Water & Sanitation Africa May/June 2022

Page 1

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

Reforming the sector though innovative funding

Wastewater process modelling


Investing in ecological infrastructure for water security


A leader in Green Drop certification

May/June 2022 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 17 No. 03

Monitoring Ground Water Levels stand-alone or wireless

DCX-22 Level Datalogger

36XS Level Sensor

Pressure Ranges

Pressure Ranges

Total Error Band

Total Error Band

0…5 to 0…100 mH2O

±0,1 %FS @ 0…50 °C

Recording Capacity

57‘000 measuring points


0…1 to 0…30 bar

±0,2 %FS @ 0…50 °C

Accuracy ±0,05 %FS


ø 22 mm

RS485, 4…20 mA

Special Characteristics

Special Characteristics

Also available in ECO design




ARC1 Modem Datalogger

Communication Mode 2G / 3G / 4G / LoRa NB-IoT LTE 2M

Sensor Interfaces

RS485, SDI-12, analog, digital

Battery Life Up to 10 years

ø 16 mm


VOL. 19 NO. 03

MAY/JUNE 2022 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

Reforming the sector though innovative funding

Wastewater process modelling


Investing in ecological infrastructure for water security


A leader in Green Drop certification

May/June 2022 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 17 No. 03


ON THE COVER Sasolburg Operations has received two Green Drop awards from the Department of Water and Sanitation during the launch of the Green Drop Report, namely ‘Best Performing Private Sector System’ and ‘Best Progress made by a Private Sector System’ – improving from 86% in 2013 to 96% in 2022. P6

Regulars Editor’s comment You said it in WASA Index to advertisers

3 4 48

Cover Story Sasol Industries




WISA CEO’s comment Chairman’s comment YWP

8 9 10

Digital Transformation Wastewater process modelling


Innovation Rand Water establishes innovation, research and development institute


Automation & Control Possibilities and benefits of smart monitoring


Trenchless Technology Deep tunnel sewerage systems: Singapore’s success story










Water Quality Scientists support water rehab effort on Jukskei


Water Metering Technology Protecting consumers and water


Utilities & Water Services Authorities Guideline on how to implement an IWRM programme


Ecological Infrastructure Investing in ecological infrastructure for water security


Dams & Reservoirs Waterproofing and water retaining structures


Water Governance & Funding Reforming the sector though innovative funding


Hydrological Engineering Brandwacht River stabilisation project


Project Focus Lesotho Highlands Water Project – Phase II: An update


Water Personality Meet the new WRC CEO


infrastructure news



SCAN NOW REGISTRATION IS OPEN WISA will once again host the flagship event of the Southern African water sector, bringing together regional and international water professionals, companies, regulators and stakeholders. For individual or group registration, scan the QR Code, or visit: wisa2022.co.za/registration


N TIO BI HI +27 (0)11 805 3537 admin@wisa.org.za • events@wisa.org.za • adele@confco.co.za

Editor Kirsten Kelly


kirsten.kelly@3smedia.co.za Managing Editor Alastair Currie Features Writer Ziyanda Majodina Head of Design Beren Bauermeister Designer Janine Schacherl Chief Sub-editor Tristan Snijders Contributors Lester Goldman, Hans King, Masindi Mapholi, Dan Naidoo, Frank Stevens, Swen Weiner Production & Client Liaison Manager Antois-Leigh Nepgen Production Coordinator Jacqueline Modise Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina 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 2022. All rights reserved. All material herein is

copyright protected. The views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of WISA 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 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

Water technology: it can save lives Massive destruction from the devastating flooding events that took place in KwaZulu-Natal is another reminder about the urgency to bolster flood resilience in South Africa. And how is this done? Technology.


ore than 440 lives have been lost and 4 000 homes destroyed; there is R5.6 billion of road damage, rail infrastructure damage of R950 million, and water and sanitation infrastructure damage of R1 billion. With all of these losses, I initially started to rethink this issue’s technology-focused theme around the internet of things, monitoring, machine learning, artificial intelligence and modelling. But it is this very technology that will help to mitigate the effects of these floods. It is technology that will help to design and construct climate-resilient infrastructure. It is technology that can predict weather system movements in advance to help better plan for the potentially devastating impact on our local population and infrastructure security. It is technology that can help the water and sanitation sector to make better operating decisions and drive down costs. It is technology that will align South Africa with international trends. Digitalisation is driving change in the water and wastewater treatment sectors, just as it is in other industrial and corporate environments. Water and wastewater treatment plants now collect more data than ever before. Control and treatment equipment is increasingly augmented with sensors that collect data to support control of the process. In the issue, we tackle the modelling of wastewater treatment plants (page 12), Rand Water’s Innovation Centre (page 15), and the latest in monitoring (page 16). Release of the Green Drop report Last month, the Green Drop report was released. The Green Drop process

is recognised as an international best practice and has received both local and international accolades. The audit process provides essential information to inform planning by sectoral partners, with the shared objective of achieving functional wastewater systems in the short term and excellence in wastewater management in the longer term. “This year’s results may not have shown the progressive improvements that we saw in previous cycles, but I am confident that we will get back on the right trajectory. This year’s assessment has provided us with a baseline and the platform to launch the turnaround. As in previous years, the programme was widely embraced and the general euphoria around the process tends to spark improvements in subsequent cycles,” said Director General Dr Sean Philips of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). The audit covered 995 wastewater networks and treatment works. A total of 334 (39%) municipal wastewater systems were identified to be in a critical state in 2021. Only 23 wastewater systems scored a minimum of 90% when measured against the Green Drop standards and thus qualified for Green Drop certification. These results are bad, but not surprising. Minister Senzo Mchunu of the DWS must be praised for releasing the report, and we can only hope that it will be used as a means to plan and implement improvement. We commend our cover story patron, Sasol, on achieving Green Drop status.

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

Reforming the sector though innovative funding

Wastewater process modelling


Investing in ecological infrastructure for water security


A leader in Green Drop certification

Namibia Please contact the WISA Head Office at admin@wisa.org.za for more information

The ABC logo is a valued stamp of measurement and trust. WASA is ABC audited and certified.

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 N 2022

May/June 2022 • ISSN 1990-8857 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 17 No. 03



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

“It is technology that will help to design and construct climate-resilient infrastructure. It is technology that can predict weather movements in advance to help better plan for the potentially devastating impact on our local population and infrastructure security. It is technology that can help the water and sanitation sector to make better operating decisions and drive down costs. It is technology that will align South Africa with international trends.” PAGE Kirsten Kelly, editor, WASA


“Minister Senzo Mchunu and the entire DWS team, as well as the various consultants who did the Green Drop audits and prepared the report, should be commended. This was the culmination of a lot of work. WISA is deeply concerned about the state of wastewater treatment plants. The audit covered 995 wastewater networks and treatment works, of which 334 (39%) of municipal wastewater systems were identified to be in a critical state in PAGE 2021.” Lester Goldman, CEO, WISA







“The massive devastation faced by KZN provides an opportunity to build from the bottom up; we can build infrastructure differently – infrastructure that is safer, smarter and more resilient. We need to rebuild with a sense of greater care for people, property and the environment. We must rebuild infrastructure that will benefit the vulnerable and future generations.” Dan Naidoo, PAGE chairman, WISA


“The design capacity – the number of megalitres per day of wastewater a plant can treat – is always a focus point for local government. However, it has become important to determine how many megalitres per day a plant can treat with ageing infrastructure and failing equipment. We need to use wastewater process modelling to calculate the actual functional capacity of WWTWs.” Chris Brouckaert, senior research fellow, UKZN WASH PAGE R&D Centre


“The majority of imported meters do not comply with South African standards – robbing the consumer, as they are often inaccurate. This trend frequently occurs in gated communities, as these meters are perceived to be cheap. But it is illegal to use meters that do not comply with the prescribed standards. It is a strenuous process to comply, but it is worthwhile, as it ensures that consumers receive a quality product.” PAGE Edwin Sibiya, chairman, SAMIA



MAY /JUN 2022

“We are committed to par tnering with global and local institutions to provide research and innovation information in pursuit of a sustainable water sector at both national and continental levels. The Rand Water Institute strives to be an innovation, research and development hub in integrated water resources management in Africa.” Dr Fawcett Ngoatje, head, PAGE Rand Water Institute


“Water service delivery is a core responsibility for districts and local municipalities, whether as a WSA or a water services provider. With integrated water resource management, municipal officials have to adopt a holistic and integrated approach to water service delivery and water resource management. They would have to consider the health of rivers and wetlands, in addition to delivering water and sanitation to households.” Dr Masindi Mapholi, Directorate: Water Services Planning Support, Department of Water and Sanitation PAGE






“Some of the services provided by ecological infrastructure include water and climate regulation, soil formation, and disaster risk reduction. Ecological infrastructure can supplement, and sometimes even substitute, built infrastructure solutions.” Jenifer Zungu, project leader: Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security, South African National Biodiversity Institute PAGE


“Not all water-retaining structures or water/wastewater treatment works use waterproofing products. High-density, good-quality concrete is effectively watertight with a high level of abrasion resistance. Water tightness is achieved by a low water-to-cement ratio, the proper placing and curing of concrete, as well as its compaction.” Ross Creasey, product manager, Mapei South Africa PAGE


““The WRC will continue on its path of excellence, and we plan to take it to even greater heights. I will focus on increasing the relevance and responsiveness of the WRC to the needs of people with no access to water and sanitation. We will continue to address the length and breadth of issues within the water and sanitation sector and embrace innovation and technology that is fit for purpose. The uptake of research innovation and technology by the water sector and government is our primary focus in the short to medium term. It is important that the WRC remains a relevant body that adds value to this sector and uses all funding as efficiently as possible. Levy payers should feel the benefit of their investment in the WRC.” Dr Jennifer Molwantwa, CEO, Water Research Commission PAGE


APE Pumps Split Case Pump

Operating Range Flow - 10m³/hr up to 2500m³/hr Head - 4m up to 120m Applications - General liquid pumping - Power plants - Bulk Water - Steel mills - Refineries - Chemical plants - Cooling and heating systems

ISO 9001 . 2015

+27 1 1 82 4 4 81 0 +27 83 6 76 59 04

ww w . a pe pu m ps. co . z a ww w . m a th e ra n dpl a tt. co m

2 6 Na gin gton R o a d, Wa d e ville


The only private institution to be

GREEN DROP CERTIFIED Sasolburg Operations has received two Green Drop awards from the Department of Water and Sanitation during the launch of the Green Drop Report, namely ‘Best Performing Private Sector System’ and ‘Best Progress made by a Private Sector System’ – improving from 86% in 2013 to 96% in 2022.


urthermore, Sasol’s Sasolburg Operations is the only private institution to receive Green Drop certification in 2022 and one of only 23 wastewater systems to achieve the accolade this year. The system was also noted as the fourth best performing overall. “Our win is a direct reflection of our commitment and resilience in working towards innovating for a better world through all our water initiatives,” says Rightwell Laxa, Senior Vice President: Sasolburg and Ekandustria Operations, Sasol. “I want to single out our Sasolburg Utilities Water and Waste team for securing this prestigious outcome and working so hard that they increased our score from 86% in 2013 to an incredible 96%,” he continues.


MAY /JUN 2022

Green Drop programme

The Green Drop certification programme was introduced in 2008, seeking to protect the environment from the hazards associated with polluted wastewater or sewage. It focuses on wastewater quality management and promotes compliance of wastewater treatment works with the national Wastewater Discharge Standards. It measures and compares the results of the performance of water services authorities and their providers via a standardised scorecard, and subsequently rewards (or penalises) the municipality upon evidence of their excellence (or failures) according to the minimum standards or requirements that have been defined. Part of an incentive-based regulation approach, Green Drop is an innovative and uniquely South African response

to challenges in the water sector. The programme seeks to induce changes in the behaviour of individuals and institutions to facilitate continuous improvement and the adoption of best practice in the management of wastewater networks and treatment systems. Consequently, progressive improvement and excellent performance are recognised and rewarded. The programme also seeks to get wastewater treatment works to measure themselves against international risk standards for wastewater quality. “The Green Drop certification programme sets standards higher than minimum requirements, and challenges water services authorities to go the extra mile in a quest for excellence, with the intention to augment and complement the normal


legislative and regulatory provisions,” said Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu, who hosted the awards ceremony, during the launch of the Green Drop Report. A total of 995 wastewater networks and treatment works belonging to private and public water services institutions were subjected to the Green Drop audit from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. Of these, only 23 wastewater systems scored a minimum of 90% when measured against the Green Drop standards and thus qualified for Green Drop certification. This is lower than the 60 wastewater systems awarded Green Drop status in 2013.

The success of Sasolburg Operations

Obtaining Green Drop certification is a result of a combination of various water initiatives. One of the most significant being the bio-sludge generated through Sasol’s Sasolburg facilities, which is composted and used as a landfill cover. Other initiatives include the extensive three-phase upgrades to the municipal water and sanitation pump station systems in the greater Sasolburg area.

Over the years, Sasol has pressed on with its efforts to responsibly manage its water use, particularly in water-scarce areas, and to ensure that the quality of the catchment areas does not deteriorate. Sasol has implemented the following community projects related to water since 2017: • In Secunda, it has continued to support Govan Mbeki Local Municipality by investing approximately R180 million in water and sanitation infrastructure projects in recent years. This includes completing two sewer pump stations in Kinross, which were handed to the local government. • In Sasolburg, it has continued to support Metsimaholo Local Municipality through the following projects: – installation of water-saving devices and monitoring systems in schools – contracting plumbers and water warriors to carry out basic leak repairs at over 28 schools and 10 000 homes in Zamdela. • Sasol Mining operations implemented the following projects in 2021: – upgraded the Greylingstad sewer and wastewater treatment works – built a water pipeline from eMbalenhle to Charl Cilliers to provide the Charl Cilliers community with better access to water – rehabilitated bridges in Polar Township near Ogies in Mpumalanga – river water use decreased from 115.5 million m³ in 2020 to 108.6 million m³ in 2021 mainly due to the divestment of assets in the USA and the joint venture partner being responsible for reporting on river water use.

During Phase 1, R2 million was invested, while the critical mechanical and electrical works at the Gortin and Chris Hani pump stations were valued at more than R3.4 million in Phase 2. Civil works were also conducted at 11 Metsimaholo Local Municipality (MLM) pump stations. Phase 3 comprised critical remedial upgrades and capacity building at the MLM sanitation network valued at R6.2 million, including the electric monitoring of major sewer pump stations in Baddrif, Welgelegen, Leeuwspruit, Leitrim, Gortin 4 and Amelia. “As a company, we are continuously contributing towards the enhancement

of water quality in South Africa. However, this certification does not mean that our work is done. Our envisaged outcome for future programmes is ultimately to provide a healthy living environment for the Sasolburg and Zamdela communities by eliminating exposure to raw sewage,” Laxa concludes.

www.sasol.co.za M AY/J U N 2022



GREEN DROP REPORT BRINGS BOTH GOOD AND BAD NEWS The WISA 2022 Conference will reflect upon on the water and sanitation sector’s journey since the last conference, such as the recent release of the Green Drop report. Technologies and methodologies to improve these results will be discussed at our conference under the sub-theme ‘Stemming the tide’. By Lester Goldman, CEO, WISA


ISA has been calling for the reinstatement of the Green Drop, Blue Drop and No Drop certification programmes since these assessments were suspended in 2014. When the programmes were in place, there was widespread improvement in know-how and compliance across much (regrettably not all) of the water and sanitation sector. We support the release of the 2022 Green Drop report. While the results are disappointing, we believe that, once again, the Green Drop report will incentivise improved wastewater treatment performance. It provides an important means to measure the performance of wastewater treatment plants, thereby providing the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the sector at large with the information needed to plan for and implement improvement.


Minister Senzo Mchunu and the entire DWS team, as well as the


MAY /JUN 2022

various consultants who did the audits and prepared the report, should be commended. This was the culmination of a lot of work. WISA is deeply concerned about the state of wastewater treatment plants. The audit covered 995 wastewater networks and treatment works, of which 334 (39%) of municipal wastewater systems were identified to be in a critical state in 2021. It remains unacceptable that sewage spillages and failing wastewater treatment works are detrimentally impacting our environment, as well as the livelihood and health of many of our communities. We need to recognise that these wastewater treatment plants are part of a system, and that system needs to be addressed in its entirety – from stormwater drainage systems and rivers to sanitation in informal settlements. This crisis and the solutions to it have been discussed at length. It is now time to make some difficult decisions, allocate much needed resources and implement solutions.

Of the 850 plants audited nationwide last year, fewer than 3% (22 wastewater treatment plants) were accredited with Green Drop status. These ‘excellent’ Green Drop plants are operated by the City of Ekurhuleni, City of Cape Town and Sasol, and the district or local municipalities of Lesedi, iLembe, uMgungundlovu, Witzenberg, Bitou, Drakenstein, Saldanha Bay and Mossel Bay. WISA congratulates the recipients of the Green Drop awards, many of which are WISA members, such as ERWAT. ERWAT has been contracted by the City of Ekurhuleni to run and operate wastewater treatment plants and won six awards. This is a model that should be considered by other municipalities. I am looking forward to discussing in greater length the success stories from the Green Drop report and focusing on how these can be replicated elsewhere at the upcoming WISA conference.


KZN FLOODS Building back better Plans are under way to repair and restore damaged water and sanitation infrastructure caused by the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal. While emergency measures have been put in place to restore services, and current systems remain vulnerable, we cannot rush into replacing this infrastructure with its exact substitute. By Dan Naidoo, chairman, WISA


e need to rethink how we plan and build infrastructure. There must be a focus on climate-resilient infrastructure. Due to climate change, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is likely to experience further flooding events in the future. Already, the province is no stranger to floods. A similar weather system caused a mudslide in Durban and other parts of KZN in April 2019, with 180 mm of rainfall in just 24 hours. Around 70 people were killed during those floods. Back in 1987, 900 mm of rain fell in just four days, leaving over 300 people dead in Durban. During the 1987 flood, many river crossings were destroyed and pipelines were washed away. As a result, some pipelines were then placed underneath riverbeds. The same type of thinking needs to be applied (on a broader scale) when rebuilding infrastructure now.

Using technology now

Today, there is technology available that can give better foresight and accurate information. Data is more readily available and it is easier to do a detailed analysis on proposed infrastructure designs. It makes little sense to continue with more traditional methods of design and construction without utilising refined methods and innovative materials of construction. Technology can be used for early warning systems; it can be used to give real-time information on streams, rivers and dams, and assist with disaster management and better management of existing systems. During the recent flood, many streams became raging rivers. By using data collected on these streams and other related infrastructure, we can plan our responses better and review options for the future. Data can be used to make an environment safe, identify vulnerable

areas, determine where development should be encouraged or discouraged, and plan for a better future outcome when there is another flood or similar events that render humans and infrastructure vulnerable. It can help to improve stormwater management and design resilient infrastructure. I am not proposing that we adopt technology for the sake of it. Technology needs to serve a purpose, there must be a clear need, it must create a return on investment and ultimately improve the lives of people. The massive devastation faced by KZN provides an opportunity to build from the bottom up; we can build infrastructure differently – infrastructure that is safer, smarter and more resilient. We need to rebuild with a sense of greater care for people, property and the environment. We must rebuild infrastructure that will benefit the vulnerable and future generations. M AY/J U N 2022



A REVIEW OF THE YWP SYMPOSIUM SERIES It is often a daunting task to attempt something new and unique. YWP decided to turn the tables on what a conference can and should look like post-pandemic, by having four online symposiums and two in-person events spanning the month of March.


traditional WISA Young Water Professionals South Africa (YWP-ZA) conference has always been a biennial, in-person conference hosted by one of the YWP provincial chapters over the course of three to four days. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the long-established format of the YWP conference to change. YWP learned from WISA’s conference in 2020 and created a hybrid in-person/ online series of events named the YWP Symposium Series. In another change to the traditional conference format, it was decided that, instead of having a single provincial YWP-ZA to organise and host the conference in their province, multiple YWP-ZA provincial chapters would organise and run different online sessions. The event adopted the World Water Day (22 March) theme of ‘Making the invisible, visible’.

‘Invisible’ topics

Each online session would tackle an ‘invisible’ topic in the South African water sector. A number of vital and often overlooked invisible topics were discussed, including governance, innovation, entrepreneurship, water resources and infrastructure management, soft skills, publicprivate partnerships, financing and investment.


MAY /JUN 2022

The YWP Symposium Series was a resounding success, drawing more than a hundred registered participants over the course of the month, largely in part due to the free registration that YWP-ZA could offer participants. This was made possible by the sponsorship by USAID and the South African Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA). The support of these two sponsors greatly assisted YWP-ZA in delivering a comprehensive and successful month-long symposium. The symposium began with an opening plenary session with two keynote speakers: •L ynesha Pillai, representing the Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN), detailing how to prepare for a sustainable water sector transition by future-proofing your professional skills. • William Moraka, representing the South African Local Government Association, highlighting how we can plan for the future by learning from the past, with a specific focus on the lessons learned from the implementation of past water infrastructure projects.

YWP-KZN online session

On 15 March 2022, the YWP-KZN provincial chapter ran the first of the technical online sessions of the symposium series, titled ‘Bringing the invisible to the forefront:

governance, water resources management and infrastructure’. Covid-19 drew a spotlight to the water sector, particularly vulnerable communities in informal settlements and rural areas. To meet this challenge, there were numerous interventions among stakeholders in the water sector. The objective of this session was to discuss the status quo, challenges and success stories in the context of Covid-19. The session further amplified the invisible voice and role communities play in fast-tracking the service delivery of water and sanitation projects. Moreover, the session also highlighted the role businesses play in ensuring the provision of sustainable water and sanitation as an economic resource. The YWP-KZN chapter was honoured to have industry experts and academia as part of the discussion. These included: • Thobani Khumalo, a member of the Inanda community in KwaZulu-Natal. Khumalo shared the struggles and challenges that his community faces daily to fetch water and presented photographic images that tell a tale of inequality, water scarcity, poor infrastructure, low community awareness and limited water access. • Johann Lubbe from the Development Bank of Southern Africa showed

Seventy professionals from the Umgeni Water Board and local community members embarked on a 6 km hike around Nagle Dam, while carrying five-litre bottles of water

the funding opportunities for water-related projects in South Africa and how communities, particularly women and the youth, can access funds for water-related projects. • Siya Myeza from the Environmental Monitoring Group also shared the role of water governance structures, and the role of community engagement.

YWP-Gauteng online session

The Gauteng provincial chapter focused on soft skills. Speakers included: • K irsten Kelly, editor of WASA , who provided valuable insights into the importance of publishing, how to get published, as well as some basic writing tips. • Lucky Litelu, a prolific serial entrepreneur and head of the YWP Imvelisi Enviropreneur programme, and Zamokuhle Thwala, founder and CEO of Agrikoo, presented on entrepreneurship. • Nora Hanke-Louw, former YWP national lead, gave a talk on enhancing your presentation skills and advice on tools to use. • Michelle Hiesterman, coordinator for the implementation of the

The ‘Walk for Water’ event highlights the plight of African women and girls who walk an average of 6 km a day to collect water

social learning and knowledge management component of the Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security Project at the Water Research Commission, presented on how to maximise your opportunities as a young water professional. • Dr Josh Newton, founder of Josh’s Water Jobs, highlighted the nontraditional paths that one can take into carving your own niche in the national and international water sector.

In-person events

In Africa, women and girls spend a collective daily average of 200 million hours collecting water for household consumption, walking an average of 6 km a day to the nearest water source. To highlight this plight as part of ‘Making the invisible, visible’, two in-person events were organised: • The Gauteng provincial chapter’s yearly ‘Walk for Water’ event saw participants meet at Moroka Dam in Soweto with five-litre bottles of water that they would carry 6 km around the dam. All bottled water – including extra bottles sponsored by Kusini, Aquelle and 62 Waters – was donated afterwards to a local primary school.

• T he KZN provincial chapter had a similar event at Nagle Dam near Cato Ridge, where 70 professionals from the provincial Umgeni Water Board and local community members also embarked on a 6 km hike around the dam. However, this event had a twist in that it was only the men, cheered on by the women present, who were asked to walk the distance in solidarity with their female counterparts. YWP-ZA thanks Msinsi Holdings, Umgeni Water and EWSETA for the support and partnership in making this event so successful.


The final session of the conference encouraged YWPs to show their creativity. In place of the traditional conference presentations, all YWPs were invited to submit a video of less than five minutes showing how they are making the invisible visible. The best video was by Joshua Matesun from the University of Cape Town for his video about his research on wastewater treatment technology. He won one of three Takealot vouchers to the total value of R3 000.

The YWP Symposium Series was made possible by the sponsorship of USAID and EWSETA. The support of these two sponsors greatly assisted YWP-ZA in delivering a comprehensive and successful month-long symposium

M AY / J U N 2022






South Africa has a long and prestigious history of wastewater treatment process modelling that is internationally recognised. Sadly, there is a slow, minimal uptake of this research and work by our own municipalities.


arge, better-resourced municipalities and water services authorities – like the City of Cape Town, eThekwini and the Ekurhuleni Water Care Company – have some capability to implement process modelling,” says Barbara Brouckaert, research fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) WASH R&D Centre. However, academics and consultants take up most of the work. “In theory, some municipalities have some very capable people to do modelling, but these people also have a host of other responsibilities and there are time constraints. The time and data needed to set up a working model are often underestimated. Effective modellers have a specific mindset and need space to work intensely for long periods without being distracted by other responsibilities. It is very difficult to persuade municipalities to invest in that resource,” explains Chris Brouckaert, senior research fellow at the WASH R&D Centre.


This is a pity, as wastewater process modelling can provide a host of benefits in terms of the management and planning of wastewater treatment works (WWTWs), such as: • creating a better understanding on how to improve the design and operation of WWTWs • evaluating the benefits, impacts, and feasibility of planned upgrades


MAY /JUN 2022

• accurately estimating potential chemical/energy savings • risk analysis • predicting performance under various operating conditions and control strategies, including future changes in the quantity and quality of water/wastewater • analysing system dynamics, e.g. the impact that a sewer system may have on the WWTW • prioritising interventions that will have the greatest system-wide impact.

Local context

“Instead of trying to pursue ultimate sophistication, we have adapted process modelling to suit local conditions in the wastewater sector, where there is poor

data and information availability, and unreliable infrastructure,” says Chris. Barbara elaborates that the process modelling of WWTWs requires a lot of data, and much of that data is not routinely available (like biodegradability). “Furthermore, the available data is frequently incomplete and inconsistent, because most of it is seldom actually reviewed or used for anything. Collecting data and getting it into a usable form is usually the biggest part of the modelling effort.” Conducting measurement campaigns for additional data is expensive and time consuming, and it is difficult to get representative values due to the highly variable nature of domestic wastewater.

MODELLING: BASIC TERMS AND DEFINITIONS Process modelling: Process models are equations or sets of equations that describe the behaviour of processes or systems under various conditions, often coded in modelling software packages. Unit process modelling: This would represent a specific par t/equipment of WWTWs, like an activated sludge reactor, anaerobic digester, settler or dewatering unit. Plant-wide modelling: Where all the unit processes are linked together in a model of an interconnected system. Integrated system modelling: Combining models of systems that interact with each other, like a WWTW with a catchment and sewer system. Steady-state model: A model that provides time-invariant results typically based on average conditions. Dynamic model: This is a model in which the inputs, operating conditions and model outputs all change with time. For example, it would be used to simulate how plant per formance changes as raw water and operating conditions change, or when an item of equipment fails.


The UKZN modelling group and Professor David Ikumi’s Water Research Group at the University of Cape Town (UCT) make up the South African Development Centre for WEST, the Danish Hydraulic Institute’s software for advanced wastewater systems modelling. However, both groups also focus on developing models and modelling tools that are adapted for local conditions. For example, UCT has developed several steady-state modelling tools in Excel, including a tool for estimating the capacity of an existing WWTW. “The design capacity – the number of megalitres per day of wastewater a plant can treat – is always a focus point for local government. However, it has become important to determine how many megalitres per day a plant can treat with ageing infrastructure and failing equipment. We need to calculate the actual functional capacity of WWTWs,” explains Chris. The term ‘functional capacity’ was coined by a process engineer in eThekwini Municipality’s Water and Sanitation Department (EWS). It refers to the megalitres per day a WWTW can process with its existing equipment and operational arrangements.

Chris Brouckaert, senior research fellow at the UKZN WASH R&D Centre

There are frequent queries regarding the capacity of WWTWs to process wastewater from prospective housing developments or businesses. While the design capacity may indicate that a WWTW could accommodate a new development, the functional capacity often presents a different picture. “This is where modelling WWTWs can provide value – it can scientifically demonstrate the functional capacity of a WWTW and provide an analysis of what needs to be done (in terms of upgrades, replacement of equipment, operational changes, additional resources) at the WWTW in order to accommodate more wastewater,” states Chris. In addition to improving the generation and collection of accurate data, as well as employing full-time modellers, Barbara adds that there needs to be dialogue between the model, theory, concept and the reality in the WWTW with its operational staff. “Typically, the operational staff generate the data and they have to understand why that data is important. Additionally, clear modelling objectives that align with the priorities of the municipality or WWTW management will determine the level of detail

“The design capacity – the number of megalitres per day of wastewater a plant can treat – is always a focus point for local government. However, it has become important to determine how many megalitres per day a plant can treat with ageing infrastructure and failing equipment. We need to calculate the actual functional capacity of WWTWs.”

Barbara Brouckaert, research fellow at the UKZN WASH R&D Centre

M AY / J U N 2022



Modelling schematic

required, and where the modelling efforts need to be focused.”

Work done with eThekwini Municipality

UKZN works very closely with eThekwini’s Process Engineering Services group, which works as an internal consultant to EWS. They have established a process modelling group, with support from UKZN, with the ambitious long-term aim of developing an integrated model of the metro’s entire wastewater system, eventually including sewers, treatment works and rivers. It is intended to be a decision support system for the municipality to plan and manage all aspects related to wastewater. EWS has also collaborated with UKZN on several Water Research Commission-sponsored projects, including: • T he potential for including modelling in the Green Drop programme: This project evaluated UCT’s capacity estimation tool, as well as the use of dynamic modelling for risk assessment. For example: the design capacity of a number of older plants is not known accurately, due to lost design plans; the importance of storing necessary equipment spares in case something fails; and the impact on a WWTW if equipment has failed or is not running optimally. • Using modelling to investigate the impact of low-flush toilets on sewers


MAY /JUN 2022

and treatment works: Low-flush toilets and other water-saving devices reduce the minimum flows in local reticulation, which can increase the risk of sewer clogging due the deposition of solid material. They also increase the concentration of the sewage under dry weather conditions, which can potentially lead to corrosion problems. It was furthermore found that low-flush toilets have little impact on peak flows, which are rather determined by stormwater ingress, and they do not increase the capacity of the system in terms of the population it can serve. Based on the modelling results, it was concluded that sewer design and maintenance guidelines need to be updated to account for increases in the efficiency of water use. UKZN is currently working with EWS on another Water Research Commission-funded project to provide modelling support to South African municipalities. One of the outputs of this project has been the launch of the WISA Modelling and Data (MAD) Division, which aims to facilitate the sharing of data and modelling expertise in the Southern African water sector. UKZN is also collaborating with EWS, UCT and Danish Technical University on a Danish International Development Aid-funded project called ‘Evaluation of Resource Recovery Alternatives in South African Water Treatment Systems’. This project includes a

modelling case study of eThekwini’s KwaMashu WWTW in Durban.

Future trends

With experience in the process modelling of wastewater treatment plants since 2005, Chris notes that while modelling software and knowledge in applying models have evolved over the years, the fundamentals of modelling have remained the same. According to Barbara, there is a move towards integrated urban water system modelling, where the entire water system is modelled and water quality issues can be assessed in a holistic manner. “There is only a limited amount of improvement that can be made by solely focusing on WWTWs.” Another international trend is digital twins, which provide a virtual representation of a real-world system, running in parallel to the actual system, thereby offering continuous operational guidance. Digital twins of WWTWs are running in China and some European countries. Real-time control (RTC) is when there is a direct link between the model and the WWTW, and a computer will make changes to the plant the moment a problem is detected. “Digital twins and RTC are quite a few years away in South Africa; the immediate priority is to restore and improve the efficiency of our existing WWTWs around the country, and process modelling can definitely assist with that,” concludes Chris.


RAND WATER ESTABLISHES INNOVATION, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE As one of the few water utilities of its size that is not founded along a major river, lake or water source, Rand Water has a unique business model. It has therefore adopted an innovation-driven, risk-based strategy.


he Rand Water Institute (RWI) has been established to give effect to a hub that aims to develop and implement innovative solutions through research. “We are committed to partnering with global and local institutions to provide research and innovation information in pursuit of a sustainable water sector at both national and continental levels. RWI strives to be an innovation, research and development hub in integrated water resources management (IWRM) in Africa,” says Dr Fawcett Ngoatje, head, RWI. Research outputs by RWI will improve water management. Therefore, Rand Water will utilise its water treatment and bulk water distribution experience that has been acquired over many years to provide a platform for innovation, research and development in pursuit of solutions to enhance IWRM.

“There is a need to develop innovative and financially viable solutions through research, development and innovation to respond appropriately to the challenges that face the water sector. Several collaborative agreements have been signed with other research-based organisations, and institutions of higher learning. Unlike organisations that operate in highly competitive markets whereby the main focus is on research for product development and improved profit margins, our success will come from collaboration, so as to achieve the noble objective of sustainability in water services provision and water security,” states Ngoatje.

Skills development

“The challenges facing IWRM are not insurmountable. By partnering with other like-minded institutions, Rand

The six strategic pillars of the Rand Water innovation-driven, risk-based strategy

Dr Fawcett Ngoatje, head, Rand Water Institute

Sipho Mosai, CEO, Rand Water

Water will have to contribute to the much-needed skills development that is indispensable for effective sustainable management along the overall water value chain,” says Sipho Mosai, CEO, Rand Water. Mosai envisions a local water sector that subscribes to high ethical and professional standards, promoting joint quality research for innovation and technological development. The Water and Sanitation Summit highlighted the fact that the challenge of access to water by communities does not necessarily result from a lack of the resource, but rather the lack of a capable management cadre. This therefore requires a dedicated team of water professionals who will continue to work tirelessly in finding solutions to these challenges. To this end, the Rand Water Institute was born. M AY / J U N 2022




KSB recently introduced remote acceptance testing for the live testing of pumps and hydraulics via the internet

Cloud computing, big data analytics, augmented reality, and the industrial internet of things have been embraced by leading pumps and valves supplier KSB.


hanks to a variety of ‘smart’ products and services – like the PumpMeter, KSB Guard, SES, Sonolyzer and motion amplification – pumping systems are becoming more efficient and more reliable. KSB clients can obtain up-todate, relevant information regarding the status, operation and history of a pump at any given time.

KSB Guard

“KSB has experience in developing solutions for Industry 4.0 and offers a wide range of smart products and services designed to improve the productivity of its pumps. One such product is KSB Guard, which offers pump monitoring in real time, optimising maintenance, reducing downtime and significantly increasing pump system efficiency,” says DeWet Holtzhausen, draughtsman, KSB. KSB Guard continuously records the vibration and temperature data of a pump and transfers it to the cloud. Analysis of this and other pump data is then available via the KSB web portal and KSB Guard app. This provides a reliable database for further optimisation measures on a system and rapidly detects faults.


MAY /JUN 2022

Vibration and temperature data can be presented via a graph over a specified period of time (month, year or day). Furthermore, KSB Guard uses a complex algorithm patented by KSB to calculate the optimal load conditions of any pump and will indicate if a pump is running at a partial load, optimal load or is overloaded. The system consists of hardware components that are linked to a KSB cloud app, where the status and operating data of pumps can be remotely monitored. Notifications are sent (via email or cell phone) when irregularities are detected. “Access to detailed information on the efficiency and overall condition of a pump enables our customers to optimise their maintenance strategy. Faults can then be remedied before failure occurs and substantial damage is caused. Better maintenance strategies facilitate the procurement of spare parts and other maintenance services in good time. By predicting and reducing downtime, operating costs are reduced,” explains Holtzhausen. Users can receive scheduled maintenance reminders and all maintenance work can be recorded and stored along with related documentation such as maintenance manuals and data sheets.

The KSB Guard system comprises: • Sensor – a three-axis vibration sensor and a temperature sensor that records data directly at the pump. • Transmission unit and battery – supplies power to the sensor unit and transfers measured data to the gateway. • Gateway – connects wirelessly with the transmission unit. One gateway can connect with up to 40 transmission units within a 50 m free field and 30 m in plant environment radius. It uses a KSB sim card to communicate through local cell phone towers. • KSB Guard web portal and app – data and additional information on the pump can be evaluated conveniently and easily in the app or accessed via a computer. “This product is easy to install. The kit is supplied with magnets (inside the sensors), cable ties and adhesive pads. The transmission and battery unit are mounted near the sensor. The gateway should be installed near the pump and the plug to the mains is connected. Once mobile reception has been established, a few basic data entries are made for each pump on a mobile device or desktop, and it is ready to be used,” adds Holtzhausen.


All data is protected according to ISO 27001. If there is a power cut, the battery-operated transmission unit can store data and send it to the gateway once there is power again.

KSB Guard

Other monitoring equipment

Jaco de Pooter, operations manager, KSB SupremeServ, reveals that while the vibrations and temperature on the bearings of a pump are good parameters to monitor, it is important to look at the entire performance of a pump, taking into consideration all operating parameters such as suction and discharge head, as well as flow. “In order to estimate the operational life of the pump and its maintenance needs, one must consider all the parameters of the pump, as well as the system in which it operates.” The KSB Sonolyzer is a noise analysis app for asynchronous motors. “In essence, it’s an app that can determine by way of analysing the noise frequency emitted from the motor’s performance. This then can be used to determine possible faults, which, when rectified, could enhance or lead to improved energy efficiency. In just a few seconds, the KSB Sonolyzer can measure the noise frequency of an asynchronous motor in order to find out if there is energy saving potential. The app uses an estimation algorithm developed by KSB and is the first of its kind on the market. This is a very simple tool and can be used on not only KSB pumps but also on rotating equipment produced by many other manufacturers,” De Pooter adds.

KSB clients can obtain up-to-date, relevant information regarding the status, operation and history of a pump at any given time

System Efficiency Service (SES)

KSB also provides its SES service, which increases the economic efficiency of a pumping system through comprehensive system analysis. A data logger takes measurements onsite and records process variables and vibration levels to determine the pumps’ operating behaviour. Power analysers, in conjunction with pressure transmitters and a flow meter, are used in order to obtain all the relevant data to compare against the pump performance curve. “Once all of the data has been collected, KSB analyses all the captured information, compares it to the pumps’ design conditions and, after a series of calculations, we advise our customer on corrective measures for potential savings in energy costs. We identify

KSB’s SES System Efficiency Service

M AY / J U N 2022



Africa’s Foremost Occupational Health and Safety Trade Show

31 May - 02 June 2022

Gallagher Convention Centre 9AM - 4PM DAILY

One roof, four industries

potential savings (energy-efficiency analysis) as well as any causes of damage (damage analysis),” says Charl van Loggerenberg, technician: SES, KSB. He adds that the SES identifies where a pump may be operating on the curve. “A pump operating to the left of a curve would indicate an increased head with a reduction in flow, that can cause bearing and mechanical seal issues and high vibrations. If a pump is operating to the right of a curve, there will be increased power consumption as well as the aforementioned anomalies.” The SES provides a detailed overview of the current energy efficiency of the pumps and systems. On this basis, KSB makes recommendations for increasing energy efficiency. This significantly lowers a pump’s life-cycle costs, reduces breakdowns, and achieves the energy objectives set out in ISO 50001. Careful examination of the pump’s load profile is required both under current operating conditions and with a view of future demands. The aim is to identify pump system issues, opportunities for improvement, and savings potential – both today and tomorrow – in a comprehensive, systemic approach. A pump is a complex component in a larger system. Improvements in energy efficiency come from lots of small details, but the focus always has to be on the analysis of the overall system. That is just as true for existing plants as for new designs. Regardless of the field of application or specific industry sector, type of installation or manufacturer (energy, iron and steel, API, water or wastewater), the system efficiency service can be conducted on all pumps from ratings of 30 kW. This includes explosive zones.

Other technologies of the future

Free-To-Attend Seminars

Register online for free entry

Practical demonstrations


Premier visitor lounge


For more information contact: Keraysha Pillay, Senior Marketing Manager Tel: +27 (0) 10 003 3057 | Email: kerayshap@specialised.com

Organised by:


KSB also provides a new service concept based on augmented reality and has recently purchased new technology called motion amplification. With augmented reality, device users or technicians are guided during their service work by an expert per video and audio by using data glasses. The experts, looking into their screen at their usual service workplace, can assess the situation through the eyes of the person present at the site. This helps instruct technicians who are not specialised in pumps, for example, to carry out common maintenance measures, step by step. Further, the data glasses can be used to transmit exploded views or screenshots that can then be viewed in the corresponding field. “Motion amplification uses proprietary video and image processing to detect subtle motion and make it visible to the naked eye. This assists our teams in visualising complex vibration problems that may be invisible to the naked eye. It can save time and costs in vibration analysis, routine condition monitoring programmes, troubleshooting and root cause analysis,” explains De Pooter. “Customers are hesitant to adopt a new technology or system that is unfamiliar to them. But digitalisation can make significant improvements to operational efficiency. However, De Pooter does encourage customers to embrace a systematic approach. “There is seldom an overnight solution when tackling pump performance issues.”



Singapore’s success story

The City of Singapore (Credit: Darya Jum)

Singapore’s pioneering role in developing deep tunnel sewerage systems (DTSSs) serves as a prime example of what could be replicated by South African cities. Across the world, cities face similar challenges in terms of intensified urbanisation, poulation growth and the need to modernise decades-old wastewater infrastructure using best practice techniques. By Frank Stevens and Swen Weiner*


ccording to the UN, 9.8 billion people will be living on the planet by 2050, with growth particularly coming from Africa and Asia. A total of 70% of that population will be urban, a 1.7-fold increase compared to 2015. Cities will have to invest massively in sewage handling capacity to serve this growing population, while climate change will further stress capacity. Additionally, extreme weather is confronting cities with high amounts of rainwater to be collected, discharged and – at least partly – treated within a short period. Diminishing surfaces for infiltration add to the problem by leaving fewer opportunities for rainwater to drain naturally. In

addition, many cities want to reuse sewage instead of discharging it into nearby rivers. In Singapore’s case, this sovereign island city-state has an area of 730 km² and a population of 5.7 million people. In addition to having the second highest population density in the world, this country boasts the second highest GDP per capita globally and Singaporeans enjoy one of the world’s longest life expectencies. Keeping up with economic growth is a clear priority and, with limited land space available, the installation of underground services is a preferred option. A DTSS is – especially from an operation cost point of view – a very cost-efficient solution to meet longterm needs for wastewater collection,

treatment and disposal. Deep sewer systems involve large-diameter main tunnels that convey wastewater by gravity to centralised treatment plants, mostly located outside cities. Smallerdiameter, often pipe-jacked, link sewers and deep shafts are further parts of these schemes. Construction of such large-scale schemes is quick and safe, with minimal impact on population and environment.

Water security

A key challenge facing Singapore is ensuring the security of its water supply, which is derived from three sources: • Imported water 40% of Singapore’s water is imported from the Johor catchment in Malaysia via a 1 km causeway. Singapore has an M AY / J U N 2022



First shaft construction ID 10 000 with VSM

Tunnel types in Singapore’s underground infrastructure system

obligation to supply 2% of this water back to Malaysia once treated and the agreement expires in 2061. • Reclaimed water 30% of Singapore’s supply is presently obtained from five state-ofthe art treatment works. This ultraclean water, known as NEWater, is used for both domestic and industrial consumption. • Desalinated water 30% of its need is obtained from Singapore’s four desalination plants. Each uses the energy-intensive reverse osmosis process.


Within the wastewater space, the Singapore DTSS route is coined as ‘Singapore’s Sanitary Superhighway’ by the country’s National Water Agency. The project consists of two phases and will finally comprise some 200 km when competed.

TBM with cutter head removed


MAY /JUN 2022

Completed in 2008, DTSS Phase 1 was installed in the eastern part of Singapore. The system is made up of deep tunnels and link sewers that convey effluent to the Changi water reclamation plant and sea outfall situated in the south-east of the island. The main focus of this discussion is on DTSS Phase 2, which is now under way. This system extends to the south-western part of the island and will feed effluent to the new Taus water reclamation plant. It will consist of 40 km of deep tunnels, 60 km of link sewers, and a specialised industrial sewer network. The main South Tunnel will vary in depths ranging from 35 m to 55 m. The deep tunnels will connect with the existing used water infrastructure to create one seamless and integrated system.

DTSS 2 construction stages

The client chose to break Phase 2

into five tunnelling contracts as described below: • Contract T-07: Four Mixshield tunnel boring machines (TBMs) constructing 12 km of tunnels and odour control shafts (diameters: 7.56 m and 4.86 m). • Contract T-08: Four Mixshield TBMs constructing 10 km of tunnels serving the industrial area and two undersea tunnels (diameters: 7.46 m and 4.35 m). • Contract T-09: Three Mixshield TBMs constructing 8 km of tunnels (diameter: 7.51 m). • Contract T-10: Two Mixshield TBMs and one EPB Shield machine constructing 8 km of tunnels (diameter: 4.78 m up to 7.41 m). • Contract T-11: Five Mixshield TBMs and Vertical Shaft Sinking (VSM) equipment (diameter: TBMs, 4.23 m and 4.53 m; VSM, 11.2 m). Many benefits are to be gained by using an entirely gravity-fed deep sewer system, as is the case for DTSS Phase 1 and 2. The need for constructing new intermediate pump stations is eliminated and a number of old existing pump stations will be removed, thus releasing valuable land for housing development and reducing

Breakthrough of Mixshield ID 3 505 in shaft


energy costs. Obstacles at shallower depths are easily avoided – e.g. the South Tunnel passes well below busy freeways, large buildings, a section of seabed and many existing services. The tunnels will be lined concrete segments with a secondary inner HDPE lining, which will eliminate the threat of corrosion. Tunnel condition monitoring will be undertaken via a Icons system of fibre-optics within the tunnel lining and the need for human entry for inspection will be drastically reduced. Odour control will be achieved by using forced ventilation shafts.


Product Lines / Linee di p

Product Lines / Linee di prodotto

Equipment selection 520







Icons Two of the many issues that must be considered when deciding on the best machine to use for a particular job are the geological and groundwater conditions. It is vital that the Icons AND STONE MATERIAL RESILIENT, LVT, TEXTILE MATERIALS IconsCERAMIC soil properties (i.e. grain size, compactness and consistency) CERAMICA E MATERIALI LAPIDEI RESILIENTI, LVT, TESSILI and the rock properties (i.e. compressive strength, tensile SPORT WOODEN FLOORING RESIN FLOORING CERAMIC AND STONE MATERIAL RESILIENT, LVT, TEXTILE MATERIALS SPORT PARQUET RESINA MATERIALI LAPIDEI RESILIENTI, LVT, TESSILI 520 521 522 52 strength and RQDCERAMICA index)E are accurately determined and catered for. 528 529 Complex geological conditions were encountered on this 528 529 530 520 531 521 532 522 520 521 52 project. The tunnels pass through the Jurong formation, which is made up of a mix of limestone, sandstone and SPORT CERAMIC AND STONE MATERIAL RESILIENT, LVT, TEXTILE MATERIALS argillite – a sedimentary rock with a high clay and silt content. SPORT CERAMICA E MATERIALI LAPIDEI RESILIENTI, LVT, TESSILI The Mixshield TBM concept was chosen as the best ARCHITECTURAL PAVING ARCHITECTURAL STONE PAVING PAVIMENTAZIONI PAVIMENTAZIONI ARC. IN PIETRA option due to its ability to handle heterogeneous ground Products ARCHITETTONICHE Tile Adhesives Concrete STRUCTURAL STRENGTHENING ARCHITECTURAL PAVING ARCHITECTURAL STONE PAVING MASONRY RESTORATION THERMAL INSULATION SPORT CERAMICSTRUTTURALE AND STONE MATERIAL RESILIENT, LVT, EDIFICI TEXTILE MATERIALS CERAMIC AND STONE MATERIAL RESILIENT, LVT, TEXTILE MATERIALS 523 524 525water 526 527 RINFORZO PAVIMENTAZIONI ARC. IN PIETRA RISANAMENTO ISOLAMENTO TERMICO conditions and its ability to withstand very PAVIMENTAZIONI high 528 529 530 53 for Resilient, CERAMICA E MATERIALI LAPIDEI CERAMICA E MATERIALI LAPIDEILVT, TESSILI RESILIENTI, LVT, TESSILI SPORT Repair & Grouts ARCHITETTONICHE IN RESILIENTI, MURATURA LVT & Textile pressures. Safe working conditions are achieved using a Materials 521 522 523 524 536 525 537 526 hydraulic support system of slurry suspension, together with 523 524 525 526 527 Icons 536 537 538 539 a controlled air cushion system to assure face support. 528 529 53 528 529 530 Excavated material is removed through a closed slurry WOODEN FLOORING RESINcylinders FLOORING within the shield ACOUSTICarea INSULATION BUILDING ADMIXTURES FOR CONCRETE circuit and hydraulic thrust STRUCTURAL STRENGTHENING ARCHITECTURAL PAVING ARCHITECTURAL STONE PAVING PARQUET RESINA ISOLAMENTO ACUSTICO ADDITIVI PER CALCESTRUZZO RINFORZO STRUTTURALE PAVIMENTAZIONIEDILIZIA PAVIMENTAZIONI ARC. IN PIETRA ARCHITETTONICHE push the machine forward. The cutting wheel is made up SPORT WOODEN FLOORING RESIN FLOORING ACOUSTIC INSULATION Admixtures BUILDING RESILIENT, LVT, TEXTILE MATERIALS Sealants Resin for of both knives and disc cutters, and stones SEALANTS AND ADHESIVES INDUSTRY SPORTand boulders PARQUET RESINA ISOLAMENTO ACUSTICO ADMIXTURESMARINE EDILIZIA RESILIENTI, LVT, TESSILI SPORT WOODEN FLOORING RESIN FLOORING ACOUSTIC INSULATION BUILDING FOR CONCRETE SIGILLANTI E ADESIVI ELASTICI INDUSTRIA NAVALE Flooring Concrete SPORT PARQUETAND ADHESIVES 520 RESINA ISOLAMENTO ACUSTICO ADDITIVI PER CALCESTRUZZO SEALANTS MARINE INDUSTRY CEMENT ADDITIVES ASPHALT PAVEMENTS 521 522 EDILIZIA 523 are crushed and screened to a manageable grain size NAVALE for 531 532 E ADESIVI 533 534 535 STR ARCHITECTURAL PAVING ARCHITECTURAL STONE PAVING SIGILLANTI ELASTICI INDUSTRIA C-ADD PAVIMENTAZIONI BITUMINOSE 536 538 53 STRUCTURAL STRENGTHENI ARCHITECTURAL PAVING 537 ARCHITECTURAL STONE PAVING R PAVIMENTAZIONI PAVIMENTAZIONI ARC. IN PIETRA RINFORZO STRUTTURALE PAVIMENTAZIONI PAVIMENTAZIONI ARC. IN PIETRA ARCHITETTONICHE conveying to the surface. The same machine concept – the ARCHITETTONICHE 529 530 crusher – has also been 531 used for the 532 533 534 AVN machine with cone 531 532 533 534 535 pipe-jacked link sewer tunnels. 536 537 53

Product Lines / Linee di prodotto


Product Lines / Linee Product LinesdiIN / prodotto Linee di prod PARTNER


nes / Linee di prodotto dotto



Product Lines / Linee di prodotto





Sports Flooring Solutions

WOODEN FLOORING Cement CEMENT ADDITIVES C-ADDPARQUET PA Additives This is the first time that VSM technology has been used in STRUCTURAL STRENGTHENING ARCHITECTURAL MASONRY RESTORATION THERMAL INSULATION WALL PROTECTIVE WATERPROOFING Asia.STONE ThisPAVING equipment has made it possible to complete three RINFORZO STRUTTURALE ARC. IN PIETRA MASONRY RESTORATION RISANAMENTO EDIFICI ISOLAMENTO TERMICO AND DECORATIVE COATINGS UNDERGROUND CONSTRUCTION IMPERMEABILIZZANTI RUCTURALPAVIMENTAZIONI STRENGTHENING THERMAL INSULATION WALL PROTECTIVE WATERPROOFING IN MURATURA FINITURE COLORATE E PROTETTIVE RINFORZO STRUTTURALE RISANAMENTO EDIFICI ISOLAMENTO TERMICO AND DECORATIVE COATINGS IMPERMEABILIZZANTI COSTRUZIONI IN SOTTERRANEO shafts with an ID of 10.0 m (at depths up to 56 m). MAPEI is a trusted manufacturer and supplier of 539 IN MURATURA FINITURE COLORATE E PROTETTIVE SEALANTS AND ADHESIVES MARINE INDUSTRY 528 529 530 E ADESIVI 531 SEALANTS AND ADHESIVES MARINE INDUSTRY CEMENT ADDITIVES SIGILLANTI ELASTICI INDUSTRIA NAVALE the highest quality construction Challenges that had to be overcome include fines with SIGILLANTI E ADESIVI ELASTICI INDUSTRIA NAVALE solutions to the C-ADD construction sector. The MAPEI Group consists of clogging potential, areas of highly abrasive rock, 537 538 539 varying 90 subsidiaries with 83 plants in five continents. 38 539 geology, and groundwater that was, at times, 2 m from the surface with lowering of the water table not being Our team is committed to providing pre-sales









advice, technical on-site support, training and after-sales support from the conception of your STRUCTURAL STRENGTHENING ARCHITECTURAL STONE PAVING MASONRY RESTORATION RINFORZO STRUTTURALE PAVIMENTAZIONI ARC. IN PIETRA project to the completion. RISANAMENTO EDIFICI IN MURATURA






With over 80 years in the construction industry, MAPEI is your worldwide partner in construction 538from the foundation 539 offering solutions to the roof!



Learn more at mapei.co.za Tel: +27 11 552 8476 Email: info@mapei.co.za



Tuas water reclamation plant

Vertical Shaft Sinking Machine (VSM)

permissible. Two of the shafts were situated less than 2 m apart. Some of the benefits derived from VSM technology include safe working conditions and a continual construction process, with sinking rates of up to 5 m/ day, depending on shaft diameter and ground conditions. Shafts for odour control, air jumpers and drop shafts that lead to the main tunnels are required.

View in tunnel with Mixshield ID 3 755

A hydraulically powered cutting drum – equipped with excavation tools and controlled by a telescopic boom – loosens the soil on the shaft bottom. The excavated material is removed to the surface using a submersible pump. Excavation is undertaken below the water table, while the operation is completely controlled from the surface.

The shafts are lined with precast concrete segments. The shaft lining is installed at the surface and is in most cases made up from precast concrete segments. Alternatively, in situ concrete casting of the shaft walls can also be implemented. In this case, the slower progress of shaft construction works is compensated for to some extent by having a ‘continuous’ structure, without joints, and by the possibility of integrating entire entry and exit structures for tunnelling activities in the walls of the shaft. A combination of in situ lining for the bottom part of the shaft and subsequent lining with segments has been implemented in Singapore.

The Tuas water reclamation plant

Effluent will be fed via the Southern Tunnel and then treated at the new Tuas wastewater reclamation plant. Once fully operational, its output will increase the amount of reclaimed water use in Singapore from 30% to 55% of its total. The plant’s output will be 800 Mℓ/ day. This purified water will be sold as potable NEWater and to industry. Any excess treated water will be discharged into sea outfalls. Thanks to this project, the older Jurong and Ulu Panda recycling plants will eventually be phased out. State-of-the-art design ensures higher energy efficiencies and features such as the use of membrane reactors (which replace the need for primary sedimentary tanks, bioreactors and secondary sedimentation tanks), and this will result in a smaller footprint of the plant. Reverse osmosis and


MAY /JUN 2022


UV disinfection will form part of the treatment process. Biogas will be used to reduce energy dependency.


Singapore’s Sanitary Superhighway shows that deep sewers offer an effective solution for cities to collect

and centrally treat their wastewaters, thus adding capacity to their systems and simultaneously freeing up valuable space for development. TBMs and VSM machines help to execute such projects quickly, safely and with minimum impact on the population and environment. They offer

solutions for the prevailing geological and hydrogeological conditions and can excavate at the extreme depths required. In South Africa, and Africa as a whole, government departments, utilities and consultants should explore and consider the benefits of employing deep tunnelling solutions for projects with similar demands and conditions as those encountered in Singapore.

* Herrenknecht AG (Utility Tunnelling Business Unit), Germany

This is an edited version of a paper presented at the 2021 IMESA Vir tual Conference. For the full paper, visit www.imesa.org.za/ conference-2021.




SCIENTISTS SUPPORT WATER REHAB EFFORT ON JUKSKEI Dr Simon Lorentz, principal hydrologist, SRK Consulting

Water for the Future has drawn together a group of collaborating partners including scientists and academics to assist in the rehabilitation of the Jukskei River

Where the Jukskei River first sees daylight in downtown Johannesburg, scientists are supporting a citizen-led environmental non-profit organisation to gather vital data that will guide ways to improve water quality and ecological integrity.


ormed about five years ago with seed funding from Victoria Yards and local quick-service restaurant chain Nando’s, Water for the Future (WFTF) has drawn together a group of collaborating partners including scientists and academics. By working with the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, the team plans to improve conditions for communities along the river. Romy Stander, co-founder, WFTF, emphasises that strong connections were being formed with the landowners as the project progresses in a sustainable manner downstream. Small forests and ecologically landscaped areas were also being created alongside


MAY /JUN 2022

the river as part of the environmental rehabilitation. “Central to the project has been the public participation,” says Stander. “Without the community’s voice, the problems we are addressing will never be solved.” Lungi Hlatshwayo, director, WFTF, has played an integral role in the public participation campaign funded by the Goethe Institute and the British Council. This campaign aims to inform, involve and collaborate with the community in developing relevant interventions. “We take a bottom-up approach to finding collaborative solutions that are inclusive and inviting the community to be part of the solution – creating a citizen dialogue and building trust and associations,” says Hlatshwayo.

The stakeholders that have been engaged range from the elderly, shop owners, recyclers, schoolchildren and businesspeople to Friends of the Jukskei in the downstream township of Alexandra. With the community taking ownership, a number of valuable capacity-building initiatives have been planned – including the removal of alien invasive plants, the planting of fruit trees, and an environmental education programme for children to assist in the prevention of dumping. She highlights that the campaign had presented various workcreating opportunities in the circular economy, such as basket-weaving and firewood from invasive trees. “We have also worked together with other organisations in the Alexandra township to clean and rehabilitate the river.” A range of technical input is being provided on a pro bono basis to give the project a solid scientific foundation on which to base future interventions. Among the organisations contributing are global engineers and scientists SRK Consulting, analytical laboratory Waterlab, meteorological instrumentation experts Campbell Scientific Africa, the University of Pretoria, and the University of Johannesburg. Liz Day of Liz Day Consulting has kindly loaned the project an automatic sampler while funds are sourced to acquire the equipment.

Collecting data

Dr Simon Lorentz, principal hydrologist, SRK Consulting, has been focused on


SRK Consulting established an automatic in-stream monitoring station, including an automatic flow rate water sampler (Credit: SRK Consulting)

gathering data that can be used for future decision-making on strategies to achieve a cleaner river. This began with the installation of equipment to collect time-series data from the water discharge in the Jukskei headwater channel. Together with Ione Loots, a civil engineering lecturer from the University of Pretoria, SRK Consulting established an automatic in-stream monitoring station, including an automatic flow-rate water sampler. The meteorological instruments – donated by Campbell Scientific Africa – automate the collection of data on rainfall, wind and temperature variables. This data is then analysed relative to the flow responses of the river and the quality of the water. “The starting point for this aspect of the project is to record the flow and water quality dynamics of the stream, particularly during rainfall events – as well as the associated stable isotopes of water,” says Lorentz. “This will help find the sources and possible pathways of the discharge and water quality species.” Combined with flow time series, the water quality concentration data will inform a calculation of mass loading, including seasonal variations. The immediate effects of any changes to

the stormwater reticulation can also be assessed. “This scientific data will also be valuable for broader research efforts at universities and elsewhere to address similar urban water challenges around the country,” he says.

Water monitoring

The support provided by the University of Pretoria facilitates long-term monitoring of flow rates in this heavily urbanised environment, says Loots. “The flow and rainfall information gathered in this study will help

researchers to better understand urban flooding in a South African context,” she says. “Through these efforts, we believe that one of the principles of civil engineering – providing for a safe and sustainable environment for people to live, work and socialise – is supported in a very practical way.” For over a year, Waterlab has been conducting fortnightly sampling from the Jukskei River behind the Victoria Yards complex. This is part of a project funded by the Water Research Commission for the surveillance of Covid-19 prevalence in unsewered

Celebrating World Water Monitoring Day at the Jukskei River (Credit: Lungile Hlatswayo)


communities, while access to the river at this point was facilitated by WFTF. “Samples were analysed for various water quality parameters – including E. coli counts and ammonia and chemical oxygen demand – as an indication of sewerage pollution at the river source,” says Dr Gina Pocock, specialist consultant, Waterlab. “Samples are concentrated and viral RNA extracted to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the water.”

River quality

Wastewater-based surveillance of communities for SARS-CoV-2 by sampling from wastewater treatment works is a powerful complementary epidemiological tool, explains Pocock. However, this method monitors infections only within the boundaries of sewered communities – that is, communities served by sewer systems. “In South Africa, almost 40% of the population do not have access to a flush toilet connected to a public sewerage system,” she says. “Sampling of rivers may provide a means to

monitor the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within informal settlements and unsewered communities.” This is done by monitoring river quality and trends in viral loads over time, to identify possible infection spikes in communities upstream of the sample point. This may give an early warning of the presence of Covid-19 infections in these communities, where there is both the risk of rapid spread and low likelihood of conventional testing. “This will enable the deployment of rapid response teams into these areas to conduct more intensive testing and quarantining of infected individuals to curb the spread of the virus,” she says.

Plastic pollution

Another aspect being researched is the plastic pollution in this stretch of the Jukskei River. Kyle van Heyde, a PhD candidate in environmental management at the University of Johannesburg, says this kind of pollution not only undermines the aesthetics of this environment, but poses a threat to aquatic biodiversity

through ingestion and endocrine disruption. Contaminants such as faeces in discarded nappies also pose a health risk to the local community. Research in this field has found that plastic pollution provides a platform for the transport of harmful organic bacteria, a range of chemical and heavy metal pollutants, and invasive species. Van Heyde’s research, which is supported by the University of Johannesburg and the National Research Foundation, is aimed at quantifying the scale of the problem. “There is currently limited knowledge on the extent of plastic pollution within South Africa’s riverine ecosystems,” he says. “More data is required to mitigate and address the inundation of riverine ecosystems with plastic pollution.” The kind of data needed includes the amount of plastic pollution flowing within the water column, types and sizes of plastic present, deposition of plastic pollution within the riverbed and riparian zone, and local communities’ perceptions of this pollution. He explains that a range of causes lie behind the pollution of the Jukskei – from a lack of waste management and government participation to high rates of poverty. “This has resulted in the use of the Jukskei River and its riparian zone as a waste stream,” he says. “Local communities are aware of the severity of pollution, but most are not engaged with the problem or its negative health effects.” In terms of data collection, Lorentz notes that the project was still in its early stages. However, the results would soon give stakeholders useful guidance as they formulate strategies that could lead to sustainable water quality solutions for the river.

A public participation campaign was launched to inform, involve and collaborate with the community in developing relevant interventions (Credit: Lungile Hlatswayo) Without the community’s voice and involvement, the problems of water and environmental pollution will never be solved (Credit: Lungile Hlatswayo)


MAY /JUN 2022



To book your spot


Hanlie Fintelman: t +27 (0)67 756 3132 c +27 (0)82 338 2266



WHY PARTICIPATE THROUGH SPONSORSHIP? Increase your pre-conference exposure through marketing coverage (website/social media/mailers) Raise your profile above your competitors Increase recognition and drive traffic to your exhibition stand/website Marketing platform through branding and acknowledgement Contribute to and be actively involved in the development and growth of the industry and those that work in the water sector Deliver a greater ROI. Sponsoring an event can often be cheaper and have a higher return on investment than a TV commercial or other advertising methods Contribute to the upliftment of science and technology Increase your company’s perceived image – sponsoring such a big, professional and reputable event will provide the impression that your company is a reputable one Gain the respect and creditability of your target audience

WISA will once again host the flagship event of the Southern African water sector, bringing together regional and international water professionals, companies, regulators and stakeholders. +27 (0)11 805 3537 admin@wisa.org.za • events@wisa.org.za • adele@confco.co.za


PROTECTING CONSUMERS AND WATER Last year, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) established the South African Metering Industry Association (SAMIA). WASA interviews chairperson Edwin Sibiya about the local metering industry.


AMIA’s primary purpose is to protect the interests of consumers by ensuring that they are supplied with metering devices that meet South African standards. Meters are devices that measure electricity and water consumption on behalf of the consumer, and they must be accurate. Furthermore, SAMIA promotes the local manufacture of meters, thereby creating employment and encouraging skills development,” explains Sibiya. The dtic has designated and determined the minimum threshold for residential electricity and water meters.


MAY /JUN 2022

Water meters are approved at a 40% local content threshold and a 50-70% local threshold for residential electricity prepayment, post-paid and smart meters. This creates a local value chain in terms of manufacturing electrical and plastic components for the meters, as well as the installation, maintenance and technical support. “In 2020, over 51 000 meters were imported. These could have been locally manufactured,” states Sibiya. Compliance All water meters (locally manufactured and imported) that are used in South Africa need to comply with the Legal Metrology Act (No. 9 of 2014), which includes initial verification of these meters in a South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) laboratory. • 15 mm up and including 100 mm must comply with SANS 1529-1 • all prepaid water meters must comply with SANS 1529-9. According to Sibiya, the majority of imported meters do not comply with these standards – robbing the consumer, as they are often inaccurate. “This trend often occurs in gated communities, as these meters are perceived to be cheap. But it is illegal to use meters that do not comply with these standards. It is a strenuous process to comply, but it is worthwhile, as it ensures that consumers receive a quality product.”

Edwin Sibiya, chairman, SAMIA

A high number of faulty, non-compliant meters cause faulty utility readings for consumers, which result in non-payment to municipalities. All accredited meters must have a permanently visible SANS marking on them and all consumers can ask for the test certificate. Challenges Metering is of key importance to municipalities; meters assist in revenue collection, energy and water efficiency, and cost savings. “The biggest purchaser of meters is local government; however, local government are not meter experts,


and often include the wrong type of meter in tenders. This is a big reason why many metering tenders are not awarded, delaying service delivery,” adds Sibiya. SAMIA is therefore partnering with the South African Local Government Association, National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, SANAS and the dtic to create an information campaign directed at both government and consumers to identify meters that are compliant with local standards. “Currently, many consumers do not trust meter readings, and therefore do not pay their water or electricity bills. The tariff structure on water and electricity is also difficult for consumers to understand. Billing needs to be in a more simple, understandable format,” notes Sibiya. He goes on to add that considering South Africa is the 30th driest country in the world, water management is of paramount importance. However, consumers seldom understand their

water usage. “They do not have information to manage their water usage. If there is a leak in their property that is not visible, they will not notice it until they receive an elevated water bill. But mostly, they do not understand what a kilolitre means or comprehend how much water they are using or how much water they can save – there is a disconnect. “We need to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But the biggest issue with smart meters is the current shortage of electronic chips,” says Sibiya. Repair and maintenance of meters Repairs of meters must take place in a laboratory accredited by the national regulator by qualified people. These meters must then be tested again. This can be an expensive exercise, particularly with post-paid volumetric meters; therefore, most broken meters are replaced with new meters and not repaired. However, prepaid smart meters are typically repaired and then

verified due to their higher cost. Most of the meters can be maintained on-site where batteries are changed and do not have to be verified each time. Sibiya encourages everyone to engage with SAMIA to further strengthen the local manufacture of meters (and thereby increased job creation), as well as meter compliance.

TYPES OF WATER METERS Post-paid, pre-paid and smar t Domestic: • Volumetric • Multi-jet • Ultrasonic • Electromagnetic Bulk: • Turbine • Ultrasonic • Electromagnetic


to implement an IWRM programme Integrated water resource management (IWRM) promotes the coordinated development and management of water and land to maximise economic and social welfare, without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. Here is a guideline on how water services authorities (WSAs) can implement online IWRM. By Dr Masindi Mapholi


WRM should improve all aspects of water resource management – collecting water, storing water, distributing water, conserving water and maintaining its quality. It aims to find a balance between the social, environmental and technological perspectives of water resource management. Water service delivery is a core responsibility for districts and local municipalities, whether as a WSA or a water services provider. With IWRM, municipal officials have to adopt a holistic and integrated approach to water service delivery and water resource management. They would have to consider the health of rivers and wetlands, in addition to delivering water and sanitation to households.


MAY /JUN 2022

However, many municipalities fail to comply with the prescripts of the Water Services Development Plan (WSDP), mainly because of ignorance and a lack of capacity regarding staff and data systems. They fail to manage their infrastructure adequately, have poorly run and inadequate sewage treatment plants, and overlook adequate stormwater management in semi-formal and high-density suburbs. All of these ultimately result in river pollution. Few municipalities monitor the health of their water resources. IWRM guidelines for local authorities The 2007 report on IWRM guidelines for local authorities requires municipal management structures to be extensively reviewed. This would be a

Dr Masindi Mapholi, Directorate: Water Services Planning Support, Department of Water and Sanitation


daunting prospect for a constituency already failing to comply adequately with the Water Services Act (No. 108 of 1997) mandates. A framework has therefore been developed to provide a more consolidated guide for local government officials on how to improve water service delivery with water resource management, in line with the tasks mandated in the WSDP without undertaking immediate restructuring. By aligning the WSDP and the IWRM guidelines, and identifying tasks common to both, the framework offers municipal officials a way to incorporate IWRM tasks into water service delivery. The links between mandated WSDP and IWRM tasks are strong. Solid waste management and stormwater management are already mandated municipal management responsibilities. Practising IWRM as a service provider, therefore, requires some realignment of institutional structures and the adding of a few important new responsibilities to already existing directorates. Elements of the WSDP The WSDP consists of 10 elements: 1. S ocio-economic profile – municipal demographics with income and employment patterns, and the status of health service, sanitation and waterborne diseases. 2. S ervice level profile – an overview of water and sanitation services in place, as well as any plans for improvement. 3. Water resource profile – quality and quantity of water available to the municipality (both surface water and groundwater).

4. Water conservation and demand management – quantities must be known, with programmes required to set targets for the use and conservation of water. Conservation includes education of consumers, keeping track of leaks, metering water use, and control of alien vegetation. 5. W ater service infrastructure – assessment, maintenance and management of water and sanitation infrastructure, including water storage structures such as reservoirs and dams, an evaluation of the water service assets, as well as staff expertise. 6. Water balance – quantities of bulk water, including volumes treated for consumers, and volumes entering and being released as effluent from water treatment works. 7. Institutional arrangements – the laws and regulations that govern the management and allocation of water must be understood. 8. Consumer user profile – are people receiving the service to which they are entitled? People education, protective by-laws, and opportunities for consumer complaints are required. 9. Financial profile – the financing of the different water-related services. 10. List of projects – lists of projects currently under way or planned in the future, and the means by which their development can be tracked. Implementing a WSDP through IWRM After a WSDP has been completed and implemented, the development and implementation of an IWRM plan is

possible. At present, the completion of the WSDP is generally outsourced to consultants. It should be an in-house planning process that is divided into five phases that should be implemented over two years. For greater detail on the five phases, as well as a step-by-step process within each phase, please contact MapholiM@dws.gov.za. Phase 1 – situation assessment: Improve the levels and storage of information available for completing the WSDP. Generate information that will form the basis for WSDP and help to calculate a draft a water balance profile – creating realistic and feasible service delivery goals. Complete WSDP sections. The water balance profile is an assessment of unaccounted-for water. This is the first step towards developing a water conservation and demand management plan. The information generated can be used for the financial plan, detailing income and expenditure, and the derivation of unit costs of service. Phase 2 – water quality assessment: Monitor the performance of WSA responsibilities and the compliance with water-use permits (DWS staff should assist). The water-use permits will vary according to the businesses and industries present in the regional municipal area. By-laws to regulate water service and wastewater discharge must be developed, promulgated and adopted. By achieving this, the WSA will gain improved public credibility for municipal management with improved levels of

M AY / J U N 2022



payment for service. There will be an efficient and dependable monitoring system for municipal functionality. Phase 3 – operational maintenance and rehabilitation strategies: Sustainable management practices ensure the maintenance of a healthy environment by providing quality potable water, and cleaner rivers and wetlands (water resources); they also extend the life of infrastructure. Improvement in the management of wastewater treatment plants results in better quality of water resources and minimises waterborne diseases. The performance management system will also be refined. Once all management plans have been successfully implemented, capital projects such as major extension and refurbishment of overextended infrastructure can be properly budgeted. Phase 4 – monitoring and review of services: Undertake strategic gap

assessments and lay the groundwork for the development of implementation strategies to bridge these gaps. These tasks form the basis of a sound service delivery strategy and should be reviewed annually to highlight gaps in service delivery. All municipalities should be managed according to agreed-on performance criteria stabilising the Service Delivery Business Implementation Plan. Risk assessment could be an outcome of the review process. The Department of Water and Sanitation has developed several guidelines for environmental best practice monitoring and auditing, accessible from http://ws.dwa.gov.za/ wsdp/UserRegistration.aspx. Phase 5 – implementation strategies for WSDP: An ‘integration forum’ must be appointed. The benefits of the proposed substantial changes in management must be clearly understood, well put forward, and possible conflicts pre-empted by careful planning and exploring of all possible potential problem areas.

Integrated development plan The Municipal Systems Act (No. 32 of 2000) states that an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) must be prepared to ensure proper coordination and integration of development. IDPs are the most important mechanism available to government to transform structural differences in South Africa’s previously divided society. The IDP process is also one of the primary means of developing a community through the promotion of public participation in its analyses and planning phases. However, the IDP does not require that water availability and demand be considered during all parts of development planning, and neither does the IDP process require a discussion of how development will impact natural resources. In addition, the IDP deals separately with those services that impact water resources such as solid waste management, stormwater management, and water service and sanitation. This is not conducive to IWRM.


Complete PE 100-RC piping system HIGHER SERVICE LIFE under extreme conditions COST-EFFICIENT INSTALLATION without sand embedding LASTING CONNECTIONS with electro-socket or heated tool butt welding of PE 100-RC ONE-STOP SHOPPING piping system for gas, water, waste water and chemical media

agru Kunststofftechnik Gesellschaft m.b.H. | Ing.-Pesendorfer-Strasse 31 | 4540 Bad Hall, Austria T. +43 7258 7900 | office@agru.at | www.agru.at | @agruworld |


Investing in ecological infrastructure for

WATER SECURITY Ziyanda Majodina speaks to Jenifer Zungu, project leader: Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), about the importance of ecological infrastructure and unlocking its potential to support water security. Jenifer Zungu, project leader: Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security, South African National Biodiversity Institute


reen infrastructure is broadly defined as a strategically planned network of high-quality natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services and protect biodiversity in both rural and urban settings (like bioswales, rainwater harvesting, green roofs and permeable paving). Within this is a subset known as ecological infrastructure. This refers to the naturally functioning ecosystems that generate or deliver valuable services to people. It is the networks of natural healthy lands and working landscapes on which life-supporting ecosystem goods and services depend. Examples of ecological infrastructure include mountain catchments, wetlands, and coastal dunes. The importance of ecological infrastructure “Some of the services provided by this ecological infrastructure include water and climate regulation, soil formation, and disaster risk reduction. Ecological

infrastructure can supplement, and sometimes even substitute, built infrastructure solutions,” says Zungu. She adds that strategic investment in ecological infrastructure can lengthen the lifespan of the existing built infrastructure. “It must be noted that ecological infrastructure supports built infrastructure. For instance, a well-functioning wetland upstream of a dam or wastewater treatment plant will improve water quality.” Ecological infrastructure can support built infrastructure – often with significant cost savings. Degraded ecological infrastructure increases the vulnerability of built infrastructure to damage during extreme events like floods and increases maintenance costs. It is important to have some type of buffering mechanism to protect built infrastructure. Key elements of ecological infrastructure, including mountain catchments and corridors of natural vegetation, are often located in rural areas. Rehabilitating and maintaining ecological infrastructure contributes to diversifying rural livelihood options – on one hand through direct

job creation, and on the other by strengthening economic sectors such as sustainable farming and ecotourism. Rural communities usually rely directly on ecological infrastructure for goods and services – e.g. getting their drinking water directly from rivers – and tend to be the most immediately and severely affected when ecosystems become degraded. Furthermore, ecological infrastructure helps to mitigate risk. Well-managed ecological infrastructure can buffer human settlements and built infrastructure against extreme events like landslides, floods and droughts, playing a crucial and cost-effective role in disaster risk reduction. For example, coastal ecosystems such as dunes, mangroves and kelp beds reduce the impact of storm surges on coastal settlements. Healthy ecological infrastructure will play an important role in climate change adaptation and functioning ecological infrastructure is key to building resilience in extreme weather events. “With climate change, there is an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme events. The western part M AY / J U N 2022



World Wetland Day 2021 fieldwork in Berg-Breede demonstration catchment Wetland resource quality fieldwork being done in March 2021

of the country is expected to become hotter and drier with climate change, while the eastern parts will become wetter. Healthy riparian zones and wetlands will create a ‘sponge effect’ of slowing down water from storm surges, minimising erosion, and sustaining base flows in rivers,” explains Zungu Another important advantage is job creation. Healthy ecological infrastructure supports a range of economic sectors, directly and indirectly. Restoring and maintaining ecological infrastructure creates jobs because it is usually a labour-intensive endeavour, such as clearing alien invasive plants. “We have only scratched the surface of this job creation potential. Many of the jobs would be in the poorest parts of the country with the least access to other employment opportunities. The 2011 Green Jobs report by the Industrial Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa highlights that the bulk of the jobs related to the green economy is likely to come from natural resource management,” maintains Zungu. “If we don’t rehabilitate or restore ecological infrastructure, we run the risk of the services they render deteriorating or potentially losing that function completely,” she says. Funding Zungu emphasises that there needs to be an investment in both ecological and built infrastructure. “The work done around ecological infrastructure should support built


MAY /JUN 2022

infrastructure and can even in some instances play a replacement role where some of the built infrastructure is not functioning properly.” She adds that the costs to rehabilitate ecological infrastructure are far lower than the costs to replace it. Furthermore, it may be cheaper to rehabilitate the ecosystems concerned than to keep repairing or replacing the built infrastructure. “When funding built infrastructure, it is important to consider the ecological infrastructure that supports it and any costs linked to the maintenance of that ecological infrastructure.” We need to explore to what extent existing funding streams linked to the development of built infrastructure incorporate ecological infrastructure, as well as the opportunities to do so where ecological infrastructure is not currently considered. For instance, if an investment is made in ecological infrastructure in the upper catchment of a dam (where there may be a risk of siltation), this could result in less siltation (and more water capacity) as well as better quality water. New funding streams also need to be considered, as well as public-private partnerships (PPPs) along with blended finance models. “Natural capital accounting (NCA) refers to the systematic, reliable and regular measurement of stocks and flows of natural resources and ecosystems, so that their state – as well as the benefits they provide to society – can be recognised, understood and integrated into policy, planning and

decision-making. NCA thus becomes an important tool in our work to encourage the investment in ecological infrastructure,” explains Zungu. “Financiers, environmental specialists and engineers need to work more closely together when planning for infrastructure. There is a need to consider the lifespan of the built infrastructure, its return on investment, as well as the risks associated when we don’t invest in the ecological infrastructure that supports that built infrastructure. There needs to be a holistic approach when planning, building and maintaining infrastructure,” she adds. Zungu states that it is encouraging to see that environmental engineers are playing a bigger part in infrastructure projects and that there are shifts in approaches to the planning, construction and maintenance of infrastructure. Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security Project Launched in 2018 and led by SANBI, the Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security Project focuses on unlocking the potential of ecological infrastructure’s contribution toward water security. It aims to show how ecological infrastructure can support and enhance the investment of water-related built infrastructure. “A key part of the project is to capture, synthesise and share the knowledge generated from it. We focus on strengthening and creating an enabling environment for ecological infrastructure to be considered by developing natural capital accounts and influencing policy

ECOLOGICAL INFRASTRUC TURE in favour of ecological infrastructure,” adds Zungu. “We want to see ecological infrastructure being embedded more in legislation, strategy documents, guideline documents and frameworks. It has been encouraging to observe the inclusion of ecological infrastructure in the National Water and Sanitation Masterplan, and the National Water Security Framework,” she says. The project works in two demonstration catchments: • Berg-Breede, Western Cape, which supplies water to the City of Cape Town • Great uMngeni, KwaZulu-Natal, which supplies water for most of eThekwini Municipality. Water resource accounts were developed for both catchments. Water resource accounts quantify the flows of water into and out of the catchment and link this to different users and land uses. “In this project, we will explore, with stakeholders, how they can use these water resource accounts as a tool for supporting integrated water resources management at catchment level,” states Zungu. She adds that the Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security Project is also developing national accounts such as those for strategic water source areas. “Surface strategic water source areas make up only 10% of South Africa’s land area, yet provide 50% of our water. The accounts draw on recently developed national and land accounts to assess changes over time and issues that may arise from these changes. This will help with better planning around strategic water resource areas.” The Global Environment Facility invested R90 million into the project, which has been implemented through the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, while working closely with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). The project was planned to run over five years and an extension has been requested for another two to accommodate some of the initial delays, including those caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Regulations enforced social distancing and remote work, thus shifting how the project implemented its work with partners and stakeholders.

“The implementation of the Covid-19 regulations meant that face-to-face engagements, and how we normally connect with our partners and stakeholders, could not happen. This was quite challenging, as it impacted the building and development of new relationships,” notes Zungu. Key actions to unlock the potential of ecological infrastructure for water security include: • scaling up investments in restoring and maintaining ecological infrastructure • building on work initiated through natural resource management programmes such as Working for Water and Working for Wetlands that support job creation and livelihoods • planning and working in a collaborative manner through co-developing solutions for the management and rehabilitation of ecological infrastructure “It has been exciting to see how we were able to leverage funding to

implement rehabilitation activities in our catchments with key partners. We have also been working closely with the DWS in various policy and strategy development processes. The support from them on the implementation of this project has been amazing. We recognise the impact that Covid-19 had on the unemployment rate in our country, especially among our youth, and we were delighted to be able to support the appointment of 16 young professionals through the project. These young professionals have brought new energy and life to the programme. “This project has also embraced an approach to support knowledge management and use social learning to shift the way we implement ecological interventions. We recognise the need to understand the context we are working in to support the needs of those people whose livelihoods rely on natural resources,” concludes Zungu.

Mpophomeni wetland site visit in July 2019 – Greater uMngeni demonstration catchment

SANBI’s Catchment-based Indaba on Ecological Infrastructure held in November 2021

M AY / J U N 2022


DAMS & RESER VOIRS Watertightness is achieved by a low water-to-cement ratio, the proper placing and curing of concrete, as well as its compaction

Waterproofing and water-retaining structures Mapei, a global supplier of construction chemicals, speaks to Kirsten Kelly about achieving watertight concrete structures – which takes a combination of design, workmanship and selective materials.

Ross Creasey, product manager, Mapei South Africa

Waterproofing systems will not perform adequately without decent surface preparation


hen building concrete water-retaining structures (dams, reservoirs, irrigation channels, water and wastewater treatment plants), it is important to ensure their watertightness to prevent the flow of water from inside the structure to outside, and the infiltration of water from the surrounding soil into the structure. High-density, good-quality concrete “Not all water-retaining structures or water/wastewater treatment works use waterproofing products. High-density, good-quality concrete is effectively watertight with a high level of abrasion resistance. Watertightness is achieved


MAY /JUN 2022

Polyurea waterproofing can be applied rapidly and creates a seamless, high-performing waterproofing barrier that can withstand chemical attack (like chlorine)

by a low water-to-cement ratio, the proper placing and curing of concrete, as well as its compaction,” states Ross Creasey, product manager, Mapei South Africa. Superplasticisers (like the Mapei Dynamon range) aid in creating dense concrete, as they can reduce the water-to-cement ratio (and increase strength) while maintaining workability. Crystalline admixtures (Mapei Idrokrete) also reduce the permeability of concrete and even seal small hairline cracks. Creasey believes that with waterproofing, it is important to consider the service life of the infrastructure. “Once a waterproofing product reaches its service life, it

needs to be removed and reapplied. For instance, the lining of an irrigation channel is not necessarily a costeffective decision as it will need to be waterproofed again every 15 to 20 years. This can be an expensive and technical exercise. Furthermore, some of these irrigation channels are open at the top, so if a rock or sediment falls inside and is carried away with the flowing water, it could destroy any waterproofing coating. Often, it is less expensive to rely on quality concrete and plan for marginal water loss than to keep relining the channel.” Waterproofing systems There are times when a waterproofing coating is needed, particularly when


there is a low concrete cover over the rebar or a serious leak in the structure. “Cementitious waterproofing systems (like Mapelastic Smart) are popular for waterproofing water-retaining structures. There are also roll-on applied polyurethane systems (Purtop Easy DW), as well as the more technical systems like the pure polyureas that rely on a spray-based system, requiring specialist contractors,” says Creasey. He adds that polyurea waterproofing can be applied rapidly and creates a seamless, high-performing waterproofing barrier that can withstand chemical attacks (like chlorine). While the cementitious waterproofing systems are generally more forgiving, the polyurea systems are expensive and need extensive surface preparation. Surface preparation Waterproofing systems will not perform adequately without decent surface preparation. Concrete surfaces need to be cleaned from all forms of scale, laitance, dust, mould, form oils, wax and curing agents, as well as any material that can impact the bonding of the waterproofing membrane to the substrate. Cleaning can be done via mechanical means (such as compressed air, sweeping, abrasive cleaning or highpressure water jetting) or using chemicals to remove materials such as oil or dirt. “Surface preparation will differ according to the type of waterproofing system used. Normally, we would recommend scarifying the concrete surfaces for a polyurea system. The best possible bond needs to be created between the surface and the waterproofing system,” explains Creasey. Furthermore, there should not be any honeycombing and all rebar needs to be sufficiently covered. Typically, a water tank that holds chemicals will have a greater amount of concrete cover for reinforcement. It is also critical to ensure that there are no cracks, or that existing cracks are repaired with epoxies or high-strength repair mortars. Joints While joints play a vital role in fortifying concrete structures, they represent the most vulnerable part of the structure from a waterproofing perspective. Without an effective joint waterproofing system, the water-retaining structure will leak. “There are various types of joints in water-retaining structures – cold joints, expansion joints, contraction joints and construction joints. In most cases, our Idrostop range of PVC waterstops or swellable waterstops (for cold joints) are cast in situ into the concrete structure to stop the passage of water at the joints. We also offer joint sealers that can handle chemical resistance. The idea is to make the structure as seamless as possible,” explains Creasey. With pipes and conduits, flanges are used to make the structure watertight. Engineers may also recommend a wet-to-dry epoxy that glues the concrete on to the pipe as it dries, as well as swellable waterstops. Standards and certifications All products should conform to either the relevant South African National Standards (SANS), British Standard (BS), European Standards (EN) or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards, should they exist.

A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR INFRASTRUCTURE SUCCESS ROCLA is South Africa’s leading manufacturer of pre-cast concrete products. Surpassing 100 years of product excellence. • • • • • • •

Pipes Culverts Manholes Poles Retaining walls Roadside furniture Sanitation

Including other related products within infrastructure development and related industries.

Visit us on


for our nationwide branches


though innovative funding

There is a dire need to invest in the water sector, but it is an extremely difficult space to finance. While the availability of funding is not an issue, the bankability of water projects and project pipelines need to be addressed to access that funding. By Kirsten Kelly


he Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa (IIPSA) is working to tackle these challenges. An EU-funded programme managed by the Development Bank Southern Africa (DBSA), IIPSA is designed to fast-track infrastructure delivery in municipalities by capacitating them through the development of long-term financing plans and project management assistance in preparing infrastructure projects for funding. IIPSA is tasked to mobilise debt financing from participating development finance institutions (DFIs) and promote blended financing options with the private sector. “Funding from


MAY /JUN 2022

IIPSA is used to raise additional capital than what was originally possible,” says Alwyn Coetzee, technical advisor, IIPSA. The €100 million (R1.7 billion) programme is directed towards the SADC region, of which €42 million (R714 million) has already been assigned to various infrastructure projects in the energy, roads, ICT and water sectors. Of the 22 projects currently being implemented, eight of these projects are in the water sector in South Africa. Selecting projects A list of priority infrastructure projects was compiled by the IIPSA steering committee, which has been established by National Treasury, involving key

government departments. The DBSA then appraises those projects, presents them back to the steering committee, concludes contracts and implements them. Within the water and sanitation sector, IIPSA reviews projects that improve water source management, enhance water management capacity, improve maintenance of water and wastewater infrastructure, and promote environmentally friendly technologies. “Before any work is done on projects, IIPSA engages at municipal level to verify if the project is indeed a priority,” says Coetzee. He adds that funding from IIPSA creates added value – it must be in





addition to what would be achieved by the infrastructure project. “The idea is that without IIPSA funding, the projects would have achieved positive results, but with the IIPSA funding, projects would be brought forward or the client’s cost of borrowing money would be lowered. There can be no replacement of existing capital with IIPSA funding. Funding products “When IIPSA started, over 200 priority projects were presented for funding.

None of these projects were bankable or ready for implementation. We had to prepare these projects for investment – which is a challenging task,” states Coetzee. Other funding products used by IIPSA are direct capital grants, interest rate subsidies and loan guarantees. Capital grants are used when a project is too expensive to the enduser. A capital grant would then be available with the debt financing. The interest rate subsidies would also make the project more affordable to the end-user and assist with cash flow during the construction phase of a


project, especially with projects relying on a revenue stream upon completion. Loan guarantees provide a form of insurance for projects, especially during their initial stages. City of Tshwane’s water conservation and water demand management project A successful IIPSA water project is ongoing at the City of Tshwane. With a 700 km pipeline and water infrastructure valued at R22 billion, the metro loses millions of rand annually due to water losses in the transmission and distribution network, and has poor cost recovery. Estimates of physical losses (leaks) in the municipality’s network range between 25% and 40%. The impact of deteriorating water distribution and transmission infrastructure is not limited to physical losses only. In an environment of

limited maintenance, water meters are typically the type of device where maintenance falls short or is neglected completely. As a result, the proportion of non-functional water meters has grown rapidly. This has a direct impact on billing and cost recovery. “We received project preparation assistance from the DBSA as well as grant funding (R34 million) from IIPSA in 2019 to start a feasibility study for a water conservation and water demand management (WC/WDM) programme. Additional funding of R6 million was received for programme management and R20 million for meter installations. A pilot project is being implemented in the Cullinan, Rayton and Refilwe region,” explains Lesego Lekubu, programme manager: WC/WDM Programme, City of Tshwane. The detailed feasibility study was completed a year ago; it took a

programmatic approach that evaluated water resources, infrastructure and tariff modelling. From there, a financial model was developed to determine if the WC/ WDM project is bankable and feasible. “With the assistance received from IIPSA, we managed to create a clearly defined, bankable WC/WDM project that showed anticipated returns and benefits. This generated support from all stakeholders from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the city’s finance department, revenue collection department, as well as from the mayor. IIPSA funding has built capacity within our municipality where training has been provided on the management and maintenance of pressure reducing valves,” adds Lekubu. The financing approach for the programme is a hybrid between conventional balance sheet finance and project finance. The intention is to strengthen the financial position of the municipality. This will be achieved by generating alternative future cash flows stemming from the interventions that are implemented on a sub-project level. Funding for future sub-projects will be progressively advanced to the municipality in tranches by the participating financiers against strict criteria for the achievement and maintenance of key performance indicators of the sub-projects already implemented. As the programme is rolled out, less debt will be required to finance the new sub-projects, as the municipality will be able to fund a larger portion through own funds generated from the savings and improved revenues stemming from already implemented interventions. This WC/WDM project is ongoing; it has been implemented in 240 district metering areas. In terms of bulk metering, mechanical meters are being replaced by electromagnetic flow meters. These will help to accurately determine the metro’s water balance and quantify water losses. eThekwini Aqueducts Project Another IIPSA project is the Western and Northern Aqueducts in eThekwini Municipality. eThekwini Municipality is the third largest metro in South Africa. It has a population of 3.7 million people, a


MAY /JUN 2022

balance sheet of R42 billion and an annual revenue of R41 billion – 33% of which comes from water. “Over the last decade, the eThekwini region has established rapid and largescale urbanisation that has resulted in huge developments. There has been a substantial increase in water demand, which the existing aged infrastructure cannot accommodate,” says Linda Enicker, senior manager: Investments and Borrowings, eThekwini Municipality. Therefore, a bulk water supply pipeline was planned that will improve the delivery of potable water to the western and northern regions within the metro for the next 30 to 50 years. It will enable eThekwini to also address backlogs for free basic water provision to around 100 000 indigent people. The Western Aqueduct transports bulk water from the Umgeni Water supply system and Midmar Treatment Works to the Zuma Reservoir. The Northern Aqueduct assists with the supply of water from the Umgeni Durban Heights Water Treatment Works to the Phoenix and Umhlanga reservoirs. Completion of the Western and Northern Aqueduct projects will result in an assured water supply to over a million previously disadvantaged people living in the region who, at present, are faced with daily water interruptions because of capacity problems in the existing supply system. The project is valued at R3 billion – the Western Aqueduct project comprising R1.8 billion and the Northern Aqueduct R1.2 billion. “Both projects started in 2012/2013; however, eThekwini Municipality started to engage with IIPSA in 2014 where we submitted this project for IIPSA funding,” adds Enicker.

Traditionally, eThekwini Municipality would generate funding through grants, loans and internally generated funding. “When we looked at the IIPSA structure, we were intrigued, as it meant we would receive direct project funding compared to the general funding received from the municipality,” she explains. A portion of the debt funding (R700 million) has been received as part of a 15-year loan agreement with the DBSA, and the French Development Agency. These long-term loans have been made possible by IIPSA with a contribution of a R93 million grant to eThekwini Municipality. In order to follow the correct supply chain management processes, eThekwini Municipality had to go back to the market and request other funders to give prices. “The IIPSA funding package was very costeffective, with a 1.5% lower interest rate than what we would have received in the market,” notes Enicker. The purpose of the IIPSA funding is, among others, to improve the affordability of water services to the communities within eThekwini Municipality, to fast-track the implementation of the project, and to enable the implementation of other critical water projects within the municipality. A portion of the IIPSA funding is earmarked for investment in ecological infrastructure linked to the aqueducts project. This is the first IIPSA project that has resulted in a lending opportunity being created for the IIPSA participating DFIs. “The IIPSA funding was very useful, as it allowed us to fund the Northern and Western Aqueduct at a good interest rate. The grant funding also helped us to lower the cost of funding, resulting in lower tariffs for the enduser,” states Enicker.

EUROPEAN UNION The EU has assigned R1.7 billion to IIPSA and is an impor tant development par tner in South Africa and a dominant contributor to DFIs. “We suppor t South Africa in its effor ts to review its strategy, policy and regulator y framework on water management. We are engaged in dialogue around adapting to and mitigating climate change, with a strong focus on water and can facilitate dialogue between local exper ts and water professionals in the EU,” says Raul de Luzenberger, the EU deputy ambassador to South Africa. At the EU African Union Summit, a €150 billion (R2.5 trillion) investment package was pledged to help build more diversified, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies on the African continent. “Water security will be one of the focus areas,” he adds. De Luzenberger states, however, that development grants are not sufficient when addressing financing gaps. “The EU is keen to scale up its suppor t through innovative finance tools such as blended grants. This is a combination of grant aid with other private or public sources of finance.”



HYDROLOGICAL ENGINEERING A drone image of the completed groynes upstream of the old road to Brandwacht River

BRANDWACHT RIVER STABILISATION PROJECT Alien vegetation, riverbank erosion and large quantities of sediment washing downstream prompted the Brandwacht River stabilisation project. By Hans King, owner of Hans King SRS


few kilometres from Hartenbos, near George in the Eden District of the Western Cape, lies the Brandwacht River. It flows southwards from the Outeniqua Mountains, and discharges into the Atlantic Sea via the Klein Brak River. The problem Over the past 15 years, there has been a marked increase in the presence of black wattle as well as other species of alien vegetation such as the Spanish reed. The riverbank erosion at sites opposite where the black wattle is growing has increased in severity to the point where the right bank has moved completely to where the left bank was 10 years ago. Many small farmers along the river produce a variety of crops. Not only was agricultural soil being lost on the bank of the river, but large quantities of sediment were washing downstream as a result of the impact of the alien vegetation.


MAY /JUN 2022

On-site inspections and historical satellite imagery revealed that the river became ever more degraded as one progressed down its course, largely due to bulldozing and the flourishing of invasive alien vegetation. Due to limited funds, a 3 km stretch was selected for rehabilitation where there was intense alien vegetation growth and serious soil loss and sediment load mobilisation were taking place. It was believed that by reducing the sediment flow down the river from the target area, the whole riparian community downstream would benefit from the work. Objectives The primary objective of the rehabilitation work was to prevent the abnormal movement of sediment down the river (in other words sediment that was mobilised by the ingress of invasive alien vegetation), and therefore protect the agricultural production potential of land downstream of the site.

Rehabilitation work would also: • protect agricultural production potential on the site itself (by preventing the washing away of the riverbanks) • provide work opportunities for unemployed locals during the project, and for the maintenance of the river after the project • protect the natural environment by the removal of alien vegetation and the partial restoration of the natural flora at the worksite • protect local road and bridge infrastructure, which impacts on the local agricultural economy. Interventions A detailed topographical survey of the 3 km long stretch of river was carried out, and a hydrological study of the catchment was done. This information was used to determine flood levels, to design a rehabilitated river channel (along the route that existed about


movements should this occur during an extreme flood. 2. R ock-filled gabions are easy to work with, and this facilitated the employment of a labour force of at least 70% local persons.

Invasive alien vegetation pushing the oncoming river into the road fill

A typical groyne structure

10 years previously), and to design groyne structures to support the rehabilitated channel. The width and shape of the rehabilitated channel were designed so that flow velocities during floods were mild enough not to promote erosion, especially once the indigenous wetland vegetation had been re-established. A total of 27 groynes were chosen as river training structures (as opposed to riprap or other longitudinal protection), partly because it was a lot more economical, but also because the use of groynes promoted a wider and slowerflowing watercourse during floods.

Furthermore, the spaces between the groynes were used for trapping sediment and the establishment of indigenous wetland vegetation. The height of the groyne structures above the riverbed was kept low so that large sections of the groynes would be overtopped during moderate floods and double the river’s flow width. Approximately 9 000 m³ of rock was used to fill gabion baskets. Rock-filled gabion baskets were selected as the construction material for two reasons: 1. T he material was flexible enough to accommodate foundation

Design and construction challenges The design technique for groynes developed in the Western Cape has often been used for cobble-bed rivers; however, the Brandwacht River has sand-beds. It was expected that the sediment of a sand-bed river would be mobilised to a greater depth during a flood than a cobble-bed river. To make sure that the tips of the groynes at Brandwacht would be stable during flooding, it was therefore essential to keep the foundations at least 1 m below the lowest part of the pools in the surveyed pool-and-riffle sequence. This caused problems during construction, as the anchor block under the mattress around the foundation of the groyne was at least 2 m below the riverbed. The contractor found that conventional techniques of pumping water out of the excavation so that the anchor block could be installed did not work, as the inflow of subsoil water was too strong. It was then decided to employ a curtain of well points around the excavation and a very large pump, which dropped the water table enough to enable the construction to go ahead as planned. Post the completion of construction, several small floods have been experienced, but nothing significant to test the project yet. The indigenous wetland vegetation has re-established. The banks of the river are now stable.



www.rainbowtanks.co.za +27 (0)11 965 6016

+27 (0)83 226 8572



BACK-UP WATER STORAGE SOLUTIONS Don’t let water cuts, shortages or infrastructure damage or maintenance put your operation on hold. SBS tanks are suited for back-up, potable, rainwater harvested and process water storage. NEED AN EXCELLENT WATER STORAGE SOLUTION?

For more information: Email: info@sbstanks.co.za Tel: 0860 482 657 WWW.SBSTANKS.COM


AN UPDATE Confluence of the Senqu and Khubelu rivers

Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) comprises the construction of the Polihali Dam and reservoir, water transfer tunnel and the associated access roads, bridges, accommodation, electrical transmission lines and telecommunications infrastructure.


he LHWP Phase II builds on the successful completion of Phase I in 2003. It delivers water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and uses the water delivery system to generate electricity in Lesotho. Key components of the project Polihali Dam • 163.5 m high rockfill dam • 49.5 m high saddle 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 transfer tunnel will link the Polihali and Katse reservoirs. Hydropower • Feasibility studies are completed. It is decided that conventional hydropower is the best option. • T hree potential sites have been identified: two on the Senqu River and a third site at Oxbow on the Malibamats’o River. • The Government of Lesotho has approved the Oxbow site for Phase II hydropower component. The procurement of a service provider for

the detail design and supervision of the hydropower scheme has started. Key dates are: • 2022 – begin the design of the preferred option • 2025 – begin construction • 2028 – commission. Advance infrastructure • This has mostly been completed and entails: • roads • bridges • housing • offices • workshops • bulk power • telecommunications networks, which support project implementation and benefit Lesotho in the long term. Procurement • 54 contracts have been awarded • The most recently awarded contract is for the construction of the Polihali Operations Centre to L&M – a joint venture between Lesotho’s LSP Construction and South Africaregistered Mofomo Construction. •M ain works milestones include the procurement of the contractors for the Polihali Dam, Polihali Transfer Tunnel and major bridges. The award of the contracts is expected this year.

• Recent advance infrastructure construction tenders awarded include those for the Katse Lodge and Katse Village upgrades, and the construction of the Polihali Village. Construction work has commenced on these two components. Polihali diversion tunnels The two diversion tunnels were constructed in preparation for the Polihali Dam construction and ahead of the appointment of the dam contractor. The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) celebrated the double breakthrough of the tunnels in August 2021, marking the completion of 1 870 m of excavation. Excavation inside the two Polihali diversion tunnels commenced in June 2020 and mostly advanced from the outlets. Construction was completed in November 2021. The contractor and consultant have demobilised from site. Bulk power The electrical infrastructure required for the Phase II development includes the construction of new substations, upgrading of existing Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) substations, the construction of new power lines, and the diversion of the existing LEC 33 kV distribution network between Letšeng M AY / J U N 2022



and Mokhotlong, which is below the Polihali Dam full supply level. A 33 kV power line of 2.2 km from Tlokoeng to Polihali to supply early power for the advance infrastructure contracts and the Polihali village prior to the completion of the main power from Matsoku was completed in June 2021. The construction of a 38 km 132 kV transmission line between Matsoku substation and the new substation at Polihali have been completed and both were energised in mid-January 2022. Polihali and Katse infrastructure works The works at Polihali and Katse – including the potable water supply system and sewer reticulation to permanent and temporary residential areas, water treatment facilities, access roads and street lighting – are complete. Environmental milestones Environmental and social impact assessments and environmental management plans for the Polihali Western Access Road (PWAC) and associated infrastructure are completed. Records of decision (RoDs) authorising the construction of the Polihali Dam, Polihali Transfer Tunnel, PWAC and its associated components have been granted by Lesotho’s Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture. Furthermore, the environmental management plans have been approved, while the RoDs for the Polihali North East Access Road (PNEAR), the construction of the diversion tunnels and for the quarries and borrow pits associated with the major components like the Polihali Dam and Polihali Transfer Tunnel and the major bridges have been granted. Changes in the overall design/ construction programme Projected milestones as per the current master programme are as follows: • Impoundme nt of the dam: June 2025. • Water delivery (tunnel): December 2027. Several factors have contributed to the programme changes. These include the delays due to complex decision-making processes, the cancellation and repeat of some procurements, and Covid-19 – which brought the LHWP to a halt for a period. Activities then resumed with restrictions to protect LHDA employees,


MAY /JUN 2022

consultants, contractor teams and communities in the construction area. Adverse weather and community unrest also caused delays. Construction under way • Access roads: Construction of the PWAR East and West, PNEAR and the Northern Access Road is progressing but is behind schedule. • Housing: In recent months, construction has begun on the Katse Lodge and Katse Village upgrades, the construction of the Polihali Village and construction of the Polihali Operations Centre. These are three of the four Phase II housing contracts packaged to enhance local participation, especially of small- and medium-sized contractors. Procurement is advanced for the construction of the Polihali Commercial Centre. • Bulk power: Upgrades to the substations at the Katse intake tower and Ha Lejone – and to the protection and control systems of the Maputsoe, Pitseng and Matsoku diversion substations – are complete. Revenue The Polihali Dam will add another 2 325 million m³ to the LHWP storage capacity. The current annual royalty revenue will increase when Polihali is commissioned, as the volume of water transferred to South Africa will increase incrementally from the current supply rate of 780 million m³ per annum to more than 1 270 million m³ per annum. Royalty revenues on the transfer of water to South Africa will vary from year to year, depending on the volume of water transferred and inflation. At the end of 2021, the cumulative water transfer royalty revenue was M12.545 billion (at a 1:1 ratio to the South African rand). The water conveyance system also generates electricity in Lesotho, which has reduced the country’s dependence on imported electricity, saving on import costs and contributing to the country’s GDP by stimulating local industry and economic growth. At the end of December 2021, the cumulative electricity sales revenue from the time the ‘Muela Hydropower Plant that was commissioned in 1998 amounted to M1.276 billion.

Contractors camp at Polihali

Polihali access road under construction

Diversion tunnel outlets

Polihali diversion tunnels’ intake structures under construction

A shed housing the water treatment plant


Meet the

NEW WRC CEO Full circle: Dr Jennifer Molwantwa’s first interaction with the Water Research Commission (WRC) was in the 1990s as a Rhodes University student working on a WRC-funded project within the university’s Environmental Biotechnology Research Unit. Today, she is the first black woman to head the WRC.

Dr Jennifer Molwantwa, CEO, Water Research Commission


ith a PhD in Biotechnology, majoring in minewater treatment, Molwantwa is a registered professional natural scientist with the South African National Council for Scientific Professions. She has been an active member of WISA since 2004, as well as the recipient of the WISA Mine Water Division Best Paper Presented by a Student (2004) and the Excellence in Research Award for a Young Scientist (2006). Jennifer was also instrumental in the establishment of the WISA YWP network in 2006.

Her career started at Pulles Howard & de Lange (later incorporated into Golder Associates Africa) as a research assistant and then water resource consultant, before joining Digby Wells Environmental as a unit manager. She joined the WRC in 2014 as a research manager responsible for water resource quality prior to being appointed executive: Water Resource Management at the Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency, where she served for five years (2016 to 2022). Molwantwa has previously also served on the Council of the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she also

represented Council on Senate. She currently serves on the boards of the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) and the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa, and is a member of the Department of Fisheries Forestry and Environment subcommittee for the development of the National Implementation Plan for chemicals management. One of her biggest career highlights happened in 2010 when she was selected as one of the 26 commissioners to serve on the National Planning Commission headed by then Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel. This M AY / J U N 2022



part-time position entailed planning for the future of South Africa for the next 20 years, where the Vision 2030 for the country and the National Development Plan were developed. Plans for the future “The WRC will continue on its path of excellence, and we plan to take it to even greater heights. I will focus on increasing the relevance and responsiveness of the WRC to the needs of people with no access to water and sanitation. We will continue to address the length and breadth of issues within the water and sanitation sector, and embrace innovation and technology that is fit for purpose. The uptake of research innovation and technology by the water sector and government is our primary focus in the short to medium term. It is important that the WRC remains a relevant body that adds value to this sector and uses all funding as efficiently as possible. Levy payers should feel the benefit of their investment in the WRC, and all spheres of government – particularly through the District Development Model – should benefit from our research. The WRC will continue to focus on supporting the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in addressing challenges within the sector,” says Molwantwa. Applied research is vitally important to the WRC, and several technology

transfer demonstrations have been implemented. There is a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the WRC, whereby many technology assessments in the water space are funded by the DSI and are successfully brought to the South African market once they pass the demonstration phase. This is the space where the entrepreneurial support for water sector innovation and technology is evident. “There is a host of ongoing WRC projects that I am excited about – ranging from dam siltation management, hydropower and water efficiency in the agricultural sector, to low-flush sanitation, non-revenue water, climate change adaptation from a water perspective and riverine management, to name a few,” states Molwantwa. “We have to support government in an integrated approach to disaster management through early warning systems in collaboration with the South African Weather Service, and ministries like CoGTA and the DWS. The three key disasters that require our serious leadership and attention include floods/ droughts, water/food security, and water pollution.” According to Molwantwa, research is a competitive space, and there is always a possibility that research can be duplicated by two different institutions. “There needs to be an assessment of the status quo of water

research in South Africa, following which resources can be pooled and research gaps identified. We do not always have to reinvent the wheel. “Research is about finding solutions and having a futuristic attitude. We need to build capacity in schools and cultivate talent in young students. There are many young women working within the water research space, and this is encouraging in a democracy as young as South Africa. However, we must be consciously intentional about creating more pools of women to lead in science and technology,” she adds. Molwantwa’s wish for the water sector “I believe that there should be an act that legislates water from source to tap and treats water as the precious resource it is. While it is a human need and right, the population must be educated on its finality, the true cost of access and the respect that must be given in terms of quality and quantity. When I was a child visiting my grandmother’s house, water had to be collected at a communal borehole. Food could not be cooked, and clothes and bodies could not be washed unless a container of water was collected at the borehole. Water was treasured by everyone living there. I would like everyone to value water; there needs to be an emphasis on educating communities on water, starting with the scholars. The term ‘wastewater’ should be abolished,” she concludes.

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS APE Pumps agru Kunststofftechnik GmbH




Keller Nederland


Mapei South Africa


Quality Filtration Systems



39 & 41

Sasol SBS Corporate Services Sizabantu Piping Systems

44 OBC

Specialised Exhibitions/A-OSH


SRK Consulting


Rainbow Reservoirs


Vega Controls SA



Water Institute of Southern Africa

MAY /JUN 2022


IBC 2 & 27


ULTRASONIC 80 GHz level sensor with fixed cable connection (IP68)

All advantages of the radar technology:



20 years of your support has given us given us 20 years of excellence



#SizaTurn20 #Since2002

Message from our CEO, Don Coleman:

The past 20 years has been a journey filled with fun and interesting challengers. This wonderful journey has been made possible by the enthusiastic, entrepreneurial character, which has encapsulated the Spirit of our amazing team. The road we have travelled was not without its challengers, but with the positive competitive nature of our management and staff, we managed to scale each mountain that was in our way. It has been an absolute pleasure serving with our adopted family and may we take this opportunity thanking the Good Lord for his Grace and many Blessings. May we all look forward to the next 20 years of this exciting journey. To our Dear Loyal Customers and Suppliers. Thank you for travelling this long road with us over the past 20 years. We have been truly privileged to be included as part of your supply team. Without your success and support, we would have surely stumbled along the way. We look forward to continuing our journey with you, into a bright new future.