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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

Very few water projects are bankable

Lesotho Highlands Water Project - Phase II: Overview and Update


Digital twins in the water sector

May/June 2021 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 16 No. 03


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VOL. 16 NO. 03

MAY/JUNE 2021 Promoting professional excellence in the water sector The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa

Water& Sanitation Africa

Complete water resource and wastewater management

Very few water projects are bankable

Lesotho Highlands Water Project - Phase II: Overview and Update

Digital twins in the water sector

ON THE COVER Thanks to automation and electrical engineering from Siemens Solution Partner Moreflow, residents in rural areas of Botswana have access to safe and clean drinking water. P6


May/June 2021 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 16 No. 03


Editor’s comment Industry voices Index to advertisers

Cover Story

Water 4.0 for Botswana

3 4 52 6


CEO’s comment 8 Chair’s comment 9 YWP 10 PCD 12



Water Infrastructure

Low-maintenance concrete in aggressive environments Lesotho Highlands Water Project - Phase II: Overview and Update Concrete pipes for sewage and water systems

13 14 17

Governance & Funding

Unpacking the challenges of financing water projects Very few water projects are bankable TCTA: its financial performance and future plans

Utility Management

Trends in utility management

Industry 4.0 & IoT

Digital twins in the water sector Eye-openers for the process industry

18 21 24











26 28 31


Driving sanitation service delivery through a web platform



Constructing the largest dewatering facility in the Western Cape 33 pumps supplied to Zandvliet A case for decentralised wastewater treatment plants

Water Conservation

V&A Waterfront’s journey to saving water

Water Leaks

Increased efforts to conquer water crisis

Water Quality

A laboratory on the move New chlorination technology to meet South Africa’s unique needs Water treatment plant increases cement plant performance

Trenchless Technology

Sustaining the value of underground assets


New inline pumps for buildings

35 37 38 40 43 45 46 48 50 52

infrastructure news



wireless Monitoring

Groundwater & Fluid Levels Serie 36XiW level sensor

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Editor Kirsten Kelly


kirsten.kelly@3smedia.co.za Managing Editor Alastair Currie Head of Design Beren Bauermeister Chief Sub-editor Tristan Snijders Contributors Tinashe Chipako, Lester Goldman, Lina Lukusa, Dan Naidoo Operations & Production Manager Antois-Leigh Nepgen Production Coordinator Jacqueline Modise Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina

Collaboration key to tackling water crisis This issue places a special focus on automation, Industry 4.0 and IoT. As we explore the many benefits that different technologies bring to our sector, one word keeps appearing – collaboration.

Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham Group Sales Manager Chilomia Van Wijk Bookkeeper Tonya Hebenton Advertising Sales Hanlie Fintelman c +27 (0)67 756 3132 Hanlie.Fintelman@3smedia.co.za

Publisher Jacques Breytenbach 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 www.3smedia.co.za

ISSN: 1990 - 8857 Annual subscription: R330 (SA rate) subs@3smedia.co.za Copyright 2021. 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.

WISA’s Vision

Inspiring passion for water

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 Website: www.wisa.org.za BRANCHES Central Branch (Free State, Northern Cape, North West) Chairperson: Dr Leana Esterhuizen Company: Central University of Technology Tel: +27 (0)51 507 3850 Email: lesterhu@cut.ac.za Eastern Cape: Branch Contact: Dan Abrahams Company: Aurecon Tel: +27 (0)41 503 3929 Cell: +27 (0) 81 289 1624 Email: Dan.Abraham@aurecongroup.com Gauteng Branch Lead: Zoe Gebhardt Cell: +27 (0)82 3580876 Email: zoe.gebhardt@gmail.com KwaZulu-Natal Chairperson: Lindelani Sibiya Company: Umgeni Water Cell: +27 (0)82 928 1081 Email: lindelani.sibiya@umgeni.co.za Limpopo Chairperson: Mpho Chokolo Company: Lepelle Northern Water Cell: +27 (0)72 310 7576 Email: mphoc@lepelle.co.za Mpumalanga Chairperson: Lihle Mbatha (Acting) Company: Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency Tel: +27 (0)13 753 9000 Email: mbathat@iucma.co.za


ollaboration is crucial when tackling the water crisis, and it needs to happen at multiple levels and across multiple sectors. After all, everyone has a right to clean water and sanitation, and everyone is affected by a lack of clean water and sanitation. Nobody can solve the water crisis on their own. In his column in this issue, Dan Naidoo, chairman of WISA, notes that it was through collaboration that we have slowed the spread of Covid-19, and it was through collaboration that vaccines were developed in record time. If only we could collaborate to solve the water crisis. Professor Annie Bekker comments that digital twins in the water sector bring together diverse skills of specialisation that are both a huge advantage and a disadvantage. A digital twin is difficult to implement because it requires a vast amount in interdisciplinary knowledge and complexity – much like solving the water crisis. In our governance and funding feature, the need for collaboration is again highlighted. Nedbank mentions that many other factors – over and above the technical aspects – need to be considered when creating a bankable water project. A multidisciplinary team is needed. Nedbank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and WSP mention the need for more public-private partnerships (PPPs) but also comment on the difficulty experienced when trying to get PPPs off the ground. Redeem Ngadze, senior client coverage banker: Power and Infrastructure at Nedbank, believes that the solution

Stranger than fiction This is certainly true, but then one needs to ask the question: why is government making important decisions without consulting the private sector? The importation of 24 Cuban engineers at a cost of R64 million is one example. This makes little sense (other than political), considering we have some of the best trained engineers on the African continent. And it makes no educational sense, since engineers from outside the country need to be registered with ECSA or supervised by a registered engineer – the latter requirement defeating the apparent ‘skills transfer’ purpose of the Cuban visitors. After making this decision, Minister Sisulu then asks South African professionals in the water sector to engage with government on an ongoing basis. It is all quite bizarre. Collaboration is the act of working together to make unified decisions, to achieve one common goal. We need better collaboration in our sector and it is disheartening to see the public and private sector on different pages. There is one fact that everyone can agree upon: we are facing a water crisis and we all need water to survive.

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


Western Cape Chairperson: Natasia van Binsbergen Company: AL Abbott & Associates Tel: +27 (0)21 448 6340 Cell: +27 (0)83 326 3887 Email: natasia@alabbott.co.za Namibia Please contact the WISA Head Office on admin@wisa.org.za for more information

The ABC logo is a valued stamp of measurement and trust, providing accurate and comparable circulation figures that protect the way advertising is traded. WASA is ABC audited and certified.

for the water crisis does not only sit with government – there has to be collaboration between the private and public sectors.

Very few water projects are bankable

Lesotho Highlands Water Project - Phase II: Overview and Update

Digital twins in the water sector

May/June 2021 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 16 No. 03

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)67 756 3132, or email Hanlie.Fintelman@3smedia.co.za M AY /J U NE 2021



The opinions and statements shared by thought leaders in the water industry to Water&Sanitation Africa.

You said it in WASA “With regard to sexism and sexual harassment: it is not for women to take up this fight; it is for men, as some of us are part of the problem. Simple questions need to be asked. Are there an equal number of toilets for both men and women both in the office space and construction sites? Does the PPE that is ordered fit women? Are there pro-women policies in place?” Lester Goldman, PAGE CEO of WISA

“If we could cut non-revenue water by just 1% a year, we would be using 20% less water in 20 years – the same time it would take to plan, design, build and commission a dam.” Dan Naidoo, chairman of WISA

“There is more than enough money to finance water projects, but very few water projects are currently prepared to bankability. Projects are seldom sufficiently developed to meet funding requirements.” Redeem Ngadze, senior client coverage banker: Power and Infrastructure at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking

“One particular reason for TCTA’s irregular expenditure is ‘Practice Note 3’, where National Treasury has to approve any expenditure above R20 million. This is not always possible for TCTA and we have applied to National Treasury for an exemption. To give an example, when working on a huge infrastructure project, there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances. The construction team may encounter a huge rock when working underground. Applying to National Treasury for an extra R20 million to deal with this will bring the entire project to a standstill until we receive approval, and this will cost even more money. It is important to note that irregular expenditure can still benefit the state; it sometimes indicates that not all procedures were followed.” Percy Sechemane, CEO of TCTA





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“The Water Services Act allows indigents to use 6-9 kℓ/day for free. But what happens if that indigent consumes more than that basic allocation? Is that household metered and is that balance billed to that person? It is an extremely sensitive and politicised topic. But these questions need to be answered and mitigated when creating a bankable project.” Konstant Bruinette, senior deal originator at the Development Bank of Southern Africa






“The key is fit for purpose – when choosing a technology, one needs to consider the context of a municipality, as they are all in different stages of maturity in terms of skills and management systems. There is little point in buying the most expensive, technologically advanced systems when an entity does not have the expertise to operate them.” Zama Siqalaba, CEO of WRP PAGE


“Ultimately, a digital twin’s value is linked to a need and value associated with a decision support service. But when using a digital twin, the real challenge is to understand the user. What does the user need? And what is the user willing to pay for? Does the user want to be upskilled and trained? How willing is the user to adopt this technology?” Professor Annie Bekker, research chair at Rand Water and professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at PAGE Stellenbosch University


“Sanitation fails communities (be it rural, peri-urban or city), first, when government is not aware of a sanitation deficiency; second, when there is no motivation for adequate sanitation infrastructure and its maintenance; and, last, when there is no or little technical sanitation knowledge. In all these cases, the FSM Toolbox is the answer.” Unathi Jack, water utilisation engineer at Emanti Management PAGE


“The Zandvliet WWTW contract was a complex, interesting project and it is promising to see investment in the sector. Off the back of projects like Zandvliet, and growth over the past few years, Netzsch Southern Africa has recently set up an assembly plant in South Africa.” Eden McGee, managing director at Netzsch Southern Africa PAGE

“There will always be a case for centralised WWTPs; decentralised WWTPs are there to take the pressure off the existing infrastructure. Many centralised WWTPs are working over-capacity – there are instances where the plant is difficult to maintain, pumps are constantly breaking down, or sewage is running down the streets. Upgrading these plants is extremely expensive compared to deploying a decentralised system, which is mostly built off-site and requires a tiny team on-site for its commissioning.” Herman Smit, PAGE managing director of QFS

“Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) has prioritised the rehabilitation of major pipelines that are old and in need of maintenance, as they can cause massive leaks and prolonged water disruptions to large suburbs. R90 million has been received this financial year for the rehabilitation of pipelines. This comes from a loan that NMBM has taken based on a 10-year NRW business plan to reduce NRW.” Lyle Francis, acting deputy director: Water Demand Management, NMBM PAGE

“When I joined Klorman Solutions in 1987, there was a narrative suggesting that ‘chlorination would soon be replaced’ by other formulations and technologies; however, 30 years later, the application of chlorination as the preferred disinfection agent is growing. This is because chlorination remains the most effective, versatile and economical disinfection method in the world.” Peter Buchan, CEO at Control Chemicals






“Statistically, it’s been proven that trenchless technology (TT) is around 30% more efficient compared to open-cut trenching in urban environments worldwide. Open-cut projects, for example, are yellow metal intensive, with their associated diesel fuel burn costs. They also have higher costs associated with major earthworks and the re-establishment of infrastructure like asphalt overlays. In contrast, TT is greener and cleaner.” Neil van Rooyen, vice-president, Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology (SASTT) PAGE


M AY /J U NE 2021



Water 4.0 for Botswana Thanks to automation and electrical engineering from Siemens Solution Partner Moreflow, residents in rural areas of Botswana have access to safe and clean drinking water.


otswana (like many African countries) has been battling with water shortages for decades – a situation aggravated by climate change. Furthermore, Botswana has a growing population and a strong economy, which together drive water consumption. Botswana’s Central District is a semi-arid region that is especially susceptible to periodic drought. The community largely relies heavily on borehole wells, which are inadequate. During the past few years, several dams have been built in Botswana to improve supply security – among them the Thune Dam. The dam catches the water of the Thune River upstream of its confluence with the Motloutse River and serves as a reservoir for the water treatment plant located directly below the dam.

Thune water treatment plant

Called the Thune Dam water treatment plant, the facility supplies 11 million litres of water every day to several villages in the Bobirwa area (in the Central District), and irrigation water to an agricultural project near Mathathane. Water is delivered to the villages of Bobonong, Motlhabaneng, Mathathane, Tsetsebjwe, Mabolwe, Semolale, Gobojango, Lepokole and Molalatau. The plant also has tanks for bulk water storage before treated water is transferred via pipelines to the distributed storage tanks in the area’s villages. Moreflow supplied the automation and electrical equipment and services. The scope of supply included the medium- and low-voltage electrical system, as well as drive components and process instrumentation. The company also designed and implemented a comprehensive package for plant automation and monitoring. One special aspect of this project was the linking of remote systems in the villages to the central WinCC system via UHF radio, which offers a cost-effective and low-maintenance connection, even in very remote locations. With one unified software platform based on native web technologies, WinCC Unified is scalable, from a

single-user system to complex, distributed applications.

Remote monitoring

According to Mike Tearnan, director at Moreflow, digital solutions based on reliable remote connections have proven very beneficial, as the automation systems and processes can be monitored and controlled without staff having to be at the site. “This way, the operators in the central control room can view the entire system, including the distributed pump stations and storage tanks.”

Integrated solution

All Siemens systems are engineered using the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal. This is an open-system architecture that has been enabling the seamless interaction of all automation components, the software involved, and higher-level systems and services since 1996. Hardware, software and services merge seamlessly, while information flows both horizontally and vertically. New technologies are integrated in TIA step by step. The result is real added value across all industries – regardless of the phase of automation or to what degree of digitalisation the company is located.

ABOVE Siemens can provide comprehensive process instrumentation solutions for every aspect of your wastewater infrastructure LEFT The dam and treatment plant have been designed to supply 11 million litres per day of water to a population of approximately 40 000 until 2035


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“The seamless configuration of all devices from just one software platform is so simple that we can easily configure projects in 40% less time. And if customers have last-minute changes, these can be implemented across all devices in the network with no trouble,” confirms Tearnan. “Furthermore, the integrated solution from Siemens also helps to ensure a secure supply of spare parts over the plant’s lifetime. The pumps and drives that are used reduce stress on the motors and allow for increased pump speed to match the rising demand for water to more villages. Reliable, industry-grade components from Siemens are used on all levels to ensure high plant availability,” adds Tearnan. Moreover, the seamless integration of all components using the TIA Portal and the Profinet backbone ensures optimum data visibility. Profinet is an industrial Ethernet standard for automation that provides support at the field level in creating integrated processes with realtime communication and connection to the cloud.

More than just water

Since starting operation, the plant has continued to provide not only a reliable source of drinking water, but also jobs for the local population. Developing skills onsite was a significant part of the project. “With this project, we are also helping to develop local skills. Staff of the operating company – Water Utilities Corporation

MOREFLOW FACTBOX • Established 2008 • Approved partner of Siemens Industry • Headquartered in Francis Town, Botswana • 100% owned by Botswana citizen (Mrs Goitse Molokwe) • Members from the Moreflow team have attended an eightmonth intensive training course at Siemens South Africa • Offer a range of products: process instrumentation, process automation, motors, condition monitoring, electrical drives, switchgear, industrial networks, mechanical drives

Because integration via TIA Portal is so simple, the engineers at Moreflow need 40% less time to make configurations

– received training at the Siemens Sitrain centre in Midrand, South Africa, and in Botswana. Now they can utilise these skills to run the plant. This deep involvement of the people at the site is a significant factor for successful project implementation,” explains Tearnan. With the treatment plant in full operation, Tearnan already has plans to expand the services that Moreflow is able to offer to customers based upon the Siemens digitalisation portfolio: “We look forward to introducing the digital twin concept in future projects. This will allow us to do an upfront design confirmation to better mitigate project challenges, which will translate into significant cost savings and ensure that projects are completed on time. We are also looking at

cloud connectivity to MindSphere, the IIoT-as-a-service solution from Siemens. “The Thune Dam treatment plant demonstrates how we are able to support plant service and operation staff by moving from a fix-on-fail approach to an even more proactive maintenance strategy. Siemens has just the right products for connecting even very remote systems in harsh environments,” says Tearnan. “So why not think big and make Water 4.0 happen here in Botswana?”


The seamless integration of all the Siemens automation and software ensures optimum data visibility and high plant availability, even in the harsh conditions present in this area of Botswana.” Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO, Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa The Thune Dam and water treatment plant provide access to clean tap water for the first time in many parts of Botswana’s Central District and contribute to improving water security in the area


WISA takes public stand against workplace bigotry The Water Research Council (WRC), SA Watermark and WISA are among the signatories of the plumbing industry’s ‘Not in our industry, not in our workplace’ pledge against gender-based violence and harassment against women. By Dr Lester Goldman, CEO, WISA


e are encouraging all our members to make a conscious effort to fight all forms of bigotry as part of WISA’s drive to increase professionalism in the water industry. It is not enough to identify that bigotry is a problem – we all need to take active steps to fight against it. With regard to sexism and sexual harassment: it is not for women to take up this fight, it is for men, as some of us


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are part of the problem. Simple questions need to be asked. Are there an equal number of toilets for both men and women both in the office space and construction sites? Does the PPE that is ordered fit women? Are there prowomen policies in place? Let’s identify champions of change and celebrate the people who are taking active measures to fight all types of bigotry in the industry. I salute the plumbing industry for creating this pledge and WISA will be working with

Dr Lester Goldman, CEO, WISA

our empowerment platform – Women in Water – to discuss these issues and host a webinar. We encourage people in our sector to identify and effect necessary change in the water sector. The ‘Not in our industry, not in our workplace’ pledge against gender-based violence and harassment against women states the following: • To take a public stand against all forms of violence and harassment against women and to condemn all attitudes and actions that perpetuate sexism and violence. • To take up the issue as a priority in our organisation and to secure the necessary resources for activities aimed at preventing and combatting the violation of women’s rights. • To foster a culture of respect for women within our organisation by raising awareness of our staff, members and officials, and providing education on the importance of eradicating violence and harassment in the workplace and within our organisation. • To participate in campaigns aimed at preventing and combatting violence against women. • To demand that our government enacts and enforces laws to protect women. • To demand that employers develop concrete policies and proceedings to prevent violence against women in their premises and supply chains, and establish safe mechanisms for women to turn to if they are assaulted or attacked at work. • To include demands for the eradication of violence and harassment against women in our collective bargaining councils.




hile Covid-19 highlighted the need for greater access to water and sanitation, there is very little movement in South Africa’s local water sector. A lot of focus is placed on how to turn the economy around, and little attention is directed towards the fundamentals of building the economy – which is infrastructure. Without infrastructure, economies cannot flourish. And, incredulously, infrastructure is not at the front of the line when it comes to government priorities. Furthermore, it is obvious that most of our infrastructure is failing. I cannot help but ask: are we communicating correctly? It feels as if we are having the same discussion year in and year out, with very little traction. There cannot be any progress if there is no investment in infrastructure. According to the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, R1 trillion is needed to fund water and sanitation infrastructure. While money is available from banks and equity funds, these projects are simply not bankable because

there is so much risk. I believe that collaboration is key. Just like every human being could be infected by Covid-19, every human will die without water. Yet, we are not working together to solve the water crisis. Do we all have to face a ‘Day Zero’ until something is done? Countries that worked with scientists and made decisions based on science were a lot more successful in fighting the pandemic. This must happen with water. Let us leave politics out of decisions, work together with scientists, and implement worthwhile solutions that will benefit everyone. Part of WISA’s mandate is to provide a platform for our scientists where they can voice their opinion on water issues and solutions. There are solutions. If we could cut non-revenue water by just 1% a year, we would be using 20% less water in 20 years – the same time it would take to plan, design, build and commission a dam. Collaborating through digitalisation assisted scientists in developing a Covid-19 vaccine in 12 months. I

Collaboration, political will, funding and community responsibility are the reasons why Covid-19 vaccines were developed in record time and transmission rates slowed. If only we could use this momentum to solve the water crisis. By Dan Naidoo, chair, WISA

would like to see the water sector collaborate through digitalisation to solve our many problems.



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What can’t be measured can’t be managed A nationwide instalment of smart water meters and submetering would help detect leakages, account for lost water, and improve billing accuracies. By Lina Lukusa


he National Water and Sanitation Master Plan (NW&SMP) has set a non-revenue water target at a national rate of 26% of supplied water for 2030. Currently, municipalities lose an average of 39.3% of their supplied water, necessitating a 13% reduction in the next nine years. Smart water metering (SWM) technology will incorporate robust water conservation and management practices into the water distribution network. It offers the following benefits: • helps utilities and consumers engage in two-way communication • provides frequent water consumption data to consumers, enhancing water conservation and management

• (together with the roll-out of a proven management platform) reduces the risk of non-payment and overcomes the problems of inaccurate billing and loss of revenue • stops stolen water because there is live monitoring of tampering and bypassing of meters • can disconnect and reconnect water services remotely.


The meters need to be robust, and require little to no maintenance, because many of them will be placed in rural areas where there are scarce resources. Analogue water meters, which constitute most meters used in South Africa, experience

a degradation of accuracy over time. This is due to wear and tear of the moving parts, as well as water quality, abnormal water velocities, Lina Lukusa, YWP excessive member and throughput master’s student of information systems volumes or flow at the University rates, suboptimal of Cape Town installation, and poor meter handling. Static meters are proving to be a more accurate and robust alternative. They measure the flow with ultrasonic technology and significantly reduce the payback time. SWM has a short payback period of three to twelve months. There is a vital need for the South African water sector to ensure that its work force is equipped with the technical skills needed to implement SWM.

WISA webinar: Building water resilience through community engagement The WISA Gauteng Branch (WISA-GP) recently hosted a webinar – Building better water resilience through community engagement – addressing challenges, solutions and opportunities regarding community engagement in the sector.


common theme that ran through all the presentations delivered during the webinar, as well as the round table discussion, was the weak levels of community engagement in South Africa. The four panellists who spoke were: • Mariette Liefferink – CEO, Federation of Sustainable Development • Romy Antrobus-Wuth – stewardship ecologist, Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region • Rivash Panday – sustainable water specialist, Sasol • Dennis Behrmann – specialist advisor: Business Intelligence Projects for the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).


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Mariette Liefferink said that while community forums are put in place by the public sector, there is a lack of participation. She believes that poor attendance was due to these meetings taking place in centralised meeting locations that presented technical and financial restraints to the very communities that the forums were supposed to represent. The lack of community participation has been noticed by government. Dennis Behrmann cited the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and DrinkingWater (GLAAS) reports that indicate low participation by service users. He added that people do not participate just because policies are in place. With the assistance of the Water Research Commission, the DWS is establishing new and broadening quantitative and qualitative measures to collect data on community participation indicators.

Sasol, as the private sector representative at the webinar, indicated that community participation is a key part of their corporate water stewardship approach. The company has taken a ‘beyond-the-fence-line’ stance regarding water sustainability, as they believe that water savings for the catchment can be improved in a more meaningful way, by saving water beyond their factory fence line. Romy Antrobus-Wuth highlighted various strategies and initiatives that the Kruger to Canyons NGO has implemented when engaging with stakeholders and communities. Some of these initiatives include the nomination of community ambassadors, WhatsApp groups dedicated to the monitoring of water resources and pollution, as well as relationship-building with traditional authorities. If you wish to see the recorded version of the webinar, please contact Melissa Cousins: admin@wisa.org.za.


Journey to professional registration Professionally registered professionals have onthe-job experience and a high level of competence. Registration also demonstrates a commitment to integrity, regard for public interest and responsibility for others. YWP recently held a webinar to inform young professionals about the registration process for engineering and natural sciences. By Tinashe Chipako

PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION WITH ECSA The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) is recognised by the South African government as the premier regulator y body in the countr y for engineers. Through ECSA, the engineering profession is moderated to ensure that only competent and reliable individuals can practise as a professional engineer. ECSA exists to ensure, through a process of quality assurance, that persons entering the profession are educated and trained accordingly to render a professional ser vice for the benefit of the countr y. But it is not only within the South African context, as ECSA registration is an internationally recognised cer tification under several international education and competency agreements, thereby providing its registrants international recognition as well. Regarding the actual process of registration, in summar y,

ECSA registration and compliance can be broken down into three stages: • Stage 1: Graduating from ter tiar y education, as an engineer or technologist. • Stage 2: Training towards registration through experience on the job. • Stage 3: Putting all that you have learned along the way into practice, once you have obtained your hardearned registration. There are three level descriptors when it comes to those who can register with ECSA: engineer, engineering technologist and engineering technician. Under each of these descriptors, it is impor tant that an eligible candidate can solve engineering problems competently, manage engineering activities, act ethically and responsibly, and genuinely show an appreciation for engineering as a broad discipline.

Tinashe Chipako is a YWP member and civil engineer at Zutari

PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION WITH SACNASP In order to work in South Africa as a scientist, you need to be registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). A professional scientist must be competent in several fields, including, but not limited to: business management, presentation skills, ethical judgment and general learning. Similar to ECSA registration, the three high-level steps towards gaining professional accreditation with SACNASP include student enrolment, postgraduation candidate enrolment, and final professional registration. Students are highly encouraged to register for SACNASP in the final years of their studies, as this gives those interested access to a host of highly useful resources. Candidates can range from any relevant postgraduate individuals to PhD graduates. SACNASP puts young professionals in touch with their peers and gives them chances to join training events and assists them in earning CPD points that are required for re-registration. In conclusion, professional registration can be a daunting task for any budding young water professional. By joining professional development bodies such as WISA – and specifically the Young Water Professionals if you are under 35 years of age – you will fur ther your career as a young professional in the water sector, as these bodies offer great networking oppor tunities with like-minded peers, as well numerous chances to fur ther one’s understanding of the industr y.

M AY / J U NE 2021



LGSETA, together with WISA, develops new occupational qualification Occupational Certificate: Water Process Controller Process controllers play a critical role in the water cycle, and the socio-economic well-being of a community and country. There is, however, a dire need to ensure that these front-line water sector workers have the required skills to manage our water works in an optimal way.


s these key skills and competencies needed to be identified from practitioners in the field, WISA’s Process Controller Division (PCD) drew from the expertise of a community of expert practitioners to become involved in developing the curriculum applicable to the entry-level process controller qualification. This not only ensures that the topics covered are relevant, but also allows for an opportunity to address issues relating to the quality of training provided. The new qualification is intended to bridge the gap between knowledge and workplace skills required. It will be awarded based on competency and skill in real-life work scenarios. Embracing the principles of the modern-day apprenticeship, the qualification falls within the sphere of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, which will ensure that training is workplace driven, and that learners will only


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successfully complete the course once they have passed an independent standardised examination, referred to as an external integrated summative assessment (EISA). The actual training uses knowledge modules as the foundation from which practical skills need to be established. This approach relies heavily upon ‘workplace coaches’ and necessitates a skills gap analysis for these workplace coaches. This will, by implication, improve the existing level of process control skills on-site and allow for the training of a new generation of process controllers in a way that will ensure true capacity building to the extent where all process controllers are equipped with the required skills and competencies to deal with an ever-changing environment. This change in the approach to capacity building and training obviously holds some challenges. Process controllers who already received training need to embrace life-long learning and not shy away from

concepts like skills-gap analyses. It will also be a challenge to make sure that these workplace coaches have the suitable skills to coach the trainees, can effectively transfer their technical knowledge, and have the time to take on coaching, especially keeping in mind that many plants are already understaffed.

Historical qualifications

In an attempt to eliminate the need for process controllers to repeat training they have already received, a recognition of prior learning (RPL) process must be implemented. Fortunately, a very comprehensive toolkit already exists, and assessors only need to be trained on how to implement this toolkit. It must be emphasised that the RPL process is not a shortcut and learners wishing to receive this qualification still need to complete the EISA at one of the assessment centres that are to be established. Assessors and moderators linked to these assessment centres will act as the final line of defence in ensuring that the process controllers have the required technical know-how and skills.

WISA is recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority.


Sulf8CEM – for low-maintenance concrete in aggressive environments Frequently encountered problems when constructing concrete infrastructure in the water sector are heat of hydration in mass pours (dams) and building in an aggressive environment (sewage plants) with exposure to sulfate and/ or chloride attack. One of Lafarge South Africa’s recent cement innovations, Sulf8CEM, offers a solution for both challenges.


ulfates are a challenge for concrete civil works in aggressive environments such as sewage plants, areas exposed to mining activity, and coastal areas where the soil is high in sulfate. As a general guideline, if ground concentrations of sulfate are above 1 000 ppm, sulfateresistant cement (such as Sulf8CEM) should be used to build concrete structures. In these typical locations, sulfates are said to ‘attack’ concrete because they can permeate the surface layers in solution with water and react with calcium hydroxide and tricalcium aluminate in the cement paste. A variety of compounds are formed, which are far more voluminous than the original chemicals – as much as 600% more. The results are: • Surface layers of the concrete begin to burst open allowing for a bigger surface area to react further. • Aggregate ceases to be bound together by the cement paste. • Reinforcing becomes exposed to corrosion.

• The concrete structure progressively disintegrates.


“Faced with the demands of rapid urbanisation, South Africa has to build a longer service life in its concrete structures. We simply cannot afford to reconstruct or repair our raw, potable or wastewater infrastructure every few years,” explains Roelof Jacobs, manager: Integrated Solutions & Innovation, Lafarge South Africa. “We set out to offer the water industry a solution for creating durable concrete structures suitable for use in aggressive environments. Lafarge South Africa is extremely proud to have developed this all-round high-performance product – Sulf8CEM.” Sulf8CEM is a low-heat (LH), sulfateresistant (SR) cement that is formulated from Portland clinker that meets the C3A requirement and over 36% selected quality siliceous fly ash, as well as performanceenhancing additives. It has been certified to conform to the latest applicable South

Roelof Jacobs, manager: Integrated Solutions & Innovation, Lafarge South Africa African and European standards (SANS 50197-1 and EN 197-1) for a CEM IV/B-V 42,5 N LH SR. As a classified low heat of hydration product, Sulf8CEM also offers a significant benefit for constructing concrete civils infrastructure for the water industry. The cement hydration reaction that rapidly raises the temperature of freshly placed concrete is a problem in large structures as the heat cannot dissipate, causing high temperatures and the expansion of the concrete while it is hardening. The resulting cracking not only weakens the structure but also creates entrance points for harmful substances to penetrate the concrete. As a result of the high siliceous fly ash content in its formulation, Sulf8CEM is an exceptionally good lowheat common cement. M AY / J U NE 2021



The Polihali diversion tunnels outlet

Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II: Overview and Update KEY COMPONENTS OF THE PROJECT • Polihali Dam - This will be a concrete-faced rockfill dam. - The embankment will be 163.5 m high and 470 m wide (at its base). The crest is 921 m long and 9 m in width. - Over 13 million cubic metres of rock, which will be quarried locally within the dam basin and will be compacted to form the embankment. - The dam will create a reservoir on the Senqu and Khubelu rivers with a surface area of 5 053 ha and a full supply storage capacity of 2 325 million cubic metres. - Polihali Dam infrastructure includes a spillway, a compensation outlet structure and a small hydropower station. - The saddle dam will be 45 m high and will have a crest length of 603 m and a crest width of 6.5 m. Its function is to raise a low point on the reservoir margin to prevent water from bypassing the Polihali Dam. - The current supply rate of water from Lesotho to Gauteng will increase at the rate of 780 million cubic metres per annum incrementally to more than 1 270 million metres per annum, as a result of the water volume increase brought about by the construction of the Polihali Dam. • Polihali Transfer Tunnel - The Polihali Dam will be built downstream of the confluence of the Khubelu and Senqu rivers in the Mokhotlong district in the Eastern highlands of Lesotho. - A 38.2 km long and 5.2 m diameter water


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transfer tunnel will link the Polihali reservoir to the Katse reservoir. - Just as the water from the Mohale reservoir flows through the interconnecting Mohale Transfer Tunnel to the reservoir at Katse, so will water from the Polihali reservoir flow through the Polihali Transfer Tunnel on its way to Katse, increasing the supply of water to the Katse reservoir and the amount of water available for hydropower generation. • Hydropower - Feasibility studies are completed. It is decided that conventional hydropower is the best option. - Three potential sites have been identified: two on the Senqu River and a third site at Oxbow on the Malibamats’o River. - The plan is • 2021: begin the design of the preferred option • 2024: begin construction • 2027: commission at same time as water transfer component. • Advance infrastructure - T his will largely be completed before the construction of the dam and tunnel begins: • roads • bridges • housing • offices • workshops • bulk power • telecommunications networks – support project implementation and benefit Lesotho in the long term.

EMPLOYMENT • 1 123 people from villages within a 5 km radius of the advance infrastructure areas have been placed with different contractors for unskilled positions. • 1 764 skilled personnel are engaged on Phase II construction contracts, of whom over 80% are Lesotho nationals while the remainder are from South Africa and other countries. • At the peak of construction, Phase II is expected to create between 2 000 and 3 000 unskilled job opportunities for Lesotho nationals. Polihali Western Access Road

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HOW IS THE PROJECT PROGRESSING? • Procurement - Implementation of an online procurement system to address Covid-19 challenges is complete. - 46 contracts have been awarded. - The most recently awarded contracts are additional geotechnical investigations for the Polihali Transfer Tunnel in December 2020. - Two tenders for the Polihali Dam and Polihali Transfer Tunnel will be advertised during Q2 2021. - The tender for construction of the Senqu Bridge was advertised on 4 March 2021 and the construction tenders for the other two major bridges will be advertised in Q2 2021. • Construction - All construction continues under stringent Covid-19 health and safety protocols. - Heavy rains across the country in the last days of January 2021 caused the level of the Senqu River to rise, impacting the diversion tunnel construction site and causing a temporary interruption to construction. Rehabilitation works have been completed and permanent construction activities, which include blast and drill operations, have resumed in March 2021. - Excavation at the intake and the outlet portals of the two Polihali diversion tunnels was completed in August 2020. Out of the 1 810 m of required excavation, 840 m has been completed (46% completion). The overall construction of the diversion tunnels is approximately 80% complete. - Work on various bulk power contracts is progressing well. The 33 kV line, which will provide temporary power supply to the Polihali village, was completed in June 2020 and is due to be energised in the next few weeks. - The Polihali and Katse civil works – potable water and sewer reticulation infrastructure to permanent and temporary residential areas – have been completed, while the water treatment facilities are nearly complete. This includes the installation of mechanical equipment. The installation of streetlights is ongoing; access roads and parking lots are in the last stages of construction. Upgrades on the potable water and sewerage systems at Katse are also at an advanced stage. - Construction of the main access roads is progressing but is behind schedule. Works on the Polihali Western Access Roads (PWAR West and East) have entailed earthworks, drainage, bridge foundations and the establishment of quarries and batch plants. - Earthworks and pipe culverts are complete on the Polihali North East Access Road. A section of the road has been primed in preparation for double seal surfacing. Ancillary roadworks are ongoing. These include retaining walls, guard rails and road signs.

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SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMMES These programmes will address potential environmental and social impacts associated with Phase II activities. They include: • Four baseline studies that were completed in 2013 and 2014: - socio-economic - instream flow requirements - biological and archaeological - public health. • Those baseline studies, together with extensive engagement from local communities and interested parties informed these programmes: - Environmental and social impact assessments, and the development and implementation of environmental and social management plans. - Resettlement assessments and the development and implementation of resettlement actions plans to include livelihood restoration programmes and compensation. - The development and implementation of public health action plans. • The resultant sustainable development programmes to be designed and implemented will be agreed upon with the affected communities.

Civil engineering works of the Polihali camp

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Concrete pipes for sewage and water systems Rocla supplies and manufactures a range of sewage and water systems to municipalities and civil contractors throughout South Africa.


mong Rocla’s flagship products are reinforced concrete pipes with highdensity polyethylene (HDPE) lining, which offer sewerage projects the same advantages as conventional concrete pipes or plastic pipes in that they maintain their shape under load and are resistant to acid attack. Exposed concrete in the joints of a pipeline need to be protected against corrosive gases, and Rocla has designed a HDPE capping strip, which is welded over the joint of the pipe after installation. It is generally 200 mm wide and the same thickness as the lining used in the pipe. This unique HDPE-lined pipe was recently commissioned for the Polokwane Wastewater Project, and 19 km of HDPE piping was supplied. Rocla also manufactures reinforced concrete pipes with sacrificial layers. The host pipe may be manufactured from dolomitic aggregate and ordinary Portland cement, or siliceous aggregate and ordinary Portland cement. The sacrificial layer may be from dolomitic aggregate and ordinary Portland cement, or dolomitic aggregate and calcium aluminate cement. The 300 mm to 600 mm reinforced concrete pipes are manufactured with

the Xypex Bio-San C500 admixture. This is a uniquely designed admixture for the integral, long-term protection of concrete in harsh sewerage conditions, which have high levels of H2S that causes microbial induced corrosion in pipelines. The protection is for the full wall of the pipe and eliminates extra joint sealing. Without the Xypex Bio-San C500 admixture, the exposed concrete in joints of a pipeline needs to be protected against corrosive gases and Rocla recommends joint sealing processes to avoid sewer corrosion activity. Projects such as the Nellmapius Ext 22 low-cost housing contract near Mamelodi commissioned nearly 3 000 precast steelmesh-reinforced concrete stormwater pipes of various nominal diameters from Rocla, for the 6 km stormwater pipeline being constructed. Rocla was selected to manufacture and supply all the stormwater (spigot and socket) and interlocking pipes for Waterkloof Quarry – an old, 58 ha landmark situated on the border of Waterkloof Ridge and Monument Park near Pretoria – which was developed into a retirement estate. Rocla’s manufacturing capability helped in meeting the tight deadline associated with the quarry development.

For the recent Diepkloof sewer upgrades, 2 715 piping products and associated supplies – comprising RJ pipes, rubber rings, manholes, cover slabs and concrete lids – were sourced from Rocla due to the quality of its manufacturing processes and final product. Accessories for sewerage and water projects also include pipes with access holes, bends (Rocla can supply custommade bends of up to 30 degrees), spigot and socket pipe systems, manhole chambers with HDPE lining, and reducer and cover slabs. The Rocla design, engineering and technical team is available for pre-site design, and on-site application advice when required. This way, Rocla ensures that the correct solution is selected and installed correctly.

Rocla manufactures and supplies sewerage and water systems M AY / J U NE 2021



THE INTERVIEWEES Johann Lübbe (JL) is a disruption specialist who investigates and develops new, innovative funding instruments, products and programmes for infrastructure investment.

Konstant Bruinette (KB) is a senior deal originator who assists municipalities and water utilities to conceptualise and prepare projects for funding.

Are water infrastructure projects difficult to finance? JL Absolutely. There are a few reasons for this, with the most obvious being: 1) Water is a basic human right, and people expect to get it for free. This means that there are limited revenue streams associated with the provision of water, as opposed to energy, for example. Water is free, but people pay for it to be treated, stored and conveyed to them – and that is what people often do not understand. In order to finance water projects, a revenue stream is essential and there needs to be a willingness and ability to pay for water.


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UNPACKING THE CHALLENGES OF FINANCING WATER PROJECTS The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is focused on offering a centre of excellence for water-based projects, as well as blended funding options for financiers of new waterrelated projects in South Africa. Kirsten Kelly talks to two specialists at the DBSA about governance issues around the financing of water projects.

2) When structuring projects, advisors often tend to consider only the technical aspects, but it is much broader than that. The technical side is the easier part of creating a bankable project. The more difficult parts are tariff structures, revenue sources, lending structures, types of entities, as well as legal, social and environmental aspects. 3) There are limited municipalities with strong balance sheets and the country has seen very few public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the water sector. There is funding available to invest in water infrastructure, and there are a lot of possible water projects, but very few of them are bankable. KB I would like to add affordability and political support to that list: 4) If one wants to provide and fund infrastructure, it needs to be affordable

for the end user. When structuring a water project, there is a difficult balancing act between receiving returns on an investment and affordability for the end user. One also needs to consider how to use grants available in the system to gear private sector investment. 5) You need to separate political support from water projects. A municipal political term is five years, and it may take three to five years to prepare a water project to bankability

– project preparation will only be completed right before there is a potential change in political governance and project support. When funding a project, does one include costs relating to administrative overheads, operations, maintenance, routine repairs and periodic replacements of equipment? KB We take a view of the entire project life cycle. The DBSA sometimes provides long-term funding up to 25 years, so it is important to ensure that the infrastructure that is financed is properly operated and maintained. When looking at the project life cycle, we evaluate how all of these costs may impact on the project’s revenue streams and affordability for the end user.

JL The operation and maintenance (O&M) costs are so important. South Africa cannot continuously build new infrastructure only to find that it is dysfunctional a few years later. If government wishes to attract private sector funding into this asset class, O&M must be adequately addressed so that those assets perform according to their design specifications. Why are PPPs so scarce within the water sector? JL The water sector is not alone in this; quite a few other sectors are also battling to attract PPPs. I think that there are systemic issues in the way PPPs are structured. National Treasury is revising its PPP framework and approach, which will address some of these challenges and make PPPs easier to structure and implement. One of the reasons why PPPs are not successful is timing – it takes an extremely long time to put a PPP project together and it is also costly. Also, focusing on the water sector specifically, water is a basic human right and people often do not wish to see the private sector making a profit from this basic service. KB Looking at the broader South African context, outside of the metros and secondary cities, given the consumer profile in rural areas, one would struggle to develop a PPP. The traditional PPP in the water and sanitation space has its place, but there are clear limitations when looking at smaller, rural municipalities. Alternative models need to be developed in order to crowd in private sector investment and participation. Do tariff structure and subsidies within the

water sector need to be reviewed? JL I am generalising here, because there are exceptions, but the tariff structures in the water sector are usually not cost reflective. A lot of municipalities do not know what it costs to provide water services. Without correctly priced tariffs, it is very difficult to finance a project. KB Also speaking in general, in many municipalities, water tariffs do not reflect the true economic cost of water, which includes all operating and maintenance costs, as well as a component for risk like cost recovery and demand risk. Also, in a lot of cases, there is no rising block tariff structure that will address the issue of ‘over consumption’. Punitive tariffs need to be used to drive down water consumption, driving system efficiencies and protecting our natural resource. The average global consumption of water is approximately 170 litres/ person/day while the average consumption in South Africa, as a water-scarce country, is 240 litres/person/day. Pricing water at its economic cost and developing a rising block tariff is key to developing a bankable project. With subsidies, the Water Services Act (No. 108 of 1997) allows indigents to use 6 kℓ/ day to 9 kℓ/day for free. But what happens if that indigent consumes more than that basic allocation? Is that household metered and is that balance billed to that person? It is an extremely sensitive and politicised topic. But these questions need to be answered and mitigated when creating a bankable project.


What about de-risking water projects? JL When applying to a funder, it is important to demonstrate that you have

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considered all risk in the project life cycle that can impact on its success, as well as possible measures taken to mitigate that risk. Unfortunately, if no one pays for a water project, an investor cannot remove that infrastructure and place it somewhere else. To make a water project bankable, very close attention needs to be paid to the structuring of the project and the financial model is often the place where all these risks are consolidated, priced and considered. KB Furthermore, mechanisms need to be in place that allow certain step-in rights for funders. In the case of operational nonperformance, a mechanism should be available to replace the existing operator with a new one. It is also becoming increasingly important to measure the impact of the project itself over time. One needs to be able to show

financiers and the client that the key performance indicators in the feasibility study are met over time. What has government done to attract more investment in water? JL There is a concrete realisation in government that new mechanisms and ways of financing infrastructure are needed. Infrastructure South Africa has been established to drive the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan, assist with blockages, unlock funding, and create a conducive environment for infrastructure investment. The National Infrastructure Fund has been established to build on government’s efforts to transform public infrastructure development. As part of a blended finance solution, the Infrastructure Fund will be used to leverage and unlock private sector funding for large-scale

infrastructure investments. The Presidency is also looking at what is required to reform the water sector from a policy and regulatory perspective. These are all attempts to attract broader investment in infrastructure that will assist with the economic turnaround of the country. KB This is very encouraging, as these initiatives must start at the top. The challenge will be to implement these alternative solutions at municipal level. What are the finance priority areas within the water sector? KB Optimising your existing resources and improving efficiencies; projects focused on the reduction of nonrevenue water are a huge priority. Water reuse projects are also a big priority. The first step towards creating a bankable project is to focus on these priority areas. What is the DBSA working on in the water sector? JL We are establishing a National Water Programme, in partnership with government, which will be an umbrella programme for various subprogrammes (including the priority areas

mentioned above). There will be a water reuse programme and a non-revenue water programme. The DBSA will then assist in developing different funding models for each sub-programme. For example, with non-revenue water programmes, we are working on performancebased contracting models for the private sector. We are also working on a blended finance solution for water reuse projects, which may include a water reuse project bond programme. The DBSA is also involved in developing a private sector participation (PSP) model that will help underresourced municipalities with their projects. This PSP model will be suited for small, rural municipalities (where conventional PPPs may be difficult to implement). The National Water Programme will further create a platform or a space where we can assist municipalities in preparing bankable projects, standardise approaches and documentation, reduce the cost of transactions, decrease the time to market, and benefit from lessons learnt from similar projects. This type of work is aimed at rolling out water projects more successfully, more rapidly and on a larger scale. It will encourage more participation from the private sector.


Very few water projects are bankable A water lobbyist and originator for water deals, Redeem Ngadze from Nedbank, talks to Water&Sanitation Africa about the funding of water projects. What is your role in Nedbank? RN As part of a team, I help to create an environment that is conducive to the rollout of water projects. A few years ago, while all eyes were focused on energy issues, the Nedbank board had the foresight to prioritise water as a key factor to achieve sustainable economic development. As a result, I was appointed to interact with stakeholders in both the public and private sector in the water industry and create a solutions-oriented approach for the bank. There is a need to coordinate roles and expectations between private and public stakeholders, but there is a universal agreement that we are facing a water crisis requiring that we collaborate to ensure survival. How do you make water a more attractive investment opportunity? There is no simple answer to this. Water is not just a resource; it’s central to human dignity and is a basic human right. It’s also an economic enabler. This makes the financing of water projects terribly important, but also very complicated. Legislation, politics and funding need to

be synchronised and work in tandem. The water sector is largely comprised of municipal-owned and -run infrastructure such as treatment plants; however, not all municipalities have a credit rating or palatable risk profile that is sufficient to sustain a loan in the eyes of commercial banks. There are, however, examples where financial resources were easily made available for water treatment plants such as Siza and Mbombela (both in which Nedbank is invested) thanks to financial structuring.

Redeem Ngadze, senior client coverage banker: Power and Infrastructure at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking

How do you make water projects bankable? There is more than enough money to finance water projects, but very few water projects are currently prepared to bankability. Projects are seldom sufficiently developed to meet funding requirements. Each project presents its own circumstances, which inform how bankability can be achieved for that particular project. There certainly is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Some of the factors to be considered M AY / J U NE 2021



in terms of making water projects bankable include environmental considerations and community concerns. If there is no community buyin, there will likely be discord. If the water is in an indigent community, subsidisation needs to be a consideration, which means that there must be some creditworthy off-takers to anchor revenue streams for debt service. The project must be structured to show full visibility and robustness of cash flows, and the availability of equity for investment by project sponsors.

A single funder will unlikely finance an entire project, especially utility-scale projects. There may be a need for a payment guarantee to give lenders comfort. The structuring of water projects should be well thought through, with no ambiguity. Operational costs of the water project (like staff, maintenance and replacement of equipment parts) need to be included in the water project proposal – this is because the money made after the operational costs of a water project will repay

Projects that reduce non-revenue water should be prioritised


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debt. A bankable project is also one that meets all necessary approvals, such as environmental impact assessments and the necessary licensing, among others. Must water subsidy and tariff structures be revisited? With the energy sector, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa regulates the price of energy – resulting in the predictable pricing of energy tariffs for funders. The water sector does not have a distinct or independent regulator, and the result is that water charges vary across South Africa. The pricing and pricing expectations of water are key concerns when financing a water project. Comparatively, water prices in European countries are higher than our local water prices. But because access to water is a human right, it’s a difficult balancing act to achieve because water must be priced without impeding people’s right to access it. These factors need to be weighed in with the need for pricing to be cost-reflective for the service to be rendered in an economically viable manner. The subsidy in water is an unavoidable fact given the inequality existing in our society. To incentivise efficient use, tariffs are largely tiered. But, there is generally poor water literacy in South Africa. People do not know how much water they use or what they pay for it. Improved water literacy concerning its scarcity and cost would generally improve efficient usage. When evaluating the risk of a water project, what factors are considered?

This will vary from project to project but a bank will generally look at the following (not exhaustive): • technology choices • t rack record of the project sponsors • t he provisions of the offtake agreement and other contracting •e  quity funding and financial strength of the sponsors • c ompliance with the relevant legislation •a  vailable security (including payment guarantee where required) • t he robustness of revenue streams • government support, which allows for competitive pricing as the project then assumes government risk. Can PPPs be used as a means of attracting extra finance in the water sector? The Department of Water and Sanitation released a 2017 study detailing a R33 billion deficit per year for 10 years in order to bring about equitable access to water and sanitation. Simply put – government does not have the money. The private sector has to be brought into play to bridge that budget deficit. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are crucial to the water industry. PPPs leverage private sector funding and expertise that hold it accountable for service delivery. Major upfront capex is left to the private sector to arrange. The required project skill sets are sourced from the private sector. The private sector is held accountable for delivery and, through this process, government delivers on its mandate to provide water security. The solution for our water crisis does not only sit with government – there has to be collaboration


The agricultural sector is the biggest user of our water

Water is not just a resource; it’s central to human dignity and is a basic human right. It’s also an economic enabler. This makes the financing of water projects terribly important, but also very complicated.”

between the private and public sectors. Are there any types of water projects that should be prioritised? Most water projects are interconnected via the water life cycle – for example, if wastewater treatment is neglected, there will be a greater cost in treating water downstream to bring it to potable standards. Wastewater pollutes and destabilises the ecology, such as eradicating wetlands, and can also present significant health costs to affected populations. Nationally, sewage treatment plants need significant investment. There needs to be greater attention paid to the agricultural sector – the biggest user of our water (up to 70%), which mostly depends on old water infrastructure. We need to support the farming community and encourage efficient water use. Projects that reduce non-revenue water should definitely be prioritised, as this wastage – of up to at least 41% of all treated

water – costs the fiscus billions of rand annually and affects equitable distribution. Seawater desalination becomes topical for coastal regions. It is, however, an energy-thirsty option that produces relatively expensive water and projects would need to achieve significant scale for competitive water tariffs to be achieved. What has government done and what more should it do to attract more investment in water? We have world-class legislation. Some parts of the Water Act (No. 36 of 1998) and the Water Services Act (No. 8 of 1997) may have to be updated to include water recycling. We, however, perhaps need legislation to accommodate the programmatic roll-out of water projects such as we do in the energy sector under Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which is incidentally a form of PPP. With regard to Covid-19, I think the Department of

Water and Sanitation has worked hard to distribute water around the country to increase access to water and the necessary hygiene. When Minister Lindiwe Sisulu launched the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, it was clear that government has a realistic understanding of the current state of the water sector. However, the rate of project preparation – including the conclusion of necessary feasibility studies on various aspects, including bankability – needs to be stepped up for bankable projects to come to market for implementation. To unlock this backlog, perhaps various capabilities inherent in government structures should be utilised, such as the preparation capabilities of the Development Bank of South Africa, the TransCaledon Tunnel Authority and the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation. The PPP Unit of National Treasury could be called upon on to run the tendering process of the projects once project preparation is complete.

What is Nedbank’s role in the water sector? At Nedbank, we believe that South Africa’s social, economic and environmental sustainability depend on a healthy and secure water supply. We are the first South African bank to sign the CEO Water Mandate – a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Global Compact that mobilises business leaders to address global water challenges through corporate water stewardship. Nedbank has also partnered with the Strategic Water Partners Network, New Partnership for Africa’s Development, and the World Wildlife Fund. At a banking level, we have banking relations with pertinent water stakeholders and are transactional bankers for two of the country’s largest water boards. We believe that water education is key. Nedbank has released a water savings guide on how one can use less water on a daily basis. Over the past five years, Nedbank has invested R93 million in 41 wateraligned projects through the WWF Nedbank Green Trust. M AY / J U NE 2021



TCTA: its financial performance and future plans The Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA), a stateowned entity (SOE) charged with financing and implementing bulk raw water infrastructure projects, gives an update on the new water body, its irregular expenditure and funding pipeline.


EO Percy Sechemane believes that the TCTA is one of the best performing and well-run SOEs in the country. “We received a qualified audit opinion for the first time in our 34-year history for 2018/19 financial year and an unqualified audit opinion for the 32nd time for the 2019/20 financial year. Comparisons of TCTA’s debt with other SOEs is ill-informed, as TCTA is primarily


MAY /JUNE 2021

set up to source debt for critical projects on behalf of government. The TCTA model is one where government, through a ministerial directive, instructs TCTA to source debt funding at competitive rates for commercially viable bulk water infrastructure projects and to implement such projects on behalf of government.” However, the 2019/20 annual report was completed four months later than the deadline of 31 August 2020. Sechemane explains that the delay in the completion of the annual audit was largely due to the postponement of the audit of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) on the Lesotho side. “Going forward, we will have to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the different parties on the LHWP and make the institutional arrangements less complicated. “TCTA and other SOEs are facing challenges within the funding environment. Due to the nature of water projects, if people do not pay for their water, one cannot simply remove the infrastructure and put it elsewhere. This is why funders want guarantees for their capital. However, TCTA has received a satisfactory response from the market

for raising R15.2 billion for a maturing WSP5 bond that is for Phase 2 of the LHWP. We have ongoing engagements with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and National Treasury on the issuing of government guarantees. The longer we can stretch the debt, the better – ensuring that there are no spikes or peaks that will make water unaffordable,” explains Sechemane. While remote working, closed borders and stringent lockdown rules are expected to have a significant impact on the 2020/21 Audit Report, TCTA aims to meet its deadline of 31 August 2021 for submission to Parliament and is working towards its 33rd unqualified audit opinion.

National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his 2021 State of the Nation Address

Percy Sechemane, CEO of TCTA


“Comparisons of TCTA’s debt with other SOEs is ill-informed, as TCTA is primarily set up to source debt for critical projects on behalf of government. The TCTA model is one where government, through a ministerial directive, instructs TCTA to source debt funding at competitive rates for commercially viable bulk water infrastructure projects and to implement such projects on behalf of government.”

that a National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency will be set up to oversee the supply of water across the country. The primary responsibility of the agency is to ensure that quality water and sanitation are available to all South Africans and there is a guarantee of water sustainability for the economy. In this regard, the agency will work with municipalities,

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE High-level performance 2019/20: Outstanding project debt • Vaal River System (incorporating LHWP and shor t-term inter vention for acid mine drainage) – R13.2 billion • Berg River Project – R488 million • Vaal River Eastern Subsystem Augmentation Project – R3.4 billion • Mooi-Mgeni Trasnfer Scheme (Phase 1) – R1.5 billion • Komati Water Scheme Augmentation Project – R1.2 billion • Moloko-Crocodile River Augmentation Project (Phase 1) – R1.3 billion High-level performance 2019/20: Funding pipeline • Vaal River System (for Phase 2 of LHWP) – R2.6 billion • Moloko-Crocodile River Augmentation Project (Phase 2a) – R12 billion • uMkhomazi Water Project (Phase 1) – R23 billion • Berg River Voëlvlei Augmentation Scheme – R800 million

water boards, financial institutions, the agricultural community, and other sector institutions such as mining. This process will bring together some of the sector’s strongest capabilities in a single government-owned entity. “TCTA had been put forward as a possible pilot for the implementation of the new body, as what is currently conceptualised as a potential protoagency. We are looking forward to this big challenge and are hopeful that we will be considered the ideal entity to herald in this new era in water management in the country. Traditionally, the financial markets do not like change, so any change must be well managed. It will be a very sensitive project and will have to be structured in a way that gives funders more security. If all assets fall under a single entity, it will also be easier to use them as security for the raising of funding. We believe that this agency will ensure greater efficiency and accountability in the management of water resource infrastructure,” states Sechemane.

Irregular expenditure

Over both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years, irregular expenditure was close to R805 million. TCTA is in the process of addressing this non-compliance by training employees on how to avoid irregular expenditure, setting up a committee to deal with non-compliance issues, and implementing consequence management. A request has

been made to National Treasury for condonement. One particular reason for TCTA’s irregular expenditure is ‘Practice Note 3’, where National Treasury has to approve any expenditure above R20 million. “This is not always possible for TCTA and we have applied to National Treasury for an exemption. To give an example, when working on a huge infrastructure project, there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances. The construction team may encounter a huge rock when working underground. Applying to National Treasury for an extra R20 million to deal with this will bring the entire project to a standstill until we receive approval, and this will cost even more money. It is important to note that irregular expenditure can still benefit the state; it sometimes only indicates that not all procedures were followed,” says Sechemane. In conclusion, Sechemane says that while there were continued reports on the financial state of the DWS, which led to delayed payments to TCTA, thereby potentially affecting its funding status, the DWS has been able to meet all its obligations. “However, due to events in the past year, it has come to our attention that a significant liquidity buffer is required by the organisation, to cater for external events such as significantly lower volumes of water being sold, or the much-reported and widespread non-payment of water tariffs by municipalities.” M AY / J U NE 2021



Trends in utility management WRP Consulting provides a range of services in the water sector: from strategy development at a water supply system level to the water conservation and demand management for municipalities and utilities. Zama Siqalaba, CEO of WRP Consulting, highlights trends and concerns within the utility management space. By Kirsten Kelly


urrently, greater attention is placed on reducing water demand than increasing water supply with additional infrastructure. “When looking at tenders over the past few years, there has been a definite shift from large infrastructure projects to tenders around the management of infrastructure, with a special focus on reducing non-revenue water (NRW),” says Siqalaba. Reducing water demand WRP Consulting completed its first NRW benchmarking study of all municipalities in South Africa in 2012, with a further update in 2015. The 2012 report showed NRW sitting at 36.8%, while the 2015 report put NRW at 41% – revealing a serious regression. “Increasing water supply does not help anything

if we are unable to manage our existing water supply,” states Siqalaba. “Large water infrastructure projects require a significantly larger portion of capital investment when compared to NRW projects. In fact, NRW projects can defer future capital investments on infrastructure projects.” The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has turned down a lot of requests from municipalities around the expansion of water resource use licences when there has been a failure to prove that advanced water demand management systems are in place. WRP Consulting is currently working on a project in a metro funded by a prominent international financing organisation, where it will develop and package an NRW project for funding. “We are focusing on a particular area and establishing a baseline of water losses and NRW. Recommendations will then be made on the types of interventions needed to reduce NRW – it is a trend across a number of metros,” adds Siqalaba.

needed on assets in the ground as well as their operational status. Data is aggregated from different sources. It has helped to have a standard – the International Water Association Water Balance,” explains Siqalaba. Some municipalities in rural areas do not have even the most rudimentary information needed to reduce NRW because metering is a challenge. “The difference between rural and urban settings is that urban areas can be divided into manageable zones that will each be individually metered – providing a greater amount of detail than rural areas. But in a rural setting, one can use bulk meters to establish a municipality’s system input and consumption, with the difference being water losses,” says Siqalaba. WRP has developed the Zednet platform – a fully hosted software solution that manages infrastructure and assists in identifying and reducing losses in water distribution systems and aggregates logging information. “The Zednet platform is a real-time monitoring system that gives water managers access to information. It can determine pressures and flows from bulk meters that can provide a greater amount of detail in terms of where water losses are occurring – the main principle being that there is a direct link between high pressure profiles and leaks. Ideal for rural areas, Zednet supplies information that assists water utilities and municipalities in making investment decisions based on sound information on the performance of their water distribution or supply system,” explains Siqalaba. Community awareness, public participation and PPPs There are many opportunities to change water practices and inefficient water use at community level. Siqalaba believes that communities must be involved in all

Benchmarking “Benchmarking NRW is a massive exercise, and most of our work has been done under the DWS and Water Research Commission. It requires interaction with Increasing municipalities where there is constant water supply communication, verification and does not help anything interrogation of all data – if if we are unable to there is any available. Information is manage our existing water

supply.” Zama Siqalaba,

CEO, WRP Consulting


demand-side management and NRW programmes, as a lot of the changes and adaptations that need to be made usually rest at that level. “There is no point in implementing expensive infrastructure investments if there is no buy-in from the community to protect that infrastructure. Communities need to fix water leaks that they are responsible for and improve their own efficiencies. This will drive demand-side management.” While there is a growing realisation that a water crisis will affect both citizens in the public sector as well as businesses in the private sector, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and concessions are difficult to get off the ground. When preparing a project for funding, there must be a profit-based plan in place. Siqalaba adds that with limited government guarantees available, many public entities are increasingly exploring off-balance-sheet financing for these types of projects. “There are a few examples of longterm concessions where the private sector will manage and operate water and sanitation infrastructure for municipalities, but I believe that there should be more. It is very difficult, costly and time-consuming to make these types of negotiations. National Treasury is trying to facilitate the process and make it easier for everyone,” Siqalaba notes. WRP has been a part of some successful water-stewardship-type projects and performance-based projects that are not PPPs in the strictest sense. “With NRW, an example would be where business will see an incentive in investing in a municipality to reduce water use in a catchment from which

the business draws water – thereby reducing their water business risk. We still need PPPs to look at larger-scale investments to bring NRW under control. But I have noticed that many client RFQs and tenders are structured to try to bridge the gap between the private and public sector,” she explains. According to Siqalaba, when including the private sector in an NRW project, there must be a common, accepted and realistic understanding between the two parties on a baseline and the potential reduction of NRW. “In addition to a financial transaction, there has to be a relationship-building transaction, and a skills development transaction. There must be a good working relationship between parties on the project. A lot of time must be invested in building rapport and trust. The sustainability of these types of projects relies heavily on working relationships.” It is also important for the public sector to have suitable knowledge and expertise to manage the project from its side. “This is critical for the sustainability of the project. WRP has worked on projects where great gains are made initially but, as soon as the consultant leaves the project, it starts to digress. The skills transfer component plays a major role in the long-term successes of these types of projects. There has to be an investment in systems, procedures, skills and expertise to manage and operate the project over the short,

In a rural setting, one can use bulk meters to establish a municipality’s system input and consumption

medium and long term – with the long term being key. To protect investment, these projects need to be programmatic and institutionalised in municipalities and utilities,” explains Siqalaba. Smart technologies She states that another trend is the integration of smart technologies into the functioning of utilities and municipalities. “But the importance of human competence and skills cannot be ignored, as technology needs to be operated by skilled people. There is little point when utilities and municipalities have complicated systems that no one has the skills to use. There have been times when WRP has requested management information like a billing report from an entity and, while there may be good systems in place, no one has the skills to extract that information. “The key is fit for purpose – when choosing a technology, one needs to consider the context of a municipality, as they are all in different stages of maturity in terms of skills and management systems. There is little point in buying the most expensive, technologically advanced systems when an entity does not have the expertise to operate them,” concludes Siqalaba.


M AY / J U NE 2021



Digital twins in the water sector

What is a digital twin? And how can it be used in the water sector? Professor Annie Bekker – research chair at Rand Water and professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University – elaborates on the standard definition and its potential use. By Kirsten Kelly


t took me a very long time to understand what a digital twin actually is and to many people, a digital twin is still a foreign concept. It is commonly defined as a digital representation of the state and

Professor Annie Bekker – research chair at Rand Water and professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University


MAY /JUNE 2021

behaviour of a real asset within its operational context towards decision support. But the best way to explain the meaning of a digital twin is to use examples,” says Bekker. A digital twin example: pumps A digital twin can function on various levels. Looking at a pumping station of a Rand Water distribution network, a digital twin can be: •a  single component – an impeller or a seal of a pump •a  system – an assembly of components like the pump itself •a  system of systems – a pump station with multiple pumps and several pumping stations connected to supported pipelines or an entire water distribution network. “When designing a pump, an engineer will evaluate different elements such as how changing the number of impeller blades or blade angle will affect the pump performance (e.g. flow and discharge pressure). A model is created; the pump is then manufactured and

sold to a customer and that model is never used again. With a digital twin, one can look at the model and the real outcomes (such as the flow rate of water), so you are entangling a model with the real-life operation of an asset. Engineers can unhinge the benefits of a model beyond the design phase by using it in the operational phase as well,” adds Bekker. Data-driven digital twins can also allow engineers to take shortcuts where the geometrical detail is no longer modelled. “Going back to the example, an engineer may only be interested in the input-output relationship of water pressure in the pump. A model can be generated from data that is measured while the pump is in operation in different conditions. Therefore, an engineer would not have to go back to the design of the pump and use specialised software to make detailed engineering representations. They can use mathematical models to simulate the performance of the pump and create a black box model to create


input-output relationships through techniques such as machine learning,” explains Bekker. Data-driven modelling is especially advantageous to assist in decision support in applications with low risk, where a wrong prediction would not result in a catastrophic result such as loss of life or ethical ramifications. It calculates quickly, is cost-effective and does not require domain-specific knowledge. Detecting anomalies Another advantage is that digital twins can be used to detect anomalies. This can be done by looking at differences in the behaviour of the asset predicted by the model, as opposed to its actual performance. A model can be used to generate a hypothetical ‘virtual sensor’ feed for normal or expected behaviour. An anomaly is detected if sensor feeds from the real asset deviate from the expected response and an inspection is triggered. Additionally, certain standard failures of a machine can be modelled and used to create a catalogue of possible signal attributes under such conditions. These patterns in measurements can then be used as an early recognition system from a catalogue of possible errors. A digital trend in the water sector is the use of existing hydrological models of a pipeline network in complement with sensor feeds on the real network to measure information at key points. Anomalies are found by comparing what the model reveals is happening in the network to what is revealed by the sensor feeds. One such anomaly can be leak detection. A model can be developed to determine the daily water demand; it can be a data-driven expectation where demand is measured over time. Then, as a function of certain variables, it can create a daily cycle on how demand might progress throughout a certain day on a network. The digital model will take environmental conditions and the latest state of the distribution network as an input and create an estimate of the typical demand. Then by measuring the actual demand, and looking for the difference between the two, potential leaks could be detected if there is an unexplained increase in demand. Digital twins can also be used to

Stellenbosch University has set up The Digital Twin Pump Laboratory, which is used to evaluate ideas, demonstrate digital twin concepts, and to train students from academia and industry

prepare distribution networks for future scenarios such as disaster management, population growth, and climate change, including: •W  hat will happen if demand increases by 20%? •W  hat if we have a drought?

Furthermore, the cost of digital twins is an inhibiting factor. “However, it must be remembered that a lot of money can be wasted by the installation of redundant sensors and redundant modelling efforts,” adds Bekker.

Requisite interdisciplinary knowledge Bekker maintains that while a digital twin is not a new concept, it is difficult to implement because it requires a vast amount in interdisciplinary knowledge and complexity. “For example, if one looks at a potential system of systems digital twin like the Rand-Vaal water network, multiple factors will need to be considered such as dam levels, demand pattern of users, rainfall, pumps, corrosion of pipelines, and leaks.” However, a powerful advantage of digital twins is that it can become an aggregator. It requires many diverse fields of specialisation to put together models and sensors, thereby creating cross-domain types of benefits.

Decision support When using digital twins, there is a theory determining what to invest in depending on the time period about which you would like information: • the past – invest in analytics of data • the present – invest in sensors • the future – invest in modelling of a predictive nature. “Ultimately, a digital twin’s value is linked to a need and value associated with a decision support service. But when using a digital twin, the real challenge is to understand the user. What does the user need? And what is the user willing to pay for? Does the user want to be upskilled and trained? How willing is the user to adopt this technology?” expands Bekker.

What prevents the use of digital twins? In addition to the interdisciplinary nature of digital twins, Bekker says that there is a concern around security. “Digital twins require a certain amount of openness and sharing. Understandably, manufacturers have concerns around their intellectual property rights.”

The Digital Twin Pump Laboratory Rand Water is a potential user that is interested in digital twins. It have partnered with Stellenbosch University to investigate the use of digital twins within the water network. Stellenbosch University is establishing a small simulation platform called The Digital Twin Pump Laboratory. This is equipped M AY / J U NE 2021



with pumps, pipes, pressure sensors and valves to circulate water – similar to the components found in a water distribution network. Stellenbosch University will experiment with different digital twins of the laboratory in a stratified environment by using

existing models for the system components (pumps and pipes). This facility can be used to evaluate ideas, demonstrate digital twin concepts, and to train students from academia and industry. The controlled environment will allow for the systematic testing of different ideas. Performance monitoring and prediction could be applied on different pump and pipe configurations, faults can be induced, and the model and sensor responses can be tracked to evaluate concepts such as fault detection and diagnosis through previously catalogued errors. A particular focus will be on leak monitoring and slurry pumps, where Rand Water believes that cavitation is causing early failure.

“The idea is to make a scaled-down prototype in an environment that we can control, manipulate and understand, and then – through Rand Water – we will start to apply the knowledge we have gained in the field,” adds Bekker. “Digital twins require collaboration, openness and a willingness to learn. Specialists from different fields must collaborate. It takes courage to get going and I think that Rand Water has progressed well in this respect. My experience in working with this company is that it is hungry to grow in this era of digitalisation, as clearly demonstrated by its endeavours to build its own Innovation Hub,” concludes Bekker.

Ultimately, a digital twin’s value is linked to a need and value associated with a decision support service. But when using a digital twin, the real challenge is to understand the user. What does the user need? And what is the user willing to pay for? Does the user want to be upskilled and trained? How willing is the user to adopt this technology?”

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INDUSTRY 4.0 & IOT We use our smartphones to communicate with others, check the weather, book plane tickets, track our steps and even switch on the alarm at home. Endress+Hauser believes that the convenience and simplicity that digitalisation provides in our private lives can be implemented into the process industry as well. The cloud-based IIoT ecosystem Netilion forms the basis for new digital services

Eye-openers for the process industry


ndress+Hauser has developed an industrial internet of things (IIoT) ecosystem called Netilion. The Netilion web-based applications are at the heart of the Netilion Services and enable all field instruments and their data to be accessible from almost anywhere. The apps help users carry out tasks such as capturing and managing all instruments in a plant, organising device documentation, or monitoring the instrument status and responding appropriately in case of malfunction.

Preston Reddy, product manager: Service & Digital Solutions at Endress+Hauser

With Netilion, there is a complete overview of the installed base at hand. Digital twins of the actual field instruments, which are often difficult to access, are made available in the cloud where they can be seen from various devices – office PC, smartphone or tablet. Prior to the service call, the technician already has the troubleshooting guide at hand. “The plant operator can save costs with the knowledge generated by the Netilion system, such as streamlined maintenance and higher system availability,” says Preston Reddy at Endress+Hauser. Netilion also opens up access to new applications beyond conventional process engineering. Endress+Hauser offers cost-effective packages that include IIoT-enabled measuring technology and digital applications that are designed to assist with simple measurement tasks. The complete preconfigured packages contain the sensors – including installation material and the transmitter – plus a subscription to the digital service. Among the examples are the Netilion Smart Systems for analysing bodies of water, which are currently in pilot

operation in two communities in Switzerland. In Giebenach, near Basel, Netilion is being used to monitor a salmon farm. In the past, the water was checked intermittently but now, after the installation of Netilion, it is possible to continuously monitor the oxygen, nitrate and ammonia values. The community of Baltschiederbach uses a similar system to monitor the quality of the water in a stream by measuring turbidity, conductivity and pH. Employees have constant access to the measurement values on their smartphones. If the values deviate from the target, the system sends out an alarm notification. In addition, it provides information regarding the status of the sensor. “The smart system gives us a sense of security in our daily activities,” says Daniel Zopfi, who oversees the fishery. “We’re always aware of the breeding conditions and can improve them with targeted interventions.” Further future developments include the Netilion Predict app, which is currently under development. Netilion Predict is engineered to continuously analyse process and instrument parameters, to optimise calibration and maintenance intervals, and to increase plant availability. “Our goal is to be able to tell the plant operator, in simple language, how much longer the measurement point is expected to operate reliably,” Reddy adds. M AY / J U NE 2021



Driving sanitation service delivery through a web platform It has been over 50 years since the moon landing, yet we have still not figured out how to achieve universal sanitation access – a basic human need. This is a conundrum that a global network of sanitation experts aims to unlock and help solve via the Faecal Sludge Management Toolbox. By Kirsten Kelly


ater and environmental services company Emanti Management formed part of an international team that developed version two of the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Toolbox (www.fsmtoolbox.com). First created and implemented by the Asian Institute of Technology with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the FSM Toolbox helps to assess the overall FSM ecosystem in an area and plan for infrastructure improvements. It has evolved over the years with valuable contributions, inputs and feedback from various organisations. “Emanti Management was part of a team that met in Seattle, USA, in July 2017 to revamp FSM Toolbox V1. We brainstormed how to create a new, improved and efficient FSM Toolbox that was user-friendly. Over the following twoyear development phase, we focused on how to better support the planning part

CONTRIBUTORS TOWARDS THE FSM TOOLBOX • Africa Water Association • Asian Institute of Technology • Athena Infonomics • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation • Cabinet EDE • CDD Society • CEPT University •C  entre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy • Emanti Management • International Water Management Institute •U  niversity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna •E  xperts: Dr Shirish Singh, Dorai Narayan, Dave Robbins, Sujaya Rathi, Isabel Blackett, Peter Hawkins, Mingma Sherpa


MAY /JUNE 2021

of FSM. This is through an assessment on the FSM ecosystem where gaps in the financial, infrastructure, institutional and regulatory aspects of FSM practices are identified. Once gaps are identified, the FSM Toolbox can be used to create a remedial plan. It can also assist potential users with prioritising sanitation projects, planning the scope of such projects, and creating accurate terms of reference for these projects,” says Philip de Souza, director at Emanti Management.

Philip de Souza, director at Emanti Management

Shit flow diagram

An important section of the assessment part of the FSM Toolbox is the so-called shit flow diagram (SFD). De Souza explains that this is a commonly accepted term (just google it) and is used to communicate how safely (or unsafely) excreta ‘flows’ through a city or town. “It shows in a very easy-to-interpret manner the flow path of all excreta generated in a city, and whether it is or is not safely contained as it moves from defecation to disposal or end-use. The idea is to empower and encourage people to talk openly about ‘shit’ – where it is going and what is happening to it. An SFD gives you a snapshot of the entire sanitation value chain from beginning to end, including both off- and on-site sanitation,” he states. The Water Research Commission championed the first round of demonstration SFDs, technically supported by the Emanti team, at a group of ‘volunteer municipalities’, with breathtakingly useful outputs arising for all technical, management, planning and regulatory officials involved. The opportunity now exists to expand the powerful SFD assessments throughout South Africa, thereby facilitating improved planning, operations and maintenance, and budgeting across the sanitation value chain.

Unathi Jack, water utilisation engineer at Emanti Management

In South Africa, sludge management from off-site sanitation (where ‘shit’ is taken away from the home to a point of treatment) is a huge challenge while sludge management from on-site sanitation (think pit latrines) is even worse off and very rarely adequately managed. While sludge from wastewater treatment works can be measured and classified according to its toxicity, sludge from on-site sanitation is rarely monitored or characterised, as there are currently limited standards and procedures. This clearly shows the gaps in safe and effective faecal sludge management. Faecal sludge is a lot more concentrated than sewage sludge and has the potential to completely overload wastewater treatment works if not managed appropriately. Fortunately, the FSM Toolbox provides case studies and best practices from different countries for reference, guidance and learning opportunities, including options for beneficial sludge reuse. An innovation introduced by Emanti is that an SFD can be used for scenario

SANITATION analysis – which explains what could happen in the future if sanitation infrastructure is not properly managed. “The SFD graphic has green streams (safely managed) and red streams (not safely managed). Initially, an SFD graphic may look healthy, with a high percentage of green streams. But, when there is zero maintenance, those green streams could turn red as time passes. The SFD graphic can therefore be used to develop future projections of the sanitation status. This is a good advocacy tool for technical government officials to use when motivating maintenance budgets for their infrastructure, especially to nontechnical decision-makers including finance, municipal managers and politicians,” explains De Souza.

Expanded local uptake

To encourage the uptake and use of the FSM Toolbox in South Africa, the FSM Alliance tasked Emanti with a first phase of FSM Toolbox profiling and training with high-level stakeholders, including the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), South African

Local Government Association, National Sanitation Task Team, and potential users, including municipalities. Unathi Jack, water utilisation engineer at Emanti Management says that the DWS assisted the national profiling via the National Sanitation Task Team that comprises various government stakeholders like National Treasury, the departments of Science and Innovation, Health, and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. “The FSM Toolbox has been well received by the DWS, which is in the process of reviewing existing and developing new plans and frameworks in support of improving sanitation. The FSM Toolbox has come at a time when the attention paid to sanitation backlogs and significant operational, maintenance and management issues has been heightened. Many municipalities do not have proactive maintenance plans for their on- and offsite sanitation infrastructure.” Jack sympathises with municipal officials. “They are conflicted all the time – there are so many agendas and priorities that are pulling them left and right. So, while the FSM Toolbox is an incredibly

helpful tool, it is important to support municipalities in their early-stage use of the Toolbox, using a ‘train the trainer’ approach to both assist them in taking the first initial steps forward and support the ongoing and sustainable use of the FSM Toolbox.” This approach was tested and verified by a focused training and support pilot engagement at uThukela District Municipality. “Sanitation fails communities (be it rural, peri-urban or city), first, when government is not aware of a sanitation deficiency; second, when there is no motivation for adequate sanitation infrastructure and its maintenance; and, finally, when there is no or little technical sanitation knowledge. In all these cases, the FSM Toolbox is ideal because it is a technical tool that indicates gaps where action and funding are needed. And this gives decision-makers and funders greater confidence in the identified needs and associated proposed budget for sanitation infrastructure and maintenance. That results in providing more sanitation services and changing countless lives for the better,” concludes Jack.






? WW not delivered to treatment (e.g. due to old leaking pipes)

Off-site sanitation (e.g. flush toilets to sewers) ?

On-site sanitation (e.g. VIPs, septic tanks) ?

? of on-site sanitation systems are not appropriately sealed/ enclosed/lined

Not serviced – open defecation ?

? of population not serviced - implying open defecation

? not servicing basic sanitation facilities

? FS not delivered to treatment (e.g. honeysucker does not deliver to WWTW)


WW not treated – ? have <90% compliance regarding COD


? have not classified sludge

? do not dispose of or reuse sludge appropriately

? of drinkingwater sources at risk from on-site sanitation

? provide Green Drop data to the regulator

? receive required funds to address wastewater issues

? have sufficient sanitation programme funding

Result: Not safely managed; impacting on community and environmental health M AY / J U NE 2021


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The Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) is undergoing a substantial upgrade with the construction of a new primary treatment section, equipped to accommodate up to 90 Mℓ/day average dry weather flow (ADWF), and a new large-scale sludge dewatering treatment facility.

Six waste-activated sludge gravity belt thickener and belt press cascades

Constructing the largest dewatering facility in the Western Cape


ater and wastewater treatment specialist PCI AFRICA was awarded the design and build contract for associated mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control and automation by the City of Cape Town, with the consulting engineers being Aurecon (now Zutari). This included new inlet works, primary sedimentation tanks, pump stations, as well as sludge dewatering and treatment facilities. “The Zandvliet WWTW deals with effluent from the eastern parts of Cape Town, including Delft, Blue Downs and Khayelitsha. The new upgrade will assist significantly with hydraulic load relief on the existing works, together with the ability to remove waste-activated sludge (WAS) from the existing bioreactors. Urgent rehabilitation and new additions were required to meet

Cobus Mellet, project manager at PCI AFRICA

the needs in this fast-growing catchment of Cape Town,” explains Cobus Mellet, project manager, PCI AFRICA.

PCI AFRICA • Candy Filter Company and The Paterson Engineering Company – from which the name Paterson Candy International SA is derived – were late Victorian pioneers in water treatment, dating back to the 1870s. • In South Africa, the first records of Candy Filters being sold was in 1897. • Paterson Candy, now trading as PCI AFRICA, has been registered and operating in South Africa since 1953. • As experts in the water treatment field, PCI AFRICA is particularly well known for dissolved air flotation and sand filtration designs across Africa.

New plant The new sections of the contract comprise: • Part A: dewatering plant located on the eastern side of Zandvliet WWTW • Part B: inlet and primary treatment plant located on the northern side of the Zandvliet WWTW. Currently, the dewatering plant is in the final preparation phase for commissioning, while the inlet works and primary treatment are in the installation phase. Flow enters the Zandvliet WWTW via three gravity sewers (Khayelitsha, Blue Downs and Delft). The Blue Downs sewer is not being utilised at present. Since the entrance level of the raw sewage is far below ground level, part of the new inlet M AY / J U NE 2021



The sludge feed to the belt presses prior to the polymer injection

works will lift the water above ground level by means of Archimedean screw pumps at the lower screw pump station. Downstream of the inlet works, there is a second set of Archimedean screws where the upper screw pump station raises the flow for distribution to the primary settling tanks. After the lower screw pump station, there is a three-phase screening process where different sizes of inorganic material are removed through three different sized screens. Wastewater then passes through the degritting system and reaches the four new primary settlement tanks via the upper screw pump station. These primary settlement tanks work on the principles of gravity where primary sludge settles, with the settled underflow sent for dewatering. The overflow is sent to three different locations on the plant – the existing activated sludge plant, the existing membrane bioreactor plant, as well as a new membrane bioreactor plant are currently being constructed under another contract. Sludge handling facilities Work on the sludge handling facilities included all the dewatering machinery and peripheral pump stations. “One of the most impressive components of the project is the sheer size of the dewatering


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facilities due to the enormous amount of sludge that has to be handled. The dewatering facilities will treat both primary sludge (from the four new primary settlement tanks) and WAS (from the biological reactor on the existing works). The WAS is sent to the new dewatering plant in order to maintain the sludge age and mixed liquor suspended solids levels in the bioreactors,” adds Mellet. The sludge handling facilities can receive: • primary sludge: 240 m3/h • primary cake product: 146 t/day • WAS: 520 m3/h • WAS cake product: 142 t/day. While the WAS cake will be used for agricultural purposes, the primary sludge will be sent to landfill via trucks. “We used Bellmer sludge dewatering equipment, as it is a well-known company within the water industry and was compliant with all specifications stipulated by the City of Cape Town at tender stage. Preliminary testing on the sludge characteristics has been completed and we are confident that the final product characteristics will be within the commissioning parameters going forward,” says Mellet. Layout of the plant PCI AFRICA paid close attention to

the design and layout of the different components and equipment, as well as the arrangement of piping on the new plant. Mellet states that this was done to optimise efficiency from an operational and maintenance perspective. “Platforms and stairways have provided easy access to all of the components of the plant. The layout of the equipment relative to each other has been designed and placed to improve workflow, where operators can walk easily from one unit to the next. Lifting structures were sited in strategic places where all pieces of heavy equipment could be removed and placed back with ease during future maintenance outages. PCI AFRICA, together with the consulting engineers, also designed the plant to give trucks easy access to key areas where they may have to collect heavy plant equipment during maintenance.” Health and safety was also a central factor when designing the plant. PCI AFRICA’s contract also included the full electrical scope, as well as the control and instrumentation of the new Zandvliet upgrade. This included the design and supply of the transformers, minisubs, motor control centres, programmable logic controllers, supervisory control and data acquisition, and associated power and control cabling.


33 pumps supplied to Zandvliet Netzsch Southern Africa supplied a range of pumps (via its Western Cape distributor, Dune Engineering) to Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) for polymer dosing, primary and secondary sludges, and dewatered sludge – with flow rates varying between 0.5 m3 and 130 m3.


long working history with PCI AFRICA (nationally) and the City of Cape Town, as well as a proven track record of providing quality engineered products that meet all tender specifications and client requirements, were among the reasons why Netzsch Pumps supplied Zandvliet WWTW with 33 pumps. “The dewatered sludge flow map was tough, and the pumps had to meet the specified flow requirements of the changing viscosities of both the primary and secondary sludge. Furthermore, the pumps had to be designed for the plant’s current capacity (after the expansion) of 90 Mℓ/day, as well as 140 Mℓ/day should it be further upgraded,” explains Eden McGee, managing director at Netzsch Southern Africa. Reduced downtime McGee adds that pumping dewatered sludge in WWTWs is a difficult process. “Netzsch Southern Africa has an STP

Eden McGee, managing director at Netzsch Southern Africa

2 System in place to protect from dry running. Our progressive cavity pumps are designed to handle complex fluids that are dry with high viscosity. But if there is no product within the pump for an extended period of time, there is a high likelihood of an increase in heat because of the friction between the metal rotor at the rubber stator. Netzsch has developed a system where a signal is sent to the motor control unit and the pump shuts down. This prevents any damage to the stator and rotor.” The dewatered sludge pumps are also fitted with an ABP® Module. This is a patented system that comprises a top hopper with two spoked wheels attached to its internal sides. The wheels sit deep inside the hopper and are very close to the walls. This largely prevents bridging. Bridging is an issue in sewage sludge handling applications and occurs when thick and dry dewatered sludge cakes bridge together across a hopper. Once the sludge sticks together, bridges between

Netzsch Southern Africa provided certification to confirm that the pumps performed according to specifications. PCI AFRICA was also given the opportunity to witness the testing of the pumps at the Netzsch factory in Germany

the side walls form as sludge falls into the hopper of a pump and starts to stick to the side walls above the pump auger. These bridges can prevent additional sludge from falling into the pump by blocking off the opening, thereby ceasing pump operation. As the sludge piles up on top of the bridge, it backs up the process until eventually it overflows out of the hopper or triggers an alarm, at which point the portion of the plant in question must shut down until the maintenance crew can break down the bridge over the pump auger, clean up any overflowed sludge, reset alarms, and pump the overflow sludge manually until the sludge feed is back within normal operating parameters. Depending on the plant setup and failure modes, the above delay to plant operation can last anywhere between an hour and a whole day. “The Zandvliet WWTW contract was a complex, interesting project and it is promising to see investment in the sector. Off the back of projects like Zandvliet, and growth over the past few years, Netzsch Southern Africa has recently set up an assembly plant in South Africa in order to meet the Department of Trade and Industry’s requirements for local content. We are now able to deliver pumps within shorter time frames, and give improved local support,” concludes McGee. M AY / J U NE 2021



Decentralised plants can take the pressure off our ageing water and wastewater treatment plants. Kirsten Kelly speaks to Herman Smit, managing director of Quality Filtration Systems (QFS), about the use of these systems in South Africa.

A case for decentralised wastewater treatment plants


ver the past 20 years, due to the skills shortage in South Africa, there has been a push towards centralised water and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), as these require fewer technical staff members like engineers, scientists and operators. However, when one looks at the types of problems within the water and wastewater treatment industry today, they tend to be network problems.

Herman Smit, managing director of QFS


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And centralised water and WWTPs have created a bigger dependency upon network maintenance. With municipalities reporting between 29% and 50% of non-revenue water, it is clear that network maintenance has failed. Water has to be pumped kilometres to its consumers and wastewater has to be pumped kilometres to WWTPs – placing huge pressure on network systems. These problems can be solved by decentralising water and wastewater treatment works,” explains Smit. Previously, there has been pushback against having WWTPs close to residential areas because of the smell. Presently, however, with the adoption of new technologies like membrane bioreactors (MBR), one finds wastewater treatment plants in the basements of high-rise buildings. These decentralised plants are compact, odour-free, highly automated and able to produce greywater that can be reused. They can also be deployed rapidly due to their modular structure.

Smit believes that decentralised WWTPs need to treat between 200 000 litres and 500 000 litres of wastewater a day. “If it is below 200 000 litres per day, the cost per kℓ is too high and if it is above 500 000 litres per day, its footprint will be huge and may be construed as an unwelcome, major WWTP in a suburb. “There will always be a case for centralised WWTPs; decentralised WWTPs are there to take the pressure off the existing infrastructure. Many centralised WWTPs are working over-capacity – there are instances where the plant is difficult to maintain, pumps are constantly breaking down or sewage is running down the streets. Upgrading these plants is extremely expensive compared to deploying a decentralised system, which is mostly built off-site and requires a tiny team on-site for its commissioning,” adds Smit. Smit mentions the recent report by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on the spillage of raw sewage

into the Vaal River. “Emfuleni Municipality conceded that it was responsible for the pollution due to its failing wastewater infrastructure and the Department of Water and Sanitation has pledged to deal with these sewer spillages and upgrade the wastewater infrastructure in the area. This is a typical example of a network failure. If wastewater cannot be pumped to the WWTP, the entire network should be evaluated, and an audit done on the money needed to upgrade and maintain it. Decentralised WWTPs would be a cheaper, quicker and safer option.” Decentralised plants can also be used while a centralised WWTP is undergoing maintenance. “Sometimes if a WWTP is under maintenance or is upgraded, it is unable to treat wastewater for a period of time. This means that the wastewater may have to bypass the plant entirely. In these cases, a decentralised plant could be used temporarily,” says Smit. “Our decentralised WWTPs are more affordable because we believe in localising technology – 70% of materials, skills and content used to create our technologies is local. This drives down QFS’s prices and also helps us in providing far better support,” adds Smit. New technologies and skill sets Smit believes that a barrier to using decentralised plants may be the use of new technologies and skill sets. “Unfortunately, you cannot use conventional technologies with decentralisation.

Technologies like MBR are not really new anymore – they are established and have been used around the world, even in South Africa at the newly refurbished Zandvliet WWTP, for example. However, the industry seems reluctant to use newer technologies and I think this is because, historically, the skill set needed for centralised WWTPs was mostly civil. Over the last decade, water treatment has become a mechanical and chemical process – the skill set has changed. I think government would rather build bigger, centralised water and WWTPs because they know how to do that; they are stuck on the civil skill set and do not have the mechanical and chemical engineers that are needed for newer technologies. Currently, QFS does not employ any civil engineers – we have process, chemical and electrical engineers.” Decentralised plants require operators, and QFS is committed to training and upskilling people that can operate and maintain these plants. “We are always involved in the running of a new plant in the first two years and work closely with operators, improving their skill levels. In the Eastern Cape, we are in the process of setting up a training academy where we aim to train six new operators every six months. This training academy will be at the Kowie River Project, where we are building a desalination, water reuse and wastewater treatment plant. This will provide an ideal opportunity to give operators theoretical and practical training on all three technologies,” says Smit. QFS has seen an uptake in the use of its decentralised systems. “There is definitely a lot of interest, and we have deployed a number of plants for both the public and private sector in the last two years. We are focusing on building trust and making sure that people understand what they are getting. Decentralisation is not about reducing what you have – it is about improving what you are getting. And we are providing a cost-effective solution with excellent water quality,” concludes Smit.




V&A Waterfront’s journey to saving water Residents in drought-stricken Cape Town are not the only ones who have tightened their taps. The V&A Waterfront (with 24 million visitors annually) has taken numerous steps towards saving water. By Kirsten Kelly


egarded as the premier tourist destination in South Africa, the V&A Waterfront has applied green business practices throughout its portfolio. Mareli Cloete, senior manager: SHE & Utilities, mentions that the mixed-use waterfront has implemented water-saving initiatives since as far back as 2008. “We realised back then that water resources were coming under pressure. Over the years, the V&A Waterfront has committed to optimal levels of resource efficiency.” Measuring water usage In order to improve water efficiency, one must measure water usage. The V&A Waterfront has various monitoring and metering systems and processes. These include smart metering systems,


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a building management system, leak detection systems, and a metric indicator dashboard that shows real-time tenanted consumption data. For irrigation, the property is divided into zones. Each zone is fitted with its own water meter, isolation valves and leak detection system, so it is easy to monitor consumption and repair leaks. The V&A Waterfront has a dedicated Utilities team that focuses on trend analysis. Concentrating on attracting ‘green tenants’, the V&A Waterfront has implemented a ‘green lease’ that contains performance clauses on reporting and consumption. Water meters are installed in all tenant premises. “We measure our performance against a 2010 baseline. Today, the V&A Waterfront has reduced its water consumption by

Mareli Cloete, senior manager: SHE & Utilities, V&A Waterfront

almost 60% – even though the size of the property has increased by way of development,” states Cloete. A number of water-saving initiatives and tools have been implemented. Landscaping Drip irrigation has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. The goal is to place water directly into the root zone and minimise evaporation. Cloete says that roughly 6 000 m² are fed by drip irrigation, which only makes up 12% of the total landscaped area. “The rest of the area uses spray irrigation, where we run the system for only 30 minutes, as opposed to one hour, and we try to use non-potable water as much as possible. All irrigation is turned off during the winter months, only allowing for irrigation during summer months. We have also replaced water-thirsty plants

V&A WATERFRONT FACT SHEET •E  stablished in November 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary by Transnet. • Today, it is jointly owned by Growthpoint Properties and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), represented by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). The V&A Waterfront is a mixed-use destination located in the oldest working harbour in the southern hemisphere. • As a mixed-use development, the V&A Water front comprises residential and commercial proper ty, hotels, retail, dining, leisure and enter tainment facilities for both local and international visitors. • There are 23 000 people working at the V&A Waterfront itself, while total employment (including indirect jobs) is 66 000. • Over 24 million people visit the V&A Waterfront annually. • The V&A Waterfront covers 23 hectares of land. • It has over 450 retailers. Retail shopping hours are from 09:00 to 21:00, 364 days of the year, with Christmas Day trading being optional for tenants. • It boasts more than 80 eateries, including restaurants, coffee shops and fast-food outlets. • Hosting 10 hotels, the V&A Waterfront has 1 487 rooms available.

with indigenous plants and hard landscaping.” Indigenous plants require little to no water. Areas such as the V&A’s lookout embankment are covered with many water-wise plants, as the slope does not allow for effective irrigation without water run-off.

However, some of the historical gardens still contain exotic plant species (about 65% of these are palm trees) and there is a commitment to replace them with indigenous plants as and when they die. Boreholes and greywater According to Cloete, the V&A Waterfront reduces the use of potable water by using borehole and greywater in its place wherever possible. The V&A Waterfront is fitted with two boreholes – one of which is functioning. The other will be activated once a water-use licence has been obtained as part of the water recovery programme and wastewater treatment plan. “The functioning borehole serves to irrigate some sections of Dock Road, and contractors use this water for ad hoc work such as cleaning. The landscaping team also has a water trailer and the same water is used in areas where irrigation is done by hand. We are careful not to extract too much water, as this borehole tends to turn saline. “Recycled or borehole water is also used for hard surface cleaning; we have retrofitted a water tank and high-pressure washer on a trailer to make this easier. All car washes use rainwater harvesting and water recycling systems. And the toilets in the Victoria Wharf, Granger Bay Court and Food Market shopping centres use greywater,” says Cloete. Water resource recovery facility (WRRF) Cloete adds that Organica wastewater treatment technology will be used to provide the V&A Waterfront with a further non-potable water source. “The Organica Food Chain Reactor is a combination of activated sludge and fixed-film technology that improves the performance of wastewater treatment plants. While still All V&A car washes use rainwater harvesting and water recycling systems




using activated sludge in suspension, an additional surface area is introduced into the reactor through the introduction of plant roots as well as artificial supporting media. The plant roots (up to 1.5 m deep) and artificial supporting media act as fixed-film carriers. This allows for many more microorganisms to be compacted into the same volume and the natural plant roots increase the biodiversity within the reactor – further improving its performance.” Organica biomodules act as the artificial supporting media and are installed next to reactor plants to allow for the migration of a vast diversity of microorganisms throughout the entire reactor. This enhanced habitat stimulates the formation of food chains in the reactor, leading to predation that results in the disposal of smaller amounts of excess sludge. Still under construction, the WRRF will consist of various process units: • Raw wastewater will be collected into existing sumps, where a portion will be abstracted, treated and then used as irrigation water. Non-biodegradable particulates will be removed through fine screening and grit removal. • The screened wastewater will then flow to the reactor, which consists of various zones – each with their own aeration requirements. As the wastewater flows through the reactor, it will be treated by different microorganisms that are adapted to each zone for the most efficient treatment. With the microorganisms located in fixed-film structures, less energy is required to keep them in suspension. Air is therefore used for the purpose of oxygenation instead of mixing. • The reactor consists of two anoxic zones for denitrification and four aerobic zones for the nitrification and


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decarbonisation of wastewater. • The mixed liquor from the reactor will then be coagulated and flocculated and transferred to the hydro cyclone for liquid/solid separation. • Underflow (sludge) is then partially returned to the reactor and partially wasted back to the municipal sewer. • Overflow (treated effluent) is again flocculated and filtered, before being disinfected with ultraviolet light and a sodium hypochlorite solution. This disinfected water is then ready to be reused as irrigation water. Additional water saving fittings were added: • Toilets and urinals – The V&A Waterfront has a combination of waterless toilets and urinals, as well as toilets and urinals fitted with an air-propelled system (technology that creates a vortex when flushed, therefore only using one litre of water). • Water sensor taps in all bathrooms – An aerating water-restrictor is fitted to each tap and the sensor timings adjusted to a minimum. Bathrooms across the properties are fitted with plumbing accessories that have reduced the water flow from 6 ℓ/minute to 1.25 ℓ/minute. • Air-conditioning plants – Seawater cooling is used for all the air-conditioning plants in the Silo District and Clock Tower buildings. A district cooling plant produces chilled water at a central plant when seawater goes through a heat exchanger and cools via a closed loop. Cool water is then distributed to cool the buildings, therefore not making use of the conventional method of using potable water for air-conditioning purposes. Proactive maintenance and leak detection Finding and repairing water leaks has

always been a priority for the V&A Waterfront because they have the potential to cause massive water losses. “We aim to repair all leaks within 24 hours of reporting and often do so even earlier. Since we have installed pressure-reducing valves in our water lines, there have been fewer burst pipes and leakages, as well as a 30% reduction in incoming water consumption. Furthermore, there is a system in place where we can monitor water consumption in real time, and this provides valuable guidance on where to focus our conservation efforts. If abnormal flow rates are detected, alarms will notify us and cut off the system – further reducing our repair times and water losses. Cloete concludes that due to the perceived cost factor, many people think that green buildings are more expensive than non-green buildings. “This is not the case. Apart from green buildings being cheaper to operate, current technologies have advanced to such an extent that the return on investment period has been shortened immensely.” Further water saving plans Looking to the future, the V&A Waterfront plans to implement: • A desalination plant will be completed by early 2022. It will be a permanent installation that can produce 3.2 Mℓ/day of water. •A  blackwater treatment plant, in the form of an on-site sewage facility (septic system), will treat the water before discharging it into the greywater tank. •T  he district cooling plant will be connected to the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre. •G  reywater storage systems, water filtration systems and boreholes will be included in all new build development specifications.


Increased efforts to conquer water crisis In mid-April, combined dam levels in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) were at 13.73% – placing huge pressure on the region’s water security. Added to this, NMBM is restricted by the Depar tment of Water and Sanitation to extract 268 Mℓ/day; presently, the city is using approximately 300 Mℓ/day.

Lyle Francis, acting deputy director: Water Demand Management, NMBM


yle Francis, acting deputy director: Water Demand Management, NMBM, discusses the municipality’s interventions to reduce water wastage.

“Last year, during hard lockdown, additional maintenance contractors were appointed to repair water leaks and rehabilitate water pipelines. This was done in line with the Municipal Finance Management Act (No. 56 of 2003) and NMBM’s Supply Chain Management Policy. There are 60 wards within the municipal boundary, which are grouped into six clusters. Two contractors work per cluster. At the commencement of the contract, a backlog of 16 665 leaks was identified, which has now been resolved; however, it must be noted that new leaks and complaints are added every day – it will never reach zero.” Information management system NMBM’s call centre receives an average of 2 000 calls a day. Using a specialised software package called EDAMS,

complaints and queries are logged about public health, electricity and water, and are sent to relevant departments. On the water side, complaints are subdivided into categories such as burst pipes, leaking service pipes, leaking valves, leaking fire hydrants, leaking meters and leaking stop cocks. These complaints are then packaged and issued to the relevant contractors, depending on ward and cluster, via an Excel spreadsheet that has complaint details, street addresses and unique reference numbers. The contractors then email that list back to the EDAMS system, where the complaints are closed. Every week, an automated report is generated that displays the number of water complaints received, resolved and outstanding per cluster. “This automated report is a powerful tool used to flag problem areas. The performance of the contractors is tightly managed. They cannot claim that a leak is repaired when it is not or create duplicate claims for the same leak. The system will automatically recognise this and flag an error. Random daily spot checks are done by NMBM staff and call centre agents follow up with consumers every day to ensure that the complaints have been resolved,” adds Francis. The EDAMS software package has numerous impressive features and is tied M AY / J U NE 2021



of a leak on their property once they have received a high water bill. In some circumstances, residents can apply for a rebate. NMBM does, however, provide assistance to the poor, whereby qualifying, low-income earners can request for NMBM to fix water leaks on their property. This is in the best interest of NMBM in the fight to save water and reduce consumption.” in to the NMBM’s asset register. It also alerts NMBM (via loggers and telemetry) if distribution reservoirs are either too low or overflowing. Metering is a vital tool to reduce non-revenue water (NRW). “Without accurate metering, one would not have a true reflection of NRW. The system input volume and billing have to be known and understood. The city is currently replacing domestic and industrial meters that are older than eight years and have become inaccurate, ultimately reaching


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the end of their useful life cycle. It is also embarking on a project to ensure that all zones, called greater metered areas (GMAs) and district metered area (DMAs), have functional meters to give an accurate reflection of water usage. Unfortunately, at the 151 GMAs and DMAs, only 50% of these meters are currently in operation due to vandalism and/or theft. The readings from GMAs and DMAs need to add up to a specific total; if there is a significant discrepancy, then there may be a possible leak or unmetered connections within that specific zone. The city has also reduced leaks by installing pressure management valves in areas that exhibit frequent pipe bursts and high night flows. There are currently 73 pressure-managed areas within NMBM and potential new sites are continuously investigated and identified. Francis adds that NMBM is only responsible for repairs up to and including the meter – residents are responsible for any leak on their property after the meter itself. “There have been cases where residents are only aware

Other projects In addition to water leaks, NMBM has also paid considerable attention to its pipelines. The city has approximately 4 900 km of underground water pipes. “We have prioritised the rehabilitation of major pipelines that are old and in need of maintenance, as they can cause massive leaks and prolonged water disruptions to large suburbs. R90 million has been received this financial year for the rehabilitation of pipelines. This comes from a loan that NMBM has taken based on a 10-year NRW business plan to reduce NRW,” adds Francis. Another positive development is the construction of the new Coegakop Water Treatment Works (WTW). Supply is sourced from an artesian aquifer over which the Coegakop groundwater wellfield was established, within which the WTW will be constructed. Once commissioned, the treatment works will be able to produce up to 20 Mℓ/day. Further aquifer and potential drilling target areas have been identified within an economically acceptable distance of NMBM’s existing water supply infrastructure in the St George’s, Moregrove, Churchill and Bush Park wellfield areas. These sites have been earmarked for construction and will further augment water supply by approximately 20 Mℓ/day. According to Francis, NMBM has also identified critical areas within the metro that may suffer from a lack of water should its water security situation turn critical. One such area is Kwanobuhle, with a population of approximately 250 000 people, which already


NMBM has prioritised the rehabilitation of major pipelines that are old and in need of maintenance, as they can cause massive leaks and prolonged water disruptions to large suburbs. R90 million has been received this financial year for the rehabilitation of pipelines. This comes from a loan that NMBM has taken based on a 10-year Non-Revenue Water (NRW) business plan to reduce NRW.” experiences intermittent water supply from Kouga Dam (which is critically low) through the Loerie supply system. Recent projections have revealed that Kouga Dam will likely reach dead storage at a capacity of 3.1% in the next few months. “We are planning to construct a new pump station and bulk water pipeline to transfer water sourced from the Gariep Dam (Nooitgedagt), in order to mitigate this once the Kouga Dam reaches dead storage.”

Monthly household audits are conducted to find further leaks and possible illegal connections. “If there is a holiday home in NMBM that has been vacant for months but has an active water bill, then we can notify the owners about a possible leak. If there are households with very low readings, then we will investigate further; if there is an illegal connection, we will issue a fine, fix the meter and may even involve the police,” states Francis.

In the long term, there are plans for two desalination plants. The Coega Development Corporation has applied and received funding from National Treasury for a 15 Mℓ/day desalination plant. The city also has plans to construct its own desalination plant on the western side of NMBM at Skoenmakerskop, which on completion will produce 30 Mℓ/day into the system. Water consumption While fixing leaks and using alternative water sources (like boreholes and desalination plants) to augment NMBM’s existing supply will contribute towards improving its water security, reducing water consumption is key. “We are faced with a complexity of reducing water consumption in a city with a growing population; however, our calculations show that reducing consumption from 300 Mℓ/day to 250 Mℓ/day would alleviate significant pressure on our water supply,” says Francis.

A laboratory on the move The Lovibond® Tintometer Group has developed new water safety kits for basic drinking water analysis, targeted microbiological and chemical analysis.


hese ‘mobile laboratories’ can be used anywhere in the world and are housed in a robust case that can be carried by hand or, if in difficult terrain, in a practical backpack. They are ideal for reliable monitoring directly on-site at the source or treatment plant when no laboratory is nearby. Used by rescue and emergency teams, experts on-site, aid organisations, research institutes and universities, and semi-skilled helpers, these water safety kits can be adapted to an individual's specific needs.

There are three products available: • Water Safety Kit Basic – simple solution • Water Safety Kit Chemical – chemical and microbial solutions • Water Safety Kit Combined – best suited for aid organisations and nongovernmental organisations.

ADVANTAGES OF WATER SAFETY KITS • Heating and cooling function as standard for incubation with the DI 20 incubator for microbiological tests, allowing accurate, reliable and repeatable measurements • Simultaneous detection of different microbes in the duo kit • The most impor tant analysis parameters are included in all kits • Even non-exper ts can easily per form almost all tests • Instructions for many devices and tests with selfexplanator y pictograms • Safe and simple tests according to WHO standards • Optional transpor t backpack for the larger case

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New chlorination technology to meet South Africa’s unique needs In one of the world’s most unequal countries, it’s only logical that the South African water treatment industry applies a wide variety of solutions – from the most basic technologies in poorer, rural areas to technologically advanced systems in wealthier, urban areas.


lorman Solutions – a subsidiary of the Control Chemicals group – offers a unique range of disinfection and treatment solutions for the water sector: from a person standing at a turbid river with a bucket of water in a remote location, to a large-scale urban waterworks employing technologically advanced, fully automated treatment systems utilising real-time feedback capabilities. “Anyone hoping to service the water and sanitation industry in South Africa, and indeed Africa, should have a multivariate approach,” says Peter Buchan, CEO, Control Chemicals. For over half a century, the group has specialised

in the development and manufacture of patented disinfection technologies (largely centred around chlorination) that are used in a variety of applications, including water treatment, hygiene and disinfection, food production/agriculture, and swimming pools. “When I joined Klorman Solutions in 1987, there was a narrative suggesting that ‘chlorination would soon be replaced’ by other formulations and technologies; however, 30 years later, the application of chlorination as the preferred disinfection agent is growing. This is because chlorination remains the most effective, versatile and economical disinfection method in the world,” explains Buchan. Buchan adds that disinfectants are used to disinfect, oxidise and break down proteinaceous biofilms. “Chlorine remains the only

The new Klorman Connect™ digital control console, including real-time feedback data-logging

disinfectant that achieves all three of these objectives with the same molecule. This has made it resilient over the years and, if applied properly, most target organisms do not develop resistance to chlorination.” Today, Klorman Solutions is one of a very small group of companies in the world with the capability to custom-blend and manufacture both dry organic and inorganic chlorine forms. “Our research and development focus has centred around developing formulations and bespoke delivery systems to harness chlorine in many different forms, systems and applications. Unlike our competitors, we are not bound to a single raw material – or raw material producer. Klorman Solutions uses the best-suited compound for the best possible application,” explains Buchan. Chlorine has an intriguing chemistry. In its purest (gaseous) form, it is highly volatile, toxic and extremely difficult to transport, store and apply. In its safest form – sodium hypochlorite (bleach) – it is in reality a weak disinfectant with low shelf-life stability and is prohibitively expensive to transport and apply. More recently, bleach has attracted international regulatory scrutiny due to its propensity to Martin Wilden (left), GM of Klorman Solutions, and Peter Buchan, CEO of Control Chemicals

form toxic by-products such as chlorates and perchlorates as it decomposes during storage. These factors have made the dry chlorine compounds more attractive – but it’s a challenge to dose them effectively and sustainably. Klorman Solutions has focused on specially engineered turnkey solutions suitable to each dry chlorine form and its specific point-of-use utility. “We’ve taken the time to explore all of the vagaries, strengths and weaknesses of each compound and develop customised storage and dispensing systems – from single-use disposable water tank dispensers of all sizes and hand-held spray equipment for hard-surface disinfection, to fully automated, inline dispensing systems governed by internet of things driven data management and control solutions,” adds Buchan. White elephants in the water sector According to Buchan, Klorman Solutions achieves low-tech, sustainable end-point disinfection through the application of high-tech means. “Our delivery systems are locally produced, robust, incredibly simple to use and far more affordable in comparison to other local and imported solutions that require skilled technicians to operate, and are difficult to repair and replace. We find dispensing systems at treatment plants are either mothballed or in disrepair both in South Africa and across the continent. “It is a great source of frustration to read about the hundreds of millions of rand spent on these so-called high-tech, mostly imported technologies, when there are home-grown solutions that are literally a fraction of the cost and their performance can either surpass or are at least equal to expensive solutions brought in from other countries,” adds Buchan. While the Klorman Solutions dispensing systems are simple to use (they can do proportional dosing without electronics), a new custom-designed digital datalogging and remote-control layer has been added. Files can be exported, measurements can be tracked, and alarms can be activated should certain measurements fall outside set parameters. “Klorman Solutions can make a massive difference to the water sector because our systems do not require much (if any)

specialised skill or training, initial capex is negligible, and ongoing costs of repair and maintenance are close to zero. More importantly, over the past few years we set out to finally prove to the market that, when applied properly, and costed fully, our systems are significantly more economical to run than chlorine gas – and we have the independent case studies to prove it’,” adds Buchan. International presence Klorman Solutions exports its systems to five continents. These solutions disinfect household water supply in underdeveloped communities and are used in disaster relief aid applications for the supply of emergency water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH). In South Africa, Klorman Solutions’ affordable and sustainable, low- and semi-skilled labour operating paradigm has gained increasing traction in replacing gas- and bleach-based systems within the municipal and large-scale water treatment sectors, as well as other countries, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya and offshore, in places like Australia and Colombia. “While we’re working hard at expanding our presence in North America, South

A twin set of Klorman 8000 bulk-dispensers treating 80 Mℓ/day of water

America, Europe and Australia, we remain fully committed to South Africa. We are acutely aware of the many challenges South Africa faces and aim to be part of the solution to those challenges. We have made substantial capital investments in our internal capacity, and we endeavour to source, build and invent locally. Ironically, by avoiding foreign imports, we have created products and systems that are now being exported,” concludes Buchan.

klorman.co.za M AY / J U NE 2021



Water treatment plant increases cement plant performance Watericon designed and built a water treatment plant in Limpopo for a leading cement manufacturer to optimise operations.


plant’s performance can be negatively impacted by high hardness levels in water. This was experienced by a R1.8 billion cement manufacturing plant in Northam, Limpopo, that uses an on-site waste heat recovery system to generate 23% of its power. Water hardness caused scaling in the cement plant’s heat exchange units, impacting condensers, coolers, cooling towers and boilers, reducing the work rate of the plant’s equipment and systems, and impacting the on-site heat recovery system’s effectiveness. Water treatment specialist Watericon was approached by the client to solve the problem of high hardness levels in two water sources: the river (350 mg/ℓ water hardness) and the borehole (1 000 mg/ℓ).

Exceeding targets

After six months of on-site trials, Watericon designed and built a water treatment plant that reduces the hardness in the local water through a chemical softening process. After the chemical


MAY /JUNE 2021

process, the water is then passed through reverse osmosis (RO) units to bring it to the required specification so that it can be used in boilers, cooling towers and other key processes in the cement plant. Performance targets were agreed upon and even exceeded by Watericon: • water hardness levels – 200 mg/ℓ (Watericon has achieved even less than 100 mg/ℓ) • plant production – 110 m3/h • conductivity less than 250 μS/cm (Watericon has achieved as little as 50 μS/cm) • reverse osmosis recovery rate – between 70% and 75%. The resultant soft water increased the working capacity of all heat exchange units, as well as the output of the waste heat recovery system – increasing the power output from 3 MW to between 5.5 MW and 6 MW. Watericon designed the entire process, including a chemical addition (chemical softening), reaction tanks, settling, sand filtration, reverse osmosis, and sludge handling.

Raw water is fed into the plant and the chemicals are dosed in line. These chemicals consist of sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide as the main reactants, as well as coagulation flocculation to enhance the settling rate and sludge formation. The treated water then flows into the reaction tank, where the precipitation reaction is enhanced. The water and flocculated precipitate then flow into two settlers, where sludge settles and clear water overflows to a holding tank. The tank is also the feed tank for two sand filters, which reduce both turbidity and suspended solids within the water. Filtered water is then fed to another holding tank. These tanks are also the feed tanks for two reverse osmosis units, which produce low-conductivity water at a flow rate of 40 m3/h each. The RO water is fed to a final product water tank that feeds the cooling towers and other processes. The sludge from the settlers is pumped via a diaphragm pump to two reaction tanks, where flocculant is dosed to form a denser sludge, extending the dewatering process. From the tanks, both sludge and water are pumped via a diaphragm pump into the filter press. Clarified water is sent back to the process and the sludge is removed and discarded.


Sustaining the value

of underground assets Left unchecked, intensive urbanisation places increasing pressure on existing and ageing water and sewer pipeline infrastructure. Responding to the challenge requires an innovative approach that also builds construction capacity, particularly for SMMEs. Alastair Currie speaks to Neil van Rooyen, vice-president, Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology (SASTT), about trenchless solutions. Neil van Rooyen, vice-president, Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology

What are SASTT’s primary objectives in 2021? NvR Communicating the advantages of trenchless technology (TT) has always been our primary mandate. Aside from ongoing education and training, our overall objective is to establish an enabling TT framework that serves as the benchmark for informed decisions across the public and private sector. This includes ensuring the appropriate standards and specifications are in place from a contracting and procurement perspective. At present, specifications have been written for slip lining of pipelines, pipe bursting and horizontal directional drilling, and we’re busy finalising a document for cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining specifications. We’ve also recently completed a draft for CCTV specifications. Overall, we must ensure that there is a unified understanding and appreciation of the benefits of TT as a holistic solution, with a major emphasis on promoting those ideally

Cape Flats 3 Bulk Sewer – Phase 2: positioning the jacking frame within the jacking shaft (Photo credit: Terry February)

suited for South African conditions and our infrastructure priorities. What’s the significance of being part of the broader International Society for Trenchless Technology? It’s very important because it enables us to learn and apply international best practices. In developed countries, the focus is on efficiencies, so they readily embrace TT because it makes financial sense. Commercial activities cannot be constrained because of

WHAT IS TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY? Trenchless technology is a type of subsurface construction work that requires few trenches or no continuous trenches. It is a rapidly growing sector of the construction and civil engineering industry. It can be defined as “a family of methods, materials, and equipment capable of being used for the installation of new or replacement or rehabilitation of existing underground infrastructure with minimal disruption to surface traffic, business, and other activities”. (Source: SASTT)

M AY / J U NE 2021



disruptive construction activities – e.g. open-cut trenching across a major traffic intersection or business node. Classic TT examples for new installations and upgrades include horizontal directional drilling, pipe jacking, micro tunnelling, pipe bursting, CIPP and slip lining. Running in parallel are invaluable asset management tools for critical aspects like in situ pipeline inspection (water and sewer) and leak detection. As with choosing any construction technology, it’s about economies of scale. That’s also interdependent on having the best information. Has the Covid-19 cost-cutting environment made TT too expensive? No, this is not the case, since TT has been proven to be faster and more cost-efficient in its purpose-designed application – i.e. urban environments and complex infrastructure projects like underground pipeline river crossings. But before any technology debate should be engaged, we first need to answer a universal question: can we

afford to carry on with a ‘business as usual’ approach? The answer is an overwhelming no. If we do, then we are unlikely to meet our National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 targets. The advent of Covid-19 is the reset button worldwide for a fresh approach to key issues like smart city evolution and sustainable habitation in general. Historically, TT has always been part of the response, but now it’s an indispensable part of the solution. Do municipalities have a clear understanding of where TT can be employed? Early adopters and TT pioneers like the City of Cape Town have certainly proven the benefits on a wide range of water and sewer pipeline projects. Their leadership approach has subsequently filtered through to other Western Cape municipalities like Drakenstein, Overstrand and Stellenbosch. However, across the board, we generally find municipalities have not adopted TT because it’s not well defined in their existing toolbox. Many

Before CIPP refurbishment on a section of the Blackmac Sewer

After installation of the CIPP liner


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municipalities and public sector entities also still tend to view TT as a single methodology. From SASTT’s perspective, we need to ensure that there is a clear understanding that TT is multifaceted and scalable. TT is also an indispensable way for municipalities and utilities to obtain accurate infrastructure condition assessment reports using CCTV cameras to inspect pipeline networks. When municipalities understand the scale of the problem, they have a plan of action. Otherwise, they’re severely constrained. Can you prove the business case for TT versus open-cut trenching? Statistically, it’s been proved that TT is around 30% more efficient compared to open-cut trenching in urban environments worldwide. Open-cut projects, for example, are yellow metal intensive, with their associated diesel fuel burn costs. They also have higher costs associated with major earthworks and the re-establishment of infrastructure like asphalt overlays. In contrast, TT is greener and cleaner. Of course, there will always be scenarios where open-cut trenching is more cost-effective. Examples include rural areas, greenfield developments where there’s no existing infrastructure in place, and pipeline replacement projects where there is too much existing congestion in terms of old networks. Another example would be where the displacement caused by an upgraded pipeline is too large, ruling out a TT pipe bursting approach, say where the required pipeline size of the new installation is more than 1.5 times the diameter of the existing pipeline. Is there space for SMMEs to enter the TT market? This is one of SASTT’s major objectives for 2021 and beyond. We are committed to creating a platform where we can attract new entrants, especially SMMEs. However, it’s a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario, since construction sector recovery and growth depend on how soon government can ramp up its infrastructure investments. Our role as SASTT is to provide SMMEs with the requisite knowledge.


could progress to CIPP projects, and then eventually to more complex pipe installations.

Installation of liner in Blackmac Sewer

Through our membership base, prospective SMMEs also have access to a comprehensive range of TT original equipment manufacturers and suppliers. There are also potential subcontractor opportunities. Depending on the TT technique applied, barriers to entry are relatively low. For example, an SMME could start by providing a camera inspection service. From there, the business

Which TT solutions are currently the most appropriate? It depends on whether municipalities and utilities take a proactive or reactive stance. For proactive municipalities, the most important TT tools to deploy immediately are those that highlight the size of the problem. Examples would include pipeline inspection and leak detection under live flow conditions, using data loggers to determine flow compared against billable revenues. Water-loss management is the immediate priority, followed by sewer line system integrity. A reactive approach is never recommended; however, where emergency work is needed, TT methods are ideally suited for remediation work. A more proactive approach, though, is always beneficial, as the asset owner can take advantage of economies of scale

by understanding the size and scale of the network problem. This allows for adequate budgeting, forecasting, and resourcing of suppliers and contractors. It’s a race against time to meet the NDP 2030 objectives. What needs to change? As an industry, we need a clear and implementable roadmap from government. Infrastructure is failing and service delivery protests are on the rise. The health, safety and well-being of communities are also being compromised. The end game of infrastructure projects is to create and maintain services that enable sustained socioeconomic growth. TT can play a core part in this process by installing, restoring and upgrading water and sewer pipeline networks across South Africa. In the process, this includes helping to establish an emerging SMME base that can transition into tomorrow’s top-tier contractors.

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REMOTE PUMP ACCEPTANCE TESTING KSB Pumps and Valves recently introduced remote acceptance testing for the live testing of pumps and hydraulics via the internet


t allows the customer to see a live camera view of the pump in the test facility, as well as the characteristic curve being generated live from readings taken and displayed during testing,” explains Friedrich Görgens, technical manager, KSB, adding that acceptance tests and final inspection are an essential proof of compliance to ensure the guaranteed values are met. In addition to pressure and flow data, the test software records all further performance data required for a measurement to inspection/testing standard DIN EN ISO 9906, enabling

Local pump manufacturer KSB Pumps and Valves has launched an innovative online acceptance test procedure that adds a new level of customer convenience. KSB’s test centre in Germiston can accommodate pump sets with a drive rating of up to 550 kW, flow rates up to 3 000 m³/h, and discharge pressures up to 60 bar

the derivation and assessment of the pump’s efficiency. The additional measurement and recording of bearing temperature and vibration is available. These are displayed live in parallel to the performance and incorporated in the final test report. “We provide the customer with organisational information, order data sheets and a precise description of the acceptance testing prior to the acceptance test,” Görgens continues. “This includes details on the measuring instruments used, including the corresponding calibration certificates.”

Testing centre Online acceptance testing is available at KSB’s test centre in Germiston, Gauteng, which can accommodate pump sets with a drive rating of up to 550 kW, flow rates up to 3 000 m³/h, and discharge pressures up to 60 bar. String tests with the customer’s original motors, transformers and frequency inverters can also be performed.


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Netzsch Southern Africa

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Quality Filtration Systems

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Tintometer VEGA Controls SA


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