)11 315 1258 Physical address: 1st Floor, Building 5, Constantia Park, 546 16th Road, Randjiespark Ext 7, Midrand BRANCHES Eastern Cape Chairperson: Selby Thabethe Tel: +27 (0)41 506 2862 | Email: ssthabethe@vodamail.co.za Secretary: Christopher Maduma Tel: +27 (0)41 506 7527 | Email: cmaduma@mandelametro.gov.za Free State Chairperson: Sabelo Mkhize Tel: +27 (0)53 830 6681 | Email: smkhize@solplaatje.org.za Secretary: Noeline Basson Cell: +27 (0)71 362 3622 | Email: ndb@malachi3.co.za KwaZulu-Natal Chairperson: Vishnu Mabeer Tel: +27 (0)31 311 8684 | Email: vishnu.mabeer@durban.gov.za Treasurer: Renelle Pillay Email: PillayR@dws.gov.za Limpopo Chairperson: Paradise Shilowa Cell: +27 (0)79 905 9013 | Email: paradises@polokwane.gov.za Secretary: Salome Sathege Tel: +27 (0)15 290 2535 | Email: salomes@polokwane.gov.za Mpumalanga Chairperson: Susan van Heerden Cell: +27 (0)82 800 3137 | Email: susanvanhd@gmail.com Secretary: Theo Dormehl Cell: +27 (0)83 294 0745 | Email: dormehl@soft.co.za Namibia Chairperson: Dr Vaino Shivute Secretary: Kristina Afomso Tel: +264 61 712080 | Email: afomsok@namwater.com.na Western Cape Chairperson: Natasia van Binsbergen Tel: +27 (0)21 448 6340 | Email: natasia@alabbott.co.za Secretary: Wilma Grebe Tel: +27 (0)21 887 7161 | Email: wgrebe@wamsys.co.za

editor’s COMMENT

S

outh Africa is facing a future water crisis. As demand begins to outstrip supply, pollution rises, infrastructure crumbles and drought wreaks havoc, it cannot be business as usual. The message from the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is clear: South Africa’s water and sanitation infrastructure needs private sector investment. And South Africa is not alone in this. A new Global Water Intelligence (GWS) report, titled ‘Financing Water to 2030’, explains that the paradigm for financing water infrastructure is changing. The need for investment globally is becoming more urgent and, with governments under financial strain, private investment in the water infrastructure sector is on the rise. GWI forecasts that the amount of global private finance used to fund water infrastructure will increase from US$3 billion during 2013–2017 to $35 billion a year in the next 12 years, providing 7.7% of global infrastructure investment needs by 2030. With South Africa lagging behind in infrastructure construction and maintenance, a great deal of investment will be needed to ensure our long-term water supply. Trevor Balzer, DDG: Strategic and Emergency Projects, DWS has emphasised that South Africa needs a paradigm shift to a ‘new normal’ in which water will become more expensive, consumption will have to be reduced and everyone, except the indigent, will have to pay for services.

Seeking alternatives With South Africa’s overloaded treatment works and declining water quality, in addition to having to explore potable water alternatives like desalination, it is clear that water will have to become more expensive. However, this does open up opportunities for alternative solutions. The UN’s recent World Water Day was held under the theme ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century. According to the UN’s ‘World Water Development Report 2018’, water management is still largely dominated by human-built (i.e. grey) infrastructure; nature-based solutions (NBS), which hold enormous potential, are underutilised. The goal is to find a better balance between green and grey solutions that improve efficiency while minimising costs. I recently visited an Organica wastewater treatment plant established alongside Murray & Roberts Water’s Verulam treatment facility in KwaZulu-Natal. This plant harnesses nature to treat wastewater in a botanical garden-like environment. The technology utilises active biofilms on natural (plant) and/or engineered (patented biofibre media) root structures, in a fully-enclosed, odourless facility. While this is a small step towards NBS, it highlights how innovative technologies and natural solutions can be used to tackle our existing problems. As the water sector gathers at WISA 2018, it is my hope that new, innovative and localised solutions to South Africa’s challenges can be found, ultimately, breaking barriers and connecting ideas.

Promoting professional excellence in the water sector The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa

Water& Sanitation Complete water resource and wastewater management

Unpacking Day Zero

The promotion of professional excellence in the water sector, through building expertise, sharing knowledge and improving quality of life.

Endorsed by

ImproChem

Value added, one drop at a time INDUSTRIAL WATER Driving efficiency IN THE

HOT SEAT

Danielle

Africa

CAPE TOWN

Henk Smit Managing Director, Vovani Water Products

INDUSTRY INSIGHT The latest in treatment solutions

WISA’s Vision

A paradigm shift

MASTER PLAN

Building an investable sector

“What really sets the company apart from its peers is the ability to go beyond simply supplying a liquid storage solution. We engage on all project levels.” James Preston Marketing Manager, SBS Tank Systems P10 May/June 2018 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 13 No3

Cover opportunity In each issue, Water&Sanitation Africa offers companies the opportunity to get to the front of the line by placing a company, product or service on the front cover of the magazine. Buying this position will afford the advertiser the cover story and maximum exposure. For more information, contact Hanlie Fintelman on +27 (0)11 467 6223, or email h.fintelman@telkomsa.net.


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MACSTEEL

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BERMAD GOES LOCAL Over the past 30 years, Macsteel and its partner Bermad have been major role players in the Southern African water industry, providing solutions in the municipal, irrigation, wastewater and firefighting industries. The hydraulic control valve market has undergone many changes over the years, with perhaps the most radical change being the recent Department of Trade and Industry initiative around local content requirements. As a valve importer, Macsteel Fluid Control opted for a measured approach, to add true value to our suppliers and customers, all the while MAY /JUNE 2018 2

providing goodquality employment to our valuable staff Diverse members. As such, June markets 2018 will be a landmark point in our relationship with both Bermad and the local market, as we are proud to announce that Bermad is now local. Not only do we comply with the 70% local content regulation by weight, but we have taken the initiative to introduce Bermad’s latest control valve design – the SIGMA range. This new design optimises and improves the leading flow characteristics already in use with added value to the end user. The Bermad C70 air valve is also now locally manufactured and adds the powerful Bermad name to this market. Our local manufacturing programme has resulted in Macsteel Fluid Control collaborating in partnership with local service providers. Stringent criteria were put in place such as BBBEE, local sourcing and ISO certification. In addition, emphasis was placed on partnering with small and emerging suppliers and embarking on enterprise and supplier development plans. Both of these world-class products, combined with the Macsteel reputation for service and dependability, will add huge value to our clients.


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Vol. 13 No. 3

MAY/JUNE 2018

CONTENTS Promoting professional excellence in the water sector

16

AFRICA ROUND-UP

The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa

Water& Sanitation Complete water resource and wastewater management

Africa

CAPE TOWN

Henk Smit Managing Director, Vovani Water Products

Unpacking Day Zero

INDUSTRY INSIGHT The latest in treatment solutions

ImproChem

Value added, one drop at a time INDUSTRIAL WATER Driving efficiency IN THE

HOT SEAT

MASTER PLAN

Building an investable sector

“What really sets the company apart from its peers is the ability to go beyond simply supplying a liquid storage solution. We engage on all project levels.” James Preston Marketing Manager, SBS Tank Systems P10 May/June 2018 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 13 No3

On the Cover Western Cape businesses and consumers are taking extraordinary measures to keep the taps running. At ImproChem, a rapid deployment strategy has been put in place to facilitate the planning, design and construction of 1 MLD desalination plants in just 16 weeks. P6

HOT SEAT

SBS® Tanks The water storage leader Water security is a top priority, directly impacting on South Africa’s ability to grow its economy and meet infrastructure targets. WASA talks to James Preston, marketing manager, SBS® Tanks, about recent projects and the company’s constant quest for quality. P12

Industry Insight

Vovani Water Products The latest in treatment solutions As South Africa’s water challenges grow and water quality deteriorates, there is a much greater need for research and development in the water and wastewater treatment space, says Henk Smit, managing director, Vovani Water Products. P18

Regulars

Editor’s Comment Africa Round-up Events

1 16 91

C o v e r S to ry

Value added, one drop at a time

W I SA

CEO’s Letter President’s Letter WISA YWP

H o t S e at

The water storage leader

14

WISA Y WP

6

9 10 14

12

I n d u s t ry I n s i g h t

The latest in treatment solutions

18

C i t y F o c u s: C a p e To w n

Tackling a crisis Hospital goes off the grid Day Zero has not gone away – its name has just changed Getting schools off the grid Cape drought: The good, the bad and the ugly

Wat e r Q u a l i t y, Tr e at m e n t & L a b o r ato ri e s

Finding a solution to pollution A pump for every application Panel Discussion Veolia Water Technologies South Africa QFS Meeting the testing challenge Turbidity technology under the microscope Online monitoring for process transparency A truly decentralised solution

20

20 23 24 28

34

24

34 37 39 40 41 43 45 47

Water Quality,

Treatment & Laboratories FEATURE FOCUS

Finding a solution to pollution A pump for every application Panel Discussion • Veolia Water Technologies South Africa • QFS Meeting the testing challenge Turbidity technology under the microscope Online monitoring for process transparency A truly decentralised solution

34 37 39 40 41 43 45 47 M AY / J U N E 2018

33

FOCUS ON CAPE TOWN

M MAY AY//JJU UNE NE 2018 2018

5


MAY/JUNE 2018

53

CONTENTS

Water

Utilities FEATURE FOCUS Overberg Water: Poised for growth Building an investable water sector Clean water for all Mastering the art of sourcing, supply and conservation

54 56 59 60

INDUSTRY INSIGHT Overberg Water: Poised for growth P54

Phakamani Buthelezi CEO, Overberg Water M AY / J U N E 2018

INDUSTRIAL WATER

77

A breakthrough in wastewater treatment technology New aerators for Vredenburg WWTW

Wat e r U t i l i t i e s

Overberg Water: Poised for growth Building an investable water sector Clean water for all Mastering the art of sourcing, supply and conservation

M e t e r s, Pi p e s, P u m p s & Va lv e s

dams & water storage

84

87

Wa s t e wat e r

Casting the perfect mould Why is a full smart water solution the right choice for Africa? Powering process performance Retrofitting – new life for old pumps Water-loss savings in pipelines New life for PE sewer The latest in monitoring technology

I n d u s t ri a l Wat e r

Driving efficiency

Mi n e Wat e r

New tech for Tanzanian mine A chemical solution

Pr o c e s s C o n t r o l

Professionalising an industry

Wat e r Lic e n c e s

EWULAAS for the win

6

MAY /JUNE 2018

PROCESS CONTROL

50 52

54 56 59 60

64 66 69 71 73 74 75

63

77

80 81

D a m s & Wat e r S to r a g e

Rise of the dams New standard guarantee for tanks

53

84 86

87

89

Meters Pipes, Pumps & Valves FEATURE FOCUS Casting the perfect mould Why is a full smart water solution the right choice for Africa? Powering process performance Retrofitting – new life for old pumps Water-loss savings in pipelines New life for PE sewer The latest in monitoring technology

64 66 69 71 73 74 75 M AY / J U N E 2018

63


SIGMA

ops

Reducing the Pressure on Drinking Water with Operational Expertise The capital and operational cost of desalination plants can often be seen as excessive when compared to increasing water storage capacity, and waiting for rainy seasons. With the reality of climate change, we cannot be certain of ‘normal’ rainfall patterns that have been experienced in the past. Desalination takes away this concern, and ensures that when drinking water is required, it is available. A model that has worked particularly well is when industry utilises desalinated water, which frees up ‘traditional’ potable sources for the local communities. This is the concept on which Aveng Water’s desalination plant in Namibia was developed. It is currently designed to produce 55 million litres of drinking water per day for Areva Resources.

utilisation of a pilot plant with pre-treatment as well as membrane options, which is used to test new technologies before implementing them on larger plants and new designs. This has enabled the limits of their own technology to be pushed, allowing water to be treated that was originally not thought possible - as well as proving in reality that a brine stream isn't always the result of complex water treatment. This has been implemented on their latest MWRP Mine Water Treatment Plant.

Aveng Water also takes pride in their strong R&D side to Plant Operations. The opportunity to innovate around how to improve controls for the pretreatment and membrane operation has often been missed, but Aveng Water is taking up this challenge. Initial implementation of SIGMA OPS show how these new systems ensure a long life span for the membrane Aveng Water has invested in testing and implementing various cost saving inventory, which boils down to a client cost saving and increases project technologies to ensure that the life cycle cost of any treatment plant is as feasibility. low as possible, as well as bringing funding partners onboard to remove the capital burden from the customer. The operational ecosystem that has been developed at Aveng Water provides immense value for every new plant that gets added to the structure. Membrane management is often a concern for the customer. After years of The operational expertise gets transferred to each new plant through a core operational experience, Aveng Water has developed SIGMA OPS as an inoperational team, with the remaining personnel contingent being sourced house monitoring and control system with a track record which allows them from local communities. Aveng Water then makes use of their internal to offer 5 year membrane warranties. If the control and monitoring systraining programs to continually upskill new employees, and provides them tems are not sufficient, the plant can very quickly get to a point where the with a well defined career path through the organisation. required production is not possible; and in extreme circumstances membranes may become irrecoverable. Aveng Water currently operates four This aligns with the Triple-Bottom-Line Profit view that organisations of the large scale membrane plants, all of which have very different feed waters. future need to prescribe to. Water treatment and Desalination Plants allow organisations to provide Social and Environmental improvements through SIGMA OPS has been implemented as a continual improvement and optimitheir business activities, which in turn can provide Financial profits by develsation tool, and can be linked to operator performance contracting to enoping sustainability, and enabling economic growth. sure that operational excellence and continual improvement is not only a ’nice-to-have’ discussion topic, but becomes part of the operational teams’ culture and DNA. Research and Development is critical for technology companies to stay ahead of the competition. Aveng Water push their R&D from two different angles. The first is new product development and testing through the


cover story

ImproChem

Value added, one drop at a time

W

hile consumers are required to consume no more than 50 ℓ per day, businesses are looking at sustainable solutions that relieve pressure on the system, while ensuring their ongoing commercial viability in a particularly challenging economic climate. At ImproChem – the business of AECI’s Water & Process pillar – a rapid deployment strategy has been put in place to facilitate the planning, design, construction and commissioning of desalination plants that are capable of producing over 1 MLD of water in just 16 weeks – the same amount of time that it takes to assemble a Boeing 747. To date, a number of successes have been recorded, such as desalination plants for the Oceana Group, the Sea Harvest Group and Sonnendal Dairies. More plants are in the pipeline, including for healthcare and hospitality organisations. Products and services As the largest water treatment company in sub-Saharan Africa, ImproChem offers a comprehensive range of water management products and service, including: • cooling water management • membrane treatment • boiler system management

8

MAY /JUNE 2018

Water is a hot topic at the moment, largely due to the ongoing water crisis in the Western Cape where businesses and consumers are taking extraordinary measures to keep the taps running. • industrial influent water, public water and wastewater chemical treatment • process water treatment • package plants and standard equipment • custom-engineered solutions. The company’s focus areas are chemical processing, engineered solutions, food and beverage, industrial, mining, public water, refining, and upstream oil and gas – and its footprint covers East Africa, West Africa and South Africa, as well as the Indian Ocean Islands. Each focus area and geography receives business support in terms of engineering, digital technology, finance, IT, risk and governance, human resources, marketing, product management, manufacturing, supply chain, process design, research and development, quality, and safety. This is provided from head office.

In Africa, where water scarcity is an ongoing challenge, ImproChem is doing a lot of work in the public water space, where the management and treatment of potable and sewage water lie at its core. In terms of potable water treatment, ImproChem manufactures and supplies a wide range of coagulants and flocculants for solids separation. This includes its locally produced and NSF-approved Sudfloc range and intercompany-produced Senfloc range of products. Its sales representatives are trained in the art of product selection using ‘jar testing’ procedures and tailor each treatment programme to meet specific water quality needs. The company also offers free-standing plants, containerised plants and medium-sized engineered plants, as well as custom-engineered plants.


cover story

ImproChem

can consist of multiple comRisk reduction binations of various unit • c ompliance with legislation and processes to address the regulation spectrum of treatment • r educed breakdowns to minimise busirequired to produce ness risks. safe drinking water, For new plants, the MOM programme is process water, ingrebuilt into the plant from scratch ensuring dient water or wastethat all the Ramos (reliability, availability, water that meets maintainability, operability and safety) asdischarge regulations. pects are taken into account throughout ImproChem also has the process. Normally it includes mainteImproChem MOM a locally produced nance, personnel, chemicals and materiSupport vehicle cationic emulsion called als, as well as the management function. deployed in the Western SEP-G36 that will assist in For existing plants, the methodology is Cape servicing various adding value to a number different and involves the following steps: of wastewater applications. •a  site assessment from a process and desalination plants ImproChem’s sewage wamaintenance approach ter treatment solutions include •e  fficiency of the plant operationally sludge dewatering and containerised and mechanically Free-standing plants that are small and sewage plants. • r ecommendations in terms of MOM percan be built into an existing plant room Sludge handling is often the single sonnel, optimal treatment for the plant, or can be skid mounted. They offer flow largest cost in many wastewater plants maintenance requirements for the plant, rates of between 1 m3 per hour and 10 m3 and the company’s polymer ranges logistics and support needed for running per hour. (liquid and powder flocculants) have the plant such as remote monitoring and Containerised plants are fully automatbeen developed to optimise sludge alarming and mobile workshops ed, tested at ImproChem’s factory and dewatering operations. • t raining and coaching. easy to install on-site. They offer flow rates At the same time, its ‘plug-and-play’ ImproChem continues to work with of between 6 m3 per hour and 120 m3 per sewage systems are capable of hour. ImproChem recently manufactured handling and treating sewage Containerised plants are fully automated, tested at a containerised water treatment plant generated by up to 400 people ImproChem’s factory and easy to install on-site. with a capacity of 1 MLD of water for the at 150 ℓ per capita per day. eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. To ensure that customers get In keeping with its rapid deployment the maximum return on their strategy, it took just 10 days from start investments, ImproChem also to finish. offers a manage, operate and Medium-sized engineered plants are maintain (MOM) programme. designed to specification, usually with Among the many benefits are: flow rates of 10 m3 per hour to 250 m3 Cost reduction per hour. • reduced process downtime, resulting in fewer equipment Potable plant processes breakdowns Depending on the raw water composition, various R&D partners on innovation pro• reduced overtime costs and more ecopotable plants may contain the following jects. They are currently working on an nomical use of personnel due to working unit processes: interesting project around the removal on a scheduled basis instead of a crash • fl  occulation and sedimentation of nitrites and phosphates, as well as basis to repair breakdowns • aeration/dissolved air flotation bioaugmentation. • reduced cost of repairs by fewer second• fi  ltration (mixed media or activated Finally, ImproChem is the authorised ary failures – when parts fail in service, carbon) distributor of Palintest and Wagtech (a they usually damage other parts • s oftening (cold lime softening or ion division of Phipps & Bird) water testing • reduced product rejects, rework and exchange) products in Southern Africa. scrap due to better overall equipment •m  embrane (ultrafiltration, nanofiltraYou are invited to visit the ImproChem condition tion, reverse osmosis or membrane stand at the WISA Conference where • minimised unnecessary downtime. bio-reactors) a number of technologies will be Improved asset performance • s terilisation (chlorination, ultraviolet or • increased plant availability on display. chlorine dioxide). • improved plant reliability (planned verImproChem has in-house capability to sus unplanned work) design, fabricate and manage plants that • consistent service delivery cater for the treatment of site-specific • sustainable quality raw water composition and treated water • maximum asset utilisation and longevity quality requirements. Engineered plants improvement. www.improchem.co.za M AY / J U NE 2018

9


WISA | CEO’s Comment

Building an improved sector

T

he WISA 2018 Biennial Conference is upon us, and this year promises to be the biggest and best ever. We have sold out all our exhibition stands, and have a record number of academic submissions, with the most interesting workshops planned. All the major stakeholders are participating, and we trust that this will be an opportunity to honestly discuss and plan for an improved sector and country. The planning and effort behind the scenes is vast and tiresome, and I want to humbly thank the organising committee and service providers for their efforts. Please go to the conference website, www.wisa2018.org.za, to peruse the conference programme. It features both local and global water heavyweights, all coming to contribute and learn. The conference theme, ‘Breaking boundaries, connecting ideas’, is reflected in the six sub-themes: 1. Sink or Swim: Preparing our cities for the future 2. Unchartered Waters: Developing solutions through science and technology 3. Waste not Want Not: Optimising processes for treatment and reclamation 4. Under the Microscope: How do we join the dots? 5. Bridging the Gap: Sustainable finance for improved delivery 6. Pooling Together: Enabling participation through good governance

We are all excited by the submissions and The wheels are workshops and turning fast – Easter all indications are that this has come and gone, and conference it feels like just yesterday it will be one to was Christmas. We welcome remember. our new Minister of Water and In light of Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti and the ongoing drought, we trust that we will all continue aim to have to build and improve the a zero water sector, with renewed impact on Cape vigour. Town – or as close as possible – by having drinking water and water supply to the conference venue provided by non-city sources. If attend, and provide us with your you are joining us at the conference, vital inputs. we ask that you please keep the water I am looking forward to seeing you at restrictions in mind. the WISA Conference – Cape Town ICC, We will also be having the WISA AGM 24 to 27 June 2018. during the conference and members WISA is reducing its water impact on are invited to attend as we will be Cape Town by having bottles of drinking presenting some new governance water supplied to the venue proposals. We have been striving to from Johannesburg. improve our compliance to King 4 and become a beacon of good governance, and this is an important milestone in this process. We intend to visit our branches ahead of the AGM, to introduce these concepts and obtain feedback. Please do

Dr Lester Goldman, CEO, WISA M AY / J U NE 2018

11


WISA | President ’s Comment

It is easy to believe, in the current water climate, that there are only ‘zeros’ working in the water sector and no ‘heroes’.

W

ith the constant light being shone by the media – in some instances rightly so – it is easy for us as water sector professionals to become despondent and stop making the extra effort, stop testing new approaches and technologies, or even give up on trying. In a highly regulated environment with complex governance arrangements – unbudgeted for policies, physical constraints like droughts, increasing urbanisation, a public that has lost confidence and the unserved that have lost trust – there have probably been days when it is easier to hide, do nothing and hurl accusations.

Dr Valerie Naidoo, president, WISA

12

MAY /JUNE 2018

Passion for water:

Time for action But is this a real option for us as South Africans? I think not! If we do not try, then who tries on our behalf? If we do not care, then who cares for the environment we live in? Who will care for the person who dies from a preventable disease like cholera or the child whose life was so tragically ended by falling into a toilet? Who will plan, design and build for the future? Who will develop the next technology that gives us climate resilience and saves lives? As water sector professionals in the public, private and academic spaces, we have a responsibility to the people of our country. Surely, we cannot be happy with the current state of affairs around services, access and equitable allocations. Being a solutions person, I do not think it is a good use of time to constantly tell everyone what they are doing wrong or, more dangerously, wait for some

mythical leader to make our lives better and create value for us. So here is how I think we can take small steps forward:

1

Find your purpose and passion for water again. Reflect, engage, solicit and find what makes you happy. If it is not a higher calling around people, environment, knowledge and water, then maybe you are in the wrong profession. Get involved with positive people who volunteer or mentor.

2

If you lack the skills and competencies, then seek mentorship, don’t hide. Sacrifice the time to improve and strengthen your networks. If you have the skills, then share – not only because there is a monetary reward at the end but because the challenges are huge. Mentorship is not only about how to improve your


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technical skills but also how to navigate this complex ecosystem of water players, to determine what soft skills you need to develop.

3 4

If you have gaps in your water knowledge, then be persistent about seeking training opportunities and use those opportunities to be the voice that drives best practice and excellence.

If you are a strategic and a ‘futures’ thinker, then have conversations not only with the people that think exactly like you but those with differing opinions. It is only through such exercises that you expand your mind and are able to create an innovation culture and approach to the future.

5

Finally, lets be honest. This problem in the water sector is not only about how we have been treated and how people are not listening to us. It is about some seriously wicked problems about people, justice and equity and what ‘we as a sector’ have not been able to do in the last 24 years. Having said all of this, I want to reiterate that for all the negativity and all the honesty with which I see the sector, there are many heroes. Men and women who tirelessly work in difficult circumstances with, at times, only partial support through their leadership structures to get the work done. Well done to you and I hope that not only do you continue but you take the time to share your experience and expertise with a younger water professional. To those who are in leadership positions: don’t let ego blind you. Instead, develop the skills sets to motivate for the right budgets, the right training, the right attitudes and the right people. Ultimately, people are what effect change. Would it not be nice if every experienced water professional adopted a younger one, mentored that person and opened their knowledge and networks to that up-and-coming professional? Change starts with the mind, grows with knowledge, is enriched through diversity and openness, and comes to those who are bold enough to take the first small steps forward towards a better world.

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HOT SEAT

SBS TANKS

The water storage leader Water security is a top priority, directly impacting on South Africa’s ability to maintain and grow its economy and meet infrastructure targets. WASA talks to James Preston, marketing manager, SBS® Tanks, about recent projects and the company’s constant quest for quality. James Preston, marketing manager, SBS® Tanks

When it comes to water storage, what are some of the key issues? JP The present state of South African infrastructure is not keeping pace with urban and industrial expansion, and the recent drought conditions experienced nationally, Cape Town being a case in point, have forced a change in how water supply needs to be managed in the future. That includes a major change in consumer behaviour. However, aside from the drought, there are many interventions required in the municipal space to replace, supplement or install new tank systems alongside conventional concrete reservoirs. Here, we’ve completed a number of projects for local municipalities, some of them in remote rural SBS’s tank systems at the V&A Waterfront desalination plant project. They are designed to store 436 kℓ of water

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areas, and have made a lasting and positive impact for communities in the process. A past example is a turnkey project in the Eastern Cape for the Joe Qcabi District Municipality. SBS supplied and commissioned 16 reservoir storage tanks for rural villages in Ugie, Maclear and Mount Fletcher. These ST 10/03 tank models have a design capacity of 100 kℓ and each tank serves the requirements of 500 to 1 000 users.

What makes SBS unique? As a company, SBS Water Systems is a pioneer in developing specialised systems, introducing Zincalume® tanks to the South African market in 1998. Since then, we’ve invested extensively in research and development to roll out new services that include our rainwater harvesting solutions. Recent projects here include installations for schools and hospitals.

We’ve also installed a rainwater system at our Pinetown head office and manufacturing facility, which provides us with the bulk of our water requirements during Durban’s drier months and service interruptions. What really sets the company apart from its peers is the ability to go beyond simply supplying a liquid storage solution. We engage on all project levels and also provide a contracting, as well as a design and build service, to ensure a worldclass installation.

Has SBS been part of Cape Town’s Day Zero interventions? Yes, we’ve been involved in one of Cape Town’s major drought alleviation projects. SBS Tanks formed an integral partnership with Quality Filtration Systems and Osmoflo for an emergency desalination plant. Initiated by the city, the plant will address the water crisis in the residential

and commercial areas surrounding the V&A Waterfront, which is a popular tourist destination attracting more than 23 million visitors annually.

What’s the scope for the V&A desalination plant? This landmark project involves a fully containerised seawater reverse osmosis (RO) and multimedia filtration plant. This is made up of seven containers that will be able to deliver 2 MLD of water. With over 20 years’ experience and thousands of tank installations around the world, SBS Tanks was the perfect choice for the high-quality water storage needs of the plant. Three different tanks were required to provide a massive 436 000 ℓ of water for the various stages of the RO and filtration process. The project is a prime example of swift operations, with the seven containers being shipped from Dubai to Cape Town in less than a month. Thereafter, the


Back (left to right): Heiner Freese (financial director), John Glendon (quality & control coordinator), Brendon Wortmann (draughtsman/CAD operator), Tamlyn McPhail (financial manager), Fabio Grendele (operations manager), Martin Barnard (sales manager), Sanele Cele (draughtsman), Ndumiso Mbambo (fabrications HOD), Julian Moothoo (assistant to Logistics Department), and Yentl Scheffers (draughtswoman) Front (left to right): Jashmika Ramnath (SHEQ manager), James Preston (marketing manager), Trevor Van Rooyen (sales consultant), Mark Hawkins (factory manager), Charmaine Israel (human resources director), and Jai Gansen (manager of SABS KZN)

set-up at the V&A was achieved in under eight weeks. This is a truly unifying venture. Collaboration is the key for a project of this scale to be successfully rolled out. The urgency of the situation in the Cape shows how much can be achieved when powerful companies pull together.

Celebrating achieving OHSAS 18001

intended to avoid Day Zero, when dam levels reach the point where water supply from bulk mains ceases indefinitely. The hope is that Cape Town will have a good winter rainfall season, but the immediate reality is that unless alternative solutions are adopted, like tapping into the region’s aquifers and going the desalination route, the situation will not improve over the medium term. That presents major opportunities for more SBS systems.

Are there future opportunities in Cape Town?

SBS has a total commitment to quality. Please expand on recent SABS developments.

In April 2018, Cape Town’s overall dam storage levels were sitting at just over 20%. Level 6B restrictions are in place, which means that consumers are limited to 50 ℓ or less per day. These strict measures are

When it comes to meeting sound occupational health and safety standards, SBS Tanks is ticking all the right boxes and making its mark as an industry leader in water storage. We’ve been SABS ISO 9001: 2015

SBS’s purpose-built rainwater harvesting tank, which has a gross and effective capacity of 154 kℓ and 141 kℓ, respectively, now makes the company virtually self-sufficient at its Pinetown head office and manufacturing centre

SBS Tanks formed an integral partnership with Quality Filtration Systems and Osmoflo to provide quality water for the V&A emergency plant

accredited for the past five years and have now attained OHSAS 18001.

What’s the significance of OHSAS 18001? OHSAS 18001 is an international standard that indicates a company’s adherence to stringent health and safety procedures. After a four-month audit of SBS Tanks’ entire operation – from steel delivery at the factory to final in-field tank commissioning

– SABS KwaZulu-Natal made the official handover of the OHSAS 18001 certificate and flag on 28 February 2018 at our Pinetown head office. As testimony to our achievement, Jai Gansan, lead auditor: KZN, SABS, said that we went above and beyond in achieving our 18001 certification. We really appreciate this feedback and accolade. Our OHSAS 18001 certification gives SBS Tanks the competitive edge and is testament to our dedication and commitment in terms of employee health and safety, as well as that of our customers and other stakeholders. At SBS Tanks, we’re excited about future developments and stand ready to assist the industry and government with their water storage requirements. Quality is guaranteed.

+27(0)86 048 2657 water@sbstanks.co.za www.sbstanks.co.za M AY / J U NE 2018

15


WISA Y WP

Driving the youth programme at WISA 2018 The South African Young Water Professionals (YWP-ZA) are very excited for the WISA 2018 conference. Building on our long-term involvement at the WISA conferences, this is set to be another year of engagement, discussion and networking among YWPs from across the country. By Paul Viljoen*

T

he current drought in the Western Cape particularly interests many of our members, and holding the event in the Mother City should spark and ignite passion for the sector all round. As part of its programme, YWP-ZA is hosting several workshops that are open to everyone at the conference. Citizen science in water management As part of a greater drive to create awareness of the ecosystem in South

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Africa, YWP-ZA has been part of several citizen science initiatives and we are carrying these over to the WISA Conference. Our Citizen Science workshop at WISA 2018 will promote awareness and highlight any potential applications of citizen science in water management. The aim of the workshop is to create awareness not only among YWPs but also across the spectrum of water managers present at the conference. The broad group with various levels of experience will also allow inter-age-group

sharing of ideas, ideals and success stories of citizen science from the past. The workshop will be based on discussion and activities, to include the audience and promote participation. This will help identify any citizen science projects that are already active or even new projects that could form part of existing research or be initiated with future implementation. The need for greater awareness surrounding citizen science was identified during the water drought in Cape Town and the greater Western


WISA Y WP

Cape, where citizen scientists could have potentially aided authorities in preparation for the drought or earlier identification of the drought conditions. The worldwide movement towards being environmentally conscious is aiding the idea of citizen science with an increasing amount of unqualified people wanting to participate in the movement. Guidance from scientists is, however, required to launch these citizen-science-based projects and to provide the opportunity to participate.

budding ‘enviropreneurs’ chosen from a pool of almost 2 000 applicants. We are planning to build on our successes and will target business-minded attendees at the conference. During the workshop, we will present on the Business Canvas (a revolutionary one-page business plan) that will help attendees conceptualise their business idea. This will then be followed by a practical session where the attendees will map out their idea and test its viability.

Entrepreneurship for beginners Entrepreneurship has been, and will continue to be, a big focus in South Africa because of the opportunity for employment that it provides and its significant contribution to the economy. In the science space, particularly in water, there is no mainstream concerted effort to grow entrepreneurs in the sector. YWP-ZA and GreenMatter have successfully organised three full-week boot camps attended by over 110

AGM For those who are more deeply interested in what YWP-ZA does, how much money it spends and who leads it, our annual general meeting (AGM) will provide this opportunity. As part of our efforts in ensuring good governance, YWP-ZA will host its AGM and hand over to the next national committee. As YWP-ZA, we focus on youth development from an early age, across the spectrum, to foster a love for science

YWP turning 10! We are also particularly eager to celebrate YWP’s 10-year anniversary since its establishment in South Africa. Oh, how much we have grown! We are inviting all current and former YWPs to an informal anniversary celebration where we will recap some of our network’s highlights. and particularly water management, but also include high school learners or even university students who may potentially join YWP-ZA in the future. In the same breath, YWP-ZA aims to have a strong youth presence and offer a youth stream at the WISA conference where senior water managers and role players in the water sector can see the quality of young water professionals currently in South Africa.

*Paul Viljoen is the chairperson of the Western Cape YWP-ZA.

The YWP-ZA national committee M AY / J U NE 2018

17


Water and sanitation in Africa

Egypt Stepping up water security Egypt has pledged to invest EGP900 billion (R641 billion) in a national water management plan over 20 years. The country faces a 30 billion m3/day water deficit, which is expected to intensify once the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) comes online. Egypt estimates that the dam, built by Ethiopia, will reduce Nile water flowing into the country by 20%. This follows an announcement by the president of plans to build a mega desalination plant in response to water scarcity concerns. Egypt has 40 desalination plants in operation, and aims to build or upgrade a further 15 facilities by 2021, adding a targeted 700 000 m3/day. The Al Yusr desalination plant in Hurghada, on Egypt’s Red Sea coast, officially came online in January 2018, adding desalination capacity of 110 000 m3/day

and taking the country’s total desalination capacity to 250 000 m3/day.

Ghana No water, plenty of waste Government leadership for WASH The Ghanaian government has signed an agreement with IRC, an international thinkand-do tank, to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems over the next four years. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources Joseph Kofi Adda, and Patrick Moriarty, CEO of IRC, which will see IRC provide capacity building and training for various institutions that provide water services at a national and district level. “We don’t see things moving fast enough in WASH, not just here, but in other countries too. We see that if we continue at the rate we are going, we are not going to reach the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Moriarty.

“The critical element that has been identified globally is leadership, and particularly government leadership and government finance. The most exciting thing I have been hearing in the last year or so in Ghana is the renewed emphasis on government leadership. The IRC Ghana Strategy 2017-2021 – Building WASH systems to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals – will see Ghana focus on: • building support to strengthen the country’s WASH systems • demonstrating proven and promising solutions and models for SDG 6 in focus districts strengthening the capacity of local government to apply the service delivery model • leveraging partnerships and networks to improve WASH delivery • building credible and actionable evidence and fostering sector learning and dialogues

• strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) to build popular support and lobby for transparency in WASH service delivery.

Kenya Water rationing to stay Residents of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, will continue to experience water rationing until 2026. According to Nahashon Muguna, acting managing director, Nairobi Water, the levels of the city’s main water supply, the Ndakaini Dam, has fallen by 49% to 34 million m3. With new dams only expected to be completed in 2026, the city will endure water rationing for the next eight years. Thereafter, Nairobi Water expects to have enough surplus water to carry the city through to 2035. The utility is currently supplying the city with 525 000 m3/day, far short of the 760 000 m3/day demand, resulting in the water

The levels of the city’s main water supply, the Ndakaini Dam, has fallen by 49% to 34 million m3

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Until

rationing, which began in January 2017. Muguna pointed to the prolonged drought and global warming as the cause for the dropping water levels, but said the government is working to ensure short- and long-term water supply. Short-term interventions include the construction of the Northern Water Collector Tunnel, expected to bring in an additional 140 000 m3 by 2020. Two dams under construction are also set to boost water supply by 60 000 m3/day by 2020.

Namibia Namibia-Botswana desalination plant Talks are still under way around the construction of a shared desalination plant by Namibia and Botswana. The potential project was first discussed in mid-2016 and recently reaffirmed by Botswana’s president, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, on a visit to Namibia. Khama stated at the signing of a boundary treaty between the two countries: “We are exploring the possibility of a desalination plant. Both Namibia and Botswana are highly challenged when it comes to water resources.” For example, neither country has experienced good rains over the past year, he added. “There is going to come a time when the rain or rivers coming from the north will not provide sufficient water. So, we are exploring the possibility of setting up a common desalination plant.” The treaty will jointly govern the use of the shared water resources between Namibia and Botswana along

the Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe rivers.

UGANDA Managing faecal sludge Following public unrest over open defecation, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) are finalising plans to improve the management of faecal sludge in Kampala. This will see improved latrine facilities in Kampala slums connected to sewer lines, as well as the construction of treatment plants in Kinawataka, Lubigi and Nalukolongo. Currently, almost half of the faecal sludge in Kampala’s

the high costs of on-site sanitation and emptying services, lack of faecal sludge transfer stations, lack of sufficient decentralised faecal sludge treatment facilities and insufficient resources. According to Allan Nkurunziza, KCCA project manager, more funding is needed to initiate the project.

MOZAMBIQUE On the brink of crisis Mozambique’s capital is facing a potential water crisis due to

Plans are being finalised to improve the management of faecal sludge in Kampala

AFRICA ROUND-UP

potentially carry the city through to the next rainy season in November if restrictions are implemented. Two new dams were in the pipeline to increase surface water resources; however, work on the Moamba Maior Dam has been stopped due to a scandal involving the main Brazilian contractor. A dam currently under construction at Corumana should be ready in 2019, but will require a 90 km pipeline to reach Maputo.

ZAMBIA Clean water for all

slums is not collected and transported to treatment facilities. The result is human waste overflowing into different drainage channels or being inappropriately dumped. Stakeholders are now devising ways to improve the collection and transportation of faecal sludge to treatment plants with the aid of €20 million in funding, which NWSC has received from Germany to improve sanitation in city slums. Currently, this city faces challenges associated with

an El Niño-induced drought affecting the region. Although rainfall has been reasonably good in the country, the south-west has suffered and water levels in the Pequenos Libombos Dam, which provides water for Maputo and Matola, have only risen from 19% to 25% of capacity. The National Meteorological Institute has warned of a possible crisis in Maputo comparable to that in Cape Town, South Africa. However, the available water could

Zambia has set a goal to provide clean and safe drinking water to all residents. According to Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection permanent secretary Edward Chomba, Zambia’s president, Edgar Lungu, has made provision to ensure this, particularly in rural areas to avert the risk of waterborne diseases. “President Lungu is eager to ensure safe and clean drinking water is accessed by every citizen in rural parts of our country and as a ministry, our target is to realise this objective without leaving anybody behind,” Chomba told a Parliamentary Committee on parastatal bodies. M AY / J U NE 2018

19


Industry Insight

VOVANI WATER PRODUC TS

The latest in

treatment solutions As South Africa’s water challenges grow and water quality deteriorates, there is a much greater need for research and development in the water and wastewater treatment space, says Henk Smit, managing director, Vovani Water Products.

S

outh Africa’s water availability could deteriorate rapidly as demand escalates due to growth, urbanisation, inefficient use, degradation of wetlands, water losses and the negative impacts of climate change. Given this developing reality, R&D is crucial in order to adapt water treatment processes to the changing chemical compositions of water sources, effluent and wastewater streams. However, Smit believes Southern Africa is lagging behind in the R&D of current and new water treatment solutions. “While we are seeing some unique solutions coming out of Southern Africa, as a supplier of many technologies that have been developed

Henk Smit, managing director, Vovani Water Products

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internationally, we see that our region needs to do more to develop new products for water treatment that can be supplied to the global water sector,” he says. R&D is a crucial aspect from Vovani when it comes to selecting international suppliers in order to stay ahead of the challenges as well as competitors, explains Smit. “Continued R&D by both ourselves and our partners gives our customers the knowledge that we are working towards the future of water treatment, and that together we are at the forefront of developing products and solutions that will assist them in their future challenges,” he says. “If there is no R&D of the current products to improve them where possible,

or investment in new products, we know that we will not be competitive in the future in our market to offer our customers the latest solutions for water treatment.”

New technology

Smit believes this connects well with the theme of the WISA 2018 Conference and Exhibition – ‘Breaking barriers, connecting ideas’ – which seeks to address past, existing and future water resource challenges by promoting collaboration, cooperation and integration within the water sector. Vovani will be introducing some new developments from three of its suppliers at the WISA exhibition, held in Cape Town in June 2018. These include FRP pressure vessels from ROPV, UF membranes from Suez Water Technologies & Solutions, as well as RO membranes from LG Water Solutions. As larger water treatment projects become more prominent in the Southern African market, Smit believes these technologies offer a more cost-effective solution to the customer, taking into account energy consumption as a factor when designing these water treatment plants. Energy consumption is very important, particularly when RO is part of that water treatment process. These water treatment plants require a large


Industry Insight

ROPV is introducing a product solution called MVI (Multi Vessel Integration), which offers customers the opportunity to save on costs as well as on footprint of the RO skids

RO membranes

From LG Water Solutions come the new Ultra Low Energy (UES) RO membranes for brackish water applications. The UES membranes allow a higher permeate flow to be achieved at a lower pressure, while still being able to have a minimum 98% salt rejection.

amount of energy and as the cost of electricity becomes higher, longterm operational costs are affected. With the supply of newly developed products that use less energy but provide the same water quality at a higher yield, we offer customers a solution to these long-term energy concerns. The new offerings also speak to the popularity of containerised systems for installations in both South Africa and the rest of Africa. These are becoming increasingly attractive to customers given the footprint savings these new containerised solutions offer, along with the ability to retrofit, upgrade, and expand the capacity of old equipment. Even with larger-scale installations, some projects experience a challenge with the space available for the proposed treatment equipment. These new technologies provide a smaller footprint

to achieve the required or even higher flow rate for any specified water treatment plant.

FRP pressure vessels

ROPV is introducing a product solution called MVI (Multi Vessel Integration), which offers customers the opportunity to save on costs as well as on footprint of the RO skids. The new technology circumvents the need to use side ports on the FRP vessels, thereby offering cost savings on ports and couplings. A fibreglass interconnector is used with seals, along with a fibreglass strap to keep the vessels in place.

Awarding winning focus

A testament to Vovani’s focus on R&D is the fact that it was recently awarded the innovation award for the Middle East African region at the Suez Water Technologies & Solutions Awards Dinner in Lisbon, Portugal. The award was given to Vovani for demonstrating the ability to incorporate Suez products into creative solutions for customers. “Winning this award shows our customers that we work with them to find the best solution possible for their water treatment challenges, with the products we offer from our suppliers. In this way, we can help our customers stay ahead of the challenges in the manner best suited to their individual needs,” explains Smit.

UF membranes

Suez Water Technologies and Solutions has released the Zeeweed 700B RMS Rack system, with integrated headers for the 700B inside-out UF membranes. Each module will have a surface area of 85 m2, which will be the largest in the market and with the smallest footprint per square metre. The RMS 700B can be used for new installations or to replace current installations from competitors, increasing the surface area without changing the process or hardware.

Henk Smit, managing director of Vovani Water Products (middle), with Majdi Al Hjouj, Suez sales manager MEA (left), and Mohamed Eltaweel, Suez channel partner manager MEA

www.vovani.co.za M AY / J U NE 2018

21


Cit y Focus: Cape Town

Tackling a crisis While Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019, the City of Cape Town continues working to avert a reticulation shutdown and the dire consequences it would bring. *Figures correct at the time of going to press.

T

People collecting natural spring water in Newlands, Cape Town

Desalination

he drought-stricken Western Cape was declared a national disaster area earlier this year. If Cape Town’s dam levels reach 13.5%, the city will begin to shut down its reticulation system, except to key commercial areas and institutions such as hospitals. Once this happens, residents will have to collect their daily allotted 25 ℓ of water from collection points across the city. Despite Day Zero being pushed out to next year, the city’s emergency preparedness planning continues to ensure its readiness in the event that dams reach critical levels. To this end, Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre has already begun testing the vehicle drive-through configuration of the planned points of water distribution (PODs). The aim of the exercise is to test different layouts to determine which configuration is most efficient and safe, to collect data on how long it will take to fill containers, and to assess staffing and other operational requirements. The lessons learnt from the pilot will inform the DRMC’s planning going forward.

Reducing demand

It is evident that failure will occur unless demand is curtailed to meet the overall restrictions. With no way to predict when, or how much, rain is likely to fall in catchment areas, it imperative that residents adhere to restrictions and use even less water. “We must use only 450 MLD to stretch the available water supplies through the rest of the year, come rain or shine,” says Alderman Ian Neilson, executive deputy mayor, City of Cape Town. To assist in achieving this, the city has embarked on an advanced pressure reduction programme which is achieving an average savings of 50 MLD.

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Alderman Ian Neilson, deputy mayor, Cape Town

Day Zero Pushed out to 2019

A major emphasis has been placed on desalination, with three short-term schemes currently under way to add an additional 16 MLD. These are: 1. Strandfontein, 7 MLD – first water in March 2018, reaching full production by May 2018 2. Monwabisi, 7 MLD – first water in April 2018, reaching full production by May 2018 3. V&A, 2 MLD – first water in March 2018. A pilot project is under way at Koeberg for a permanent desalination plant. Plans are in place for a desalination plant at Cape Town Harbour to be implemented if needed, and long-term desalination projects are under development.


Cit y Focus: Cape Town The city has been expanding its roll-out of pressure testing with the purpose of using the results to implement more automated pressure zones across the metro in an effort to help reduce water usage to 50 litres per person per day. By creating automated pressure zones, the city is able to adjust water pressure remotely and work more efficiently as it implements pressure management. By reducing the pressure, the city is able to reduce water usage as well as bursts and leaks. Water management devices continue to be installed on the connections of high water users who are in contravention of water restrictions, and additional teams are working around the clock to detect and repair leaks.

Supporting business

While pressure mounts for consumers to reduce

consumption, the city remains cognisant of the indirect consequences of the drought on businesses and industries and protecting the local economy. “It is a balancing act: we must secure our residents’ access to potable water, but we also need to be careful not to destroy the very businesses that keep our local economy running and provide job security to our residents,” Neilson explains. The city is making treated wastewater available to businesses dependent on water and has established several treated water draw-off points. More than 200 businesses are using treated effluent from permanent pipelines, while 150 businesses are collecting treated effluent at wastewater treatment works and draw-off points. “That said, the industries that are reliant on water must also take responsibility during this crisis and many developers and companies are

Dam levels 20.9%

Groundwater Groundwater is expected to peak at 150 MLD. Projects include: 1. Cape Flats aquifer – drilling began in January. It is expected to add 83 MLD (temporary maximum abstraction) into the system ramping up from May/June 2018 2. Atlantis aquifer – 5 MLD has already been brought into the system, with a further 20 MLD to be ramped up from May to October 2018 to serve the Atlantis/Silwerstroom area 3. TMG aquifer – pilot drilling commenced in November and water will enter the system ramping up from February 2018 to June 2019, yielding 50 MLD sustainably

Water restrictions Level 6B

The Theewaterkloof Dam is suffering extremely low water levels due to the ongoing drought M AY / J U NE 2018

23


Cit y Focus: Cape Town

Water reuse 1. Zandvliet – 10 MLD temporary yield on track for June 2018, increasing to 50 MLD permanent yield in

Reticulation shutdown 13.5% dam levels

December 2021 2. Cape Flats – 10 MLD by June 2018, 75 MLD by December 2021 3. Macassar – 20 MLD by June 2019 4. Potsdam – 10 MLD by June 2019 5. Athlone – 75 MLD by December 2021

already leading the way by building energy and water efficiencies into their operations,” he continues. “Companies are investing in and using wastewater treatment and purification systems to reduce their demand on the city’s grid. We encourage this approach in our engagements with the business sector.”

Long-term security

The City of Cape Town reports that it has long been working towards a diversified water supply and will have a plan in place by June 2022. This will include desalination,

450 MLD Daily water use target

Other alternatives Cape Town plans to add all feasible springs into the reticulation system. To date, the following springs have been added: 1. Newlands – Albion spring in operation at ~3 MLD 2. Oranjezicht routed 1 MLD into the system Approximately 10 000 m3 will be transferred from a large, privately owned dam on the Palmiet River over the season. Future transfers will depend on rainfall in respective catchments. Others are under investigation.

groundwater and reuse, among others. Cape Town has earmarked seven projects as part of the first phase of its additional water supply programme. These are the Atlantis and Cape Flats aquifer projects, the Zandvliet water recycling project as well as the Monwabisi, Strandfontein, V&A Waterfront, and Cape Town Harbour desalination plants. Collectively, these will produce an additional 196 MLD between February and July 2018. An additional 12 projects are at the advanced stage of planning and ready to proceed if required.

“We now need to see how low we can go to ensure that we stretch our water supplies as far as possible into the winter months by reaching the 450 MLD collective consumption target, which equates to 50 ℓ per person per day. It is absolutely clear that when we need to pull together in this city, we can do so. If we continue to work as a team to lower our consumption to 450 MLD, as required, we will become known as one of the most resilient cities in the world. We are fast becoming a leading example of a large city that is fundamentally changing its relationship with water,” concludes Neilson.

INFORMATION ACCELERATION Using water management devices to empower municipalities and consumers in combating water scarcity

MAY /JUNE 2018 24 www.utility-systems.co.za


Cit y Focus: Cape Town

Hospital goes

off the grid

T

he water filtration plant comes as a result of the Group’s national water strategy and responsible water management processes and measures to eliminate any impact of Day Zero on patients, doctors and employees as well as to assist in reducing demand. The plant, which complies with the City of Cape Town’s regulations and by-laws, has been welcomed by Cape Town’s deputy mayor, Ian Neilsen. The hospital is now operating completely off the grid and provides water fit for human consumption in a healthcare environment. The hospital has an emergency storage supply, which is sufficient for at least 48 hours, should there be any technical glitches with the filtration plant, explains Lourens Bekker, CEO: South Africa, Life Healthcare. In partnership with provincial

In an effort to reduce demand and impact on municipal water supplies, Life Healthcare, one of South Africa’s largest private healthcare groups, has opened its own water filtration plant at Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital.

and local government authorities, special contingency measures will also be in place to allow Life Healthcare, and specifically Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital, to assist in case of emergencies and to mitigate the risk of water resources further plummeting during the current water shortage.

A solution for Life Kingsbury Hospital The Group has also been granted formal approval by the authorities to sink a borehole at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont, Cape Town, with testing currently taking place before city officials can give the green light for human consumption. “We hope to open the water filtration plant at Life

Kingsbury Hospital soon and remain committed to implementing additional water-saving measures, including the installation of reduced flow valves on taps and showers, recycling of water for instrument sterilisation and the reuse of grey water,” says Bekker. “As a Group we continue to implement responsible strategies to limit the harmful impact our South African business activities may have on the environment.”

Project Team: - City of Cape Town - Department of Water and Sanitation Western Cape - Murray & Roberts Water Division - AHL Water - AWS Water - Drillco (boreholes) - Gottgens Plumbing - Skylark Electrical

M AY / J U NE 2018

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STRAP Cit y Focus: WASA Cape Town

Day Zero has not gone away – its name has just changed Cape Town’s water crisis continues to be a source of concern and confusion, as demonstrated by the furore over the ‘cancellation’ of Day Zero. But the rest of the country must learn from Cape Town – and the rest of the world – how in particular, seems to have been captured by environmental agendas to manage water in our dry and instead of focusing on ensuring water uncertain climate. security for people and the economy. Why is business not focusing on By Mike Muller*

Decision Day, at the end of the rains in October 2018, when Capetonians will know their fate for the coming year? Consider three key questions about Day Zero: 1. Was Cape Town ever really in danger of running out of water? 2. Was Day Zero just a publicity ploy? 3. Or was it part of internal DA political squabbles? The answer to all three questions is an emphatic ‘yes!’

T

his Water Week, the UN’s High Level Panel on Water provided some key messages. The problem, it explains, is that water management is a particularly complex challenge, involving a wide range of stakeholders. As a result, it says partnerships are key to coordinating planning and mobilisation of resources. South Africa used to be an example of how to do this but our experience is often ignored, even at home. Indeed, despite evidence of growing crises, of

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MAY /JUNE 2018

which Cape Town is just one, the planning and management system on which we depend for our water security is being allowed to collapse. That is perhaps the most serious legacy of disgraced former Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, even worse than her gross financial recklessness. Key questions The problem is aggravated by the failure of stakeholders like business and municipalities to get involved. Business,

Detailing Day Zero If Cape Town had not acted to dramatically reduce water consumption, empty dams could have seen normal supplies interrupted. While not a certainty, that was a strong possibility. Day Zero was also clearly used to frighten people into compliance – and there is evidence that it worked. But it created considerable confusion and has damaged Cape Town’s reputation as a well-run city and its valuable brand as a globally attractive destination. Finally, internal DA politics obviously affected how the crisis was handled. The sidelining of Mayor Patricia De Lille was evidence of political tension, as was Premier Helen Zille’s incessant twitter barrage and the invisibility of


Cit y Focus:STRAP Cape Town WASA

Dam levels have continued to drop at the Theewaterkloof Dam

Anton Bredell, the MEC nominally responsible for coordinating disaster response. Mmusi Maimane’s sudden declaration of the “end of Day Zero” worsened the confusion and made crisis management more difficult. What the rest of the country needs to know is whether the city was warned about the risks? Was it really the responsibility of the national government to take action? And must national government pay for the investments that are now being made? If other municipalities don’t want to face similar challenges, they urgently need answers to these questions. So, yes, Cape Town was warned repeatedly of the need to invest in

new infrastructure to increase water supplies. For 30 years, the national Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has planned the country’s major water supply systems. These include the Western Cape Water Supply System, the dams, pipelines, canals and pumping stations that tap the Berg and Breede rivers and supply Cape Town as well as many smaller towns and very productive agriculture. System models Computer models of the system allow the department to predict how much water is likely to be available for different users every year. Although seasonal rainfall cannot accurately be predicted, these models estimate likely worst case droughts based on historic information. These predictions, with estimates of future water demand, are used to make

*Mike Muller is a professional engineer and visiting professor at Wits University’s School of Governance. He is a former DG of Water Affairs (1997–2005) as well as National Planning Commissioner (2010–2015).

2007 The department recommended, back in 2007, that increased supplies would be needed for Cape Town by 2015

recommendations that aim to ensure enough water in case of drought. On this basis, the department recommended, back in 2007, that increased supplies would be needed for Cape Town by 2015. These recommendations were reinforced by the National Development Plan which, in 2012, set out a list of major investment projects and targets for completion. On the list were Western Cape water-reuse and groundwater projects, which are to be completed by 2017. These are among the projects that the city is now rushing to build. So there is no question; the city was warned well in advance. The next question, ‘was it the responsibility of national government to take M AY / J U NE 2018

27


Cit y Focus:STRAP Cape Town WASA

If basic supplies needed to sustain people, their jobs and the economy on which they depend are put at risk, environmental priorities will be sidelined and costs will soar action?’ is linked to the third question – ‘Who should pay for the investments?’ Policy states that where supply infrastructure is developed outside the municipal area, national government should take the lead. This was done in Cape Town in 2002 when the DWS persuaded Cape Town that it needed a new dam on the Berg River. That dam, completed in 2009, is currently saving Cape Town from a real crisis. What went wrong? The DWS needed the city’s agreement to build the dam. Urban water supplies, beyond very basic provision, are supposed to be paid for by their users. But for a rich city like Cape Town, that’s easy. When the city signed the agreement in 2002, banks like the European Investment Bank clamoured to lend to TCTA, the national agency that implemented the project. So what went wrong this time? In 2013, Cape Town’s delegates to the annual meeting of the planning forum said that no new investments would be needed until 2022 because their demand management programme had been so successful. When the current crisis is over, we should look back and see whether that confidence was justified. There had been two years of good rainfall, which surely dampened demand. The subsequent three-year drought certainly aggravated the situation. But that event was what the planners’ recommendations targeted. Perhaps it was just bad luck that the drought occurred when the city was at its most vulnerable. But according to Xanthea Limberg, the city’s councillor

water stewardship initiatives, they should bring their skills and concerns to the table and talk practical management. Where is the planning process? Who is running it? Have the models been updated? What do they say? What needs to be done, by when and who is going to do it? Where will the money come from? Who is operating the systems and are they doing it properly?

responsible for water issues, they knowingly took this risk. In April 2017, she told Business Day that “in our context, it is not practical to ring-fence billions of rands for the possibility of a drought that might not come to pass.” She has come to regret those words. If Cape Town had invested earlier, it would have paid perhaps R500 million in extra interest costs if no drought had occurred. Skirting around the issue But that early investment would simply Despite the Cape Town crisis, none of have been insurance against disaster. To those hard questions are currently being date, additional expenditures of asked. We don’t even know who over R2.5 billion have been will convene October’s incurred, not counting Decision Day meeting the indirect cost of job or whether there is losses and damage funding to prepare to the city’s brand. for it. And it is still Cape Town’s To date, additional growing. focus on manexpenditures of over What can aging demand R2.5 billion have been other cities and for water and incurred, not counting the towns learn from conserving the indirect cost of job losses this experience? environment Aren’t these remains important and damage to the city’s problems of climate but has been too brand. And it is change? In general, narrow. If basic supstill growing if water managers plies needed to sustain can manage current people, their jobs and climate variability, they will be able the economy on which they depend to manage climate change impacts. To are put at risk, environmental priorities will do that, however, their models need to be sidelined and costs will soar. Water sebe regularly updated, if they are to reflect curity requires a balanced, prioritised and climate change trends. Failure to do disciplined approach, which tracks the this simply increases our vulnerability to situation, flags the interventions needed climate surprises. and ensures that they are made on time. This shows where municipalities and This is perhaps the most important lesson business stakeholders should be getting from Cape Town’s current crisis. involved if they want to ensure their water The rest of South Africa should security. Rather than endless ‘touchy-feely’ take note.

R2.5 billion

M AY / J U NE 2018

29


Cit y Focus: Cape Town

Getting schools off the grid A school in droughtstricken Cape Town has reduced its water use by more than 90% to mitigate its reliance on the strained municipal water supply system.

P

rior to the programme, the school sourced as much as 1 064 kℓ per month from the municipality, with up to 70% of this water used to flush toilets in the ablution blocks. According to Benjamin Biggs, civil engineer and urban water management specialist, JG Afrika, the first step in the project was to reduce water use before looking

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MAY /JUNE 2018

to supplement municipal supply with alternative sources. About 400 people, including educators, administrative staff and students participated in the initiative, starting with basics such as flushing toilets sparingly and reporting water leakages. This is important to drive changes in water-use behaviour. JG Afrika was able to save an additional 80% over the already low drought use by focusing on reducing high-use applications at the school.

Water-saving interventions

Interventions were selected based on the findings of a baseline assessment, which combined historical information including utility bills, as well as physical inspections of the plumbing fixtures and equipment. The outcome was used to model water flows to understand end-use quantities for various applications and determine the site water balance. This allowed JG Afrika to identify high-impact areas to address

All toilet flushing devices were replaced with water-saving mechanisms

and assess possible solutions to reduce municipal water use on campus. As part of the first phase of the programme, all toilet flushing devices were replaced with water-saving mechanisms. These include the mechanisms that facilitate a quick and cost-effective means of retrofitting existing toilets to provide immediate water savings of up to 60%. Additionally, aerators have been installed used to limit flows through the taps, reducing water use from 10 ℓ to 15 ℓ per minute to only 1 ℓ/min in bathrooms. Another technology implemented in many of the initial phases of JG Afrika’s other projects is low-flow showerheads that provide as much as a 50% reduction in water use without foregoing the comfort of conventional fittings. “We first ensure that we have identified all of the available so-called ‘low-hanging fruit’ available to us. Importantly, many of


Cit y Focus: Cape Town “Water is

these technologies can now being be installed without treated as a having to make any resource, major refurbishments as opposed to to an existing building only a right, and can, therefore, be by responsible installed at a minimal South cost to the client. This is Africans.” a major consideration for JG Afrika on all of its water management projects,” Biggs says. The successful results of the first phase, executed in November and December 2017, on-site to have led the school board to begin rolling replenish out similar programmes at its two other stores of learning institutions in Cape Town. harvested The next phase of the programme will enwater. This will allow for water savings in tail installing a rainwater-harvesting system excess of 95%. with treatment at the school. Harvested The combined three phases will result in rainwater will be treated and pumped for cost savings of R150 000 per year under use in applications such as toilet flushing, drought water restrictions and R450 000 per irrigation and topping up the swimming year under pre-drought conditions, allowpool. Combined with those actions undering the school to recuperate its investment taken during the first phase, the system will in only three years. reduce the school’s reliance on municipal A case for demand-side management water supplies by up to 95%. While cost savings have provided a major Depending on rainfall levels and irrigation incentive for pursuing sustainable practices requirements in summer, the school may in the past, the severe arid conditions in pursue a third phase to install a borehole

The next phase of the programme will entail installing a rainwater-harvesting system

many parts of the country have played a large part in motivating the importance of water management, explains Biggs. He says demand-side management projects are now being viewed as a necessity, similar to energy-efficiency programmes that were implemented during load-shedding in South Africa. Moreover, it has elevated the importance of water in sustainability programmes. In the past, water, energy and waste management were often undertaken in isolation of one another. “Water is now being treated as a resource, as opposed to only a right, by responsible South Africans. Policymakers have also realised there is a need to explore solutions that provide the resilience required for drought periods such as these. This is demonstrated by new policies and legislation in Cape Town promoting decentralised alterative supply systems to augment centralised infrastructure that do not have the flexibility to cater to increases in demand, or arid climates.”

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Cit y Focus: Cape Town

Cape drought The good, the bad and the ugly

South Africa has one of the most sophisticated water modelling programmes in the world. But even this couldn’t prevent the crisis in Cape Town. By Danielle Petterson

S

everal decades ago, the Department of Water Affairs, together with a number of consultants, developed one of the world’s most sophisticated water modelling methods based on the ARSP model from Canada. According to Dr Ronnie McKenzie, managing director, WRP, this model was and still is one of the most powerful water resource modelling tools available to model and operate large and complex water resource systems. These models are still being used today by the Department of Water and

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MAY /JUNE 2018

Sanitation (DWS) to plan and manage water resources for most of the large systems in South Africa, including, among others, the Vaal, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal systems. According to McKenzie, the DWS, using this model, typically undertakes predictions of the future dam levels at the end of each wet season. Over 1 000 possible climatic sequences are generated to assess the potential risk of failure of the various demand centres in each system over a 5to 10-year window. By assessing the likely risk of failure in this manner, managers and politicians can be alerted to future water shortages and can hopefully take appropriate action in the form of water restrictions early on in a drought event and, in so doing, avoid a serious water crisis. Using this technology, the department is able to identify possible water problems early on in a drought event and can implement water saving measures before water supplies reach critical levels and intermittent supply needs to be implemented.

What lies ahead can never be predicted with accuracy, but the process of trying to establish the likely risks to water supply through the sophisticated modelling approach has helped to minimise the effects of drought in many parts of South Africa, explains McKenzie.

The Cape situation

These models are still being run regularly, says Mike Muller, visiting professor at Wits University and former DG of Water Affairs. However, with increasing pressure being placed on budgets, data collection and modelling are among the first things to be cut; long-range planning follows soon thereafter. He has a theory as to why Cape Town ran out of water: people tend to use less water when rainfall has been good and, because this happened in Cape Town, the data showed reduced consumption. But the city attributed this reduced consumption solely to the success of their excellent demand management programme. If this


Cit y Focus: Cape Town

“By not monitoring, maintaining and developing our infrastructure, we are creating disasters instead of preventing them.” Mike Muller, former DG of Water Affairs

had been the case, they would not have needed to make new investments until 2022. This shows that models should always be interpreted with care, he cautions, as models are almost always ‘wrong’ but provide very useful information to help guide management. McKenzie believes that, given the circumstances, Cape Town has done well in managing the drought. The region has had the driest three years back to back in the last 100 years – what McKenzie compares to hitting the gambling jackpot. Out of the 1 000 possible predictions for the Cape Town system, very few predicted anything as severe, which has, to some extent, taken even water resource managers by surprise. “Cape Town has experienced three particularly severe events back to back, which has created a particularly severe drought and one that appears worse than anything previously experienced,” he says. In support of the actions taken by the City of Cape Town, McKenzie points out that the city has done extremely well in managing its demand over the past 15 years or so. Between 2000 and 2015, Cape Town maintained its water usage at approximately 1 200 MLD, despite a population increase of around 30%. This has been achieved by considerable effort in reducing losses and improving water-use efficiency throughout the city. Since restrictions were implemented in response to the current drought, the city has further reduced its demand by more than half, to 500 MLD, without resorting to intermittent supply – something that few, if any, other cities around the world have managed to achieve. This reduction was achieved through a number of different initiatives, both technical and behavioural. The bulk of the reduction was achieved through the residents reducing their daily demand to the bear minimum, which involved a massive public awareness and enforcement campaign. Technical measures such as leak repairs

“The intensity and frequency of natural disasters will only increase and be exacerbated by climate change.” Ronnie McKenzie, managing director, WRP

and pressure management have added to the savings. However, no waste means nowhere to cut back in a crisis. This is the downside to Cape Town’s impressive leakage reduction – the scope for further reduction is now limited, making it increasingly difficult and costly to achieve further savings. To some extent, Cape Town is now the victim of its own success in driving down leakage and water use over the past 20 years.

rising population will continue to place more pressure on the available resources. The intensity and frequency of natural disasters will only increase and be exacerbated by climate change and will have to be managed through proper planning and operation of the large water supply systems. The Cape Town situation should, therefore, not be seen as a unique event, as similar events can happen elsewhere in the future,” says McKenzie.

Climate change, or variability?

A challenged sector

While Cape Town has been identified as While Muller agrees that the City of Cape an area likely to be affected by climate Town has done well in managing the change, Muller says it is more important drought crisis, he argues that it is better to look at climate variability. “If we don’t to avoid a disaster in the first place. If they learn how to manage climate variability, had invested in additional supplies, as we won’t be able to manage the risks that recommended by the DWS and National this climate brings. What we need is more Planning Commission in 2012, it would attention to climate variability because have been valuable insurance that we need more data, people who can unwould have reduced the impact of the derstand and model the data, and people current drought. who can communicate what it means, and This is now a general problem, he says. ensure that action is taken,” he says. “By not monitoring, maintaining and deWorryingly, the amount of water veloping our infrastructure, we are creating resource monitoring globally disasters instead of preventing is decreasing and South them, especially in smaller Africa is no exception. municipalities.” The region “As we talk more McKenzie agrees has had about climate that smaller systems the driest change and the don’t have the three years threat it brings, the resilience to back to back work we are doing carry them through in the last to monitor climate severe droughts is decreasing. While and often do not 100 years rainfall monitoring is have the benefit of the still reasonably good, planning models that have we need to monitor flow been used to develop operating in rivers and groundwater rules for the larger integrated water because that is most important in underresource systems. standing what is happening. It is this that Having presented these views to a group is declining most,” adds Muller. of water professionals, the consensus was McKenzie asserts that the current drought this: there is a major capacity and skills will end at some point, most likely with a issue inhibiting good management and large flood event. “Droughts and floods planning in the water sector. South Africa are part and parcel of life in most parts of has world-class systems and world-class the world, and we will have to accept that people are needed to manage them. M AY / J U NE 2018

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Finding a solution to pollution 34 A pump for every application 37 Panel Discussion • Veolia Water Technologies South Africa 39 • QFS 40 Meeting the testing challenge 41 Turbidity technology under the microscope 43 Online monitoring for process transparency 45 A truly decentralised solution 47 M AY / J U NE 2018

35


Finding a solution to pollution Amid changing climates, burgeoning cities and increasing levels and sources of pollution, water quality is becoming a growing concern for South Africa.

By Danielle Petterson

E

xacerbated by the recent drought, growing demand for clean water resources has put strain on available bulk water supplies in a country that receives an average rainfall of only 470 mm per annum. Compared to a world average of 860 mm, it is clear that South Africa cannot afford to lose any of its precious resources to pollution. While much focus has been placed on the effect of climate change on water quantity, Marius Claassen, principal researcher, CSIR, warns of the significant dangers it can pose to water quality. As it becomes hotter and evaporation increases, pollutants in our water systems become more concentrated, while floods carry more pollutants into catchments. A hotter climate also means the natural distribution of waterborne diseases will expand significantly. Moreover, South Africa’s water infrastructure appears to be in a dismal state. According to SAICE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, the country’s bulk water

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MAY /JUNE 2018

infrastructure is at risk of failure. Supply to major urban areas is considered satisfactory for now, but supply to other areas is also considered at risk of failure. With this in mind, the 2014 Green Drop report shows a worrying trend – risk profiles as high as 86.1% in the North West and only as low as 57.7% in the Western Cape. The findings also indicate that 30% of large wastewater treatment works (WWTWs) are in a critical condition, while 66% of all WWTWs require short- to medium-term intervention, 35% require capacity upgrades and 56% require additional skilled operating and maintenance staff. South Africa has seen rapid urbanisation, but WWTWs have not been upgraded accordingly, leading to overextended plants polluting the environment. This is especially the case in smaller municipalities, which often have minimal skills capacity, frequently leading to a lack of maintenance, says Claassen. “Municipalities with limited resources don’t often see wastewater treatment as a

priority,” he says, adding that the norm in most parts of South Africa is for WWTWs to receive two to three times the wastewater volumes that they were designed for. The result is millions of litres of untreated or inadequately treated sewage flowing into rivers and streams, leading to increasingly poor-quality water resources. According to Claassen, tests show that in 88% of instances, orthophosphate levels in our water sources are considered unacceptable. In addition, electrical conductivity is unacceptably high in 29% of cases. Worryingly, treatment plants are not designed to treat the increasing number of pollutants affecting water resources. This is the case with pharmaceuticals, which Claassen says are becoming an increasing concern, especially if we want to recycle urban water. Furthermore, emerging pollutants like organics and pharmaceuticals, together with pollutants like metals and


Water Quality, Treatment & Laboratories

pesticides, are not monitored extensively enough to fully appreciate the scale of the threat.

government due to capacity and legislative challenges.

Use less, treat less, invest more

“Municipalities with limited resources don’t often see wastewater treatment as a priority.” Monitoring for compliance

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) runs the national chemistry monitoring programme. However, Claassen explains that of the 1 400 surface water-quality monitoring points, chemical elements are only routinely assessed at 337 points, with infrequent assessments at a further 563 sites. Microbial quality is measured at 180 sites and eutrophication at 112 sites. Worryingly, radioactivity is only assessed at 18 sites and toxicity only at 3 sites. Polluters are also required by law to monitor their own effluent for compliance; however, the DWS does not have the capacity to monitor effluent sites and ensure that auditing is performed. Claassen believes that, over time, a culture of non-compliance has been allowed to develop where users operate in contravention of their licence conditions. “We are not building a society that takes ownership of these issues. We need central government to take responsibility and establish partnerships to solve these challenges together,” he says. He believes this is an area of opportunity for the establishment of public-private partnerships, which include monitoring and management programmes. There are also opportunities for various sectors, such as farmers, to take a self-governance approach and take ownership of water quality for their own purposes. However, despite its interest, the private sector appears to have found it difficult to establish partnerships with different levels of

Given the state of South Africa’s declining water quality and WWTW infrastructure, it is clear something must be done to address the challenges. The recent drought has brought a huge focus on demand management, with Cape Town managing to reduce its demand to just over 500 MLD. The flipside of reduced water consumption is reduced effluent that needs treating. While this will alleviate the pressure on many of the country’s WWTWs, it also means reduced costs for wastewater treatment – money that could be used to maintain and upgrade. In order to adequately address the shortfalls, South Africa needs to invest billions into water treatment infrastructure. But Claassen believes that in doing this, government should explore new

30% of large WWTWs are in a critical condition

think this means irrigated gardens and waterborne sewage. However, this may not be the best option. We need to educate the public,” he says, adding that in an ideal world, sewage should be kept separate from water, necessitating far less treatment. And the technology is available.

The time is now

Although government has succeeded in significantly expanding water infrastructure since 1994, this infrastructure has not always been maintained. As infrastructure

FIGURE 1 Green Drop national performance log 2014

technologies and environmentally friendly options. For example, pond systems using algae – a simple, natural solution – have been successfully used to treat effluent in rural areas. Wetlands are also well proven as part of wastewater treatment systems. “These solutions are much more elegant for our conditions because we have lots of space. We need to use combinations and think smartly, rather than just plug in first-world solutions. There are more appropriate solutions for us,” says Claassen. However, government needs to start with changing public perception around water use and infrastructure. “What does it mean to have an advanced development state and higher quality of life? People

becomes more unreliable and failures increase, people revert to extracting water directly from rivers and streams, which may be unsafe for consumption. However, Claassen believes that society is becoming impatient for an improvement in their quality of life, thus increasing the pressure on government to address these challenges. “This is not an unsolvable issue. We have good solutions and strategies, but the execution is poor. Government is too reactive and society is not sufficiently involved. We need to adopt more appropriate technologies and be more efficient in our maintenance if we are to protect our water resources,” he concludes. M AY / J U NE 2018

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Water Quality, Treatment & Laboratories

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39


Panel Discussion | Potable Water Treatment

Veolia Water Technologies South Africa

Chris Braybrooke General Manager: Marketing

Veolia has 160 years of experience in treating water. Tell us a bit more about the company’s history.

the softening and removal of

potable water

quality output, as well

manganese, pesticides and metals,

production. For our

as reduced operating and

as well as a drive for faster, more

coastal regions,

capital costs.

efficient clarification, filtration and

desalination will

CB Veolia’s R&D Department in

membrane technology. Our Actiflo

have to form part of future supply.

however require higher skill levels

France is continually producing

came online in the early 1990s to

Although this may be costly, when

for operators, and Veolia takes this

new technologies and we are

handle rise rates of 100 m/h and

you look at the rising costs of

very seriously. Our well-trained

proud to have several world firsts,

in 1995, we became a pioneer in

water treatment owing to polluted

experts in the field can help

like the first multi-stage flash

nanofiltration technology.

surface water, desalination costs

ensure consistent quality and

will begin to fall more in line with

maintenance of plants. We were

conventional treatment.

recently awarded the concession

distillation plant, which was built in Kuwait as far back as 1959. From its establishment in

In 2008, we introduced specific treatments for the removal of arsenic, manganese, ammonia,

Reuse is also a proven method

Newer technology does

to operate all of Overstrand

1953 up until the 1970s, Veolia

pesticides and radioactive

that has seen slow uptake.

Municipality’s treatment plants.

pioneered the Lamella settling

compounds. We also had a

Since 2001, both the Durban

This will see us conduct a full audit

processes and introduced the

breakthrough in seawater

Water Recycling plant and the

of the plants in order to optimise

Multiflo process, which offered

desalination, introducing the

Goreangab plant in Namibia have

and improve their condition,

rise rates of up to 10 m/h, over the

first multiple-effect desalination

been producing 47 MLD and

ensure they are operating to

conventional 2 m/h.

combined with seawater reverse

21 MLD of treated wastewater,

osmosis plant.

respectively, without incident. It

Since then, we

is encouraging to see that Cape

have focused on

Town has included limited reuse

natural organic

in its long-term water strategy.

material removal,

This will hopefully pave the way

the optimisation

for South Africans to overcome

of desalination

the ‘yuck factor’ associated

technology and

with reuse.

increasing our range

continue to develop

What is the impact of declining water quality on treatment processes?

new technologies as

New pollutants are emerging

the need arises.

in our surface water, including

of patented Hydrex chemicals, and we

In the past decade,

new pesticides and by-products

Moving into the 1980s there was

the circular economy has come to

from the pharmaceuticals we

their design specification,

a challenge around the removal

the fore, with resources becoming

consume. These, coupled with a

and continually upskill the

of nitrates, pesticides and algae

scarcer and green technologies

lack of maintenance of treatment

existing operators.

toxins which were beyond normal

becoming more prevalent.

plants, means that conventional will soon no longer be suitable.

What about unserviced rural areas?

Specific treatments will have to be

In rural areas without formal

implemented to target particular

treatment works, our modular,

oxidation and flotation for

Where do you see non-conventional water sources playing a role in our future potable supply?

pollutants, which will push up the

mobile plants offer a solution

algae removal.

Rising surface water scarcity

cost of potable water.

without the costs associated with

methods of water treatment

clarification processes. Veolia developed nitrate removal by selected ion exchange, biological plants for nitrate removal, and

The 1990s saw a worldwide call for specific treatments for

means South Africa will be forced to turn to alternative means of

large, centralised plants. Built

Given rising pollution and failing treatment plants, what needs to be done at municipal level?

locally for African conditions,

Tenders mainly call for older,

service offering.

conventional technology. We

these plants can be installed where needed and are backed by our full technical support and We supply a full range of services

need a drive from government

from design and build projects,

and consultants to endorse newer

to modular solutions, chemicals,

technologies. Veolia is proud

spares and consumables, and

to have over 350 proprietary

extensive technical support,

technologies, but the industry

operation and training. We are

needs to be aware of what is

here to work with the engineers

available and the benefits each

to identify the best solutions

technology offers. These include

and apply their benefits to

smaller plant footprints, higher

local conditions. M AY / J U NE 2018

41


Panel Discussion | Potable Water Treatment

QUALITY FILTRATION SYSTEMS

Musawenkosi Ndlovu Director, QFS

Having successfully installed a 2 MLD desalination plant for the City of Cape Town, can QFS be seen as a company that does both implementation and technology supply? MN With the company growing

A technology supplier plays a

One of your strengths as a company is delivering works timeously. With the expansion of your scope of services, what strategy has QFS adopted in ensuring this continued positive feedback?

exponentially and having had

pivotal role in ensuring that any

With its expansion of services,

of positive feedback from our

decades of experience in the

project runs effectively with

QFS has invested in ensuring that

customers, which gives us the

supply of water treatment

well-maintained equipment. QFS

strategic project planning and

confidence to continue delivering

equipment, QFS has evolved

offers a full package: we are able

project management are

quality work. QFS being awarded

to do both implementation

to supply, install, maintain and

in place for works to be

the City of Cape Town’s

and technology supply. QFS

service our technologies. This

executed timeously while

2 MLD Waterfront Desalination

has been a technology supplier

reduces third-party expenses

still maintaining quality.

Plant project provides a

for ultrafiltration and reverse

and increases the lifespan of

osmosis skids for over two

our plants.

decades and has the capability to provide turnkey solutions for our technology.

What benefits does this positive expansion of services bring to your customers?

Being masters of our own technologies, most fabrication is

done at our workshop in Strand, Cape Town, in order to reduce on-site installation time. Adopting this method also ensures that errors are addressed at the workshop, thereby eliminating any on-site installation delays. We have had a great deal

prime example of our implementation capabilities.


Water Quality, Treatment & Laboratories

Meeting the testing challenge

The drought crisis in the Western Cape has raised a number of concerns around water quality. Water&Sanitation Africa speaks to Neil van Kooten, managing director, Integral Laboratory, about how the sector has been handling the challenge. Has the ongoing water crisis in the Western Cape had an impact on the analytical requirements of laboratories?

more evident than the usual

the practical changes?

changes experienced over an

In some instances, the standard

annual cycle. The requirements

testing requirements remained

and legislation that the

consistent, albeit with some

Neil van Kooten

NvK Absolutely. With the

municipalities need to abide

changes to the expected

Managing Director

residents looking to drill boreholes

by do not change as a result of

values one would normally

and find alternate water sources

the environmental conditions

associate to certain water types

analyse for these components is

in the hopes of being less reliant

and are not season dependent.

or from specific sectors. The

now a lot more in the spotlight

on municipal supply, the workload

During this period and the peak

implementation of water reuse

than previously.

placed on the laboratories across

of summer, their jobs were

and the use of alternative water

Internationally, this is still a

significantly more difficult, but

sources has instigated an urgent

developing field and there are

from what I witnessed, they did

need for a whole new sphere

currently no legal compliance

an outstanding job.

of analytical requirements and

limits. Encouragingly, while

analyses. The analysis of CECs

there are no defined compliance

the industry has been significant. In addition, many of the individuals submitting samples have had little experience with

Within the wastewater sector,

water testing previously. While

significant changes could be seen,

(critical emerging contaminants),

requirements, many institutions

they are aware of the catch

as less water was discharging

also known as emerging

are being responsible and

phrases, the actual meaning of

into the wastewater networks

pollutants, is now crucial and a

paying a lot of attention to this

these terms and the implications,

and ultimately entering into the

pivotal focus point.

to ensure that risks can be

as well as potential legal

treatment plants. As a result,

requirements, were foreign

what was being discharged was

concepts. It was an interesting

averted and the best possible solutions implemented.

significantly more concentrated

What exactly are CECs and what is the concern?

period as it incorporated the

than normally expected. The fact

CEC is the terminology applied to

amount of time and resources

need to increase awareness and

that many institutions undertook

an extensive list of compounds

into the implementation and

provide guidance to clients in a

water reuse policies – and that

and/or their derivatives. This

improvement of our ability to

responsible manner. I believe the

in many instances the water

includes, but is not limited

ensure service provision to clients.

need for increased transparency

use cycle was amended to

to, pesticides and herbicides,

This is an incredibly interesting

and clearer guidelines, in easy-

accommodate the use thereof

pharmaceuticals, and recreational

and challenging testing field,

to-understand terminology, is

in multiple locations prior to

drugs from wastewater effluent as

and we are proud to be able to

still lacking and a gap in the

discharge – played a large role in

well as industrial waste products.

commercially offer this service

current marketplace and

this reality. Many people tend to

information sources.

forget that the water cycle is, to

a closed system, what we put into

international facilities that have

a large extent, a closed system,

the water through discharge, river

this capability.

so what happens in one sphere

run-off, wastewater discharge,

impacts on the next.

illegal dumping, and so forth, will

Has there been a noticeable change in the water quality during the crisis? Within the potable water sector, the change has not really been

If we consider the water cycle as

We have invested a significant

at a level that rivals the few

then eventually be in the water

Have the testing needs changed as a result of any of

that we take out. While this is not a new concern, the need to

www.integrallabs.co.za M AY / J U NE 2018

43


Water Quality, Treatment & Laboratories

Turbidity technology under the microscope A new benchmark in the evolution of turbidity testing that enhances accuracy and reliability is now available in South Africa.

H

ach’s TU5 series turbidimeters use groundbreaking 360˚ x 90˚ detection technology to achieve a new standard in accuracy and reliability, while going a step further to ensure a better match between lab and online test results. Hach is part of the Danaher Group. Local distributor for Hach’s online instrumentation, Steve Herbst of Prei Instrumentation, discusses the technology: “Hach’s patented 360˚ x 90˚ detection technology uses a whole new methodology for measuring turbidity, which conforms to the highest Environmental Protection Agency standards. These standards have been adopted by South Africa’s biggest water service providers, including the likes of Rand Water,” says Herbst. Importance of turbidity Turbidity is important because it represents the ‘report card’ by which water quality can be measured. The amount of insoluble matter present in drinking water is an essential quality indicator. Silt, sand, bacteria, spores and chemical precipitates all contribute to the cloudiness or turbidity of water. Drinking highly turbid water can be unpalatable and unsafe. Consumption of even low concentrations of certain bacteria and other microorganisms can cause serious health effects. “The relevant local and international standards call for tubidimeters where raw water enters water treatment plants, in the settling tanks, the filters, and ideally also the backwash filters. They can also be installed at the outfall of wastewater

Graphic representation of Hack’s patented turbidimeter technology

treatment plant but because of the generally poor performance of the majority of the country’s wastewater treatment plants, the technology is only used at flagship wastewater facilities,” explains Herbst. “Moreover, the TU5 series solves persistent market challenges. For example, there is a problem getting the online results from field instrumentation to match with the lab equipment. The reason for this is that lab conditions do not simulate the natural environment, lab technicians can get tired and make errors, or they might get up and go for lunch or a comfort break, allowing sediment in a lab sample to settle. Further, glass vials used in the lab can get scratched from frequent use – this throws off test results,” adds Herbst. What sets the TU5 series apart is that it makes calibration much easier and more accurate. Using a new, more accurate and affordable methodology, calibrations are performed automatically, negating the margin for error introduced through human intervention. The technology goes a step further, by incorporating radio frequency

identification (RFID). “Samples that go to the lab have a magnetic band attached – when you touch samples to the unit, it downloads all the information on that RFID tag, doing away with handwritten labels and allowing the lab to handle large volumes of samples without mix-ups,” says Herbst. Groundbreaking methodology Both lab and online units utilise 360˚ x 90˚ detection technology – a new standard in turbidity testing. “The first turbidimeters consisted of a candle under a jar. Divers would peer through cloudy water and judge how far away they had to be before they could no longer see the light from the candle. The next step in turbidity testing used nephelometric readings (light refracting at 90 degrees, followed by measuring the amount of light bounced back by particles). Thereafter, infrared laser technology was developed in Europe. This was highly accurate but incredibly expensive,” says Herbst. “What makes the TU5 series revolutionary is that it directs a laser into a sample to scatter light off suspended particles. The light scattered at a 90-degree angle from the incident beam is reflected through a conical mirror in a 360-degree ring around the sample before it is captured by a detector,” he explains. The outcome is that the unit’s optical design sees more of your sample than any other turbidimeter, delivering the best low-level precision and sensitivity while minimising variability from test to test.


STRAP WASA

HI801 Spectrophotometer

With advanced split beam optical system, customizable methods and rechargeable battery

Replaceable tungsten–halogen lamp

Beam splitter

System check Pre–programmed methods

Universal cuvette holder and auto–recognition

Data logging and transfer

Battery operated

Cuvette Adapters

HEAD OFFICE – JHB Hanna Instruments (Pty) Ltd 6 Vernon Road Morninghill, Bedfordview T: (011) 615 6076 F: (011) 615 8582 E: hanna@hanna.co.za

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www.hanna.co.za

DURBAN BRANCH 2 Sunnyside Centre 48 Sunnyside Lane Pinetown T: (031) 701 2711 F: (031) 701 2706 E: durban@hanna.co.za


Water Quality, Treatment & Laboratories

Online monitoring for process transparency As water-quality monitoring becomes increasingly important, it is essential for good analysis to allow for informed decision-making.

M

any countries and international organisations have created water-quality guidelines for potable water supplies. Yet, the almost continuous identification of emerging contaminants in our fresh-water supplies results in ever-tightening water-quality requirements that go beyond the presence of dissolved salts in the raw water. Microorganism contamination, for example, will be identified or detected in an early stage, creating a path to more efficient disinfection processes. Water-quality data is undoubtedly influenced by analysis frequency, sampling location, analytical methods and, last but not least, maximum contaminant levels. Online monitoring is a piece of the technology puzzle and key to providing process transparency. Hach’s extended range of water analysers allows for informed decision-making based on continuous data. Effective microbiology testing One such example of this is the EZ 7300 On-line Microbiology Analyzer, a unique alternative to current manual analysis methods for assessing microbiology in water, providing timely and accurate data. The traditional heterotrophic plate count (HPC) for the evaluation of the total number of bacteria in a sample of drinking water takes days of incubation. By the time the analysis results are known, the water is already consumed or on its way through the distribution network. Clearly, traditional lab testing does not provide

process transparency and is ineffective for the protection of consumers’ health. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing has become a popular alternative to these time-consuming lab methods. ATP testing is important in the food and beverage industry as it helps to assess the quality and hygiene of the water used in food processing. For drinking water production, ATP testing provides an objective basis for actions against sudden changes in bacterial load. The newly developed EZ 7300 Series models are designed as automatic online analysers to assess microbial contamination in a production area or treatment facility where the sample is presented to the analyser from a pressurised line. In addition, the grab sample option allows laboratory staff to use the analyser as a benchtop instrument and run samples manually. With a LOD of 0.05 pg/mℓ ATP, the online analyser is capable of detecting very low levels of bacteria (0.05 pg ~50 E. coli-sized bacteria). The quantification of the different ATP portions – total, intracellular and free ATP – allows for the close following of abnormalities in microbial levels and biocide dosing. The EZ 7300 uses proprietary enzymatic reagents, from ATP expert Promega, that show superior stability even in the presence of free chlorine levels up to 2 mg/ℓ. Emerging pollutants Another threat to water quality is emerging pollutants, which include heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, thallium and lead. Excessive concentrations of these in surface- or groundwater can

ABOVE Hach’s extended range of water analysers in the EZ Series make on-line water analysis easy

BELOW The EZ 5000 Series are multiparameter titrators for water applications

carry over to the water treatment stage if not removed. The analytical technology behind Hach’s EZ 6000 Series is a sensitive electrochemical technique called anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV). It involves a pre-concentration of the analyte of interest – the metal – to the surface of an electrode, followed by a selective oxidation from the same electrode during the stripping phase. The proper measurement of some metals may be challenging, given the presence of various chemical states and forms in natural water or wastewater. This is especially true for arsenic and mercury. The EZ 6000 add-on digestion unit has been designed specifically for samples with higher organic contents, suspended particles and changing composition. The sample is mixed with concentrated acid and heated in a compact, built-in oven, turning all dissolved, complexed and adsorbed metal forms to free ions. This design principle adds to analytical performance and trouble-free operation of the online analyser. Hach’s extended range of water analysers in the EZ Series also offers options for the determination of organic carbon content in surface water intake, as well as for online monitoring of multiple critical parameters in the water treatment and pre-treatment space.

www.hach.com M AY / J U NE 2018

47


Water Qualit y, Treatment & Laboratories

A truly decentralised solution A new South African-developed membrane-based water filter may be a game changer in the provision of water to rural areas.

M

any of South Africa’s rural and peri-urban areas lack formal water infrastructure and the topography and wide spatial distribution of houses in these areas make it extremely difficult to pipe treated water to these households. The result is people consuming pathogen-contaminated water directly from rivers and dams, resulting in health complications. In response to this, a group of South African scientists have developed a membrane-based point-of-use (POU) household water treatment unit aimed at providing safe drinking water to off-grid rural communities. VA-RWF filtration units

The resulting VulAmanz Rural Water Filter (VA-RWF) is a membrane filtration unit with a disinfection step, containing a bucket-like container that can easily be stored. The system works as follows: 1. 25 ℓ of raw water is collected from a local source. 2. User adds three drops of hypochlorite solution (Jik) to a 5 ℓ product vessel. 3. The raw water is poured into the raw water tank. The product tap is opened, and clean water is collected. The RWF, which complies with WHO standards, will produce 20 ℓ in an hour on a clean membrane, decreasing to 15 ℓ in an hour after two weeks. The RWF, which complies with WHO standards, will

VulAmanz Rural Water Filter project team R&D TEAM: • Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University • Department of Chemical Engineering, Durban University of Technology • Department of Polymer Science, Stellenbosch University • Centre of Excellence in Water and Energy, Savannah State University, US • Department of Environmental Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand • Gelvenor SPONSORS: • Water Research Commission of SA • Umgeni Water • Department of Science and Technology (Innovation for Rural Development Programme) DESIGNERS AND FABRICATORS: • SKEG • DDDXYZ

M AY / J U NE 2018

49


Water Qualit y, Treatment & Laboratories However, once filtration commences, the fouling layer removes particles < 1 μm. The membrane has a lifespan of three to four years and is extremely robust. It is not destroyed by mechanical stresses or drying, is inexpensive, and can be easily cleaned without exotic chemicals.

Ensuring social acceptance

The topography and spatial distribution of houses in many rural areas make it extremely difficult to install formal infrastructure

produce 20 ℓ/hour around 100 ℓ/hour on a clean membrane, decreasing to around 50 ℓ/hour after two weeks of operation without any cleaning, depending on the raw water quality. The basis of the VA-RWF is a unique woven polyester microfiltration membrane, developed and produced in South Africa, which removes all suspended solids, colloids and most of the pathogenic bacteria. The disinfectant in the product vessel polishes the water and provides a residual disinfection capability. The apparent pore size of clean membranes is 1 μm to 3 μm.

There are a various POU water treatment technologies available internationally. However, these technologies have only been successfully implemented in very limited circumstances, and their penetration into sub-Saharan Africa, and particularly South Africa, remains small. Social acceptance and user uptake are critical aspects of developmental interventions and a big reason why POU water treatment systems have failed internationally, explains Professor Lingam Pillay of Stellenbosch University. The response to the VA-RWF product has been phenomenally positive; 500 units have been rolled out in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, where various users have reported improved health. According to Pillay, this positive response is largely due to the fact that this technology was developed from the ground

up. Traditional leaders in rural areas were consulted to establish their needs, rather than developing a technology based on perceptions and imposing this on rural dwellers. An important aspect of the R&D was that students from rural areas were involved in the project. This enabled the technology to be developed from a user perspective, eventually leading to extremely high social acceptance and user uptake. Importantly, the roll-out of VA-RWF units also involved training for the communities on how to operate them. User perception surveys show that >95% of the units are still in use and >95 % of users perceive the filter as beneficial.

Uplifting rural communities

While there are clear indirect economic impacts associated with providing safe drinking water to currently unserviced rural areas, the VA-RWF project offers some direct economic impacts, Pillay explains. Where there is a strong, functional municipality, the training, implementation, troubleshooting and maintenance of units can be performed by the municipality. However, where the local municipality lacks capacity, the tasks of training, implementation, troubleshooting and maintenance

Water Care

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www.lonza.com www.lonzawatertreatment.co.za


Membranes for largescale treatment On a larger scale, membrane technology has the potential to majorly impact drinking water provision in sub-Saharan Africa. Membranes can offer many benefits and Pillay reports a strong swing globally towards micro- and ultrafiltration for potable water production. In developing countries like South Africa, membranes offer several major advantages over conventional water treatment systems: • very high and consistent product quality • product quality independent of feed quality • product quality independent of skills of operator • small footprint • modular (can be easily expanded) • ideal for decentralised potable water provision. “Membrane systems are significantly less complex and significantly easier to operate,” says Pillay. He adds that membrane prices have nosedived in the last 10 years, making them comparable to, or possibly even better than, conventional systems, particularly because of the high civil costs associated with traditional treatment plants. “Our problem primarily comes down to a lack of knowledge and a lack of local experience. There are very few membrane scientists in South Africa or people who have been exposed to membranes. We need a mind shift,” Pillay concludes.

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Many South Africans still consume pathogen-contaminated water directly from rivers and dams

can be given to regional franchisees. This would provide an opportunity for local unemployed youth to increase their technical skills, provide a regular income for at least four years, and directly benefit their communities. In addition, the specialist fabric for the units is produced locally, providing employment opportunities.

A financially viable alternative

The capital cost of a VA-RWF unit (treatment unit and steel stand) is currently R2 000, although this is expected to drop by 20% to 30% based on scale of production. With an estimated maintenance cost of R250 per year, the life cost over four years to provide a family with 40 ℓ to 80 ℓ of water per day will be R3 000. This is significantly less costly than two currently available alternatives for clean water provision in the target areas , namely bottled water (R15 per 5 ℓ) and water from a water kiosk (R1 per 1 ℓ). Given the benefits of the VA-RWF system to provide safe drinking water to currently unserviced rural areas, reducing health risks and breaking the downward spiral of poor health, poor education and poverty, VulAmanz is seeking partners to implement this technology in order to make a positive impact on the development of society.

www.agru.at

All fittings are made of PE 100-RC agru Kunststofftechnik Gesellschaft m.b.H. Ing.-Pesendorfer-Strasse 31 4540 Bad Hall, Austria T. +43 7258 7900 F. +43 7258 790 - 2850 office@agru.at

YEARS

M AY / J U NE 2018

51


wastewater

Water is essential to life but, as temperatures rise year after year, climate change threatens water availability and quality. By Siyabulela Fanie*

A

s water becomes a scarce commodity in some regions, developing economies could face economic challenges to supply this basic resource. Alternatives to the traditional use of surface water must be sought. Water reuse is thus becoming an important component of water provisioning. As renowned water specialist Dr Audrey Levine has said, “Society no longer has the luxury of using water only once.” However, for the sustained provision of water through recycling treated water, it is important to adopt a treatment process that is able to provide quality effluent that is consistent with set standards. This provides its own set of challenges. Due to the high use of chemicals for both industrial and domestic purposes, the wastewater generated requires more intense treatment for it to be reusable, either for indirect potable or nonpotable applications. In addition, for treated wastewater to be sustainably reusable, it must also be in close proximity to where it is required in order to minimise capital expenditure costs relating to pipelines. This builds a case for decentralised wastewater treatment systems.

52

MAY /JUNE 2018

A breakthrough in wastewater treatment technology

Introducing Spras technology

Spras (sludge process reduction activated sludge) is a variation of the activated sludge process. It incorporates biological nutrient removal and uses a patented inbuilt sludge-liquid separation technology that leads to high concentrations of activated sludge and infinite sludge retention time in the bioreactor. The patented clarification technology produces effluent of a very high clarity, with a final suspended solids concentration of less than 10 mg/ℓ. The sludge reduction is achieved through the extended sludge retention time (SRT) calculated to be 600 days, which significantly advances Table 1 Available Spras technology products

Code

Description

JM50

Treats up to 50 m3/day

JM70

Treats up to 70 m3/day

JM100

Treats up to 150 m3/day

JM3000

Treats up to 3 000 m3/day

JM5000

Treats up to 5 000 m3/day

JM10000

Treats up to 10 000 m3/day

Three JM100 bioreactors with a total capacity of 450m3/day were installed in parallel at Glen Agricultural College, Free State

endogenous metabolism of microorganism and cell lysis. Organic waste sludge is reduced by more than 95%, so there is no need to install conventional sludge treatment devices. The technology reduces waste organic sludge at source and prevents secondary pollution arising from sludge disposal. The key characteristics of the Spras technology include a high concentration of activated sludge in the bioreactor, no sludge bulking problems, and no sludge discharge (infinite SRT). The nitrifying bacteria are completely retained in the bioreactor, leading to an effective removal of ammonia nitrogen through nitrification.

Numerous solutions and advantages

An invention by Jinluo Water, this technology has a suite of decentralised wastewater treatment products, which are suited for different environments, and can be seen in Table 1.


wastewater

Figure 1 The sludge reduction mechanism showing endogenous metabolism of microorganisms

Cell content

Cell death and degradation Lysis

Soluble substance

Aliphatic acid

Dissoluble substance

Table 2 Spras technology sites in South Africa

Site name

Details

Site status

Remarks

Kirkwood (Sundays River Valley Municipality)

Two 150 m3/day package plants to increase the capacity of the existing wastewater plant

Decommissioned

Pilot period ended

Cradock (Chris Hani District Municipality)

300 m3/day package plant deployed as a backup to the existing wastewater treatment plant

Decommissioned

Pilot period ended

Glen Agricultural College

450 m3/day package plant as a complete replacement of the old wastewater treatment plant

Operational

Spras offers a number of advantages, such as: • After disinfection, the water can be used for residential green irrigation, road cleaning, car washing, construction, fire, flushing, etc. • It can be directly connected to the existing sewerage pipe network. • No residual organic sludge is produced. • The system uses carbon and stainless steel material that has a minimum service lifespan of 30 years. • Equipment components are concentrated in the interior equipment, reducing the footprint and installation costs.

• Because no organic sludge is discharged, there is no risk of secondary pollution. • No chemicals, media or membranes are used in treating domestic raw sewage. • A remote monitoring Scada system is used for effective maintenance.

Proven in SA

Spras technology has been deployed at several test sites in South Africa. A 450 m3/day package plant is currently in operation at Glen Agricultural College, under the management of the Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Spras plant was deployed to replace Table 3 Treated effluent quality from different sites showing compliance with the DWS standards the existing wastewater treatment plant. Treated effluent

Determinand

Units

DWS general effluent standards

Cradock

Kirkwood

Glen

Ammonia

mg N/ℓ

<3

0.13

1.08

1.5

COD

mg O2/ℓ

<75

<20

41

50

E. coli

colonies/100 mℓ

<1 000

18

36

308

70 – 150

131

149

90

Electrical conductivity mS/m Free chlorine

mg Cl2/ℓ

<0.25

<0.1

<0.1

_

Nitrate/nitrite

mg N/ℓ

<15

11

15.75

_

Or thophosphate

mg P/ℓ

<10

1.38

2.48

10

pH

pH units

5.5 – 9.5

7.9

7.5

7.33

Suspended solids

mg/ℓ

<25

<10

<10

9

*Siyabulela Fanie is the group CEO of OPECS (Pty) Ltd.

www.opecs.co.za M AY / J U NE 2018

53


Wastewater

New aerators for Vredenburg WWTW

The Vredenburg Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) in the Saldanha Bay Municipality is undergoing a full upgrade, with Phase 1 successfully completed.

s aeration was the biggest concern at the plant, this comprised the first phase of the project. According to Ryan Beswick, managing director, Circuit Water Engineering Equipment, an increase in organic load and ageing equipment resulted in the existing aerators not supplying sufficient air. While there had been attempts in the past to increase the size of the aerators, the concrete structures had become unstable due to years of vibration. The civil engineers deemed the platforms unsafe and in need of replacement. Because the flow to the plant could not be disrupted during work on the platforms, the decision was taken to build an identical basin adjacent to the plant and install new aeration equipment. Circuit Water was appointed to install five 45 kW Triton aerators. These aerators have been successfully installed and operated in some of Saldanha Bay Municipality’s other WWTWs, namely Langebaan and Laingville, as well as in

units in operation will provide sufficient aeration for the treatment process required, while sufficiently mixing to maintain suspension of biomass. Each Triton unit is equipped with its own blower, which provides a stream of air down a hollow shaft to a propeller diffuser system. This is key to fine bubble aeration, explains Beswick. “Aerating is simple, but normally it provides coarse bubble aeration. It is very tricky to control your bubble size, but it is possible with these units, which is what makes them so special.” He adds: “The major benefit the Tritons offer is that you are providing the electrical efficiency of fine bubble aeration with a surface-mounted machine. Furthermore, these aerators can be pivoted out of the water for maintenance and inspection, and you do not need cranes to remove the units for normal maintenance purposes.” The five Triton aerators were commissioned in June 2017 and have successfully been providing fine bubble aeration for the Vredenburg WWTW for almost a year.

A

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MAY /JUNE 2018

several plants in surrounding municipalities, reports Beswick. The Tritons replace splash aerators, offering many benefits over the old equipment. According to Beswick, there are many downsides to splash aerators despite the fact that they are among the most popular in South Africa. The main problem with these is that the water level is critical. As soon as the level rises above the optimal installation level, the electrical consumption increases up to the point where it could trip all the aerators and thus affect the treatment process. If the water level is below the optimal design, then the aeration is reduced, again affecting the treatment process. With the Triton, aeration takes place below the surface and the units have a level change tolerance of 300 mm. In a mass balanced concrete structure, the level variance is not more than this in normal operating conditions, translating to stable power consumption. During low-flow periods, three of the five aerators can be turned off completely, and the two


Water

Utilities Feature focus Overberg Water: Poised for growth 54 Building an investable water sector 56 Clean water for all 59 Mastering the art of sourcing, supply and conservation 60 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Drought requires collaborative efforts to plan for and ensure continued water supply.â&#x20AC;? P54

Industry Insight Phakamani Buthelezi CEO, Overberg Water M AY / J U NE 2018

55


Water Utilities | Industry Insight

Overberg Water: Poised for growth Phakamani Buthelezi, CEO, Overberg Water

The Overberg Water Board, strategically located in the drought-stricken Western Cape, strives to ensure ongoing service delivery through providing access to quality drinking water and sanitation services.

O

verberg Water was established in 1993 and serves as a water board providing bulk water services to the Overberg region in the south-western Cape. The utility supplies approximately 4 million m3 of water per annum, through a 1 450 km pipeline network, to a region covering 6 000 km2. With its head office located in Somerset West, approximately 40 km from the Cape Town CDB, the utility is poised to become the water board for the whole

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Western Cape region, believes Phakamani drought and the expected impacts of Buthelezi, CEO, Overberg Water. climate change. Buthelezi was initially seconded as “Equal to our interest to increase the acting CEO to Overberg Water in July footprint is to ensure the entity is geared 2017 by former Minister of Water and towards meeting the challenges of climate Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane, after change and that it grows in terms of the existing board was dismissed due increasing its water volumes. But relying to a few governance issues. Buthelezi’s solely on this growth without enhancing appointment was later confirmed by the entity’s internal control and adapting cabinet in December 2017 as CEO of to the ever-changing business environOverberg Water. Buthelezi brings with ment will be futile,” says Buthelezi. him a wealth of experience, after serving Although the Overberg region was as founding CEO of the Western Cape’s not as hard hit by the drought as Cape very first catchment management agency, Town, the whole Western Cape has been the Breede-Gouritz Catchment declared a disaster area, and water Management Agency. conservation and demand 2 He believes the utility management has had to is now functioning become a priority conwell and ready to sidering the state of the The utility supplies face any challenge approximately 4 million m3 major dams supplying – including those Overberg Water’s of water per annum, that would come schemes. “We have through a 1 450 km with Overberg done a lot to ensure pipeline network, to a Water supplying that we haven’t run region covering and treating water for out of water, including 6 000 km2 the province, including continuously updating for municipalities and and engaging with our government departments. “The customers and the general public,” main interest is to increase the footprint says Buthelezi. covering the entire Western Cape and we “Drought requires collaborative efforts are well positioned to achieve this. We are to plan for and ensure continued water on a growth path,” he says. supply. Moving forward, we will need to find new sources of water. This includes Expand and invest alternatives like water reuse and groundTo achieve this, Buthelezi says the utility water. We are already engaging with must expand into other areas, which will partners to invest in groundwater as an allow it to increase water volumes and option to boost our water supply.” invest more in water infrastructure. This The biggest challenge at present is aligns with the need to ensure water funding. According to Buthelezi, the water supply going forward, given the recent board has been engaging with the private

6 000 km


Water Utilities | Industry Insight

sector to assist in financing infrastructure projects in the future. He echoes the call issued by Mokonyane late last year for the private sector to invest in South Africa’s water and sanitation, while acknowledging the challenges that go along with this. “We need to consider how we can demonstrate that water is important to invest in and investor-friendly. This means engaging with National Treasury and simplifying procurement processes so that it is more attractive for the private sector to invest in water,” he says. Train and develop Together with this, Buthelezi sees a great need for new technology and skills development in the sector. “One of the challenges facing South Africa is the shortage of skills, including appropriate training, and Overberg Water has provided training opportunities in

water purification processes and water says. This means learning lessons from conservation since inception,” he says. other countries, as well as developing local Buthelezi would like to see the solutions and customising international utility become more involved in concepts for local conditions. skills development, assisting local “We would like to see water as a national municipalities with training, to ensure asset. We need a central point that controls that they are well positioned to deliver the distribution, usage and management services. This includes placing a of water. Municipalities often greater focus on promoting don’t communicate, due to a careers in the water sector number of reasons, and the “Drought among the youth, sector as a whole needs requires as well as involving to engage and share collaborative efforts knowledge. Overberg is the informal sector to plan for and in the business of both ready and willing water for a truly to step in and assist in ensure continued bottom-up approach. this regard,” he adds. water supply.” In line with this, he “We need to understand believes there needs that water is a complex to be a drive to develop system and, for us to be and adopt new technologies to effective and efficient, we need to address the water-scarcity challenges understand the demands on water and facing South Africa. “In this way, we could its role in the economy. We need to invest perhaps move from being water-scarce in water to invest in economic and socioto having a surplus, through innovative economic growth and create a balance technologies and systems,” he between everyone’s needs.” In light of this, Buthelezi believes Overberg Water’s role needs to grow. He wants to see the utility becoming more involved in water resource management and wastewater treatment to realise his vision of turning Overberg Water into a utility capable of meeting the water needs for the entire Western Cape region. “I am very optimistic about our future and the future of water in our country,” concludes Buthelezi.

www.overbergwater.co.za M AY / J U NE 2018

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Water Utilities

Building an investable water sector The Department of Water and Sanitation, together with the sector at large, has taken steps to address the challenges inhibiting investment in South Africa’s water and sanitation infrastructure at a time when the country could be on the brink of a crisis. By Danielle Petterson

l

ate last year, former Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane called for investment in South Africa’s water and sanitation infrastructure. Jointly hosted by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Water Research Commission, the Water Infrastructure Investment Summit brought together investors, funders, project developers, policymakers, regulators and local government partners to engage in an effort to shift the water and sanitation sector investment landscape to a space that is open and enabling for investment and inclusive growth opportunities. Several months on, the Embassy of Denmark gathered critical sector role players to discuss ways of bridging the gap between technology, expertise and funding. Trevor Balzer, DDG: Strategic and Emergency Projects, DWS, paints a bleak picture of why this is so desperately needed: deteriorating water quality, insufficient water infrastructure maintenance and investment, recurrent droughts, inequities in access to water and sanitation, and a lack of skilled water engineers. These factors are all contributing to a water crisis, which is already having significant impacts on economic growth and the well-being of residents. In South Africa, 5.3 million households (35%) do not have access to reliable drinking water, while 14.1 million people do not have access to safe sanitation. However, Balzer says the problem is much broader than this. The constitutional responsibility to supply water and sanitation lies with South Africa is facing 144 municipalities a projected 17% water that are water deficit by 2030 services authorities. However, at least 33% of these

17%

Last year, former Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane issued a call for investment in South Africa’s water and sanitation infrastructure

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Water Utilities

municipalities are regarded as dysfunctional and more than 50% have no or very limited technical staff. Municipal non-revenue water is currently at a high of 41%, which equates to a loss of roughly 1 660 million m³ of water per year amounting to R9.9 billion. Moreover, 11% of water supply schemes are fully dysfunctional, while approximately 56% of wastewater treatment works and 44% of water treatment works are in poor or critical condition and in need of urgent rehabilitation. Balzer believes that in order to combat this and achieve water security in South Africa, a ‘new normal’ is needed. This significant paradigm shift means that water will become more expensive, consumption will have to be reduced and everyone, except the indigent, must pay for services.

“Our water availability could deteriorate rapidly as our supply contracts and demand escalates.” Trevor Balzer, DDG: Strategic and Emergency Projects, DWS

A national plan

adopting new technologies, and reducing losses through water awareness, and strict regulation and incentives, explains Balzer. One of the first interventions is to reduce consumer demand. Average municipal water use in South Africa is around 237 ℓ per person per day, compared to the world average of 173 ℓ per person per day. “Since large numbers of South Africans use very small amounts of water per day, this average masks the high wateruse by privileged sectors of the population,” says Balzer. Average domestic consumption must, therefore, be reduced to 175 ℓ per person per day by 2025. There are also significant opportunities to reduce water demand in the irrigation sector. Currently, agricultural consumption is largely unmetered, and there are concerns about unauthorised abstraction and water wastage in the sector. Agricultural users also pay a much lower tariff than other users of untreated water, which has not incentivised the adoption of water-efficient irrigation practices.

In response to these challenges, the DWS 2. Universal water and sanitation is developing the National Water and provision Sanitation Master Plan (NW&SMP). A call 3. Equitable sharing and allocation of to action, the water resources plan seeks 4. Effective infrastructure to rally all management, operaTowards a diversified supply water sector tion and maintenance The NW&SMP seeks to diversify South stakeholders 5. Reduction in future Africa’s water supply, moving away from in South water demand. the current water mix, which is strongly Africa to work Water supply challenges dominated by surface water, to a water together to people do not have “Our water availability mix that includes increased groundwater ensure that could deteriorate rapidly use, reuse of effluent from wastewater the country access to safe as our supply contracts treatment plants, water reclamation, as has a suffisanitation and demand escalates due well as desalination and treated acid mine cient reserve to growth, urbanisation, drainage (AMD). By 2040, the DWS aims to of supply inefficient use, degradation have 60% surface water contribution, 20% to meet of wetlands, water losses and groundwater, 14% reuse, 4% desalination, Sustainable the negative impacts of climate change,” and 2% treated AMD. Development Goal 6 – access to water and says Balzer. However, a diversified supply alone will sanitation for all – by 2030. Based on projections, the water deficit still result in a 5% water deficit by 2030. If, According to Balzer, the plan sets out could be between on top of this, urban prioritised actions and investments that 2 700 million m3 and losses are reduced the country must implement between 3 800 million m3 per from 35% to 15%, now and 2030 to overcome these annum by 2030 – a water supply and challenges and ensure a water-secure gap of about 17% of demand will balance future supporting inclusive development out. However, it is across the country. These are accompanied available surface- and groundwater. This only by reducing by roles and responsibilities, targets and will require serious domestic demand to time frames against which relevant players households do not interventions to 175 ℓ per person per in the sector can be held accountable by have access to reduce demand and day that South Africa cabinet, Parliament and the public. reliable drinking water losses, especially in will have an 8% surThe NW&SMP is based on five the agriculture and plus by 2030 – what key objectives: municipal sectors, by Balzer refers to as a 1. Resilient and fit-for-use improving efficiency, “comfort zone”. water supply

14.1 million

5.3 million

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Water Utilities

Budget deficit

R33 billion

of the major water boards are stable enough to go into the market and raise funding for water and sanitation infrastructure. If nothing is done, South Africa’s water and sanitation sector faces a glaring financial deficit, which will inhibit the country’s ability to provide essential services.

The DWS estimates that it should be investing South Africa is facing R90 billion per a R33 billion funding annum into water for the gap each year for the next 10 years; next 10 years however, the sector A call for investment is facing a With this in mind, the group gathered by R33 billion funding gap each year, which the Danish embassy sought to identify must be urgently addressed. This funding key areas that present opportunities and is needed for critical refurbishments, water stumbling blocks to investment in the supply and infrastructure renewals. sector. Agreed-upon areas that require action include: 1. Understanding what a good water project constitutes 2. Ensuring projects are not only feasible but bankable 3. Developing models for project bundling 4. Structuring risk and risk sharing of municipal water 5. Finding alternative funding does not generate opportunities revenue 6. Developing the right kind of technical skills 7. Technical standardisation 8. Improving coordination between partners To address this deficit, the sector needs to 9. Understanding when PPPs are approlook at financial leakage, improving cost priate and how to structure them recovery, increasing tariffs, private invest10. Incorporating innovation and ments, PPPs, loan funding and bonds, says new solutions, particularly Balzer. However, only the metros and three localised solutions

41%

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An urgent intervention

Speaking at the investment summit last year, Mokonyane stated that a water and sanitation master plan for South Africa, with an implementable action plan, is a critical area where the DWS needs to invest resources together with its international partners, institutions and SOEs. “Until such a time as South Africa has an integrated water and sanitation master plan, we will always be operating and planning in silos,” she said. Work on the NW&SMP is still in progress to develop the multiyear, detailed schedule of actions for implementation

56% and 44% 56% of WWTWs and 44% of WTWs are in a poor or critical condition

between 2018 and 2030. This schedule of actions will be prioritised and refined in consultation with all stakeholders during a proposed mini-phakisa scheduled to take place towards the end of August 2018. Ultimately, if South Africa doesn’t adopt a ‘new normal’, it could be facing a 17% water deficit by 2030.


Water Utilities | PROfilE

Clean water for all In line with delivering on the Constitution’s promise to provide clean and adequate water to all, Magalies Water is forging ahead with infrastructure projects aimed at improving lives and the economy.

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urrently, Magalies Water services a total area of 42 000 km² in the cross-border provinces of North West, Gauteng and Limpopo. Serviced through the major Crocodile and Pienaars rivers, the utility supplies water and sanitation services to six municipalities, including one of the largest metropolitan municipalities in Africa – the City of Tshwane – as well as hundreds of industries, including six mining establishments in the copper belt and key tourism industries. Infrastructure expansion Through its commercially sustainable business, Magalies Water has been able to service and contribute to the economic development and support of local municipalities through the expansion of bulk infrastructure projects in line with its 2013 Master Plan. Infrastructure upgrades, extensions and refurbishment projects implemented in line with this plan include the Pilanesberg Bulk Water Supply Scheme (BWSS) phases 1, 2 and 3; Moretele South BWSS; Moretele North BWSS (Klipvoor Scheme); Wallmansthal Water Treatment Works (WTW); and Cullinan WTW.

The Vaalkop System has been upgraded, which comprised additional treatment capacity of 60 MLD, as well as the construction of the La Patrie Reservoir, which will alleviate water shortages in the Moses Kotane and Rustenburg local municipalities. The completion of a 31 km pipeline and a 35 MLD reservoir in Pilanesberg North has improved the lives of communities in several surrounding villages. In addition, the upgrading of the Klipdrift WTW from 18 MLD to 42 MLD has accommodated the increasing demand from the Moretele, Bela-Bela and Modimolle local municipalities. The recently installed pipeline that conveys water to the Mafenya Reservoir will increase the reservoir capacity to 109 MLD after completion of the second phase of the Pilanesberg BWSS. The 50 MLD Mafenya Reservoir currently supplies water to the Maseve and Bakubung mines. Full benefits of the plant extension will be realised on completion of the Pilanesberg phase 2 and 3 projects. All Magalies Water projects are geared towards the improvement of the local economy by ensuring the engagement of small, medium and micro enterprises as well as creating employment opportunities for communities. Ensuring clean water Magalies Water complies with or exceeds the minimum requirements of SANS 241:2011, ensuring the highest-quality water that poses no health risks to consumers. The utility’s laboratory fuses the specialist knowledge of licensed professionals with state-of-the-art testing technology, equipment and instruments, providing an

all-inclusive suite of services to test water samples for an extensive set of quality parameters. The Scientific Services Department is the best in microbiological and chemical analysis, constitutes a SANAS-accredited laboratory (T0625), and offers a range of services to water and related industries. In the compliance space, Magalies Water’s laboratory has achieved: 1. SANAS (ISO 17025:2015) accreditation for the first time in October 2014. The laboratory achieved continual maintenance of accreditation and had zero non-conformances on system audits in 2016. 2. Accreditation for cryptosporidium and giardia methods in 2017. 3. Accreditation for real-time PCR-based methods for detection of E. coli, Citrobacter freundii and Enterococcus faecalis in 2017. 4. Accreditation for trace metals (12 elements), hexavalent chromium and trihalomethanes in 2017. 5. Accreditation for 14 methods from the Chemistry section, 5 from the Microbiology section and 3 in the Hydrobiology section. 6. The acquisition of 40 new customers, conducting 66 614 analyses in F1617 method for 28 customers as well as the 29 338 YTD (F1718) method for the remaining 12. Magalies Water has also embarked on a War on Leaks project to support the Rustenburg and Thabazimbi local municipalities’ programmes to reduce non-revenue water. Constant assessment of the status of Magalies Water’s assets is vital and the utility is committed to continually supplying clean water to targeted municipalities and upholding and maintaining the dignity of communities in line with the constitutional requirements of providing basic services to all citizens.

www.magalieswater.co.za

M AY / J U NE 2018

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Water Utilities

Mastering the art of sourcing, supply and conservation On a planet covered with oceans, the concept of water scarcity for human consumption, agricultural use and industrial needs may seem strange. It is, however, a harsh reality.

M

hlathuze Water is faced with combatting these challenges. The state-owned entity was established in 1980 and is one of South Africa’s leading water utilities. Mhlathuze Water’s area of supply spans the entire KwaZulu-Natal province. The utility has succeeded in continually fulfilling its mandate of supplying water to its constituents through the ongoing development and refurbishment of infrastructure and numerous interventions during the recent drought. World-class specialists work together on a daily basis to ensure that all parts of the water supply chain – from bulk sourcing to treatment and disposal – are always working, to make sure that every drop counts.

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As such, the organisation has mastered the art of balancing the diverse needs of its wide variety of customers to consistently deliver a water service that is dependable. The utility meets the highest international standards and maximises every drop of the precious resource entrusted to its care. Mhlathuze Water operates an interbasin transfer scheme, a major water treatment plant, an offshore waste and water disposal system, as well as manages water treatment and sewage plants on an agency basis for industry and municipalities. The utility’s services include: •b  ulk water provision: raw, clarified, and purified • bulk wastewater disposal •p  rovision of water and water services authorities


Water Utilities

• implementing agent for schools' water and sanitation infrastructure, as well as working for water programmes. Infrastructure development As an implementing agent, Mhlathuze Water is mandated to provide sustainable water supplies while being mindful of the need to create new jobs wherever possible. In line with this, the utility is responsible for supporting the development of infrastructure to assist in the delivery of basic services, thereby fulfilling its primary mission, but also playing an important role in the socioeconomic development and growth of the country. Under Mhlathuze Water’s supervision, several infrastructure projects have been implemented, including: Tronox Pump Station The Tronox Pump Station was upgraded to meet the future supply demands for the Fairbreeze Tronox Mine. Construction was completed in the beginning of the 2017/18 financial year at a cost of R19 million. The pump station now has capacity to meet the demands of the Fairbreeze Mine, as well as Port Dunford Mining operations planned to commence in 2018, for the next 10 years. Jozini Regional Water Supply Project Mhlathuze Water has successfully

commissioned a 40 Mℓ/day water treatment plant with associated bulk infrastructure at a total cost of R1.15 billion to date. Launched by former Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane, this project is aimed at servicing rural areas in Jozini previously without potable water except for limited streams and boreholes. The utility is also responsible for the ongoing operations and maintenance of the plant. Ingwavuma Wastewater Treatment Works Mhlathuze Water was appointed by the Department of Water and Sanitation to implement the refurbishment of the Ingwavuma Wastewater Treatment Works, through the Accelerated Infrastructure Programme. The objective of the project was to ensure that the plant’s final effluent complies with Green Drop standard requirements. The completed refurbishment project – worth R12 million – has been handed over to the uMkhayakude District Municipality. Drought Interventions Many parts of KwaZulu-Natal have experienced devastating drought, which has harshly affected numerous communities. To address this, Mhlathuze Water has worked closely with provincial government on a number of drought alleviation

40 Mℓ/day

Mhlathuze Water has successfully commissioned a 40 Mℓ/day water treatment plant with associated bulk infrastructure at Jozini Regional Water Supply Project

initiatives. These include: • s upplying and installing 800 emergency static tanks on brickconstructed stands • s iting, drilling, testing, equipping and energising in excess of 110 boreholes •d  esigning, supplying, installing and commissioning 21 water storage facilities •d  esigning, supplying, installing and commissioning three water treatment package plants •p  re-feasibility planning studies investigating potential sites for desalination plants along the KwaZulu-Natal coast •v  iability investigation of implementing wastewater recycling at four wastewater treatment works •p  rocuring and supplying nine water tankers. As an organisation, Mhlathuze Water continues to partner with the private and public sectors on initiatives and programmes such as these, to the benefit of the people of not only the northern KwaZulu-Natal region but of the province as a whole.

www.mhlathuze.co.za | communication@mhlathuze.co.za

R12 million The completed refurbishment project on Ingwavuma Wastewater Treatment Works is worth R12 million

R19 million The upgrade of the Tronox Pump Station was completed in the beginning of the 2017/18 financial year at a cost of R19 million

M AY / J U NE 2018

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Meters, Pipes, Pumps & Valves Feature focus Casting the perfect mould Why is a full smart water solution the right choice for Africa? Powering process performance Retrofitting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; new life for old pumps Water-loss savings in pipelines New life for PE sewer The latest in monitoring technology

64 66 69 71 73 74 75 M AY / J U NE 2018

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Meters, Pipes, Pumps & Valves

Casting the perfect mould

W

hen pumps are cast at the foundry, the precise tolerances that need to be achieved can be as exact as 1/1 000 mm, but before this process, work first begins in the pattern shop. This is where the casting models are handmade to technical specifications. In most instances, they are crafted in wood in a time-honoured tradition carried down over the centuries. Metal castings are still common, but more suited to mass production applications, whereas the wooden versions are intended for lower product volumes and unique, custom-built requirements. Within South Africa, APE Pumps and its sister company, Mather+Platt, are among the few OEMs specialising in pattern making, which is becoming an increasingly scarce skill outside the foundry industry. “The advancement of 3D technology has its advantages when it comes to design and performance simulation,” explains Hennie Griessel, pattern workshop manager, APE. “We are also experimenting with the latest 3D printing technology, using plastic composite materials. This is an excellent way of enabling our engineers to walk through the final prototype with our customers. But this always translates into the building of the pattern that will form the end result. Perhaps, in the future, 3D printing could replace wood once the technology becomes more advanced and the costs come down, but certainly not in the foreseeable future.”

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Established in 1952, APE Pumps has retained its leadership position thanks to its 66 years of innovation in pump engineering. A prime example is its ongoing investment in the art of pattern making.

Currently, Griessel has three apprentices studying under him. Once they’ve passed their trade test, they will join an elite group of highly skilled artisans in South Africa.

Modifications and retrofits

APE has the expertise to make a pattern for any application, and frequently devises replacement solutions for customers with older pump models where the original technical drawings have been lost or the OEM is no longer in business. At other times, patterns are made where clients request alternations to existing APE or Mather+Platt OEM designs to achieve the right flows and pressures for their individual application. “That really puts our skills to the test,” points our Richard Harper,

marketing business development manager at APE. “It’s an intricate process, with no margin for error.” The work involved applies to any sized pump, extending locally up to units that can weigh around 4 tonnes. “These patterns are so well made that they last


A strong foundation for infrastructure success

for up to 20 years of productive use. A recent example is a 10x12 split-casing pattern for a major petrochemical client that took up to six months to complete,” he adds.

Standardisation

Traditionally, three individual patterns were designed for stainless steel, bronze and cast iron. APE has introduced one pattern format for all metallurgical compositions. Once the casting comes back from the foundry, the pumps are then machined and finished according to their specific model type. All pumps are rigorously tested in terms of the company’s stringent quality control process to ensure that the highest standards are adhered to and maintained.

“What really sets us apart in South Africa is our pattern making capabilities and many of our orders are for custom builds. Our team works with consulting engineers and clients to create the perfect fit.” “We form part of WPIL Limited, a multinational that owns leading OEM brands with manufacturing centres based in Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia,” says Harper. “That means we have access to the best off-the-shelf pump solutions for all industry sectors. These are backed by a suite of turnkey solutions with the in-house capability to supply all the electromechanical systems needed. Through the group, we also provide turnkey services for Southern Africa, including build, operate and maintain projects.” “But what really sets us apart in South Africa is our pattern making capabilities and many of our orders are for custom builds. Our team works with consulting engineers and clients to create the perfect fit,” Harper concludes.

ROCLA is South Africa’s leading manufacturer of pre-cast concrete products. Surpassing 100 years of product excellence, including pipes, culverts, manholes, poles, retaining walls, roadside furniture, sanitation and other related products within infrastructure development and related industries.

Visit us on www.rocla.co.za for our nationwide branches


Meters, Pipes, Pumps & Valves

Why is a full smart water solution the right choice for Africa? Smart technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are taking the world by storm. In order to ensure the success of smart water initiatives and solve the water challenges in Africa, it is crucial for smart utilities to choose the right technology and equipment.

T

he recent drought has placed South Africa’s water situation squarely in the spotlight. Gerardt Viljoen, managing director, Sensus, believes South Africa needs to take a more holistic approach to the water cycle. “Not many people look at the big picture, which means looking at everything over time. National government needs to take this approach when dealing with our water resources and infrastructure,” says Viljoen. This entails monitoring the entire value chain. Being a brand of leading global water firm Xylem, Sensus is able to provide end-to-end solutions for utilities using industry-leading technology across the full water cycle. Xylem’s well-known

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global brands have served the water market in over 150 countries for decades, producing highly efficient water technologies that use less energy, reduce asset life-cycle costs and provide environmental benefits to users and the communities in which they operate. Secure connection As connectedness becomes the norm, it is vital that critical national infrastructure has a safe platform for connection. The FlexNet communication network is a powerful long-range radio system at the heart of Sensus’ advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solutions. Unlike other IoT utility networks, FlexNet offers a dedicated radio spectrum that is protected by law from

interference, thus ensuring reliability and protecting critical infrastructure from infiltration. As part of a full smart water solution, the FlexNet system enables smart meters and sensors to securely and confidently transmit and receive near real-time customer usage and infrastructure data. This improves business intelligence by allowing utilities to proactively manage their smart water networks. The system is also built on open standards and APIs for easy interface with third-party applications and platforms. Importantly, a full smart water solution – which combines technologies to monitor customer usage, improve asset management and reduce leakage


in order to increase efficiencies within the utility – also allows users to plot and monitor their network efficiencies. “As soon as you know your network efficiencies you know where you should focus your capital investment for infrastructure improvement,” says Viljoen. Using infrastructure condition management technology, Rand Water was able to save 90% on capital expenditure by conducting pipeline assessments. “On 100 km of pipeline only 10 km needed to be replaced, saving Rand Water from having to replace a significant amount of infrastructure.” Predictive technology A full smart water solution is able to supply equipment to effectively identify leaks and even predict where they will occur. South Africa’s non-revenue water sits at 41%, of which 35% is lost through leakage. With municipalities losing about 1 660 million m³ per year as a result, the applications for this technology are extensive. Multiple pipe leakage indicators such as high-rate pressure sensors, hydrophones and flow meters installed at optimal locations, coupled with minute-by-minute data analytics can be used to predict pipes that are likely to fail in the near future before bursts and further damages occur. Measure to manage Vital to effective water management are accurate meter readings. Notably, Sensus’ iPERL water meters have no moving parts, giving them up to three times the lifespan of conventional mechanical meters. These solid-state mechanical meters work on the electromagnetic principle and are currently the most accurate domestic meters in the world, reports Viljoen. The iPERL meters are exceptionally popular in Saudi Arabia and Namibia where fine sand particles create friction that wears down conventional meters. This does not affect iPERL meters, making them perfect for African countries with high sediment content in their water supplies. While mechanical meters lose roughly 1% accuracy per annum, the iPERL will never lose its accuracy and is capable of detecting leaks down to 1 ℓ/h – a dripping tap. The smart water meter comes equipped with smart alarms such as tamper alerts and can help assist in driving additional revenue from residential accounts, as well as ensuring customer trust through increased accuracy. While metering is by no means a new concept, South Africa still sits with a high percentage of unmetered environments, says Viljoen. “Water is a scarce and finite resource, and it is our reasonability to be good custodians. The best way do to this is by measuring so that we ensure we don’t waste it,” he concludes.

Solve water the smart way Water loss can be prevented with a fully integrated, end-to-end smart water solution, along with numerous other benefits:

Reducing leaks by 5% and pipe bursts by 10% can save utilities up to $4.6 billion annually Use combined data analytics to identify and pinpoint the exact location of a leak Know your asset life - predict when a pipe will burst or a pump will fail

Highly accurate demand forecasting

Continuous, around-the-clock information about the health of your network

How smart is that?

With its acquisition of Sensus and Visenti, Xylem brings you best-in-class technology to create a full end-to-end smart water solution, delivering an unmatched offering with innovation in communications technologies, advanced metrology, sensors, data analytics and services.

To find out how Sensus can help you to operate more efficiently, deliver high levels of customer service and conserve valuable resources, contactEMEA@xyleminc.com Visit www.sensus.com for more information.


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Meters, Pipes, Pumps & Valves

Powering process performance

At SEW-Eurodrive, more than 500 researchers are tasked with perfecting solutions that drive all industries. This includes the water sector, where there’s a major focus on product selection and customer training.

A

s South Africa’s rate of urbanisation accelerates, current water and wastewater plants will struggle to keep pace. That puts major pressure on the existing network and its associated infrastructure. Routine condition monitoring and maintenance become even more of a priority, as does the selection of the right technologies. “As running costs escalate, water and wastewater utilities are now searching for more energy-efficient alternatives,” comments Andreas Meid, head: Projects, SEW-Eurodrive South Africa – a global leader in motors, gear units, gear motors, and corresponding automation technology. “SEW is dealing directly with OEMs and end users so that we can assist them with solutions to their application requirements. SEW also offers locally assembled gearboxes, which allows for a fast turnaround time, whether for new or retrofit projects,” he explains. When it comes to energy efficiency, electric motor performance is a major contributing factor. “In fact, some of the biggest gains are due to the motor set-up. This is where SEW is investing resources to improve operating throughputs.”

SEW’s range covers IE1, IE2, IE3 and IE4 three-phase AC motor requirements worldwide. Effective from January 2015, all two-, four-, and six-pole asynchronous motors with 7.5 kW or higher sold in the EU, Switzerland or Turkey had to meet the requirements of energy efficiency class IE3. Then from January 2017, this IE3 stipulation was expanded to include motors within a power range of between 0.75 kW and 375 kW. “In South Africa, the regulations are not that strict yet, but SEW believes in sustainability and has made IE3 motors our standard offering,” Meid continues. SEW’s research and development efforts are focused on producing compact designs that exceed industry benchmarks. Recent projects include the installation of IE3-compliant DRN motors for a wastewater treatment works in the Eastern Cape. The units are IP 65 rated and used for aerator and mixing applications. To assist in the commissioning process, SEW’s engineers selected the optimum gearbox match for the plant load.

After-market strategy

To help customers obtain the best life-cycle costs, SEW recently expanded its Field Service Department along with the addition of new offerings like vibration and oil

“SEW is dealing directly with OEMs and end users so that we can assist them with solutions to their application requirements.”

analysis for its geared motor and industrial gear ranges. “We can pinpoint a specific bearing or gear component within the unit that is starting to fail and, in addition, identify whether or not the oil is in a usable condition,” says Meid. “Customers can then plan corrective actions around their normal shutdown periods.” Comprehensive stockholdings ensure that components are available at short notice if an emergency repair is needed. “In addition, SEW is in the process of incorporating these value-added services into formal service contracts for customers,” adds Meid. “We are also able to assist customers with field service on non-SEW geared units and the replacement of nonSEW control systems.

Predictive maintenance

Future solutions include off-site monitoring using cellular networks to transmit data and alert reports in near real time. This will have significant benefits for clients in terms of predictive and preventative maintenance.” SEW’s Field Service Department is available 24/7, and provides support in 23 African countries. “The SEW Drive Academy also offers training on all SEW products, covering maintenance, operation and product knowledge. This ensures that our clients have the know-how to maintain our products and achieve the best return on investment. That’s vital for maintenance planners and plant engineers,” Meid concludes.

Andreas Meid, head: Projects, SEW-Eurodrive South Africa

www.sew-eurodrive.co.za M AY / J U NE 2018

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Meters, Pipes, Pumps & Valves

Retrofitting

new life for old pumps Retrofitting offers an excellent alternative to prolong the life of existing pumps or change pumping requirements.

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etrofitting can be performed on pumps regardless of their intended use, be it for industrial, water supply and wastewater disposal applications or for the power supply industry. “Changing circumstances often require a new approach. This also applies to pumps that are used in fluid transfer systems where increased energy efficiency is

required – to meet new legal requirements, to extend the service life or adapt technology to new operating data – as this does not always necessitate a new pump,” says David Jones, regional sales manager: sub-Saharan Africa, KSB Pumps and Valves. “The areas of use for retrofit solutions are as diverse as the requirements to be met by the pump systems in question. As a result, retrofit solutions go together

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pH

ORP µS/cm

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with hydraulic and mechanical modifications as well as with changes to the materials.” Retrofitting allows users to apply a number of benefits to their pumps, including lower maintenance costs, reduced power consumption, longer service life, and increased system availability or compliance with legal requirements. Practical examples of successful pump retrofits abound, says Jones. In some cases, simple modifications in residential pump stations have greatly reduced noise emissions. In others, because of changing materials or chemicals, retrofits can solve premature wear or chemical corrosion, while pumps in power stations may be critical and require retrofits to prolong their lives without the need to manufacture purpose-built pumps with potentially long lead times. With expertise available to retrofit almost any pump, manufacture and optimise designs and materials, and carry out hydraulic performance tests, it makes sense to consider retrofitting rather than replacing pumps. “We suggest that engineers, contractors and users always weigh up the benefits of retrofits in collaboration with us. As an OEM, we will be able to give them real expert advice and provide services in accordance with global standards requirements,” adds Jones.

Optimised systems Pump optimisation across a number of areas can be achieved with retrofitting, including: 1. Hydraulic modifications • Re-machining of existing impellers • Installation of new impellers for off-design conditions • Reduction of NPSH-required value through the installation of an inducer or suction impeller • Optimisation of volute casing for off-design conditions • Adjustment of the number of stages (on multistage pumps). 2. Mechanical adjustments • Closed bearing brackets improve the smoothness of operation and extend the bearing life • Installation of mechanical seal systems • Employment of cellular surface wear rings to improve efficiency, rotor dynamics and dry running properties. 3. Use of optimised material • Super duplex stainless steel grades or nickel alloys • Ceramic mineral castings for impellers, wear plates, cover and casing – for use with finely dispersed, highly abrasive solutions • Non-metallic rings and bushes • Ceramic plain bearings • Surface coatings.


Meters, Pipes, Pumps & Valves

Water-loss savings in pipelines New technologies from Ultra Control Valves provide proven results for utilities.

W

ith water scarcity facing users worldwide, water utilities should be proactive in ensuring that pipe leaks are reduced and kept to an absolute minimum. One of the ‘fast return’ innovations that has been implemented by some municipalities and water boards is pressure management. This entails reducing pressures in networks during low demand periods (to reduce losses from leaks). The process involves electronic equipment connected to pilot operated pressure reducing valves (POPRVs), which ‘reset’ pressures to different levels for different flow rates. The problem with this strategy in the South African context is that POPRVs are complicated and little understood (or maintained) by operators. The addition of electronic controllers makes these valves even more complicated and less user-friendly. Simple and effective alternative Ultra Control Valves has entered the market with some very new and simple

Ratio reducing pressure reducing valves (RRPRVs)

innovations, which are starting to capture the imagination of users as tremendous water saving devices. “These valves reduce pressures in a ratio (2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 5:1) and have no adjustments that can easily be tampered with,” explains Peter Telle, head, Ultra Control Valves. “They are also much easier to apply in the field, as they do not suffer from delayed reaction times, low flow instability or vulnerability to dirt: just a simple piston activated by line pressure, which will always keep the ratio between inlet and outlet pressure at a constant value.” Telle says that, with POPRVs, one has to be very careful that the valve is sized correctly to handle low flows, or install valves in series to overcome cavitation damage, all increasing the complexity of the installation and the chances of malfunction. In a lot of POPRV installations, valves become unstable at low flows (at night), causing pipe breaks and leading to huge water losses – exactly the opposite result to what the valve is intended for. The installation of ratio reducing pressure reducing valves (RRPRVs) is a lot simpler and does not require much engineering or maintenance – truly, an African solution to keeping pressures low without the accompanying complexities. Ultra Control Valves also represents Australian valve specialist, Maric, whose products control flow in a very simple manner. Since their development, these innovative products

Maric flow control valves

have been used to control flow in many applications over the past 40 years. “This valve is completely tamperproof and absolutely ideal for African conditions, where simplicity and robustness are key and maintenance is seldom done,” Telle points out. In the right applications, such as consumer end-points like taps, showers, and standpipes in rural water areas, this valve will ensure tremendous water consumption savings, as is the case for all water supply networks. By placing Maric flow controllers in strategic positions, flows are limited to what is the norm for such a network. If this causes pressure drops to the extent where users complain, it indicates that consumption is too high due to pipe leaks, which then need to be repaired. The above products provide pressure and flow control with absolute simplicity, which plays an important role in ensuring correct operation. The end result is hugely reduced water loss.

+27 (0)11 452 6514 www.ultravalves.co.za M AY / J U NE 2018

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Meters, Pipes, Pumps & Valves

New life

for PE sewer

P

hase one of this four-phase project included the construction of a 1 850 m long 1 400 mm concrete HDPE-lined sewer from the Driftsands Wastewater Treatment Works to the ACSA boundary. The R52.8 million phase also includes 26 manhole structures, a diversion chamber and bulk earthworks. The existing gravity sewer was constructed in 1983, and is not able to be upgraded from a technical perspective, necessitating a realignment of the line route. The first 1 460 m runs parallel to the existing Driftsands sewer and then branches off to bypass the planned ACSA extension of the Port Elizabeth International Airport runway. Rocla was selected to supply Class 75D HDPE-lined pipes and manhole access pipes for the project. “We started

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Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has undertaken a project to increase the capacity of the Driftsands Collective Sewer Augmentation in response to increasing developments in the Walmer area of Port Elizabeth and the estimated increased requirement by 2020.

manufacturing the 780 lengths of 1 400 mm diameter Class 75D HDPElined pipes in May 2017 at an average rate of eight pipes per day. We achieved this by double stripping our four available moulds, and we delivered the first pipes to site in July 2017,” says Graham Howell, sales consultant, Rocla. “We made minor improvements to the product after numerous on-site visits and we continued with production for the remainder of the year. Ten manhole access pipes were also ordered and these were cut to specification in the Rocla yard, which allowed the laying of pipes to continue uninterrupted, thus giving the contractor the opportunity to achieve good production on-site.” Rocla made further design changes during the manufacture of the manhole rings

and offered rings and cover slabs with internal HDPE liners, which could become the accepted and required standard for all future outfall sewer projects. With phase one completed, the second phase is due to start during 2018. Howell believes this will present Rocla with new and interesting challenges as the conditions include rock and very deep trenches. On completion, the 4.2 km four-phase project will have addressed the sewerage requirements for existing and future developments for the western suburbs of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.


KELLER extended! ARC-1 Autonomous Remote Data Collector Autonomous data logger with remote data Internet of Things •

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Meters, Pipes, Pumps & Valves

The latest in monitoring technology Remote tracking of pressure measurements, fill and water levels, and monitoring limit values is now made easier with Kellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new ARC-1.

been integrated, which is more accurate and continues running autonomously when the battery is changed.

Preserving proven features

T

he Autonomous Remote Data Collector (ARC-1) replaces Kellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s GSM-2, with the same functions and appearance, but also some new features. It now communicates via the 3G mobile network, or 4G if required, and can be located via the mobile network. The mini SIM card has given way to a micro SIM card, and the system status information, including battery status and signal strength, has been supplemented by a moisture sensor. A real-time clock has

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The housing is designed to withstand condensation and temporary flooding and the sealed antenna is covered by a lockable protective cap made of robust plastic, protecting the data logger against theft and damage. Complete with energy-efficient electronics and a premium-quality lithium battery, the logger can transmit the results of 24 measurements every day by email, SMS or FTP for up to 10 years at a rate of one measurement per minute. It also features two input voltages, two digital inputs, one bus interface to operate up to five level sensors and an optional SDI12 interface for water analysis devices.

The open-source DataManager software collects the measurement data, assigns it, puts it in charts and reports any limits that have been exceeded. This enables users to fully parameterise and monitor each individual ARC-1 data logger and provides third-party access. In addition to this, the Kolibri Cloud offers users simple and convenient access to measurement data with their own personal login and SSL encryption, without the need to set up and maintain a database, FTP or mail server. The ARC-1 is available as a tube or box and all designs can be ordered as 3G, 4G, or LoRa versions. An intrinsically safe version of the box can also be supplied upon request. Existing GSM-2 data loggers can also be easily upgraded to ARC-1 data loggers if the existing 2G network at the measuring point is no longer available.


Industrial Water

Driving efficiency Unlike agriculture which uses 60% of South Africa’s water, industrial users comprise a much smaller, often forgotten segment, making it difficult to ascertain the impact of the sector on water use. By Danielle Petterson

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ccording to Kevin Cilliers, regional manager: KwaZuluNatal and leader: Industrial Water Efficiency Project, bulk industrial water users account for approximately 3% of the total water usage in South Africa, while the remainder of the small to large industrial users are incorporated in the 27% allocation linked to domestic, rural and urban use. The result is that many significant industrial water users slip under the radar and go unchecked. He explains that although the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is working to achieve a better understanding of who the big water users are, at the moment, it is largely left to municipalities to monitor this. However, the financial and human resource constraints experienced by many municipalities means that proper monitoring is often not done, despite industry making a significant contribution to the deteriorating

According to Cilliers, there are a number of factors that have inhibited the adoption of water efficient processes Adopting efficiency and technologies in the sector. The Given South Africa’s most concerning is that water water-scarce status, the is not often seen as a NCPC-SA launched scare commodity to “Unlike the its Industrial Water be protected and load-shedding Efficiency (IWE) saved. “Unlike the Project last load-shedding situation, we don’t year to assist situation, we experience waterindustry in don’t experience shedding to a large extent. responding water-shedding This means people often to the call for to a large extent. take water for granted and reduced and This means better managed people often take even after a drought, we water consumpwater for granted tend to revert back tion. The project and even after a to old ways.” also aims to improve drought, we tend to industrial water effluent revert back to old ways,” quality and demonstrate says Cilliers. the economic and environmental There has also been no strong benefits of water-efficiency practices. financial incentive to drive the adoption

quality of South Africa's available surface water sources.

M AY / J U NE 2018

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Industrial Water

of water saving technologies; the cost of which is often seen as a stumbling block. “With the current pricing strategies, it remains difficult to develop a business case that satisfies the required payback period of one to three years. While we are seeing a gradual increase in water tariffs, especially in drought-stricken areas, water costs in South Africa are still considered too low to drive the required behaviour,” he explains. The IWE project provides an immediate interim solution to industry to start tackling water efficiency and management. Through funding from the Department of Trade and Industry, the project currently provides industrial companies with an opportunity to have a free assessment undertaken of their production facilities, starting with mapping of the in-process water usage and development of a water balance. “Many industrial sites rely on their incoming water meters as their sole indicator of usage but have little knowledge of exactly where the water is being used or how much. The assessment gives the company insight into its usage and allows them to start interrogating all water outlet streams not going to product,” says Cilliers.

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Solid progress

inform applicability to the South African A year on from its inception, 10 assesscontext, reports Cilliers. ments have been completed under The NCPC-SA also hosted a workshop the IWE project, with a further nine in February this year to identify skills under way. Implementation has already sets that are lacking or underdeveloped commenced at six sites. in the sector. This brought together While the outcomes of these projects selected participants from industry, are still being verified, preliminary the NCPC-SA, the consulting services results from the completed sector, the DWS and the Water assessments indicate waResearch Commission to ter-saving opportunities unpack what skills could “Water will of approximately be supplemented remain a concern 1 725 000 kℓ, transthrough the lating to a financial NCPC-SA's skills for South Africa and saving of roughly development we need to be doing R10.9 million. This in programme. These everything we can turn translates into gaps have been to ensure we are a saving on the assorecorded and ciated effluent genare to be included efficient.” erated, which suggests as part of the a projected reduction of terms of reference 567 307 kℓ, or an additional for the development of saving of approximately R7 460 000. relevant training modules during The NCPC-SA has also made steady the coming year. progress on other components of the Looking forward, Cilliers says the IWE project. This includes engaging NCPC-SA aims to provide more guidance with the DWS and the completion of a to industry on new technologies that can review of international best practices be employed to reduce water use. “There regarding water efficiency and water is limited capability in South Africa management systems. The review will around water efficiency technology and


Industrial Water

Water use efficiency case study

we need to step up knowledge and provide more support to industry and make them aware of what is available and appropriate applications.” After managing and handling water losses, efficiency and optimisation is the next best defence to managing water usage. “The NCPC-SA through its IWE project, can help industry to achieve immediate reductions in usage and wastage,” says Cilliers. He adds: “Water will remain a concern for South Africa and we need to be doing everything we can to ensure we are efficient and optimal.” Key here is a shared responsibility by government, industry and the consumer. “More open dialogue also needs to take place between industry and the authorities to leverage the win-win approaches to jointly come up with solutions to the current supply and discharge challenges.” “The NCPC-SA is well positioned to play a facilitating and capacity-building role between industry and the authorities to create better awareness of the challenges on both sides and assist the parties to reach a common solution acceptable to both.”

Under the NCPC-SA’s IWE project, one of South Africa’s large poultry processing plants has achieved significant savings over just one year. The plant is a significant water user, consuming over 1 million kℓ of water annually, equating to around 2% of the total local municipal potable water supply. With the increasing demands being placed on the supply of fresh water, a drive was instituted to assess what could be done by the company to reduce water usage and ease its burden on the municipal supply. A detailed water assessment was undertaken interrogating the various water-intensive unit operations such as bird crate washing, scalding, de-feathering, evisceration, chilling, cleaning, as well as steam generation and cooling. A number of measures were identified and have since been implemented, resulting in an annual saving of approximately 89 600 kℓ of water that translated to a cost saving of approximately R1.78 million for the company. These interventions implemented included: • the installation of automatic water shut-off valves to stop the rinsing and flushing water flow at the cutting tables when no production was taking place during tea or lunch breaks, shift changes or stoppages • implementation of a leak

management programme to ensure the timely repair of any water leaks as soon as they occur; this initiative incurred an annual saving of 7 000 kℓ totalling R169 729 • cleaning equipment was upgraded; this included installing new more efficient pumps and spray-hose nozzles as well a replacement of leaking hoses and connection points. Other initiatives have also been implemented to foster a culture of water management in the organisation. These include: • installation of measurement and monitoring equipment especially on the steam system; this has provided the company with real-time data to monitor and manage the steam production and specifically condensate recovery rate • water use efficiency awareness is now incorporated into daily meetings at the plant, ensuring that awareness levels are maintained and water saving projects are driven by management. Overall, the plant achieved a 7.96% reduction on their water intensity, amounting to an actual annual volume reduction of 89 607 kℓ. Correspondingly the resultant effluent discharge reduced by 89 600 kℓ amounting to a further saving totalling R419 000. Jointly, the savings associated with the water use and effluent volume reductions translated into an annual financial saving totalling R2.2 million.

SUMMARY OF SAVINGS Gross monetar y savings (R/annum) Water savings (kℓ) Effluent reduction (kℓ) Overall payback period (in years) GHG emissions reduction (kgCO2/kg)

2 200 468 89 607 89 607 Immediate 9 062

Industrial Water Efficiency Project objectives

Who is NCPC-SA?

The project focuses on six key components. It will: 1. Facilitate an enabling policy environment for the implementation of water efficiency by industry 2. Establish and promote industry adoption of national and international standards for water management 3. Develop the relevant skills to support industrial water efficiency through training and equipping field experts 4. Support industrial plants to implement water efficiency and act as demonstration sites to showcase benefits 5. Deliver focused advocacy and awareness campaigns to promote the adoption of water efficiency by industry 6. Monitor and evaluate impact of the project

The NCPC-SA is a resource efficiency project of the Department of Trade and Industry. The organisation drives the transition of South African industry towards a low-carbon economy and helps industry to implement resource efficiency and cleaner production methodologies – enabling companies to save through reduced energy, water and materials usage, and improved waste management. M AY / J U NE 2018

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Mine Water

New tech for Tanzanian mine

T

Shanta Gold has undertaken a triple water treatment plant project at its gold mine in the Lupa Gold Field of southwest Tanzania.

he three-part project for New Luika Gold Mine, undertaken by Veolia Water Technologies South Africa, included the fabrication, installation and commissioning of a river water treatment package plant and skid-mounted borehole water treatment plant, as well as the supply of equipment for refurbishing and commissioning the existing sewage treatment plant.

River water treatment plant

This 30 m³/h package plant treats water extracted from the nearby Luika River for use as process water. The plant uses clarification with appropriate chemical dosing to ensure the clarifier operates efficiently, as well as multimedia filtration, activated carbon filtration and pre- and post-chlorination. The water passes through a lamella clarifier as well as three multimedia filters, which operate in parallel for iron removal, before passing through the two carbon filters, also operating in parallel.

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All filters and dosing equipment are housed in a 12 m long container with the external clarifier positioned nearby.

Borehole water treatment plant

A 5 m³/h skid-mounted borehole water treatment plant is used as post-treatment for an existing water treatment plant, to treat water to potable standards. Veolia’s engineered skid uses a chlorine dosing unit, carbon filter and softener to treat the water for the mine camp’s potable water needs.

Sewage treatment plant

The refurbishment of the existing sewage treatment plant involved replacing equipment originally installed in 2011, greatly increasing the plant’s efficiency and functionality. This included installing new submersible trickling filter feed pumps and a new chlorine dosing system, as well as replacing the old trickling filter header and distribution nozzles, associated piping and valves.

“As most of the plants are automated, operator training was minimal and took place simultaneously to commissioning,” explains Sean Momberg, project engineer: Engineered Systems, Veolia. All equipment was manufactured on time and to spec, against a short lead time. However, the rugged and isolated area in which the New Luika Gold Mine is situated meant that it took a bit longer to install the plants on-site than initially expected. Despite this, Momberg says the Shanta Gold and Veolia site teams worked together admirably to get the plants up and running in the shortest possible time. “The phenomenal teamwork between the two companies not only ensured the project was completed on time, but also contributed to the success of the plant,” he concludes. LEFT Clarifier, pump and dosing skid for the river water treatment plant RIGHT Filter and softener skid for the potable water treatment plant


Mine Water

A chemical

solution South Africa’s mining sector is a pillar of the economy, but it has left a legacy of pollution that threatens Gauteng’s water resources. A new treatment method may provide an answer to a growing acid mine drainage (AMD) challenge in a sustainable manner.

The shaft drawing up the AMD treated

by Mintek

S

et up alongside Sibanye-Stillwater’s operations in Randfontein, Mintek has established a technology demonstration site to develop and test technologies to treat toxic mine effluent. Most notable is the SAVMIN® treatment plant, which is capable of producing potable quality water. The SAVMIN pilot plant, located opposite the Sibanye-Stillwater Western Basin Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Plant, has the capacity to treat around 2 m3/h of AMD. The technology follows a precipitation-based treatment process developed by Mintek specifically for the treatment of AMD and other mining-impacted water

Mintek’s SAVMIN treatment plant in Randfontein, Gauteng

Sietse van der Woude, senior executive, Chamber of Mines, drinks the clean water produced by Mintek’s SAVMIN plant

Alan McKenzie, general manager: Technology, Mintek, beside a SAVMIN plant

M AY / J U NE 2018

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Mine Water

1

Stage 1: Heavy metal precipitation

manner. “What we decided to go for was a chemical process Calcium hydroxide is added to the incoming AMD to rather than one that neutralise the pH (which can be as low as 2) and remove most of the dissolved metals in the water. is based on electricity Gypsum and metal hydroxides are discharged during usage and operation this process and the resulting water is fairly clean of at elevated pressure,” dissolved metals, but sulfate concentrations are still at saturation levels of around 1 500 mg/ℓ. At this stage, he says. the water is not safe for drinking or to be discharged SAVMIN follows an into the environment. ettringite precipitation According to Van Rooyen, the Western, Eastern and Central Basin AMD treatment plants in Gauteng follow process and is the only this process in their treatment of AMD. However only one of SAVMIN goes several steps further. its kind that recycles a key reagent, aluminium with sulfate concentrations too high for hydroxide, within the process. “We believe discharge into the environment. the breakthrough we came up with is in According to Alan McKenzie, GM: the recycling and, in fact, we can recycle Technology, Mintek, there are three or between 80% and 90% of the aluminium four treatment options available for AMD hydroxide, which not only reduces the globally, with reverse osmosis (RO) being costs significantly but is also much more the only one that is currently commercially sustainable,” says McKenzie. operational. However, RO operates at While developed for the legacy AMD elevated pressures, which require the use problem that plagues Johannesburg, of a vast amount of electricity, which is McKenzie believes there are a number of costly, and produces effluents like brine other opportunities for this technology, that cannot be disposed of easily in a safe specifically at operational coal mines.

The technology

SAVMIN follows a four-stage process, explains Michelle van Rooyen, head: Technology Metals, Mintek (see pp 82–83).

The cost challenges

The AMD problem in South Africa is significant. According to McKenzie, roughly 200 Mℓ of AMD is extracted and treated

2

Stage 2: Ettringite precipitation Further lime and aluminium hydroxide is added which facilitates the precipitation of ettringite. This enables far more sulfate to be removed from the water than would be possible with gypsum. This ettringite sludge catches most of the sulfate, reducing sulfate concentrations from 1 500 mg/ℓ to as low as 100 mg/ℓ to 200 mg/ℓ – lower than the South African national standards for drinking water, which require sulfate levels be no higher than 250 mg/ℓ. The ettringite sludge is then removed and added to Stage 4 of the process.


Mine Water

3

Stage 3: Carbonation

problem on a national scale is not Carbon dioxide is added to remove further caused by existing dissolved calcium from the water and lowers operators, but by the pH, which can be as high as 12, and unsafe for discharge. The result is water that mines that are long can be of drinking standards if there is no high closed. Although concentration of chlorides within the incoming numerous funding AMD feed. Drinking quality water is produced at the test site. models have been The opportunity exists for the recycling of suggested, this carbon dioxide to stage 3 by the addition of a means that a fairly CaCO3 decomposition stage to the process. The inclusion of this step would enhance the large proportion of economic viability of the SAVMIN process when the cost for treating carbonation is required. AMD will probably have to be borne by around Gauteng daily. The SAVMIN government, which is currently test plant can only treat around experiencing a constrained 50 m3/day and would need to be fiscal environment. several thousand times larger to address As McKenzie points out, the overall AMD problem. However, the running an AMD plant is not a Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority is in the cheap exercise. When Mintek’s process of exploring technologies that plant was first established back in can be implemented to tackle this very 2014, the cost of treatment was serious problem. roughly R25/m3. This has now been reduced to around R10/m3 However, the cost of treating the probthrough chemical recycling and lem is probably the biggest stumbling optimisation, which is more on block at the moment. According to par with some of the bulk water McKenzie, a large portion of the AMD

4

suppliers. However, it still costs R1 million to R1.5 million per month to run the plant on top of the roughly R25 million cost of developing the plant. However, the cost of leaving the AMD problem untreated is far greater. The Department of Water and Sanitation has already warned that if the country doesn’t adopt a ‘new normal’, it faces the prospect of a 17% water deficit by 2030. If AMD is left to pollute South Africa’s water resources, this number could be far greater.

Stage 4: Ettringite destruction Because cost is a big factor in water treatment, SAVMIN breaks down the ettringite sludge produced in stage 2 by introducing concentrated sulfuric acid. This breaks the ettringite molecules into gypsum and aluminium hydroxide, which are separated using a physical separation process. The gypsum, which is fairly pure, is removed and can be sold. The aluminium hydroxide is recycled back into the process, to stage 2, thereby reducing reagent costs.

South Africa

M AY / J U NE 2018

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Rise of the

DAMS

S

Past experience, locally and globally, proves that ground anchor solutions are a safe and effective response for increasing a dam’s capacity, and the relatively short construction timeframe for the raising of the wall is a major boon for drought-stricken regions. By Kieresh Singh and Dhiren Allopi

outh Africa is facing a water shortage crisis that has led to the implementation of restrictions across many parts of the country, including KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The latter are some of the most severely affected drought regions. For example, the City of Cape Town has placed Level 6B restrictions on its citizens in order to prevent its dams from drying out completely. The South African government is searching for ways of increasing the volume of its stored water and the way it’s presently supplied to its citizens. Currently, South Africa stores 70% of its run-off water in dams, which is a large percentage, and indicates that most major catchment areas across the country have already been identified. However, we are one of the 30 driest countries in the world, and with high water demands from a growing economy and population, this water storage capacity could be used up quickly. Given

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this scenario, building new water retaining structures such as dams may not be the fastest and most effective solution to the crisis at hand. Many existing dam structures in South Africa were built in the early 1900s and are inspected by the Department of Water and Sanitation’s dam safety office on a regular basis. These inspections ensure that the dams are performing and conforming to the requirements of dam safety. The stipulations have become more stringent in recent years. This means that dams that do not meet the requirements will have to be thoroughly assessed and modified if required. In South Africa and other countries around the world, one of the safe modification options for structures is the raising of the dam wall to increase its storage capacity, subsequently extending its lifespan.

Rock anchor response

A prime example in meeting modern upgrade requirements is to increase the

dam’s resistance to overturning and sliding by installing post-tensioned rock anchors. Installing anchors will also allow the dam owner to increase the height of the dam wall. This may be one of the quickest longterm solutions to the drought experienced, as building new walls would take many years to construct due to planning and the lack of suitable locations. Over the years in South Africa, many dams have been fitted with ground anchors, the first being Steenbras Dam in 1952 to 1954. Other early local dams that received anchors in order to raise the wall heights and stabilise them were the Henley Dam for the Pietermaritzburg Municipality (raised by 5.5 m), Groot Doornpoort Dam for the Witbank Municipality (raised by 4 m), Lower Compies Dam for the Zebediela Citrus Estate (raised by 1.5 m), Plat River Dam for the Warmbaths Municipality (raised by 2 m) and the Amanzimtoti Dam in KwaZulu-Natal. These anchors can lower the centre of gravity of


Dams & Water Storage

the wall below the underside of the structure, which increases the dam’s resistance to overturning and sliding forces. Ground anchors have proven to be a quicker and cost-efficient way of increasing dam capacities. However, as with everything, there are advantages and disadvantages, especially with complex systems such as these. One of the major advantages is that the costs are relatively low compared to building new dams and it is relatively fast to construct and install, depending on the location and type of dam. The disadvantages are that these anchors require a lot of supervision to ensure that they are not compromised in any way during and post construction. South Africa does not have a lot of engineering professionals that are experienced in retrofitting large rock anchors into dams. Therefore, specialists still need to be brought in from other countries. But that’s a great learning experience. Another disadvantage is that the construction industry has become extremely fast-paced due to the smaller profit margins during the tender stage and the ensuing focus on shorter project durations. Despite this, contractors need to ensure that works are completed at the highest level of quality.

Correct installation is critical

It is of the utmost importance that quality control measures are taken during the construction phase and that proper records are kept to ensure the lifespan of the anchors. There have been cases where dam anchors have failed in the past years due to poor workmanship and quality control on-site. It is essential that the projects are supervised by experienced professionals at every step and that the anchors are inspected and monitored in the following years.

The raising of dam walls could provide added relief to the water shortages in the country. However, it is important to note that not all dams can be raised. In this specific situation, the increased water storage could result in new water lines and many built-up areas around the dam being affected. Therefore, feasibility and cost studies need to be done to assess dams that can be raised to ensure that this can be done without compromising the safety and the livelihood of surrounding areas.

History of the Hazelmere Dam

The dam was built in 1975, with provisions to increase reservoir storage capacity in the future. The initial design provided provisions for radial sluice gates. The need for the increase came about after drought conditions were forecast in various regions of South Africa. However, after inspection and analysis of the existing structure, it was concluded that the dam would not be able to resist the forces of the planned new water level and storage, which was planned to increase from 18 000 million m3 to 36 000 million m3. In order for the wall to resist overturning and sliding forces, the design engineers decided to install post-tensioned ground anchors, which allowed the dam to be raised and the capacity-increase goal reached. The dam is currently being raised by 7 m and has been retrofitted with the current highest-capacity anchors in the world (91 strand – 14 802 kN), resulting in a doubling of the storage capacity. However, regardless of the many initiatives by government, it is still up to the people of this beautiful country to ensure that we save as much of this precious natural resource as we can. Engineering innovation can only do so much.

About the authors Kieresh Singh from Group Five Coastal (Civil Engineering Division) is an engineer employed on the Hazelmere Dam raising project and currently registered for a master’s programme at the Durban University of Technology. Professor Dhiren Allopi from the Durban University of Technology’s Civil Engineering Department is Singh’s master’s supervisor.

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Dams & Water Storage

guarantee for tanks

New standard

A new standard for polyethylene water storage tanks promises new levels of quality guarantees to the industry.

S

outh African National Standard 1731:2017 for polyethylene chemical and water storage tanks, developed by the Association of Rotational Moulders of Southern Africa (Armsa) and the South African Bureau of Standard (SABS), has been published. The SANS 1731:2017 tank standard is proof that a polyethylene tank has been properly designed and manufactured to be fit for purpose for the length of its warranty life. “It compels tank manufacturers to conform to world best practice, and it protects members of the broader construction, architecture, plumbing, landscaping and built industries as well as consumers against tanks of lesser quality,”

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explains Wayne Wiid, chairperson, Armsa.

What does the SANS 1731:2017 tank standard mean to the tank user?

1. Provides specific criteria in terms of the source of raw material, ultraviolet protection, overall weight, wall thickness, light penetration, stress crack resistance and impact strength for a range of different sizes 2. Ensures that the production methods used to manufacture the tanks comply with best practice 3. Requires that traceability is built into the manufacturer’s control systems 4. Includes an audit check for actual storage volumes vs stated volumes 5. Evaluates the overall appearance of the finished tanks 6. Certifies the requisite number and type of fittings and the date of manufacture. Productivity Engineering and Services Consultants (PESC), an independent third-party auditing company appointed by Armsa, will regularly audit tank manufacturers who choose to comply. If compliant, PESC will issue a certificate giving independent assurance of a

manufacturer's claim that their products meet the SANS 1731:2017 criteria. Compliant tank manufacturers will be able to market their compliance with an Armsa-/ SANS-approved sticker on their tanks as well as using the certificate and sticker in their general marketing programmes. Wiid offers a word of warning: “Any tank manufacturer can claim to meet SANS 1731:2017 but there is no guarantee without formal certification. We, therefore, urge all stakeholders and homeowners to request the PESC certificate from the manufacturer prior to purchase for peace of mind that tanks delivered to sites or homes have been thoroughly tested and certified.”


Process Control

Professionalising an industry

T

he Water Institute of Southern Africa’s Process Controller Division (PCD) remains one of the most dynamic divisions within the organisation. One of the reasons for this is that the status of process controllers has changed dramatically over the last decade, largely due to the joint and persistent efforts of WISA and its PCD.

The origins

The PCD of WISA started off nationally as the Association of Water Treatment Personnel (AWTP) in 1985, with Hennie Basson snr, a very dynamic leader from the former Transvaal at the helm. Its aims and objectives were to promote the plight of the thousands of unsung heroes who work tirelessly and thanklessly around the clock to ensure that South Africans are provided with safe, clean drinking water and that the effluent they generate in their interaction with this water does not have any detrimental effect on the receiving

grades were made available to this new Process Controller Division, whose members did not have tertiary-level qualifications similar to the other professional members The in WISA. professionalisation This is where our journey to have of processes controllers in operators of South Africa has not been an water and easy task. WISA has played environment. wastewater in integral role in improving This also cofacilities reincided with designated as the status, capacity and the introducprocess conclassification of these tion of the trollers started professionals. grading and because the By Farouk Robertson classification term operator system of water was so generic and Dewald van Staden* and wastewater that it referred to facilities and its peranyone performing sonnel by the Department menial tasks without qualof Water Affairs and Forestry at ifications, and that was definitethe time. The designation of ‘operator’ was ly not us. The road ahead was strewn with given to process controllers at the time and thorns, but through the perseverance, dednew National Technical Certificate courses ication and commitment of championing in Water Care were developed for us to enmembers such as Tony Bowers and Danie sure compliance with the new legislation. Klopper – who also became presidents of WISA, and who, during their tenures, WISA incorporation advocated the name change vehemently The AWTP, after protracted negotiations, – the designation of process controller was eventually incorporated in 1990 into became gradually accepted throughout WISA – a professional body consisting the water and municipal sectors. However, mostly of engineers and senior water our quest for recognition and claiming our sector professionals. Various membership rightful place in these sectors didn’t stop M AY / J U NE 2018

89


Process Control there. Even though there have been many advances in the recognition that process controllers now receive, one of the biggest achievements to date would have to be the professionalisation of process controllers. This process aims to: • promote the image and recognition of process controllers and place them on par with other recognised professionals • improve accountability • establish a coherent training, accreditation and certification system based on continuous development • provide a model for the professionalisation of future water sector careers.

Ensuring professionalisation

Professionalisation, however, did not come easily. WISA first needed to apply to the South African Qualifications Authority to become recognised as a professional body – a status that was awarded to WISA in 2013. Given the need to improve their status and the process of capacity building and classification, process controllers were identified as the first designation to be professionalised by WISA – the ‘Pr. PC Water’ designation. This task required a

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technical task team to be established to provide inputs into the awarding criteria, the development of new qualifications, and alignment of the classification and registration processes to these. As it currently stands, the Pr. PC Water designation is awarded to anyone who: is involved in process management, operations and control (chemical, biological or physical processes), process consultancy and/or advisory activities, process engineering design (civil/mechanical/chemical), process monitoring and/or analysis (physical, chemical and microbiological properties), site-specific process training, mentoring and/or coaching, or research and development of new technology; who holds an NQF 6 qualification; and who has a minimum of eight years’ postqualification experience in the field of process control.

Ongoing development

As with all professional designations, continuing professional development (CPD) plays a key role in ensuring that professional members keep on improving their skills and stay up to date with the

*Farouk Robertson is interim national chairperson of WISA’s Process Controller Division and chairperson of the Western Cape Process Controller Division. Dewald van Staden is WISA’s national process controller training coordinator.

latest technologies. As such, the division’s focus is now shifting from the criteria used to award the Pr. PC Water designation to the development of relevant CPD courses and programmes. Another interesting initiative in the Pr. PC Water space is linked to WISA’s intention to promote the dissemination of knowledge. With this in mind, registered professionals are encouraged to be actively involved in the writing and submission of articles or opinion pieces that could be used in WISAendorsed publications or in the mentoring and coaching of other process controllers. This is aimed at ensuring our professionals give back to the sector, give back to other process controllers and, overall, improve the way in which we exercise control over this precious resource we have the responsibility of caring for.


Water Licences

The process for water-use licence applications (WULAs) is improving, with an online system being put in place by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

EWULAAS for the win

W

ater is a complex field and everyone involved is on a steep learning curve with the stringent new licensing system,” says Jacky Burke, SRK Consulting’s principal environmental scientist and leader of SRK’s WULA Group in Johannesburg. However, Burke and her team say the new Electronic Water Use Licence Application and Authorisation System (Ewulaas) promises to be a great improvement on the original paper-based system. Although the system has experienced teething problems while the DWS works to iron out challenges, it offers a more streamlined and manageable process. The web-based Ewulaas system follows a logical, three-step process flow, explains Avril Owens, senior environmental scientist, SRK: 1. Pre-application 2. Supporting documents and water-use forms 3. Technical report and additional specialist information for DWS decision-making. The emphasis with this process is on making the financial and time investment early in the application process.

“Among the advantages is the ability to generate a summary of water uses per farm prior to phase one submission, which provides a check and highlights gaps in the application; also, the submission can be tracked online, providing more transparency on its progress,” says Owens. As with any new system, there were bound to be teething issues, but SRK maintained close working links with the DWS to help ensure the system works optimally. “There is no doubt that this is a better way to go – with applicants knowing that all the information is there, that nothing can get lost, and that the process can be tracked,” says Owens. “There is obviously also a human element to the system and, as users, we also have to play a constructive role in keeping everyone to the deadlines.”

Right from the start

Owens emphasises the importance of the pre-application phase, in which applicants meet with the DWS to clarify their way forward. In fact, most of the preparation work is required to be completed before the online submission process can begin.

SRK’s water-use licence experts (left to right): Megan Govender, Jacky Burke, Bjorn Schroder, Avril Owens, Didi Masoabi, Giulia Barr and Angelika Mohr

It is important for applicants to be aware that site-specific environmental impact assessments and specialist studies may need to be conducted, says Didi Masoabi, principal environmental scientist, SRK. “Public participation is also an important element of a WULA, as interested and affected parties need to be informed about what you plan to do and how it may impact them,” says Masoabi. “Depending on the size of your project, the DWS may need more information on how you intend to communicate with the public about your project.” Burke adds that it is vital for WUL applicants to have the findings of their studies thoroughly reviewed by experienced experts to minimise the potential for unreasonable conditions in the WUL, based on specific specialist findings. Ultimately, Ewulaas promises many benefits over the old system, and Burke and her team believe the industry should get on board with the new WUL system. M AY / J U NE 2018

91


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WISA | Events

WISA 2018

a great future for the water sector

W

hen Cape Town was chosen as the venue for the 2018 conference, the region had already begun to show signs of the drought, but in the two years since the last event, this has intensified. For the WISA 2018 organising team, this has been an opportunity, rather than a challenge. “We believe that a good crisis should never be wasted,” says Jason Mingo, chair of the Technical Committee. “The central theme of the conference – ‘Breaking barriers, Connecting ideas’ – is all about addressing past, existing and future water resource challenges and it is particularly relevant as we are seeing the increasing impact of climate change and its associated extreme weather events.” A record number of abstracts were submitted for consideration, and the final programme includes a stellar line-up of 170 speakers who have been chosen for their innovative ideas and approaches. Keynote speakers include: • Professor Tony Wong, chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, with research hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Singapore • Samantha Yates, secretary general of the Global Water Leaders Group, which

spearheads initiatives for, and research in discussion with the health and safety about, water utility performance and representatives to allow for the inclusion of innovation amongst the Group’s an extra 20 stands. network of utility CEOs and Rainfall in April is a key indicator water ministers from of the expected winter around one hundred rainfall, but even if it is countries higher than average, Local, regional • Dr Silver Cape Town still and global challenges to Mugisha, faces a severely our water supply mean that managing water-challenged there has never been a more director of future. WISA National Water 2018 is ensuring exciting and challenging and Sewerage that the impact time to be involved in the Corporation, of the conference water sector, or a better Uganda. He has will be minimal. time to hold the WISA over 20 years’ Rand Water Biennial Conference. experience in is sponsoring water utility 15 000 bottles of operations, internawater and the Water tional policy, research and Research Commission is advisory services. sponsoring water coolers. In both cases, “I believe that we will look back at WISA the water will be sourced from outside the 2018 and see it as the beginning of a new Western Cape. The plastic from the bottles approach to the management of water in will go into the CTICC’s recycling system. South Africa and beyond our borders,” says Other impact-reduction initiatives should Mingo. be finalised before the conference starts An indication of the relevance of the conon June 24. ference to the industry as a whole has been Register for the conference at the huge demand for exhibition space. www.wisa2018.org.za/register if you haBy the beginning of April, three months ven’t done so already. Standard booking before the event, all the exhibition space rates are available until the end of May. was sold out, and the organisers were

M AY / J U NE 2018

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Water & Sanitation Africa May 2018  

Stay current with new developments and technical information on the water industry from the official magazine of the Water Institute of Sout...

Water & Sanitation Africa May 2018  

Stay current with new developments and technical information on the water industry from the official magazine of the Water Institute of Sout...

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