Promoting professional excellence in the water sector
Water& Sanitation The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa T
Complete water resource and wastewater management
SBS TANKS Constantly evolving to meet industry demands
PANEL DISCUSSION The value of package plants to African markets
IN N THEE HOTT S AT SEA SEAT
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT WRC discusses current groundwater context
The scarcity of water has forced water users to reassess the reuse p potential of local water sources. Dr JJ (Mias) van der Walt, divisio o managing principal: Water and Sanitation, Bigen Africa Services divisional November/December 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 6 N
* Savings are based on individual customer case studies; these may vary depending on usage and package
CONTE C ONTE ON ENTS NTS S
Volume 8. No.6
Promoting professional excellence in the water sector
Water& Sanitation The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa T
Complete water resource and wastewater management
SBS TANKS Constantly evolving to meet industry demands
ON THE COVER
SBS Tanks discusses growth strategies and continued expansion plans for 2014
Groundwater as a resource is often overlooked
PANEL DISCUSSION The value of package plants to African markets
IN N THEE HOTT SEAT S AT SEA
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT WRC discusses current groundwater context
The scarcity of water has forced water users to reassess the potential of local water sources. Dr JJ (Mias) van der Walt, reuse p divisional divisio o managing principal: Water and Sanitation, Bigen Africa Services
November/December 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 6 N
COVER STORY SBS Tanks: Scaling new heights
WISA President’s message
Board banter: Hooked for life
SA YWPs at Stockholm World Water Week
HOT SEAT Dr JJ (Mias) van der Walt, divisional managing principal: Water and Sanitation, Bigen Africa Services unpacks water reuse gains in the local context
18 An example of best practise in water reuse
PANEL DISCUSSION Containerised modular systems: Package plants prioritised
FEATURES GROUNDWATER A potential game changer
Working together to make SA’s resources last
Dealing with drainage
INDUSTRIAL WATER Processes and challenges
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Climate change: Capacity building in rural SA
Better management of scarce groundwater resources
SA’s water scientists showcase water innovation technologies
WATER METERING It makes good sense
TECHNICAL PAPER A comparison of charcoal- and slag-based constructed wetlands: Part ll
REGULARS Editor’s comment
48 Challenges in dealing with industrial water
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Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Chantelle van Schalkwyk Head of design Frédérick Danton Senior designer Hayley Mendelow Designer Kirsty Galloway Chief sub-editor Claire Nozaïc Sub-editor Patience Gumbo Contributors Arish Sohan, Jody Naicker, Craig Sheridan, Kevin Harding, Edward Koller, Antonio de Pretto Marketing & events coordinator Neo Sithole Client services & production manager Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Financial manager Andrew Lobban Administration Tonya Hebenton Printers United Litho Johannesburg +27 (0)11 402 0571 Advertising sales Avé Delport Tel: +27 (0)11 467 6224 • Cell: +27 (0)83 302 1342 Fax: 086 502 1216 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR’S COMMENT FEATURE
S I AM WRITING this ‒ my last editor s letter for Water&Sanitation Africa ‒ it is also by chance the last thing I have to do before leaving the publication to move onto what I
hope are brighter horizons. Sadly, it is not only goodbye to Water&Sanitation Africa and the amazing team I have had the pleasure of working with, but quite possibly to an industry that has taught me all about resilience, determination and constant evolution. The water industry has been my home for a number
of years and as I move to a slightly different one, I remain excited about the projects and projections for the industry going forward and this, I believe, is strongly evident in the November/December edition of the magazine.
MEDIA Physical address: No 4, 5 Avenue Rivonia 2056 Postal address: PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 E-mail: email@example.com
Some of the highlights include an in-depth interview with WISA board member Dr Jo Burgess, on page 12, and a discussion on groundwater with the Water Research Commission (WRC) on page 32. In addition, Protea Chemicals has also recently launched its new Chlorine Plant, see page 30, and we highlight some of the key findings at the recent WRC Symposium, held at the CSIR Convention Centre, on page 52, setting the research and development agenda and cementing an open communica-
ISSN: 1990 - 8857 Annual subscription: R290 (SA rate) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
tion channel between academia, politicians and communities. In addition, I leave at a time when key role players, who continue to deliver despite constant challenges and changing contexts, are being celebrated by the Department of Water Affairs, with Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the deputy minister of Water and
All articles in Water&Sanitation Africa are copyright protected and may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publishers. The views of contributors do not necessarily reﬂect those of the Water Institute of Southern Africa or the publishers.
Environmental Affairs, recently congratulating the winners of the 2013 Water Sector Awards on Water Conservation and Water Demand Management (WC/WDM). Through the WC and WDM Sector Awards, the department seeks to create a platform and an enabling environment for all role players and stakeholders from all sectors to start ap-
preciating and understanding the importance of conserving water ‒ and this is quite
HEAD OFFICE Tel: +27 (0)11 805 3537 Fax: +27 (0)11 315 1258 Physical address: 1st Floor, Building 5, Constantia Park, 546 16th Road, Randjiespark Ext 7, Midrand BRANCHES
rightly to be applauded as they move on from focusing only on quality to now include maintaining the quantity of supply. According to the study conducted by the WRC, the country loses at least 37% of its water through non-revenue water. This equates to about R7 billion loss per annum
in revenue for municipalities. Our future water security and sustainability will only be
Eastern Cape Chairman: Hennie Greeﬀ Tel: +27(0)41 453 3102 Secretary/Treasurer: Chris Dickson Tel: +27(0)41 507 8200
guaranteed when government, private sector and civil society take the responsibility of conserving and preserving the water resources that we have access to today, said Mabudafhasi. If you would like to see the list of winners, they are available on infrastructurene.ws in an article titled Mabudafhasi congratulates 2013 Water Sector
Free State Chairperson: D.R. Tlhomelang Tel: +27(0)51 403 0800 Secretary/ Treasurer: Riana Wessels Tel: +27(0)56-515-0375
Awards winners . In closing, I would like to introduce my successor as editor ‒ Maryke Foulds. Foulds will take over the editorship of Water&Sanitation Africa and RéSource magazines from 11 November. She a Journalism Diploma and has edited various trade
KwaZulu-Natal Chairman: Chris Fennemore Tel: +27 (0)31 311 8734 Secretary/ Treasurer: Stephanie Walsh Tel: +27 (0)31 302-4077 Western Cape Chairman: Gareth McConkey Tel: +27(0) 21 712 4260 Secretary/ Treasurer: Eleonore Bondesio Tel: +27(0)21 872 0322 WISA mission statement m The Water Institute of Southern Africa provides a forum for exchange of information and views to improve water resource management in southern Africa.
and technical publications for the past 15 years. She brings valuable experience to 3S Media s stable and will be of great benefit to the two titles for which she will be responsible. excellence
sector in the water
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magazine The official T
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Constant s ry demand meet indust
Endorsed by ENT & DEVELOPM RESEARCH sses current WRC discu context groundwater
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THEE HOTT S AT SEA SEAT
ess the r users to reass forced wate van der Walt, of water has Dr JJ (Mias) The scarcity sources. Services P18 local water Bigen Africa p ntial of Sanitation, reuse pote al: Water and 6 ing princip
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57 • ISSN 1990-88 mber 2013
In each issue, Water&Sanitation Africa oﬀers companies the opportunity to get to the front of the line by placing a company, product or service on the front cover of the magazine. Buying this position will aﬀord the advertiser the cover story and maximum exposure. For more information on cover bookings contact Avé Delport on +27 (0)83 302 1342 or e-mail avedel@ lantic.net
8 No. R40.00 • Vol • Cover price
Scaling new heights
2013 has been an extremely successful year for SBS Tanks and, as a result, for the producers of this premium product, SBS Water Systems’ managing director, Delayne Gray, tells Water&Sanitation Africa. N MARCH, WE launched our own SBS Tanks
These are added to our list of already accredited bod-
range, which is a Proudly South African range,
ies such as WISA, The Automatic Sprinkler Inspection
developed, manufactured and installed by SBS
Bureau (ASIB) and the Institute of Municipal Engineering
Water Systems, says Gray. The company has also
of Southern Africa (IMESA), says Gray. Moreover, in
just reached over 700 installations, which is not only a
February 2013, SBS started the process of applying for
monumental achievement in any sector given the re-
the SABS ISO 9001 accreditation. This is a prestigious and
cent ﬁnancial constraints faced in the international and
internationally recognised standard for quality, which
local markets, but which has increased its demand for
will be applied to both SBS s business and products.
The second stage of the audit has been completed and
Additionally, as the staﬀ quotient has grown, so has the need for space to foster the existing growth trend.
we are looking forward to receiving the SABS ISO 9001 accreditation in January 2014, he states.
As we manufacture our SBS Tanks range on-site, we
Gray adds that in September 2013 SBS was nominated
had to expand our premises to another manufacturing
by Martin & Associates for the 32nd Steel Awards and
warehouse. We are extremely proud to be expanding
was ultimately recognised for its innovative design
our business while other companies in our industry are
of the 3.3 Mℓ SBS Tank. This is the biggest steel tank
being forced to close, says Gray.
installed in Southern Africa to date and was manufactured, supplied and installed by SBS Water Systems,
Proudly South African
Part of the reason for SBS s continued growth and suc-
The sky is the limit
cess is its investment and support of local organisations and associations that are aimed at growing not only the capacity in the water sector, but in the population at large as well, in order to meet its growth and development goals. We boast our new accreditations such as our aﬃliation to the Proudly South African campaign, Southern African Institute of Steel Construction and the International Steel Fabricators.
20 YEARS OF SUSTAINABLE SERVICE The advantages of the SBS Tank • fully certified by professional engineers • unique modular design • rapid on-site construction • tank content (liquid) not in direct contact with tank walls • ready for operational use upon commissioning • vast range of accessories and spares readily available • installation done at safe working heights • low maintenance • free span dome roof, with no internal columns • cost effective • tried and trusted for more than 15 years • manufactured under strict Quality Management Systems (SABS ISO 9001:2008). NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
This nomination was deﬁnitely a highlight for Gray and the SBS team, as well as passing the ﬁrst stage of ISO accreditation. We are the ﬁrst and only company in our industry to be nominated and start the process on this accreditation. He adds that as such these can also be seen as the company s greatest achievements to date, but by no means the last ‒ the sky is the limit in 2014.
COVER STORY The need for our new manufacturing warehouse is an
industries. The applications within the diﬀerent indus-
indicator of how our business has grown with reaching
tries are almost limitless and include ﬁre sprinkler and
over 700 installations, says Gray, adding that while the
hydrant water storage, emergency water supply, pota-
staﬀ numbers were 30 just over a year ago and are now
ble water storage, raw water storage, water treatment
55, in part in order to cope with the increasing demand-
plants and process water and waste collection.
ing of installations and manufacturing, the increased
We have industry specialists who make it their job to
staﬀ quotient is not only as a result of the growth tra-
know what their industry requires from us as a company
jectory ‒ in fact, it is the other way around. We attribute
and our products. Each SBS Tank is made per the industry and client requirement.
this to the hard work of our staﬀ who always go beyond what is required of them, our loyal
ously believe in our product and choose us as a preferred
As the company grows, it is our aim and promise to maintain good quality products and services to meet the clients’ needs
The size of the tank required is discussed and made as per the site allows, says Gray. As such, 2014 holds much in store for SBS Water Systems in terms of innovation and
supplier, and our business partners who have assisted us in the development of our
possibly new products. The new SABS ISO 9001 system
premium SBS Tanks range.
has already implemented a huge change in SBS by fo-
However, as a result of the growing staﬀ, staﬀ develop-
cusing on each department s objectives and procedures.
ment at SBS is taken very seriously. We have a training
SBS directors decided to implement the system so the
schedule that includes induction to our company, induc-
company can provide clients with a quality product that
tion to the ISO 9001 system within the company, health
has had all the checks and stamp of approval. As the
and safety, on-site installations, forklift training and
company grows, it is our aim and promise to maintain
many more. This development of our staﬀ is essential in making sure our company and products are manufactured to the highest of standards, says Gray.
Facing forward When asked what the focus will be for 2014, Gray is very assured in her answer. We have ﬁve main applications for our SBS Tanks range and we look forward to being the industry leader in each one. These are the municipal, mining, ﬁre, commercial and water conservation
BELOW SBS Tanks specialised jacking system shown here at the UMK Manganese Mine Site makes the larger SBS Tanks quick and easy to install with no need for cranes or heavy machinery INSET The SBS Tank liner stops water from being in contact with the tank walls
good quality products and services to meet the clients needs, he says. In addition, the company will still maintain its dominant presence in the industry through participating in a number of key conferences and exhibitions. We will be participating in the IMESA Conference & Exhibition in 2014 and by that time will have our full accreditation with the SABS ISO 9001 standard.
Project priorities Having reached 700 installations, the number of projects lined up for 2014 are also set to break all previous records ‒ as is to be expected with the new ISO accreditation. Some of the exciting projects lined up for the next few months or recently completed include the Mariannhill Monastery project, which involves the installation of a 112 kℓ SBS Tank to store water for a new agricultural project in the region, which will, according to Gray, be completed in the months to come. Another recent project is the 50 kℓ SBS Tank installed in Gengeshe in KwaZulu-Natal, to act as a holding and storage tank for the community s water supply. SBS Water Systems is proud to be working in association with AECOM on the manufacture, supply and installation of an SBS Tank to the UMK mine near Hotazel in the Northern Cape, says Gray, adding that the SBS Tank will be used for potable water storage on the UMK mine site and has a gross capacity of 1 126 kℓ. This size tank takes approximately four working days to manufacture and was installed on the site by the end of July 2013. Another
the recent installation of CTM s NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
COVER STORY rainwater harvesting tanks by SBS Water Systems. Why
Trials, tribulations and triumphs
CTM decided to harvest rainwater in tanks is pretty
The importance of water storage ‒ and proper water
simple, explains Gray. The idea of utilising SBS Tanks for
storage principles ‒ cannot be underestimated, says
rainwater harvesting at CTM outlets came about while
Gray. It is very important to make sure the water is not
planning renovations for some of the company s premis-
contaminated with bacteria if used for drinking. In the
es around the country. The chairman of CTM takes great
SBS Tank, the water does not come in contact with the
pride in the gardens that have been established at each
tank wall as there is an SBS Tank liner that holds the wa-
of the company s locations and it was a priority to keep
ter. This liner is in compliance with the Australian Water
them looking their best. At the same time, being an envi-
Quality Centre standard AS/NZS 4020-2005: Testing
ronmentally conscious business, it was important to con-
of Products for use in Contact with Drinking Water. In
serve and limit the use municipal water where possible.
addition, many clients still believe that a concrete tank
SBS Tanks were chosen to be installed because of
is the best option, says Gray. This is a common miscon-
their extensive lifespan and closed top roof with no in-
ception, but we have proven that our Zincalume tanks
ternal columns. The tank designs are aesthetically pleas-
are cheaper, easier and quicker to install and last longer.
ing for the all sites, but in particular to the ones that are
In addition, the space on-site available for installation
road facing. The service ability provided by SBS Water
of the tank is the biggest challenge faced by the team,
Systems on installation and after is one that we often
says Gray. That is why we have so many variations of
The importance of water storage - and proper water storage principles cannot be underestimated
sizes so that we can accommodate any size site. Other challenges include transport routes on-site for many of the municipal tanks that are hard to reach. speak highly of and will always recommend to fellow colleagues looking for an economic and environmentally friendly option for rainwater harvesting, says Stuart Young of Afrika Edge Architects, who was tasked with investigating the options available for the harvesting of rainwater through the use of attenuation tanks. Some fairly exciting projects lined up for 2014 include: • Namoya, which will be receiving six SBS Tanks. This is one of the biggest mine sites in Africa. • United National Breweries South Africa has ordered a 227 kℓ SBS Tank to store process and municipal water for the site.
ABOVE Completed installed tank at the CTM Newcastle site ABOVE RIGHT Ring one completed at the CTM Newcastle site
We have our own SBS vehicles that are used to transport our tanks, which are then erected on-site. This saves any additional transport costs for the client, and we make sure the tanks are installed correctly, says Gray. These challenges are, however, not insurmountable. Informing the industry through our media partners has proven to be the best form of overcoming these challenges. We are very active in our industries and attend most of the exhibitions and conferences held by our accrediting partners as well, explains Gray. The value of educating not only their clients, but the communities at large, is therefore immense. Education
• The second group of installations will be commenc-
about each industry s needs is one of the most impor-
ing in Flagstaﬀ, which entail the installation of nine
tant roles for our company and clients to be involved
SBS Tanks to be used to hold drinking water for
in as it clears any gaps in miscommunication about our
products and client s requirements. At SBS, we constant-
We currently have 180 size tanks available in the SBS
ly aspire to improve our knowledge on each industry s
Tanks range. These are available in diameters from 2.72
needs and our range will keep on evolving to make sure
to 21.16 m and in heights from 1.14 to 9.39 m, says Gray.
these are met, concludes Gray.
In each issue, Water&Sanitation Africa offers advertisers the opportunity to promote their company s products and services to an appropriate audience by booking the prime position of the front cover, which includes a feature article. The magazine offers advertisers an ideal platform to ensure maximum exposure of their brand. Please call Avé Delport on +27 (0)11 467 6224/ +27 (0)83 302 1342 to secure your booking.
Water Purification Plant & Equipment INTRODUCTION SWANSA (PTY) LTD trading as SWAN’S WATER TREATMENT is a privately owned South African company specializing in the design and manufacture of the full spectrum of water puriſcation equipment. Cost effective innovations are incorporated in our process and equipment designs with the plant being customised for each installation. Our extensive in-house expertise, ensures that out advanced technology is applied to the clients best advantage. PRODUCT RANGE • Water ſlters • Moore Airlift Rapid Gravity ſlters • Steel pressure ſlters • Steel rapid gravity ſlters Liquid/Solid Separation • Sludge Blanket Vertical Upƀow Clariſers • Diminishing Intensity Floc Conditioners • Incline Sheet Clariſers • Upgrading of Horizontal Flow Clariſers Chemical Dosing • Helical screw feeders • Rotary disc dry feeders • Water operated dry feeders • Gravity solution feeders • Metering pumps • Gas Chlorinators Efƀuent Treatment • Bioſlter rotary distributors • Aerators • Clariſers Miscellaneous • Package plants • Ammoniators • Sulphonators • Pilot operated diaphragm valves • Laboratory ƀoc testers • Automatic pH control • Comparators • Domestic and industrial cartridge ſlters
Swan’s Water Treatment Prop. Swansa (Pty) Limited Reg. No. 80/11814/07 Plot 91, Honingklip, Muldersdrift P O Box 777 Muldersdrift 1747 Tel: 010 594 9999 Fax: 086 609 1595 P Swan
PEOPLE FIRST PRINCIPLES
Does the private sector have a role to play? The 10 Mℓ/d expansion at the Percy Stewart Wastewater Treatment Works will not only increase raw sewage processing capabilities, but for the first time there will be PLCs and a SCADA system installed on-site, says Royal HaskoningDHV’s Michelle Vogts, project manager: civils, and Kegean Reddy, project manager: C&I. OST OF US IN the water sector
our mandate. Although it was drafted from
perform a function/service on its behalf
ﬁnd ourselves rendering a
the perspective of improving the image of
and literally becoming its extension, it is
service to either internal or
the public service, the private sector cannot
important that monitoring and evaluation
external customers or both.
be left out of the equation since the level of
is done by both parties to ensure that
In the public service, to ensure that there is
interaction between the two entities has tak-
service standards are at the desired levels.
a clear understanding as to what the man-
en on new proportions during the past two
Consultation between each other and
datory process is about and how it needs
decades. Examples of some of the typical
the recipients of these services to ensure
to form part of our daily work programmes,
scenarios where the private sector will con-
the alignment of supply and demand in a
the Batho Pele principles were developed
tribute positively to the impact of the Batho
structured manner is fundamental to the
by the Department of Public Service and
Pele principles are:
Administration (DPSA) in the early years
• In the case where a private company
The Batho Pele principles encompasses
of democracy and rolled out across South
assumes the role of the client, i.e. at the
the qualities of eﬀective and eﬃcient cus-
Africa. These principles (eight in total) were
receiving end of a service from the public
tomer service and should not be treated
published in October 1997 by the DPSA.
service, it is important that a sound relation-
as just another document, but rather be
Needless to say, these principles are based
ship develops between the parties to the
treasured with the understanding that it
on the general good values and ethos of
extent that constructive criticism and praise
needs to be implemented with due dili-
honest human beings who strive towards
can be exchanged without the undesirable
gence. Below follows an extract taken from
ensuring that services rendered occur at lev-
emotional or irrational interference that
a document I found in circulation, which
els that will enhance the quality of the lives
would otherwise convert the landscape to
explains/simpliﬁes the Batho Pele principles
of the citizens they are intended for. They
one ﬁlled with contempt and disregard for
also seek to secure the understanding within
each other, thereby negatively impacting
the recipient base as well as the delivering
the citizens. This relationship is invaluable
Constitutional ideals of:
agencies/organs of state that there needs
as it provides a platform for consultation
• promoting and maintaining high standards
to be a strong relationship between them
and review, which continuously contributes
underpinned by mutual trust.
to an enhanced service delivery experience
We at times lose each other in just the
success of such contractual arrangements.
comparable to the best of standards.
These principles are aligned with the
of professional ethics • providing service impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias
basic understanding of what trust means,
• In the case where a private company as-
• utilising resources eﬃciently and eﬀectively
failing to value the need for us to consult
sumes the role of a service provider i.e. ren-
• responding to people s needs; the cit-
and therein lies the root cause of most of our
dering services, skills and products directly
izens are encouraged to participate in
service delivery woes. The crux here is: have
to the public service, the aspect of quality is
we researched the matter well enough to
one of great importance as it provides the
commit ourselves and are we equipped and
citizens with the assurance of money well
policymaking • rendering an accountable, transparent, and
suitably resourced to deliver
spent if the quality is supe-
at the agreed service level
rior, or disgruntled citizens
The Batho Pele principles are as follows:
or above (bearing in mind
when the quality is inferior.
• Consultation: There are many ways to
that it needs to enhance
If this relationship is well
consult users of services, including con-
the lives of the recipients of
managed, the integrity of
ducting customer surveys, interviews with
such services). It is because
the public service is boosted
individual users, consultation with groups,
and the conﬁdence levels
and holding meetings with consumer
have been well researched,
on the side of the citizens
representative bodies, NGOs and CBOs
are foundational to our
(community-based organisations). Often,
• In the case where a private
more than one method of consultation will
sector that we have to be
be necessary to ensure comprehensiveness
mindful thereof as we fulﬁl
to the public service to
and representativeness. Consultation is a
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PRESIDENT'S COMMENT powerful tool that enriches and
policies such as the Integrated Development
Citizens should be given full, accurate information about the public services they are entitled to receive
and its implementation in
and friendly to our customers. Customers should be treated with respect and consideration. We must always be willing to
• Openness and transparency: A key aspect
assist. Telephone etiquette is
• Setting service standards: This principle
of openness and transparency is that the
vital. All our correspondence
reinforces the need for benchmarks to
public should know more about the way
must be respectful.
constantly measure the extent to which
national, provincial and local government
• Information: Citizens should be given full,
citizens are satisﬁed with the service or
institutions operate; how well they utilise
accurate information about the public
products they receive from departments. It
the resources they consume; and who is in
services they are entitled to receive. This
also plays a critical role in the development
charge. It is anticipated that the public will
may be done in a number of ways, for ex-
of service delivery improvement plans to
take advantage of this principle and make
ample through newspapers, radio, posters
ensure a better life for all South Africans.
suggestions for improvement of service
and leaﬂets. It s important to remember
Citizens should be involved in the devel-
delivery mechanisms, and even to make
that diﬀerent customers have diﬀerent
opment of service standards. Standards
government employees accountable and
needs and they do not all speak the
must be precise and measurable so that
responsible by raising queries with them.
users can judge for themselves whether or
• Redress: This principle emphasises a need
• Openness and transparency: We should
not they are receiving what was promised.
to identify quickly and accurately when
be open about our day-to-day activities;
Some standards will cover processes, such
services are falling below the promised
how much our departments receive and
as the length of time taken to authorise a
standard and to have procedures in place
how that money is spent. This information
housing claim, to issue a passport or identi-
to remedy the situation. This should be
should be available to the public. Annual
ty document, etc.
done at the individual transactional level
reports, strategic plans, service commit-
• Increasing access: One of the prime aims
with the public, as well as at the organisa-
ment charters, etc. must be made available
of Batho Pele is to provide a framework for
tional level, in relation to the entire service
to the public. We should tell our customers
making decisions about delivering public
delivery programme. Public servants are
services to the many South Africans who
encouraged to welcome complaints as
• Redress: Redress is making it easy for peo-
do not have access to them. Batho Pele
an opportunity to improve service and to
ple to tell us if they are unhappy with our
also aims to rectify the inequalities in the
deal with complaints so that weaknesses
service. We should train staﬀ to deal with
distribution of existing services. Examples
can be remedied quickly for the good of
complaints in a friendly, helpful manner.
of initiatives by government to improve
An apology, full explanation and eﬀective,
where to complain and how to do it.
• Value for money: Many improvements
speedy remedy should be oﬀered when
like the Gateway project, multipurpose
that the public would like to see often
the promised standards of service have not
require no additional resources and can
Access to information and services empow-
sometimes even reduce costs. Failure to
• Value for money: We need to make the
ers citizens and creates value for money,
give a member of the public a simple, sat-
best use of available resources. Avoid wast-
isfactory explanation to an enquiry may, for
age of time, money and other resources.
• Ensuring courtesy: This goes beyond a
example, result in an incorrectly completed
It also means eliminating waste, fraud
polite smile, please and thank you . It
application form, which will cost time
and corruption, and ﬁnding new ways of
requires service providers to empathise
improving services at little or no cost.
with the citizens and treat them with as
The principles in action
much consideration and respect as they
• Consultation: We can only assume to
excellence: Encourage partnerships with
would like for themselves.This involves
know what our customers want. The only
diﬀerent sectors in order to improve
way we can ﬁnd out for certain is by asking
service delivery. Rewarding excellence is
information and problems, which may
them. This can be done through surveys,
also about rewarding the staﬀ who go the
hamper or delay the eﬃcient delivery of
questionnaires, meetings, suggestion box-
extra mile in making things happen.
services to promised standards. If applied
es, izimbizo and by talking to them.
• Encouraging innovation and rewarding
• Customer impact: If we put all the Batho
properly, the principle will help demystify
• Service standards: Citizens should be told
Pele principles into practice, we then
the negative perceptions that the citizens
about the level and quality of the services
increase the chances of improvement in
in general have about the attitude of the
they receive. If possible, they should be
our service delivery. This in turn will have a
given an opportunity to choose the service
• Providing information: As a requirement,
positive impact on our customers.
they want. The standards we set are the
• Leadership and strategic direction: Our
tools we can use to measure our perfor-
leaders must create an atmosphere that
should be at the point of delivery, but for
mance, and therefore need to be realistic
allows creativity. Management must en-
users who are far from the point of deliv-
depending on available resources.
sure that goals are set and that planning
• Courtesy: We must be polite
ery, other arrangements will be needed.
• Access: There is much more involved when
In line with the deﬁnition of customer in
referring to access. It means making it easy
this document, managers and employees
for our customers to beneﬁt from the ser-
should regularly seek to make information
vices we provide. Easy access can be made
about the organisation and all other service
possible by: having wheelchair ramps, dis-
Ronald M Brown
delivery related matters available to fellow
abled parking bays and taking our services
President : Water Institute of
out to the community
is done. Well done is better than well said. ‒ Benjamin Franklin.
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Hooked for life When asked how she got involved in the water industry, Dr Jo Burgess’s answer is somewhat unexpected: by accident! However, she has never regretted it and neither has the water industry at large and WISA specifically, with Burgess attending her first WISA board meeting in 2009.
CAME FROM an environmental biology/activist
attitude and a willingness to pull together ‒ you can
background, into a Master of Research in Innovative
give US$50 billion to the wrong people and nothing will
Manufacturing with emphasis on water pollution
be gained, but give US $5 to the right people and they
control. I had realised that protesting against the
will change their world.
way something was being done was pointless, unless
She states that WISA took on care of the YWP in South
you could oﬀer an alternative, says Burgess of her introduction to the water industry. After her masters, she went on into a doctoral project on biological wastewater treatment, dealing with a pharmaceutical
Africa as its other parent (its mother being the International
I had realised that protesting against the way something was being done was pointless, unless you could offer an alternative
Water Association), and as the ﬁrst WISA YWP chairperson, she was eligible for a seat on the WISA board.
in 2008, and I attended my ﬁrst
waste, cementing her position
board meeting in 2009. After
in the industry. The project involved screening a wide
my term as YWP chairperson was over, I was co-opted
range of options for making the treatment process work
onto the board in a diﬀerent capacity.
in the laboratory, then trialling the top two options in a pilot plant sited at a sewage works. The trial worked! It
The bigger picture: The next in line
was my ﬁrst taste of how research can be used to solve
During her time on the WISA board, there has been a
real problems, and I was hooked for life, says Burgess.
deﬁnite change in her focus. My focus has changed
Her current speciality though is harder to pinpoint and
from being on board purely as the YWP representative
can be seen as a trick question, she says. Over the years,
to being there for the bigger picture. I do not bear an of-
I have worked on recreational water quality, drinking
ﬁce making me responsible for one aspect in particular,
water, municipal wastewater and mine water. I ve be-
as some directo directors do. I am currently the vice president,
come a bit of a generalist.
and will succeed the president at the end of his term of
The South African chapter: A life-changing experience
Dr Jo Burgess, WISA board member
oﬃce, explains Burgess. B When discussin discussing the association, she is quite succinct. WISA is a glue organisation. It has no legal responsi-
Burgess joined the South African can water sector in 2002,
bility, such as regulation, re nor does it have an externally
sh water research comhaving been part of the British
speciﬁed manda mandate, like a university for example. The role
o that. I joined WISA on munity for seven years prior to
of professional b bodies like WISA is to foster and provide
arrival in South Africa in 2002, but didn t really get
for a community of practice. WISA provides a forum for
ch is when a very very involved until 2008, which
the exchange of information and views to improve
small group of us formed a team and created
water resource management in Southern Africa, states
the Young Water Professionalss (YWP) in South
addin that as such it is driven by the volunBurgess, adding
Africa, explains Burgess.
m teerism of its members, which means that the events
arting up the YWP I had been involved in starting n South Africa it in England before I left, but in
pla that take place (symposia, conferences, etc.) are tru reﬂection of what its members want. always a true
eaning. The has taken on a whole new meaning.
Cha Changing the tide: Combating the br brain drain
creation of the YWP in Africa has been a life-changing experience forr me. It showcases the best in people,, their
The greatest challenge worldwide, acT
ness, collegiality, their resourcefulness,
cording to Burgess, is brain drain. She
dtheir passion, says Burgess, add-
believes the water industry needs
ing that for her that is all that is
technically competent, scientiﬁcally
needed. All of the problems
inclined people and lots of them. South Africa is not alone in ﬁnding
in the developing world with untreated
that other sectors that require the
e poor drinking water can be
same sorts of people ‒ ICT and
ght dealt with if we have the right
mining are two examples ‒ appear NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
WISA NEWS much sexier and/or better paid. All over the world, utilities are struggling to attract and retain good new staﬀ. In order to overcome this challenge, Burgess says we need to work together on better informing young people of their options within the water community as there are careers to be had in all areas, not only technical but also in communications, human resources, ﬁtting and turning, journalism and support services. Organisations like the YWP are doing a great deal to
966 part 2 9
inform school learners of their choices; for those who do join our sector, the YWP is creating a vibrant community of practise in which new employees, who might ﬁnd they don t have very many colleagues of their own age in their workplace, are able to ask the silly questions that might be embarrassing in that virtual network of water sector colleagues. I believe this is making a great impact on those who join, she says.
A growing resistance: Avoiding the overload Burgess believes there is currently a change progressing through not only the water industry, but the world at large. I feel that a resistance towards this 21st century busyness is growing ‒ as we raced towards the end of the 20th century, we acquired ever cleverer, faster means of communication but seemed to use it to overload each other. I am ﬁnding increasing acknowledgment of the loss of time for reﬂection ‒ either on a great and important question of life, or simply for rereading an angry e-mail before
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“I had been involved in starting up the YWP in England before I left, but in South Africa it has taken on a whole new meaning”
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SA YWPs at Stockholm World Water Week Two South African Young Water Professionals (YWPs), Suvritha Ramphal and Preshanthie Naicker, attended Stockholm World Water Week in Sweden, from 1 to 6 September 2013. OTH YOUNG PROFESSIONALS are part of the
Stockholm International Water Institute s (SIWI)
water sector at the Young Professionals Corner .
professionals and senior professionals from the global
a water, energy and food (WEF) secure world by year 2050.
Young professionals attending the event got the opportu-
The president of the Southern African YWPs, Inga Jacobs,
nity to meet with SIWI s Young Professional Team, which
was part of the initial team at World Water Week 2012 and
included Ramphal and Naicker. Other young professionals
contributed to the development of the vision for a water,
as well as those invited by SIWI to attend the Young
energy and food secure future by year 2050.
Professionals Day (free of charge) got the opportunity
Young Professional Vision to Action Task Team
Young Professionals Corner
for the development of a global action plan for
The action plan is still in its developmental stages;
to engage with the members of the Young Professionals
however, through global collaborative eďŹ€orts during the
Team, share ideas on water cooperation and build partner-
year, the team were able to develop on the WEF vision
ships among and between themselves and other young
and presented short, medium and long-term plans at the
professional organisations at the conference.
World Water Week opening plenary. If you want to review developments on the WEF Vision to Action Plan follow the
Young Professionals Day
During the World Water Week, 4 September was dedicat-
ed to young professionals. These were able to engage in
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org In addition to their involvement in the Youth Vision to Action Plan Team, the duo were involved in other activities at the conference, such as networking with other young
Young professional's corner at the WWW conference
healthy discussions on the challenges the water community faces and the role that cross-generational cooperation and capacity building for the future play in ďŹ nding solutions . The later part of the young professionals day involved a stimulating intergenerational debate on the
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WISA NEWS water-energy-food nexus. The panel was made up of young and senior professionals from around the world. Naicker, Southern African YWPs vice president, was one of the young professionals involved. She provided the opening statement for the dialogue; here s a peek at the young professional groups thinking on the WEF nexus:
What is the WEF nexus? The water, energy and food nexus means that the three sectors are linked and that actions in one area more often than not have impacts in one or both of the others. In other words, there are interdependencies among the sectors while water remains the connector among the sectors. Nexus consideration is often pursued with two at one time analysis as opposed to viewing the challenges per sector. Furthermore: • it is not an end point but a step towards system thinking • it is a process with interconnected sectors to improve energy, water and food security • it is an opportunity to get more for less • it is a human-centred approach that could be brought together by various sectors namely, government, private, non-governmental organisations and the youth from the three sectors • it addresses externality across sectors and decisionmaking and inclusive of policy development at the nexus • it supports transition to sustainability, through better resource allocations and utilisations • it supports transition to a green economy • it provides an opportunity to view waste as a resource in multiuse systems • it promotes integrated poverty alleviation • In the same breath, the term nexus can be overwhelming and may not trigger the change we want to see...
Attending key seminars The main theme for this year s conference was Water Cooperation ‒ Building Partnerships . Ramphal, Southern
ABOVE Preshanthie Naicker presenting the opeing statement at the intergenerational dialogue on WEF nexus BELOW Suvritha Ramphal recording the solutions to water challenges based on crossgenerational cooperation and capacity buidling, presented by young professionals
African YWPs rapporteur at World Water Week got the chance to converse with some of the young professionals who were so enthralled with this year s proceedings. Young professionals attended for various reasons, such as to expand their network, familiarise themselves with what opportunities were available to them, advance their knowledge on the global water sector and for research purposes to assist in post-graduate studies. Other delegates were either part of an existing young professionals organisation or were there on behalf of their company s group. The diversity was incredibly rich as both Ramphal and Naicker got the opportunity to share ideas, learn and build networks with other young and senior professionals in the global water sector. If you are keen to get in touch with young professionals from across the world, you will ﬁnd them at: • Youth Forum, Budapest Water Summit, 8 to 11 October 2013 • International
Acknowledgements: *Pictures have been sourced from the Stockholm International Water Institute at the following website: www.ﬂickr.com/photos/worldwaterweek
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A NEW PERSPECTIVE
Reassessing water reuse
One of the most common misconceptions with regards to water reuse in the South African context is that it is a more expensive option that delivers a lesser quality product. This is not the case, Bigen Africa Services’ divisional managing principal: Water and Sanitation, Dr JJ (Mias) van der Walt tells Water&Sanitation Africa. OUTH AFRICA IS a water-scarce country where
countries such as South Africa, where water is scarce, local
development, stimulated by mining activities,
reuse therefore makes sense from an environmental and
is often far from water sources. It is therefore
economic perspective, adds Van der Walt.
essential that local source be optimised before
Debunking the myths
large and expensive transfer schemes are considered,
says, discussing the current water context in South Africa. According to Van der Walt, in many cases there is no alternative but to develop expensive
Water treatment technology has really advanced to the stage where almost any water can be treated to a potable standard
ception related to water reuse is water quality and cost, he says. In the coastal areas it is, for instance, much more cost eﬀective to reuse eﬄuent to potable standards compared to
transfer schemes. The scarcity of water has forced water users to reassess the reuse po-
the desalination of sea water. Further away from the coast,
tential of local water sources. This is why reuse is such an
it is more cost eﬀective to utilise local eﬄuent compared
important part of the arsenal of water sources.
to transferring raw water over long distances.
He adds that Bigen Africa has been involved in a num-
The myths relating to water quality are, however, a little
ber of projects where the optimisation of local resources
bit harder to debunk as they are often as a result of misin-
through reuse has signiﬁcantly improved the water
formation and perceptions. Water treatment technology
supply to an area. Not only is there a ﬁnancial beneﬁt in
has really advanced to the stage where almost any water
applying water reuse, but in most cases water security is
can be treated to a potable standard. The limiting factor
would the cost to treat the water and not the quality
In fact, taking local conditions into consideration only
The most common miscon-
achievable from the reuse facility.
serves to highlight the advantages of water reuse further.
He adds that to change perceptions takes time and even
This is exactly the advantage of water reuse: the fact that
sometimes urgency and necessity as a result of an almost
it is local and that long pipelines are often not required. In
desperate situation. In the case of Windhoek, for instance, NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
HOT SEAT separation, oxidation, disinfection, adsorption and desalination. Relating to the local markets and the technologies being rolled out in South Africa speciﬁcally, he says three types of water reuse plants are being constructed: municipal water reuse, mine water reuse and industrial water reuse plants. According to Van der Walt, municipal water reuse often uses the eﬄuent from wastewater treatment after impoundment in a dam. Examples of such plants include Roodeplaat WTW, Bospoort WTW, Rietvlei WTW. Many mines are also now implementing water reuse plants to treat water returned from tailings dams, underground activities or opencast areas. A good example is the recently completed eMalahleni water reclamation plant that treats water abstracted from local coal mines to potable standards. Many of the platinum mines are also constructing water reclamation plant utilising water returned from their tailings storage facilities for industrial quality water, says Van der Walt, adding that many examples exist of large industrial water reuse plants.
NWRS 2 supports water reuse With the gazetting of the National Water Resources Strategy 2nd edition (NWRS 2) on 22 August 2013, South Africa is moving into a new era of water management. The Department of Water Aﬀairs commented on the current context, saying that, in assessing the situation, dealing with the present as well as moving into the future, it should be clear that South Africa will need to adopt an advanced and smart water management approach. The traditional approach of mainly focusing on new water resource development must be extended to also address and prioritise sustainable management including asset management and eﬀective there was not much of an option but to reuse water and treat to potable standards. In such cases consumers are less resistant to change. The fact that more water reuse schemes are being implemented provides a large pool of proof that water reuse can work in a sustainable manner, says Van der Walt. This builds conﬁdence among consumers.
IMAGES A water reuse highlight recently undertaken by Bigen is the Roodeplaat WTW in Gauteng
operations, eﬀective use and demand management, local resource optimisation including ground water utilisation, water systems management and control, reuse, desalination and utilisation of sea water, new technology and, very importantly, the protection of our precious water resources. This again has brought water reuse into the limelight, and Van der Walt agrees this is a necessity. The NWRS 2
absolutely supports water reuse as key building block to
According to Van der Walt, the type of technology used in
optimise local resources, he says.
water reuse depends entirely on the quality of the water
He adds that this is of critical importance because, if lo-
that needs to be treated. A variety of unit processes are
cal resources are not optimised through reuse, expensive
available to treat speciﬁc contaminant present in the
and large transfer schemes need to be constructed and
water. These processes are linked in a treatment train
this will increase the cost of water to consumers. In some
to ensure potable water. The most common types of
cases it is just uneconomical to bring water from afar and
process used during domestic water reuse include phase
water reuse is the only alternative. ▶ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
Water can be reused, traded, treated and reused again and again. In some cases, water builds up a ‘memory’, but technology exists that can remove this water memory
up a memory , but technology exists that can remove this water memory to produce a product that is cleaner than rainwater. As such, these projects are set to change the water landscape in the communities and regions they are located in through quite simply, as he explains, ensuring a more sustainable and aﬀordable drinking water . However, this does not mean that the roll-out of reuse
projects and technologies is without challenges. Water
Bigen Africa has also taken this into consideration in its fo-
reuse is a dynamic ﬁeld as no water reuse scheme is the
cus moving forward. As Van der Walt explains, the compa-
same. The key challenge is to identify the key risks associ-
ny s focus is to ensure that the local resource is optimally
ated with the water source, the technology required, the
utilised and forms part of a feasible project at an aﬀorda-
public perception and the environmental impacts.
ble water cost ensuring that the consumer health is protected by selecting appropriate treatment technology . He adds: The key to water reuse scheme is to identify
How is Bigen Africa assisting in overcoming these challenges? Through continuous innovation, says Van der Walt quite simply.
the opportunity ﬁrst. The rest is more of an engineering
Without the reuse of water, he believes the South African
challenge. Our focus will be to identify more water
landscape of tomorrow looks both dry and thirsty. With it?
Not so dry and thirsty, he concludes.
Some of Bigen Africa s most recent completed projects include the Roodeplaat WTW 60 Mℓ/d process upgrade, which has been a highlight for Van der Walt. New developments include a number of reuse plants in the Rustenburg and Mangaung areas. These projects are still being conceptualised and not much detail is available. These projects are, however, unique ‒ especially in the local context ‒ as they are the start a new way of thinking about water as capital and not simply a consumable, says Van der Walt. Water can be reused, traded, treated and reused again and again. In some cases, water builds
DOING GOOD WHILE DOING BUSINESS As an infrastructure development company providing engineering, management consulting, development financing and advisory services, Bigen Africa implemented its five-year strategy, S-Vision 2016, to address business principles such as profitability, product improvement and development, value-added agreements with stakeholders and the enhancement of the development impact of strategic projects. The ultimate goal of the strategy is to develop infrastructure sustainably in Africa – where the company has an expanding footprint – and in such a way that its use emanates socially desirable developmental outcomes, including access to services, reduction of poverty, capacity building, empowerment and the creation of employment opportunities. This objective extends to delivering products in such a way that it complements the key emerging public policy priorities in countries in, among others, developing and improving integrated human settlements, rural areas, renewable energy, road and rail freight transport, and the operation and maintenance of existing infrastructure. These services have been identified as priority areas for Bigen Africa’s participation and contribution, and S-Vision 2016 includes expanding Bigen Africa’s contribution to asset management, roads and transport, mining and energy, while continuing to excel in water and sanitation, human settlement, structures and development financing services. The company aims to develop infrastructure in a way that improves the quality of life of all project stakeholders – be it by training and hiring community members during project construction, providing municipal billing systems that benefit both consumer and service provider or assisting communities in establishing and running local forums to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from projects in their communities. Community investment activities are guided by the Intuthuko Foundation, which was established by Bigen Africa in partnership with its development partners, to enhance social cohesion and promote economic development in a more structured and integrated approach. Crucial to its success in achieving technical excellence and innovation is its partnership approach. Partnerships feature prominently in Bigen Africa’s growth strategy; its value proposition stresses that the company integrates the entire value chain in infrastructure development through in-house capabilities and strategic partnerships.
The top infrastructure and service delivery stories making the news
SA beaches proudly fly blue flags In September, World Tourism Day 2013 was celebrated across the provinces with the theme: Tourism and Water. In keeping with this theme, Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, launched the new Blue Flag 2013/14 season in Ramsgate, KwaZulu-Natal on 8 October 2013.
HE SOUTH COAST is a very special jewel in the
crown of KwaZulu-Natal. This is indeed a ﬁtting venue for the event given that the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is the stronghold of the Blue Flag
programme in the province, the minister said. According to a statement released by the oﬃce of the Minister of Tourism, the environment is one of tourism s most valuable resources and they enjoy a mutually beneﬁcial sustainable relationship. Many touristic activities depend very directly on water, not least golf courses, rivers and lakes, pools and spas, irrigated gardens and hotel guest rooms. For other tourism activities that depend on fauna and ﬂora and a moderate climate, the dependence on water is indirect. As the global sector grows, its impact on natural resources also grows, and therefore the need for sustainable planning and management becomes imperative for this industry ‒ and Blue Flag does just that. Therefore, the statement said, in order to promote and ensure quality water for inland and marine tourism, the Blue Flag and Blue Drop programmes were introduced. The Blue Flag programme promotes sustainable development on marine areas, and the Blue Drop is an innovative means to manage the tap water quality. The voluntary ecolabel is given to beaches that meet 32 main criteria spanning over four aspects of coastal management: (1) water quality, (2) environmental education and information, (3) environmental management and (4) safety and services, which include excellent life-saving standards, top-rate parking and sparkling ablution facilities. Blue Flag originated in Europe in 1987 with the sole purpose of encouraging beaches to comply with the European Union s Bathing Water Directive. From that starting point, the programme has grown and developed signiﬁcantly. Internationally, this year sees the programme running successfully for 27 years. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the international Blue Flag is the most well-known and oldest thriving ecolabel of its kind. Currently, more than
MARINA AND BEACH Thesens Islands, Knysna Yachport, Sladanha Bay Granger Nay Water Club, Cape Town False Bay Yacht Club, Cape Town Royal Alfred Marina, Port Alfred Southport, Hibicus Coast Municipality (HCM) Ramsgate, HCM Lucien, HCM
Umzumbe, HCM Trafalgar, HCM Marina, HCM 18 Alkanstrand, Richards Bay, uMhlatuze Western Cape beaches Strandfontein, Vredendal, Matzikama Silverstroomstrand, Atlantis, City of Cape Town (COCT) Camps Bay, COCT Clifton IV, COCT Bikini, Gordon's Bay, COCT Muizenburg, COCT Strandfontein, COCT Mnandi, COCT Llandudno, COCT Kleinmond, Overstrand Hawston, Hermanus, Overstrand Grotto, Hermanus, Overstrand Witsand, Hessequa Lappesbaai, Stilbaai, Hessequa Gouritsmond, Hessequa Preekstoel, Stilbaai De Bakke, Mossel Bay Little Brak Beach (Kleinbrak), Mossel Bay Santos, Mossel Bay Hartenbos, Mossel Bay Wilderness, Garden Route national Park, Eden Buffalo Bay, Knysna Brenton Bay, Knysna Keurboomstrand, Plettenburg Bay, Bitou Robberg 5, Plettenburg Bay, Bitou 26 Nature's Valley, Garden Route National Park, Bitou Eastern Cape beaches Dolphin, Jeffrey's Bay, Kouga Humewood Beach, NMMB Kings, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Kriega, Kenton-on-Sea, Ndlambe Middle, Ndlambe Kleinemonde, West Beach, Ndlambe Bokness, Ndlambe 8 Kellys, Ndlambe Northern Cape beaches McDougalls Bay, Port Nolloth, Richtersveld 1 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
40 countries across Europe as well as South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean are
The international Blue Flag is the most well-known and oldest thriving ecolabel of its kinde
participating in the programme.
In addition to beaches, the programme now also provides environmental
to marinas and whale-watching boats. This year, for the ﬁrst
In 2013, internationally, 3 849 beaches and marinas were
time, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were included in the
awarded Blue Flag status.
International Blue Flag Criteria.
This year, South Africa celebrates its 13th year of
Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and
running the Blue Flag successfully. High on our list of
one that is heavily dependent on a natural resource base.
achievements we are celebrating is the growth of Blue
Attractive coastal landscapes, such sandy beaches, dune
Flag beaches, from only three beaches in the ﬁrst year to
areas, estuaries and coastal lakes, are also preferred sites
41 beaches and 5 marinas for this year. Twelve beaches
for tourism development. Hence, uncontrolled and ill-
also hold pilot status. Growth has been signiﬁcant and
planned tourism signiﬁcantly degrades the environment.
sustainable for most coastal municipalities and each year
Water management is important in that it promotes
sees new beaches being introduced to the programme,
a good image of the country, which in turn will result
said the statement. The host province, KwaZulu-Natal,
in tourism growth and job creation. The lack of water
proudly boasts four beaches with pilot status in the
management in the country can result in the decrease of
investment and have a negative impact on the environ-
Although the original focus of the international Blue Flag
ment, conservation and health, concluded the statement.
programme was on encouraging beaches to comply with water quality standards, it has since expanded to take a
Blue Flag 2013/14
holistic view of safety, amenities, cleanliness and envi-
KwaZulu-Natal beaches with pilot status: eThekwini
ronmental management issues, with a strong focus on
Municipality ‒ Umdloti main, Umdloti tidal, uShaka
environmental education and biodiversity conservation.
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A touch of French flair Degrémont South Africa, a locally based subsidiary of Suez Environnement, has carried out more than 100 projects in South Africa since 1968. Recently, a touch of French flair was added to the local contingent when Remy Jaffray joined the South African team as general manager. AFFRAY, WHO WAS born and bred in France
Although at the time of the interview, Jaﬀray had only
and educated at the École Centrale de Marseille,
been in the country for one month, he has already been
has been in the water industry since 2004, having
able to note that the civil construction culture locally is
worked for ‒ among others ‒ Veolia Water and
very diﬀerent from the European one. In South Africa
Nalco, before joining Degrémont, primarily in wastewater
the consultants are very important. In my country it is
treatment. His appointment as general manager to the
much more the client who is important. Therefore here
South African subsidiary of Degrémont is also not his ﬁrst
we have a lot more work to do to contact the consultant,
visit to Africa ‒ he was based in Morocco for a number
explain to them how we can assist them in the design
of years, during which his focus was on drinking water
process and how we can further assist in adding value on
the project, he continues.
Jaﬀray is very excited to be part of the South African
According to Jaﬀray, consultants aren t always aware
Degrémont team. I think it s a great company. There are
of all the technologies that are available to them, and
many people who have been working for Degrémont for
for him it is not merely about market penetration, but
30 or 40 years ‒ it s a good indicator of a stable working
rather about educating the market to the technologies
environment and the continuity in experience is very im-
available to them. We also bring a lot of experience to
portant, says Jaﬀray. He adds that it is also good to have
a young dynamic individuals like him at the helm as this
Degrémont is diﬀerent as a company, believes Jaﬀray.
creates an opportunity for not only innovation, but rather
If we are going to build a wastewater plant, for example,
innovation and dynamism, tempered by the experience
we don t only have the classical plant in our repertoire.
already present in the company.
We have a very wide research and development depart-
Degrémont itself has a global vision, being a pure
ment. And we spend a lot of money on how to improve
French company, says Jaﬀray, and he sees his role as
the process, because we don t want to do what has
primarily creating a link between Degrémont s head
already been done in the past.
oﬃce and Degrémont South Africa because the cul-
Additionally, he believes when it comes to water reuse
ture is so diﬀerent between the two. If we want to
and sludge treatment, Degrémont cannot be beaten.
deliver and deliver well, we need to utilise the many experts and experience available to Degrémont on an
We are a world leader in this technology. If you consider the water reuse aspect, Degrémont was the ﬁrst compa-
international scale. If the solid link is not there and we
ny that entered into water reuse using membrane
don t know who to contact, then how do we
technology. In this regard, we have spent a lot
of money and time on perfecting the use
While he admits that South Africa is a
of membrane technology in water reuse,
very small subsidiary, he believes the
with more than 10 years experience in
local division is up to any size job, big or
this. By now we know how to manage
small. We have a massive collection of
a number of challenges in this regard
experience and expertise available to us
too ‒ and we can avoid the mishaps.
through Degrémont as a whole and at
That is the major diﬀerence between
head oﬃce. I need to ﬁnd a good way
Degrémont and its competitors ‒ we
to work with them to support our local
have the experience and know-how
initiatives, says Jaﬀray.
to assist the consultant.
His ﬁrst mission locally therefore is to develop all Degrémont s South Africa-based activities.
Until now we
“We have spent a lot of money and time on perfecting the use of membrane technology in water reuse.” Remy Jaﬀray,
have really only provided a small portion of what we can, such as spare parts. We can provide much more, for example turnkey plants, equipment, drinking water production plants, desalination options, wastewater reuse and biosolids, explains Jaﬀray. This necessitates a
general manager, Degrémont
global perspective in the local oﬃce.
New extrusion line DPI Plastics – a manufacturer of water reticulation, drainage and pipe-fitting systems in South Africa – has recently commenced production of its new 630 mm bore PVC, following the final installation of its new KraussMaffei extrusion line. PI PLASTICS TECHNICAL and
eﬀective and boasts a longer life expectancy
into Africa too. Our clients in Africa have
when compared to industry standard steel
shown a considerable amount of interest
in the 630 mm PVC piping range. With con-
Snyman, notes that the company identiﬁed the need to increase
DPI Plastics will be manufacturing a total
tinued infrastructural development taking
the maximum bore of its PVC pipe range
of three 630 mm PVC piping products using
place across the continent, I am conﬁdent
from 500 to 630 mm following numerous
the new KraussMaﬀei extrusion line, namely
that the new range can obtain measurable
queries from the local market. After com-
SANS 966 approved uPVC pipe with pressure
market share within a relatively short period
pleting a thorough market study in late
ratings up to 9 bar, SANS 966 approved
2012, we identiﬁed signiﬁcant potential
mPVC pipe with pressure ratings up to 12 bar
In a constantly evolving market, it is
for 630 mm PVC pipes in bulk water and
and SANS 791 approved underground sew-
important to proactively adapt to changes.
sewerage applications, and made the deci-
erage and drainage pipe that is available in
By installing the new KraussMaﬀei extrusion
sion to install the new extrusion line at our
both standard-duty and heavy-duty options.
line, DPI Plastics is not only increasing its
Snyman indicates that the entire new
output capability, but also exposing itself to
Johannesburg factory in early 2013. He
630 mm PVC piping range will be exported
engineered KraussMaﬀei extrusion line is capable of producing approximately 22 t of PVC pipe per day. The extrusion line is expected to be fully installed by mid-July 2013, and this high production volume will provide a cost-eﬀective solution and competitive turnaround times for large scale projects. According to Snyman, the new extrusion line will open up new avenues of growth for PVC as a competitor in the bulk water, stormwater and sewerage industries, which are currently dominated by materials such as steel and concrete. PVC is more cost
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From strength to strength The past chairman of the Small Wastewater Treatment Works Suppliers Association (SEWPACKSA), Karl Juncker, highlights the significant accomplishments of the association since its inception in 2010. An SBR Plant built in 1993 for the community of Walkerville
Deliverables is an integral part of the plan. While the Matrix of Minimum Deliverables has already been ﬁnely tuned, it is by nature a moving picture, with continual changes to legislation, circumstances and thought processes, so it will consequently remain a working document that will mutate on an ongoing basis. SEWPACKSA has this year introduced a policy and procedure for handling of complaints regarding member compliance to its standards of quality. Ross said that the complaints procedure and enforcement of standards may sound a tad draconian; however, it is more of a negotiated directive tool for the betterment of the broader industry. The interaction between suppliers and end users is encouraged, and it is not inconceivable that end users who operate their
PEAKING AT THE SEWPACKSA
With the immense eﬀort and dedication
AGM held recently, Juncker said
that the founding EXCO members put into
that the association s membership
the establishment of SEWPACKSA, the re-
The alignment (both technical and ad-
is representative of the majority of
sultant sound foundation and visionary way
ministrative) and establishment of a formal
the suppliers in the industry. The executive
forward should be a must join message for
working relationship between the suppliers
committee (EXCO) also comprises the main
all associated with the industry, no matter
(SEWPACKSA) and the industry stakehold-
role players in the industry. One of the most
how far removed a particular potential
ers is possibly the most important goal of
signiﬁcant achievements of SEWPACKSA
member may feel. The industry has been
SEWPACKSA ‒ to have a sound common
since its inception is the constitution that
historically fragmented, with each supplier
front within the industry and to be the ne-
was created by Advocate Este Becker. The
operating in isolation and, thus, lone voices
gotiating voice heard by all stakeholders.
document has a strong legal standing and
in the multiple authority driven mineﬁeld
is a very important strategic document
of conﬂicting legislation and guidelines. A
for SEWPACKSA. The association is also
cohesive single approach is in fact wel-
representative of a communal voice that
comed by such authorities. SEWPACKSA is
consists of suppliers and other representa-
also formulating sound industry standards
tives standing together. These aspects give
and will be available to assist suppliers
SEWPACKSA a lot of credibility. Members of
that may fall short of such standards, on a
SEWPACKSA are required to sign and agree
SEWPACKSA EXCO members The new EXCO is made up of a varied, but vast, industry discipline mix. The combination of treatment process, engineering, knowledge of legislation, all underpinned by collective sound business principles, is a winning basket of attributes that will take the association forward to achieve the current desired outcomes.
to the code of conduct and are thus commit-
ted to delivering products and services of a
SEWPACKSA s strategic goals
certain standard and quality, stated Juncker.
Ross provided an insight into the overall ob-
Newly elected chairman Mark Ross is a
jectives of SEWPACKSA s strategic plan an-
well-known person in the package plant in-
nounced at the AGM. The ﬁnalisation and
dustry. Speaking at the AGM also, Ross said:
implementation of the Matrix of Minimum NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
own treatment plants could be considered potential members, as plant operators.
SEWPACKSA EXCO for 2012/13 Mark Ross – chairman Stewart Buchanan – vice chairman Ian Wright – other (treasurer) Gary Brown – other (technical) David Light – other (secretary & liaison) Paul Gaydon – other (legislation)
INDUSTRY NEWS With sound management of the association, all the desired outcomes will be achieved and expanded on over time
One of the association s areas of focus is the continual promotion and development of SEWPACKSA among
Small Wastewater Treatment Works
throughout the industry, as well
as pursuing increased support from clients,
meet standards/process regulation, inter-
cross-pollination of committee members on
action and monitoring, are other important
both the SEWPACKSA EXCO and the WISA
associations. Ross stated that the broader
goals. These endeavours are to be one of
Small Wastewater Treatment Works divi-
the industry mix, the more inﬂuential and
the successful outcomes. The current EXCO
sion, thus a very close working relationship
successful SEWPACKSA would become in
cannot function in isolation to the mem-
exists. The blueprints of both organisations,
achieving its desired outcomes. This inclu-
bership and extended stakeholders. With
while having many very close overlapping
sive approach will result in all parties par-
sound management of the association, all
aspirations, are complemented by the
ticipating in debate and decision-making.
the desired outcomes will be achieved and
strengths that each brings to the table.
Promoting the association, at all levels of
expanded on over time, he reiterates.
As SEWPACKSA continues to grow and set the high standards for the industry,
industry interest is thus imperative. The development of further input and
SEWPACKSA and WISA
involvement of members, which will include
the training of requirements, assistance to
this is an association that is undoubtedly importance
setting the trends in the wastewater treatment industry.
Ongoing balancing act “The next 5 to 10 years will see South Africa continue to focus on redressing economic infrastructure backlogs and inadequacies with a view to stimulating growth and employment, and reducing poverty and inequality,” says Dave Lewis, GIBB’s technical executive in the Integrated Infrastructure Services Sector.
Infrastructure Commission s
not been adequately dealt with. A historic
Africa provide the greatest opportunities
lack of maintenance has resulted in de-
for ﬁrms such as GIBB.
teriorating infrastructure, which needs to
GIBB is well positioned to play a role
Development Plan, incorporating
be addressed. In addition, government is
in all these areas of development. It has a
the Coordinated National Infrastructure
committed to providing housing and basic
strong rail team and is currently working
Plan and its 18 Strategic Integrated Projects
services for disadvantaged communities,
on Medupi as part of Eskom s Panel B.
(SIPs), will inform much of what happens in
In addition, the ﬁrm has an Africa Desk,
the industry over the next few years.
Importantly, new infrastructure is re-
which focuses on projects within the
The policies and implementation plans
quired to enable the private sector to invest
that are developed will hopefully provide
in the economy. Balancing the three areas
Lewis concludes that while South Africa
a clear indication of the targets, activities,
is challenging. While there has been some
faces many challenges, with challenge
outputs and milestones or deliverables
progress with backlogs, eﬀorts need to be
comes opportunity. According to a recent
needed to achieve the set goals. The suc-
maintained. The 2010 World Cup stimulat-
UK poll, South Africa is one of the top three
cess of these plans will depend on their
ed investment in improved infrastructure,
tourist destinations worldwide. GIBB is
successful implementation, which means
but this needs to continue, states Lewis.
positive about the country s future and the
policies need to be clear and there must be
Within a global context, there is a strong
wealth of opportunities it oﬀers. We also
capacity to implement them. In addition,
focus on Africa and Lewis says South
know we need to be part of the solution in
they need to be credible and stimulate
African ﬁrms face strong competition from
addressing the challenges.
investment, continues Lewis.
For the industry, this means ﬁnding ways
South African ﬁrms are being bought out by
INTRODUCING DAVE LEWIS
to address procurement procedures and
multinationals. This means stronger com-
develop capacity in the public sector,
petition for the larger projects with ﬁrms
while municipalities have the challenge of
being able to oﬀer international expertise.
Born and raised in the UK, Dave Lewis graduated with an honours degree in civil engineering from the Hampshire University in 1986. After a brief stint training as a teacher, Lewis joined Alexander GIBB in the UK as a structural engineer in 1987. In 1997 he accepted a secondment to Durban and later moved to the firm’s Johannesburg office – his current base – where his main focus has been on urban settlement projects.
balancing operational and management
Lewis explains that Transnet s investment
costs of existing infrastructure, eradicating
in rail infrastructure, Eskom s new build
backlogs and providing new infrastructure.
programme (particularly renewable ener-
Lewis adds that ageing infrastructure has
gy), provincial and local authorities, and NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
Strengthening sales operation in South Africa Two years after breaking ground, Endress+Hauser has celebrated the opening of a new building in Sandton, Johannesburg. Modern offices, training facilities and an auditorium provide an ideal sales and marketing environment for the company. N THE PRESENCE of CEO Klaus
on the existing site, houses more than just
Endress and numerous guests of hon-
spacious oďŹƒces and meeting rooms for
This new facility relieves space shortages
our from government and industry,
the 80 or so employees in Sandton. Of the
and provides an ideal environment for
the new Endress+Hauser South Africa
1 500 m2 of total ďŹ‚oor space in the new
working with our customers,
headquarters was oďŹƒcially opened on
building, 600 m2 is dedicated to maintain-
MacKenzie, MD of Endress+Hauser South
3 October 2013. The new building, situated
ing customer contact. A spacious reception
Africa. We now have the right conditions for
area, training rooms and a 100-seat audito-
further growth in the subequatorial African
rium are designed to facilitate the exchange
market. Endress+Hauser invested R43 mil-
of knowledge and to further strengthen
lion in the expansion and a high value was
placed on an energy-eďŹƒcient design. The
Gateway to the African market: Endress+Hauser South Africa has opened a new building in Johannesburg
Room for further growth
In addition to oďŹƒces and confer-
environmentally friendly building features a
ence rooms, the two-storey open-
sophisticated air-conditioning system, solar
plan building oďŹ€ers employees social
panels and motion-sensitive lighting.
interaction zones and a cafeteria
South Africa is an important gateway to
with a covered patio. A direct link to
the African continent for Endress+Hauser.
the existing building ensures smooth
The measurement and automation technol-
operation. This original building,
ogy specialist established a subsidiary on
which opened in 1987, has been
the southern tip of Africa in 1984. In order to
converted into an expanded logis-
optimally manage its customers, the compa-
tics and service centre, including
ny maintains oďŹƒces in four cities around the
warehouse, staging area, workshops
country, in addition to its headquarters in
and a ďŹ‚ow calibration centre. In total,
Sandton. The expanded headquarters also
the two buildings in Sandton boast
supports sales partners in around a dozen
3 700 m2 of ďŹ‚oor space.
African countries south of the equator.
:DWHUÂżOWUDWLRQZDWHU WUHDWPHQWSODQWVDQGSXPS VWDWLRQVGHVLJQHGDQGEXLOW E\$6:*URXSRI&RPSDQLHV $6:+($'2)),&( 53 Gerhardus Street,Strijdom Park, Johannesburg, South Africa Branches - Cape Town and Durban Tel: (0027) 11 793 1330 Fax: (0027) 11 793 4829 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.asw.co.za
3847 Wetpaint Advertising
Serious about water Protea Chemicals officially opened its new Chlorine Plant and distribution facility on the existing Omnia site in Sasolburg on 23 October 2013. “This new facility will be brought into production on budget and on time,” says Protea Chemicals’ project consultant, Peter Leopold.
Pipes that last for more than a lifetime
HIS IS A major investment for Protea ‒ one of the largest the company has made in a production facility. It is a demonstration of the company s commitment to the water treatment industry in
Southern Africa and complements its strong position in the
The world is changing around us –
production and marketing of other water treatment chemicals, says Leopold.
everyday. Technological advances demand
Chlorine is used primarily by municipalities for the cost-
ongoing upgrades and solutions, upkeep and
eﬀective sanitisation of potable water. The supply of chlorine
maintenance, but not ROCLA pipes. Because
is therefore critical to the production of drinking water and
superb design and leading-edge manufacturing
the disinfection of sewage. There has, since 2004, been only one plant in South Africa that supplied packed chlorine to
processes ensure that ROCLA provides the truly
this industry. The advent of a second supplier ‒ ﬁrst con-
permanent piping solution.
ceived of in 2009 ‒ gives comfort to the market because there are now two plants that can supply its requirements, according to Leopold. This is a signiﬁcant change in the stra-
ROCLA is ISO 9001:2008 certified and
tegic supply risk and will therefore have a signiﬁcant impact.
has the SABS mark of approval on all applicable
Chlorine still crucial In spite of the occasional attention attracted by other
technologies, it remains true to say that more than 95% of the world s drinking water is disinfected with chlorine. There are no other technologies that provide all the technical and commercial advantages in one chemical or treatment pro-
OUR DIFFERENCE IS CONCRETE
cess, explains Leopold. This does not mean that the production and distribution
Contact ROCLA now on Tel: (011) 670-7600 or Fax: 086 675 8985 Web: www.roclaproducts.co.za
of chlorine is without challenges. Chlorine is a hazardous chemical so there are ethical and legal aspects related to its
PROTEA CHEMICALS safe production, handling and distribution.
a fundamentally easy product to use; it
Our plant is a new greenﬁeld site and all
is hazardous, it is governed by rules and
the equipment, tanks and cylinders are
regulations and it requires the support of
new. We had no legacy of existing plant or
a training and safety infrastructure.
technologies to which we had to adapt, so
believe that by applying our considerable
we were able to source the latest and best
expert knowledge in all these ﬁelds, we will
of everything, he explains. An example of
be able to make the purchase and use of
this is evident in that every tank and cylin-
chlorine a more cost-eﬀective experience
der has its own unique RFID tag, so Protea
for our customers.
and its customers know where it is at all stages of its life.
It is important to see that the chlorine project is a component of Protea s overall
As mentioned above, the RFID tracking
presence in water treatment chemicals.
is a signiﬁcant innovation because these
The group is already a major player in
tanks and cylinders can end up in some
this industry and its capability includes
really remote places and keeping track of
Zetachem s well-known production facil-
them is a commercial and legal require-
ities in Durban and Cape Town, as well as
ment. In addition, we have a tank that is
major trading operations in all water treat-
ﬁlled to a full 1 tonne net weight. This is
ment chemical commodities. The chlorine
8% more than the commonly used mass
project therefore is another cornerstone
and enables us to get better ﬁlling and
in an already established business sector,
The bigger picture
OPPOSITE AND RIGHT The facility utilises a 1 tonne tank with state-of-the-art monitoring technology
Protea is part of the Omnia group and shares the vision of
wealth by leveraging knowledge , explains Leopold. He adds that chlorine is also not
TOP RIGHT Omnia Group MD Rod Humphris officially opens the Chlorine plant NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
The world needs fewer engineering companies. Rebranded as Royal HaskoningDHV, SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants believes in being more than an engineering company. Our rebranding to Royal HaskoningDHV ushers in a new class of engineers and consultants, offering solutions for the sustainable interaction between people and their environment, ultimately enhancing society together.
A potential game changer Groundwater has always been an integral part of water supply in South Africa and ancient civilisations. However, because of its hidden nature and the skill required to find, exploit and manage it, this resource is often overlooked as a reliable water source, says Water Research Commission’s (WRC) research manager, Dr Shafick Adams. HE LATEST NATIONAL Water Resource Strategy
He contends that there is a lack of skilled technicians
(NWRS 2) now incorporates groundwater in
and other operation and management specialists, par-
a meaningful way, enabled by the National
ticularly in small towns and remote areas where many
Groundwater Strategy of 2010,
groundwater schemes are found. From a groundwater
He adds that groundwater, if managed correctly, has
governance point of view, municipalities lack the human
the potential to signiﬁcantly add to the country s water
resource capacity to eﬀectively implement groundwater
However, groundwater unfortunately does not get
He adds that it should also be noted that often there is
the attention it deserves at the implementation level.
no funding explicitly allocated to groundwater manage-
We have very good local policies, regulations, strategies,
ment in the municipal budget.
tools, guidelines, information, etc. However, eﬃcient management of groundwater relies on the eﬀectiveness
A numbers game
of applicable legislation and institutional arrangements
The scale of investment required in new water infra-
as well as good understanding of the behaviour of the
structure over the next decade has been estimated at
aquifer or well-ﬁeld being managed.
R668 billion, states Adams. This investment estimate relies mainly on surface water developments. Greater use of groundwater might mitigate these costs and reduce the ﬁnancial, environmental and social costs to the country. According to Adams, in South Africa, about 98% of groundwater is found in fractured, hard rock aquifer systems. Primary aquifers are restricted to coastal sand deposits along the west and south coast of the Cape and along the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Secondary aquifers (i.e. hard rock aquifers), whose hydrogeological properties are enhanced by weathering, fracturing and faulting of hard rock, are the most dominant, with major aquifers being associated with dolomitic rocks, quartzite and sandstone of the Table Mountain Group, and sandstone and shale of the Karoo Sequence. The total volume of available renewable groundwater is therefore estimated to be between 10 343 million cubic metres per annum (7 500 million cubic metres per annum under drought conditions). Current use is estimated between 2 000 and 4 000 million cubic metres per annum, says Adams.
A challenging context There are, however, challenges faced in accessing this resource. As Adams indicates, a recent World Bank funded study found that the technical, legal and institutional, and operational governance provisions are reasonable, but weak for cross-sector policy coordination. Institutional capacity is weak across all thematic areas, except for the technical provisions.
FEATURE: GROUNDWATER At the local level, the picture is not getting better.
groundwater-related research project was initiated in
Overutilisation and poor management of the groundwa-
1974, funding for groundwater projects has varied be-
ter resources and related infrastructure are often due to
tween 6 and 16% of the commission s annual research
poor or non-existent management plans and governance
spending. A study investigating this research impact
provisions, he states.
a few years ago found this investment to be the most
Adams believes these challenges can be overcome ‒
signiﬁcant contribution to the building of capacity for the
albeit not easily. In this case, he refers to Jude Cobbing,
sustainable utilisation and management of groundwater
who noted in his paper at the recent Groundwater
resources in South Africa.
Division conference that: Of all of the issues, it appears
In addition, he notes that the same article indicated
that operation and maintenance (O&M) is the key to
that the WRC invested more than R5 million in ground-
groundwater scheme sustainability. While hydrogeologi-
water projects last year, with another R2.8 million
cal issues such as recharge, transmissivity and groundwa-
planned spending this ﬁnancial year.
ter quality are important (and inﬂuence O&M), it is O&M
areas of focus include groundwater-surface interactions
that makes or breaks a groundwater supply.
and improving understanding of South Africa s vast
However, several municipalities seem to be getting it
fractured rock aquifers in terms of hydraulic behaviour
right, mainly due to the phenomenon of bureaucratic
and chemical characteristics. Another focus is around
entrepreneurs or groundwater champions, continues
building and understanding and developing the neces-
Adams. It is clear that groundwater needs to be taken
sary tools for groundwater management at the local (i.e.
more seriously as a large number of towns and people
rely on this precious resource. The almost non-existent capacities within local authorities need serious attention
Changing our focus
at all levels. Groundwater is a viable water supply option
According to Adams, science should provide us with the
if managed correctly, including being supported by prop-
foundation for credible decision-making. Only through
er governance provisions.
adequate knowledge about the behaviour, occurrence, interaction with other reservoirs and risks as well as
Increasing public awareness
through ﬁnding innovative solutions can we develop and
Adams notes an increasing public awareness of ground-
manage our groundwater resources eﬃciently, sus-
water due to the public debates of the potential impact
tainably and equitably. However, science alone does
of unconventional gas development and the eﬀorts
not necessarily drive policy and regulatory decisions,
of the WRC and the groundwater division of the
but is usually considered with other relevant factors.
Geological Society of South Africa.
As such, he contends that South Africa s focus
While unconventional gas development is an
by and large needs to be on implementation of the
important issue, we cannot neglect the fact that
available tools, frameworks, policies, guidelines and
groundwater has not been properly managed
best practices, as well as proper ﬁnancing of groundwa-
at the local level. Operation and maintenance issues are depriving communities of accessible water and the economy of signiﬁcant growth, says Adams. He
managed in several areas. It has the
ter schemes that include long-term
“Groundwater is a viable water supply option if managed correctly, including being supported by proper governance provisions.” Dr
operation and maintenance costs and
Shafick Adams, research manager, WRC
inter- and intra-institutional coopera-
potential to augment future water supply needs in a
improving governance provisions at all levels. We have all the technical experts in the country that can solve all our technical issues. It is the softer tion and management issues that are
our Achilles heel, states Adams.
meaningful way through conjunctive use. It is also a very
Additionally, he points out that the DWA Groundwater
good buﬀer during drought periods. It is thus imperative
Strategy (2010) identiﬁed the following priority actions to
to protect and conserve this valuable resource and to
enhance the implementation of the National Water Act:
manage it sustainably.
• policy, legislation and regulation • water resources planning
• human capacity
As such, he believes given the extensive research the
• sustainable groundwater management
WRC has put into the subject, there are several ground-
• institutional capacity
breaking projects that are noteworthy, and we have
• information management
a suite of projects that aim to unlock our groundwater
reserves and to manage it in a sustainable manner .
• communication and awareness.
They range from favourable zone identiﬁcation for
According to Adams, putting it simplistically, all stake-
groundwater development, focusing on options analysis
holders need to step up!
for local municipalities, groundwater management
If this is the case, and the future is one where we have
functions, identifying and quantifying groundwater
fulﬁlled the vision of both the African Minister s Council
development options, groundwater valuations and
on Water as well as the 2025 Africa Water Vision, the fu-
ture can only be an Africa where groundwater resources
Adams references a recent article in the WRC s Water Wheel, when he adds that: Since the ﬁrst WRC
are valued and utilised sustainably by empowered stakeholders, concludes Adams. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
Working together to make SA’s resources last Having spent many years finding groundwater sources to give towns and villages access to this precious resource, water users and water service providers in South Africa must start talking to each other to better manage scarce groundwater resources and avoid pumping the country’s aquifers dry. HIS WARNING FROM Gert Nel, partner and
principal geohydrologist in SRK Consulting s East London oﬃce, comes at a time when some towns in relatively dry provinces are relying increasingly
on groundwater, in the absence of suﬃcient surface water in rivers and dams. About 12 years ago, in the early years of starting up the SRK oﬃce in East London, Nel remembers working on groundwater feasibility studies to establish the quantity and quality of groundwater in various areas of the province. A number of well ﬁelds and boreholes were developed as a result; the issue now is to look after them. South Africa is blessed with substantial but ﬁnite groundwater resources. If we don t properly monitor
ABOVE Largescale irrigation next to town dependent on groundwater RIGHT Lusikisiki Town Water Supply – Drilling of a high-yielding borehole
how much can actually be abstracted over a period before we threaten the sustainability of the aquifer. This gives authorities and users an overview of water availability in their area. This has proved to be a good starting point for water planning strategies, although it does not by itself solve the problem.
and manage the boreholes we install, then groundwater
Local authorities, for example, have generally only
resources can easily be overexploited and can run dry, he
looked at their own use ‒ the use by the homes and busi-
says. Then we have to repeat the whole costly process of
nesses they supply within their jurisdiction of towns and
ﬁnding other groundwater resources and accessing them,
villages ‒ when checking their abstraction levels against
while remembering these opportunities are not limitless.
the ﬂow potential of the aquifer. The private use of
It is therefore vital that water service providers (usually
groundwater ‒ mainly by farming communities ‒ is often
the local municipalities) and private users (such as farm-
not included in the calculation because farms are usually
ers) understand how much water is in the aquifers that
not supplied by local authorities.
they exploit and how much oﬀtake the aquifers can sus-
What we ve seen is that private abstraction for irrigation
tain. While helping ﬁnd and access groundwater, SRK be-
often makes up a signiﬁcant portion of what is pumped
lieves monitoring and management must be emphasised.
from an aquifer, he explains. When asked by water au-
What we have aimed to do over the past couple of
thorities to recommend how much water they can pump
years is to convince authorities to fund the establishment
for their needs, we may conclude that there is enough
of groundwater models as part of aquifer management,
potential in an aquifer to satisfy the town. But if we add
states Nel. A groundwater model is a scientiﬁc way of as-
in the demand from, for example, the farming community
sessing how much water is available, how much is replen-
close to the town, we realise that the aquifer could run dry
ished through rainfall and other sources such as rivers, and
over just a few years. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
FEATURE: GROUNDWATER This of course demands greater cooperation between the municipalities and the agricultural sector, an area of sensitivity as many farmers have in the past generally been left to operate on their own in this regard. The law is clear that groundwater is a public asset,‒ it does not belong to the person on whose land it occurs, says Nel. So private users cannot use as much as they want, or as much as they can pump from their boreholes. That is why the law requires private users to register their water abstraction with the Department of Water Aﬀairs. As one of those provinces with insuﬃcient surface water is the
INTRODUCING GERT NEL Gert Nel, MSc, is a partner and principal geohydrologist at SRK Consulting in East London, with 21 years’ experience in the fields of hydrogeology. His expertise includes groundwater resource evaluation at local and regional scale, groundwater supply, groundwater management, on-site sanitation and environmental impact assessments. Nel is also involved in groundwater exploration drilling and borehole construction, waste disposal investigations/environmental hydrogeology, groundwater contamination investigations, groundwater awareness training & education, hydrocarbon contamination, and risk assessment and remediation.
Eastern Cape, which is growing more dependent on groundwater, with
Artesian borehole developed for the supply to rural communities in the Mount Frere area
many municipalities looking to develop more production boreholes on private properties ‒ another reason for greater cooperation between these parties. So the challenge is to get the authorities and private users around a table to explain the need for better groundwater management, as in many cases they are both pumping from the same aquifers, he continues. The
requires extra funding and certain scientiﬁc skills for monitoring and management, according to Nel. Local authorities tend to prioritise the mandate of delivering water of suﬃcient quality to their customers, but in fact they are also responsible for managing their local sources of
ABOVE Dried up abandoned borehole near town
water, not just the provision of water to the community, he
ABOVE RIGHT School water supply in the area of Kentani – completed reticulation from a groundwater source
states. The Department of Water Aﬀairs aims to protect water resources on a regional scale and is not going to manage the municipalities water sources for them.
danger is that, without suﬃcient cooperation, the resources
Specialist engineering skills can be brought in to help
will be depleted, leaving both parties without water at the end
tackle these important tasks if there is a lack of expertise, but
of the day.
funding these specialised inputs continues to be a challenge,
Nel adds that this is not so much an issue in areas where
government is the main landowner (for example, where land is communal), but the concern is mainly where towns are dependent on groundwater ‒ and farmers in the area have historically used groundwater for their irrigation needs. There are some Karoo towns, for instance, which are facing these challenges already; abstraction levels have grown substantially over time and they could face the depletion of their current water source within the next few years, he comments. The Department of Water Aﬀairs, as the overall custodian of the country s water resources, is legally empowered to authorise water use, a process in which it applies terms and conditions. However, before it authorises water use, it would have to take into account other abstractions in the area. The problem is that many private users do not apply for these authorisations, so the department may not be fully aware of how much water is being taken from any speciﬁc area, Nels says. When the municipality applies for a water use authorisation in the same area, it is very likely that it will be granted, as the department must assume from its records that there is limited abstraction by private users in the area. According to Nel, the department is still working to get all large private users to register their boreholes and their pumping levels ‒ an initiative it began pushing in the 1980s. The Department of Water Aﬀairs needs this information; if there is large-scale private abstraction in an area where the municipality also needs groundwater, there is always going to be the danger of depletion, he says. And when a municipality runs out of water, the ﬁrst place they turn to is the department; while it s not the department s responsibility, it often becomes its problem. Implementing a groundwater model as part of a groundwater management strategy, and ongoing monitoring, would help avoid this problem. There is a further issue of skills and ﬁnancial capacity at local level. As the water service provider, the local municipality has traditionally not focused on the protection of aquifers as this NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
Dealing with drainage At the beginning of 2012, construction commenced on Phase 2B of the augmentation of Pretoria’s Moreleta Spruit Outfall Sewer network. HE CITY OF Tshwane contracted Aurecon, a
The contract was awarded to VF Munisi Civils, which
global engineering company, to design and
installed the pipes according to Aurecon s design: the
plan this substantial project. Subterranean water
trenches were dug far larger than the diameter of the
posed problems in certain areas, such as in the
pipes and lined with bidim A4 followed by a series of
leafy suburb of Moreleta Park, where the new pipeline
crushed stone layers to form a base. Once the pipes were
would have to traverse wetlands. The instability of the
positioned onto this stone layer, the trenches were ﬁlled
clay soil here posed a further problem as it was essential
with stone and subsequently closed with an overlap
that the pipes be installed on stable platforms and that the crushed stone bedding layers were kept free of silt. It was at this stage of the design process that Aurecon speciﬁed Kaytech s bidim A4 geotextile to help alleviate these problems. Bidim has the highest possible throughﬂow rate while providing excellent ﬁltration characteristics. In sub-soil drainage, as required in this project, bidim performs two functions: ﬁltering and separating soils.
BELOW LEFT AND RIGHT Kaytech - bidim separates the soil from the drainage system to prevent clogging of the subsoil drain
of bidim. Kaytech began supplying the civil engineering industry with its non-woven continuous ﬁlament needle-punched polyester bidim geotextile in 1971. In 1978, it began manufacturing geotextiles from 100% polyester, much of which is supplied through recycled cool drink bottles. This formula provides distinct advantages over other man-made ﬁbres: improved modulus of deformation, enhanced plastic yield stability, higher breaking strength and superior wettability. The mechanical process of needle punching allows for an appreciable thickness of the geotextile as well as high porosity, high drainage capacity (both within and normal to the plane), good resistance to damage and a ﬂexibility that aids installation. Although this project is not scheduled for
early 2014, the problem appears to have been solved. The ﬁnal success of the application will only
once the pipeline is fully
Kaytech believes that its high-performance bidim will prove its eﬃcacy.
Bringing water to Africa and the rest of the world for
ELEVATED TANKS: ABECO offers full-service design, manufacture and installation of support towers steelwork. Basic towers consisting of the support steelwork with a caged access ladder to the roof of the tank are offered in the absence of further specification. Walkways around the base of the tank or rest platforms on access ladders are available on request. Access is required all around pressed steel tanks to tighten bolts. The recommended minimum space around the four sides and above the roof is 600mm and 450mm beneath the tank
CIRCULAR SECTIONAL STEEL TANKS: In developing sectional steel tanks, ABECO recognised a need for tanks that have the following features: • Low cost hygienic water storage • Rugged and easily transportable • Minimal site preparation and foundations • Quick and easy to install • Can be installed using basic equipment • Durable and long lasting • Can be dismantled and re-erected at new sites.
GROUND LEVEL TANKS: Ground level tanks are commonly supported on reinforced concrete dwarf walls fitted with steel capping strips. The purpose of the capping strip is to spread the load over the full load of the support wall and to provide a level platform on which to erect the tank. For practical reasons concrete cannot be cast with sufficient accuracy of level. The capping strips should be positioned in place before the installation of the tank starts. Recommended tolerance is ±2mm. Care should be taken to ensure that foundation walls are parallel and square to each other. Foundation walls must protrude beyond the edge of the tank by a recommended distance of 150mm. The tapered top section of the wall assists in providing access for the tools to fasten.
6A Bradford Road Bedfordview 2007 South Africa
PO Box 751781 Gardenview 2047 South Africa
Tel.: +27 11 616 7999 Fax: +27 11 616 8355 email@example.com
CONTAINERISED MODULAR SYSTEMS
Package plants prioritised Containerised modular systems provide a treatment solution for small water systems that are simple, affordable and effective. HESE SYSTEMS ARE known both
simply by virtue of its smaller dimensions
containerised treatment systems available
as containerised modular systems
and the less invasive nature of its installation.
to African markets. We look at the diﬀerent
and as package plants, depending
There are fewer moving parts usually pres-
applications of the easy-to-install and op-
on which supplier or industry pro-
ent in these modular systems, which results
erate systems, such as those in the mining
fessional you speak to. They are designed,
in an eﬃcient, highly reliable and aﬀordable
and municipal potable water treatment
pre-packaged and shipped unassembled to
potable water treatment plant or wastewa-
systems, through discussions with some of
the ﬁeld for installation by a qualiﬁed con-
ter treatment plant with low maintenance
the leading providers and industry experts
tractor or installer, and generally require less
and operating costs. In addition, the plants
on containerised modular systems, or pack-
engineering, space and infrastructure.
can often be added and their production
This is ideal for the African context when considering the short installation timelines
capacity therefore increased with just as little stress.
usually expected and quite often the dire
As indicated by our panellists, they are
need for an almost immediate production
therefore ideal for remote locations, have
of high-quality potable water. The fact that
lower day-to-day maintenance and are
package plants take up less space is also in
simple to operate, and can be transported to
line with the global focus on greener, en-
vironmentally friendlier options, which the packaged plant s smaller footprint provides
In this edition of Water&Sanitation Africa, we
CONTAINERISED MODULAR SYSTEMS
WATER PURIFICATION CHEMICAL & PLANT CC (WPCP) hat are the advantages of containerised modular systems? MO The
Martin Overy Product manager
to wait for the conventional
cheaper and take about a
the growing population and
concrete-type plants to
quarter of the time to construct,
things like mining infrastructure
saving labour and time-related
further north in places like
Mozambique, Zambia as well as
modular system, as the name
How technology-intensive are they? They are fairly
our intention to focus on this,
plants or built on-site out of
What are the challenges to the roll-out of these systems? The usual challenges
concrete (or steel) in such
include, but are not limited to:
technology intensive, but can
on our current South African
a way that further modules
funding and location ‒ the cost
be made to be mainly manually
may be added later to cater
of and the sometimes diﬃcult,
operated or automatically
for increased demand. Being
if not impossible, terrain that
operated using PLCs, SCADA
modular, the add-on is far less
needs to be dealt with in
Any advice for potential clients? Any water plant
painful and costly than building
getting the equipment to site.
The choice of technology
requires upfront design
extra capacity from scratch.
Lastly, but most importantly,
depends on the client and the
based on a number of
the running and management,
infrastructure that they have
factors. This includes raw
to both run and maintain the
water quality, which needs
of the plant once it has
plant. A fully automated, and
to be analysed (typically a
well maintained, plant will
SANS 241 analysis) over the
always give better ongoing
diﬀerent seasons chemically
quality ﬁnal water than a
and microbiologically. The
predesigned and standard
How does WPCP overcome these challenges? We oﬀer
manually operated plant,
capacity required should also
size steel (or GRP) items, like
ﬁnancing, if required, via our
especially with changing raw
be considered: What are the
clariﬁers and pressure ﬁlters, or
partner banks. We also try and
water quality. The opex will
current, medium- and long-
in the case of smaller modular
employ a plant design that suits
be lower but the capex will be
term capacity requirements?
plants, the whole or part of
the application and terrain.
quite a lot higher. Obviously
Too many package/modular
the plant is housed in a marine
We oﬀer ongoing training
one cannot propose a fully
plants are designed on the
container (either 6 or 12 m).
automatic PLC-driven plant if
basis of I have a dam and there
there are no suitably trained
are 500 people. What will a
technicians to repair a defective
implies, is supplied either as prebuilt and package-type
Why are these systems suited to rural South African and African conditions? With the pre-built modular plants, the modules are typically
This gives the advantage of
Central and Western Africa. It is
typically diﬃcult and expensive
How do these systems compare cost-wise to other options? The modular,
to build as they re inaccessible
coated steel plants ‒ or GRP/
and out of the range of
ﬁbreglass in the case of smaller
deliveries of cement, bricks, etc.
plants ‒ are a lot cheaper than
What is WPCP s focus going forward? The demand for
potable water and puriﬁed
plants. The structures are
process water is increasing with
only requiring the most basic of civil work. Rural plants are
What are WPCP s oﬀerings?
without any detrimental eﬀect
electric actuator of PLC software, for example.
BELOW RIGHT A typical containerised plant room BELOW New pressure sand filters, part of a water treatment plant upgrade at Ixopo WTW
WPCP oﬀers a range of modular/containerised plants from small skid-mounted plants to modular plants that can handle up to 10 Mℓ/d.
What are the most eﬀective applications? Agricultural villages, small out-of-the-way towns and emergency plants where there is just no time
CONTAINERISED MODULAR SYSTEMS
VEOLIA WATER SOLUTIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES SOUTH AFRICA hat are some of the advantages of containerised modular systems? WT There are
production of client-speciﬁc process and service water requirements.
Wayne Taljaard General manager of Engineered Systems and Services How technologyintensive are they? They are
• plants are pre-fabricated and
plants are suitable for mining
they are kept simple to ensure
that they are easily operated
camps and villages), small
leaving to respective job site • modular plants lend themselves to expansion
• modular plants are reusable by
• they are largely "plug and play"
What challenges are there, speciﬁcally in Africa, to the roll-out of these systems?
• they require minimum
The design has evolved in order
clients in certain instances ‒ at diﬀerent job sites, for example
eﬃcient and eﬀective. However,
towns, temporary installations, schools, resorts and lodges, and
standards. In some speciﬁcations are met.
ensure that they are reliable,
• plants are tested prior to
will meet DWA instances, higher client
What are their most eﬀective applications? The modular
completed in South Africa
and sewage plants
technologically advanced to
a number of advantages,
What is Veolia s focus going forward with respect to containerised modular systems? Strategically this
What is the quality of the product they produce? In
method of supplying treatment
general, as a minimim, potable
focus due to the beneﬁts we
water will meet SANS standards
believe it oﬀers.
plants will continue to be a
to eliminate the challenges typically faced on sites. These
Why are they uniquely suited to local conditions?
challenges include: transport to
The modular containerised
availability of operational
treatment plants that we supply
personnel, power supply and
are speciﬁcally designed for
outages, and spares availability.
site, access to remote locations,
African conditions. They are
sourced from well-known
How do these systems compare cost-wise to other options? The base equipment
global suppliers and therefore
costs largely the same whether
supported and available
it is containerised or not.
almost everywhere. Because
The cost saving comes in
they are constructed using ISO
the minimisation of site time
containers, they are secure,
robust and tough. The utilised component equipment is
robust and tough, easily transportable and handled onsite. They require minimum site involvement during installation and commissioning, are simple to operate, easily maintainable and have optimum electrical consumption, and they recover quickly after power outages.
RIGHT Containerised sewage treatment plant utilising new generation trickling filter technology at a mine site in Africa BELOW A fully premanufactured and tested containerised treatment plant leaving Veolia's premises in Johannesburg
What are Veolia s oﬀerings in this respect? Veolia oﬀers a range of containerised water treatment solutions: • a package range of potable water treatment plants for applications with either surface, borehole, sea or brackish water as source • a package range of domestic sewage treatment plants utilising new generation trickling ﬁlter technology • bespoke containerised treatment plants for the NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
Rand Water to upgrade ageing infrastructure Rand Water is a water service provider that purifies 3 600 Mℓ/day of water and distributes clean drinking water to 58 reservoirs via 300 km of pipelines to 19 water service authorities. It services 11 million people in Gauteng and parts of Mpumalanga, North West and the Free State provinces. GAST Geosynthetics has been appointed as a subcontractor to the project.
AND WATER EXTRACTS its raw water from
geotextile to ensure the eﬃciency of the system. GAST
the Vaal Dam via a canal and gravity pipeline,
will be working closely with iNtatakusa Consulting and
and by pumping from the Vaal River Baggage
Vereeniging. A small quantity of water is also extracted from underground sources at Zuurbekom. After the water has been extracted, it undergoes a puriﬁcation process in order to meet the stringent standards set for potable water. The puriﬁcation process involves seven stages, which are closely monitored. Rand Water has undertaken major renovations due to its ageing infrastructure, related mostly to augmentation and rehabilitation. The upgrade is scheduled to be completed by 2018. The main contractor for the project, Liviero Civils, is currently working on expansion capacity and modiﬁcation for the supernatant pipelines. The project cost is calculated at approximately R254 million. As an appointed subcontractor, GAST will supply and install 1.5 m high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to 20 residue ponds at the site. The total working area is
RIGHT Stacking of geomembrane rolls BELOW GAST spiking system moving geomembrane rolls
785 000 m2 with the project value set at R25 million. Due to weather considerations, the work is scheduled into two winter installations and is set to be completed by 2014. Site establishment commenced on 12 April 2013 and involved setting up site oﬃces, oﬀ-loading material, etc. GAST commenced working at the Rand Water Panfontein residue disposal site in August 2013. The
spiking system to oﬄoad containers holding the geomembrane rolls has improved eﬃciency by reducing oﬄoading
through a 36-hour shift to oﬄoad 795 000 m2 worth of material from over 48 x 40 foot containers. The geomembrane system will be
FEATURE: INDUSTRIAL WATER
Processes and challenges Any form of wastewater produced from process operations such as manufacturing and agriculture is referred to as ‘Industrial wastewater’. This, however, does not include domestic or sanitary wastewater. By Arish Sohan, laboratory analyst, and Jody Naicker, technical assistant, Talbot & Talbot Laboratories.
URTHER TO THIS, all industrial wastewater
turn may result in untreated industrial wastewater being
must be classiﬁed in accordance with the
discharged into river systems, posing a serious health risk
National Environmental Management Waste Act
to the aquatic organisms and the surrounding environ-
(Act No 59 of 2008).
ment. These impurities reduce the dissolved oxygen in
This classiﬁcation is supported by testing wastewater
the river water and are contributors to the complex ma-
samples in a laboratory and using the results to deter-
trix of this water, which makes it vastly diﬀerent to that
mine if the eﬄuent is within acceptable limits for dis-
of natural sources such as boreholes and river waters.
charge into a public sewer system. Industrial wastewater
Laboratory analysis of these complex samples poses a
that does not comply with the discharge speciﬁcation
major challenge to laboratories.
must undergo a pretreatment process. The aim of the
Industrial wastewater containing high salt concentra-
pretreatment process is to remove harmful pollutants
tions, for example, adversely aﬀects laboratory analysis of
such as oils and fats, dyes, detergents and organic
these sample types. In COD analyses, a sample with high
chemicals from the industrial wastewater. Pretreatment
salt concentrations becomes cloudy when acidic oxidis-
plants are designed and built based on analytical lab-
ing agents are added. This not only masks the end point
oratory test results for the particular wastewater type.
of the test but also contributes to a false positive result.
The analytical laboratory tests include analyses such as
The COD results of analyses are used by plant operators
chemical oxygen demand (COD), suspended solids; con-
to optimise the operations at the treatment plants. An
ductivity and various elemental metal concentrations.
inaccurate result due to the salt matrix interference may
The eﬀectiveness and eﬃciency of a wastewater plant is
cause process ineﬃciencies such as inadequate digester
monitored by plant operators using online process data
feed rates, which will negatively impact the eﬀectiveness
as well as laboratory test results from samples collected at critical points in the treatment process. Industrial water that is not eﬀectively treated will contain impurities that will be detrimental to the microorganisms found in sewer treatment plants. This in
An example of an effluent treatment plant built by Talbot & Talbot
of the wastewater treatment. The addition of a complexing agent assists in eliminating the eﬀect of high salt concentrations in the COD analysis. The amount of complexing agent required varies with varying salt concentrations and therefore it is
FEATURE: INDUSTRIAL WATER important for a laboratory to establish an eﬀective method to determine the appropriate ratio of complexing agent to salt concentration. Challenges in analysing samples with high salt concentrations are not limited to wet chemical analyses but also aﬀect analytical instrument analyses, e.g. ICP-MS. High salt content in samples cause blockages in the instrument, which impacts on the instrument sensitivity. This sometimes maintenance parts,
analyses. Samples with very high salt concentrations can be treated in two ways prior to analysis: they can either be diluted or mixed with a complexing agent to remove the interference. Both these techniques present their own drawbacks and challenges. Physical dilution of samples to reduce salt concentrations has an eﬀect on the lower analyte concentrations and using a complexing agent may limit the number of elements analysed since the complexing agent may contain some of these elements. A very careful balance is required to determine the method required for a particular sample type.
A diﬀerent sample Some industries also produce wastewater that is coloured and turbid as a result of dyes or chemicals used in their process. This further poses various challenges for analytical testing, particularly spectroscopic methods run on instruments that pass a beam of light through a sample aliquot. The sample is mixed with a speciﬁc reagent (depending on the analyte) and forms a colour complex, and the intensity of the colour produced is measured by the instrument and equated to the concentration of analyte. Coloured samples interfere with the end colour
“Industrial wastewater will diﬀer from industry to industry so two sample matrices will never be the same.” Arish Sohan, laboratory analyst, and Jody Naicker, technical assistant, Talbot & Talbot Laboratories
intensity while turbid samples cause the light beam to scatter and in both cases the results are compromised. These eﬀects can be overcome using the following tech-
eﬀective tool to establish test procedures that ensure
niques: dilution of samples, closed reﬂux distillation and
valid results are obtained regardless of the nature of the
soaking the sample in activated charcoal. Correction fac-
sample matrix. During the development of a test method
tors must then be applied to account for these changes
the following needs to be ensured:
in the testing process.
• the method is validated for eﬀectiveness, showing re-
Industrial wastewater will diﬀer from industry to in-
producibility and repeatability
dustry, so two sample matrices will never be the same.
• a standard operating procedure is written up.
The level of competency of the analyst thus plays an
The analyst will follow the standard operating procedure
important role in the successful analysis of diverse
to ensure that accurate results are achieved, which in
industrial wastewater samples. The analyst needs to be
turn will ensure the eﬀective management of the pre-
competent and have the pertinent background knowl-
treatment plants since plant operators would receive
edge and experience to eﬀectively analyse industrial
more accurate results. Method development is a very
wastewater samples, which requires a certain degree of
time consuming process, which can also be very expen-
research to determine the best method for the diﬀering
sive for the laboratory but imperative to ensure valid
results of analyses.
The challenges outlined highlights the need for further
Regardless of the challenges that laboratories face due
method research and development in each laboratory
to such complex sample types, many strive to ensure that
when dealing with complex industrial wastewater
they provide their clients with high quality and accurate
samples on a regular basis. Method development is an
results timeously. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Capacity building in rural South Africa Earth sciences and water consultancy Umvoto Africa is undertaking a twoyear study funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC) to examine rural attitudes towards climate change and how the rural communities can increase their resilience. PILOT PROJECT, based on a series of commu-
Initial work identiﬁed and prioritised the hazards facing
nity and local authority workshops, has focused
the community and its coping mechanisms, leading to
on Tsengiwe village near Cala (four hours drive
the next stage: community development plans for climate
from East London) in the Eastern Cape. A ﬁnal
change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
report is due by end of February 2014.
At the ﬁrst workshop, it was striking to note the local
Tsengiwe, like many other rural villages, is vulnerable to seasonal drought. Climate change can be seen in a shift from summer-dominated rainfall to more autumnal rains; this is often associated with episodic downpours. The shift of the wet growing season has placed demands on summer crop selection and created an agricultural drought condition.The situation is exacerbated by poor infrastructureand a lack of municipal services.
recognition of the problem we are addressing ‒ that the
Sinawo Jack, an Umvoto trainee hydrogeologist, inspects vegetables in a Tsengiwe community garden
climate is changing, says Umvoto Africa s MD, Rowena Hay. Most visible to local people is a major shift in the seasonality of events ‒ with very serious implications for cropping and livelihoods. Training the youth has been an important component of the project, 13 young people have been instructed in monitoring and evaluation, which covered basic research
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Training the youth has been an important component of the project, 13 young people have been instructed in monitoring and evaluation principles and ethics and how to conduct a survey and an interview. In addition, the Umvoto team trained two young people in hydrocensus work ‒ how to follow the quality management systems procedure to ﬁll out hydrocensus forms correctly and record data in a report. Umvoto also held a participatory mapping exercise, based on a GIS map that staﬀ had created. The community mapped resources and land uses that they felt were important for their development plans. These included communal land, water sources and infrastructure and major agricultural projects, as well as vulnerable areas with large dongas, areas overridden with alien vegetation, ﬂooding zones and major soil erosion. The third workshop in August was attended by the extension oﬃcer from the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform and the institutional and support oﬃcer from the Department of Water Aﬀairs (DWA). This enhanced the people s knowledge of government support. There are now ﬁve community development plans based on water supply and reticulation, agriculture and crop cultivation, animal grazing management, soil erosion and school greening. These serve as a road map to guide the community and local mentors through procedure and process.
ABOVE Njabulo Matshoyana, a Tsengiwe village resident on the monitoring and evaluation steering committee and the water supply development team, during hydrocensus training INSET Luphumzo Dasheka (a Tsengiwe village resident on the monitoring and evaluation steering committee and the water supply development team) taking notes during a monitoring and evaluation training session
relevant government oﬃcials, she said. In the event of informed and objective feedback on failure to deliver, the community has the information on who to approach in the various hierarchies in order to motivate for improved service delivery. Failing acknowledgment of community considerations and positive intervention by government, it would be necessary to engage in either conﬂict resolution approaches or media pressure. The frustration of unfulﬁlled expectations, poverty and not being heard can lead to protest, and eﬀorts need to be made in advance to avoid this. Development projects that could be implemented by the community include land care and rehabilitation, accessing groundwater supplies, building a small dam to supply food gardens and water for stock, catchment rehabilitation and the selection of new crops with a short growing season to suit changing climate conditions. The take-home message is to work with what is available, have long-term goals, and interface constructively with oﬃcial channels and processes, states Hay. Risk management promotes self-mobilisation and active
The persons trained to monitor and evaluate will mon-
participation, leading to empowerment (especially of
itor the implementation of these plans, as well as the
women) and the ability to hold government accountable
routine water service delivery by the local municipality,
for ensuring rights are met. It also supports the move to
says Hay. For the duration of the project, this information
responsibility and constructive engagement by all role
will be given to Umvoto, which can facilitate as needed to
players. An informed community cannot be misled by
ensure ongoing progress.
empty or unrealistic promises. Risk management can
In due course, this will not be necessary, as constructive relationships are built between the community and
secure sustainable service delivery and operations and maintenance in the water services sector. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Innovative water technologies showcased The Water Research Commission (WRC), in partnership with the departments of Water Affairs (DWA) and Science and Technology (DST), has hosted the Water Research and Development Symposium at the CSIR International Convention Centre. The symposium, which was held under the theme ‘Local Water Solutions for Global Impact’, took place from 25 to 27 September 2013. HE AIM OF the symposium was to showcase
our scientiﬁc water-related innovations and develop-
and celebrate excellence in the South African
ments, including some embedded within indigenous
water research and development domain and
knowledge, must and will assist us to make the neces-
to link various institutions operating at diﬀerent
sary advances towards the attainment of our major goal:
stages of the water innovation value chain. As part of the
that of universal access to water services, as set out in
United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation,
the Millennium Development Goals.
the symposium sought to further the scientiﬁc dialogue
According to the chairperson of the Parliamentary
on what the development imperatives were for South
Portfolio Committee, Advocate Johnny de Lange, South
Africa from a water perspective and the innovations that
Africa needs to use these technological interventions
address this agenda.
since water intensive development challenges are
For the ﬁrst time, the public had a chance to engage
compounded by increased pollution loads entering river
directly in a dialogue format with the members of the
systems and aquifers that supply water for domestic us-
Parliamentary Portfolio Committees and the scientiﬁc
ers all the way to large industrial users like mines, large
community outside the conﬁnes of parliament. The
agriculture and major production plants. This is also oc-
theme for the pre-symposium parliament session was
curring at a time when the country needs to make more
The future of water in South Africa and the role of the
water and sanitation services available to the unserved
scientiﬁc community of practice: a public engagement session with parliamentarians . While commenting on the symposium, the minister of Water and Environmental Aﬀairs, Edna Molewa, explained: We cannot progress as a country unless and until our technological advances are used for the good of all humanity. We are a water-scarce country, therefore
population, which includes making water available for
BELOW The symposium was hosted by the WRC, in partnership with the DWA and DST
new small-scale economic activities. The ﬁnal layer of complexity is to meet all these needs while ensuring the integrity of the environment. This is the South African water challenge today. The minister of DST, Derek Hanekom, said: The DST recognises that the water sector provides opportunities for job creation and economic development. It also sees appropriate water management and related technological innovation as key components of the transition to a green economy in South Africa, given the cross-cutting role that water plays in all sectors. Hanekom added: Water is core to achieving the DST s Global Change Grand Challenge, as well as broader national targets around the green economy. It has therefore become clear that there is a need for a national water research, development and innovation roadmap, which will clarify the role that water plays in the green economy and what kind of investment the sector needs to function optimally. The DST is partnering with the WRC in this
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
The public had a chance to engage directly in a dialogue format with the members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees and the scientific community regard to develop the roadmap, which aims to provide
measure 1 to 1.5 ℓ per tip. The LFM is made from perspex
a 10-year platform for research, development and in-
to enable easy identiﬁcation of blockages. The system
novation in the water and wastewater sectors of South
has been tested for the past two years ‒ under ﬁeld
Africa and, among other things, to provide a platform for
conditions ‒ and is robust and accurate.
the country to compete with leading countries in water
The second innovation is an apparatus that can be
technology, increase the numbers of technology-based
used to harvest fog water during near-windless con-
small- and medium-sized enterprises operating in the
ditions (the Whirly). The previous systems ‒ and those
water sector, and increase access to water and sanita-
used worldwide ‒ are static nets that rely on fog-bearing
tion in rural communities.
winds to blow through the system, depositing tiny fog
Various WRC-funded research projects were show-
droplets of water on the screen. These droplets then
cased in the Market Place by the various project
coalesce, become heavier and trickle downwards. They
drip into a gutter attached to the bottom of the screen. From there the fog is channelled to storage tanks. The
Fog water harvesting for SA conditions
new invention consists of a vertical shaft with three
While South Africa is facing a major water crisis, the
nets attached. An electronic system has been attached
impact of water shortages is felt most acutely in rural
that causes a rotor to turn ‒ thereby rotating the nets
areas where there are no major surface- or groundwater
when the relative humidity reaches 98% (as it does
resources and where it is not economically viable to
during foggy conditions). The system switches oﬀ when
install a water reticulation network. It is imperative that
the fog ceases. The batteries that drive the system are
such communities be supplied with water. One of the
charged by solar power.
more unconventional sources of water is fog. During the Water Research and Development Technology
How does fog water harvesting work?
Symposium, researchers from the University of Pretoria
Fog occurs frequently along the West Coast of South
showcased two of WRC-funded innovations on fog
Africa as well as in the mountains forming the southern
harvesting. A scale model of the whirly and a fully func-
and eastern escarpment. The WRC has funded research
tional low ﬂowmeter were exhibited.
projects to determine the feasibility of fog water harvest-
The ﬁrst innovation is a measuring instrument for low
ing and to optimise the structure and design of fog water
and intermittent water ﬂow. The volume of fog varies
harvesting systems. Each system comprises of a water
considerably from hundreds of litres per day to less than
collection screen and one or more storage tanks. The
one. Water collection is also intermittent, with a lot of
screen consists of three 6-metre wooden poles mounted
water collected during wet conditions to none during
9 m apart. Steel cables stretch horizontally between the
sunny periods. Conventional water ﬂowmeters invaria-
poles and anchor the structure. Two sections of 9 x 4 m
bly fail during these conditions. Prof Johan van Heerden,
shade cloth netting (40%) are draped over the top cable
a leading researcher based at the University of Pretoria,
and secured to the middle and lower cables and to the
has built a low ﬂowmeter (LFM) that can measure such
poles on either side. This forms a fog collection screen of
ﬂows. It is based on a tipping bucket principle but can
around 70 m2. A gutter is attached to the lower ends of NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
the screen. During foggy and wet conditions, droplets
Biotelemetry involves the use of transmitting devices
are blown against the screen and deposited on it. As
to monitor the behaviour and physiology of animals in
the drops become larger, they trickle downwards and
their natural environment. This monitoring technique is
drip into the gutter. From there the water is channelled
proving to be increasingly useful to researchers around
through a sand ﬁlter to a pipe that leads to10 000 ℓ tanks
the world. Biotelemetry devices allow researchers to
located down slope. When the top tank is full, the over-
document, for long uninterrupted periods, how un-
ﬂow is channelled to the next tank further down the hill,
disturbed organisms interact with each other and their
and so on.
environment in real time.
These fog harvesting technologies have been pilot-
Through collaborative eﬀorts between the Water
ed in the West Coast at a small mission station called
Research Group at North West University (WRG-NWU),
Lepelfontein in the Northern Cape, and the other at
the Centre for Aquatic Research at the University of
the Tshanowa Primary School in the Soutpansberg in
Johannesburg, Scientiﬁc Services at South African
Limpopo. There are no naturally occurring water sources
National Parks, E Oppenheimer & Son and biotelemetry
at Lepelfontein or at Tshanowa. Water was previously
system specialist Wireless Wildlife International, the
trucked to Lepelfontein from the nearest town, located
technology has now been successfully developed and
about 70 km away, while at Tshanowa, women and
tested in the ﬁeld.
children had to collect water on a daily basis from a dam
Project leader Dr Gordon O Brien of the WRG-NWU
located 5 km from the school. The terrain is exceptionally
explains that biotelemetry methods are internationally recognised as one of the most
steep and rugged in this area. The amount of water available to each family was thus limited to the amount of water that could be carried per trip. The design of the
The WRC has funded research projects to determine the feasibility of fog water harvesting
eﬀective ways of acquiring behavioural information of ﬁshes and other aquatic animals over extended periods within their natural environments.
collector was based on that used
in Chile, with signiﬁcant modiﬁcations being made for
particularly interested in using the behaviour of these
South African conditions. The structures were speciﬁcally
organisms to develop our understanding of their bi-
designed to be used in rural areas, to be as cost eﬀective
ology and ecology, and then to evaluate the impact of
as possible, to use material that is readily available in the
changing environmental variables such as water quality,
area, and to be suitable for use in areas without electricity.
quantity or ﬂows and habitat on their behaviour. This will
The systems at Lepelfontein and Tshanowa were our
allow us to establish management guidelines for these
ﬁrst designs that were based on the Chile model. We
environmental variables, which will contribute to the
have further developed new modiﬁcations and inno-
conservation of species.
vations. One modiﬁcation is that instead of having one
The biotelemetry system makes use of remote and
ﬂat vertical panel, we now put three panels (30 m2 each)
manual tracking or monitoring systems as well as smart
in the form of a triangle. This provides stability to the
tags or transceivers. The latter is attached to the organ-
system during storms. The other new innovations are the
ism being monitored. Once tagged, the animals (in the
Whirly and the low ﬂowmeter, explains Prof Jana Olivier,
case of the study ﬁsh and crocodiles) are released to
WRC project leader from the University of Pretoria.
re-establish their normal behavioural patterns. With re-
Approximately the same results were obtained for both
mote and manual monitoring systems, researchers now
sites. The mean daily water yields were approximately
monitor the continuous behaviour of the animal for at
4ℓ/m2 per day, with maximum yields exceeding 3 800 ℓ/d.
least a year.
Although these yields are not very high, they provide
The remote monitoring systems include the use of
clean water to people who previously did not have easy
listening stations or receivers that are deployed into the
access to any water.
study area. These record and transmit information from
Unfortunately, a number of problems were experi-
the tags at a 10-minute interval to an Internet-based
enced as a result of severe storms and lack of mainte-
data management system. The researchers can log onto
nance and vandalism. This necessitated modiﬁcations to
the data management system at any time
the design so as to optimise water harvesting.
from any computer with Internet access and download real-time behavioural data
Providing real-time data to aquatic scientists
from the tagged animal. In turn, manual monitoring systems
Aquatic scientists will now rely on the newly
involve the use of directional
developed local biotelemetry system to
antennae and hand-held re-
understand animal behaviour in water. For
ceivers that are used to locate and
the past four years, the WRC has been
download behavioural data from
funding a series of studies, which has
any tagged animal in the ﬁeld.
led to the development of a locally pro-
The type of behavioural aspects
duced biotelemetry system to monitor
of the aquatic organisms that can
the behaviour of aquatic organisms in
be monitored include the location of
the animal, the movement and activity NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
as well as some environmental variables, including the depth of the animal in the water, as well as the temperature in the water. In addition, by monitoring the location, movement and activity of the animal over extended periods of time, the team is able to evaluate the response of the animal to changing habitat variables, ﬂows, water quality components and weather variables, such as atmospheric pressure. Tests have been conducted on yellowﬁsh, tigerﬁsh and one Nile crocodile. These animals were tagged and then released and monitored for eight months in the Crocodile River. Behavioural data, including home range, habitat use, daily and seasonal movement patterns, daily activity patterns, as well as the response of the animals to changing environmental variables were described and statistically analysed. The local biotelemetry system has proven itself to work well in the ﬁeld. This technology allows authorities to react more quickly, not only protecting our biodiversity but also aﬀording a greater chance to apprehend polluters, explains Bonani Madikizela, research manager at the WRC. This means that when the behaviour of species indicates that environmental
been reached, for example, through reduced ﬂows or a chemical spill into a river, managers will be able to respond accordingly. We may even be able to use ﬁsh behaviour in real time to release ecological ﬂows at the start of migration. This will result in a better ability of decision-makers to manage and conserve our precious ecosystems, explains O Brien. Further developments in remote and manual biotelemetry monitoring methods and analyses techniques are continuing. It is hoped that this technology will go a long way towards the conservation of South Africa s rich aquatic biodiversity.
TOP & MIDDLE RIGHT Various WRC-funded research projects were showcased in the Market Place by the various project teams involved RIGHT The Market Place and exhibition area NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
ACID MINE DRAINAGE REMEDIATION
A comparison of charcoaland slag-based constructed wetlands PART ll The second installment of the paper titled â€˜A comparison of charcoal- and slag-based constructed wetlands for acid mine drainage remediationâ€™ starts to interpret the results of the study and discusses the implications of the use of sub-surface flow constructed wetlands (CW) with charcoal- or slag-based bed matrices for their potential use in remediating acid mine drainage (AMD). By Craig Sheridan, Kevin Harding, Edward Koller and Antonio De Pretto*
TECHNICAL PAPER N THE FIGURES PRESENTED, the
feed to the CW and the concentration at the outlet, as well as a value called diluted iron, diluted
sulphate etc., is shown. Since the rigs were initially ﬁlled with water, as the simulated AMD was fed into them, the water would have had a dilution eﬀect. This diluting eﬀect (as a maximum dilution) is presented as a comparison as this value would indicate that of zero remediation.
Neutralisation of acidity The eﬀect of charcoal and slag CW on the pH of treated AMD is shown in Figure 1. The data indicate that the pH increased in the experiments, with the slag-based CW being more eﬀective at increasing the pH to a value between 6.5 and 7 in both experiments. The charcoal-based CW raised the pH but not to the same extent as the slag-based CW. The temporal behaviour of the system indicated that the CWs were less eﬀective with increasing time. The steady state values (if such exist) were
FIGURE 1 The effects of charcoal and slag on the pH of AMD treated using CWs
Iron removal It can be seen that in both experiments iron was eﬀectively removed by the CWs from dissolved form. The iron exited the CW as an insoluble, red, turbid colouring in the outlet, which was most probably a suspension of iron
not determined in this study and we are aware that this is
oxides and hydroxides. The increase in pH (see Figure 3)
a limitation of these experiments.
caused the precipitation of iron, an explanation supported
In terms of acidity reduction, the basic oxygen furnace
by the Pourbaix diagram for iron. It is also possible that the
(BOF) slag amendment showed increased pH-raising
adsorptive capacity of the charcoal aided in the removal
capacity compared to the charcoal CW. Regarding the
of iron, although this was not tested in this experiment.
CWs ability to treat AMD, it was observed that the wet-
The appearance of iron hydroxide precipitates was most
land plants in both beds survived the moderate and low
probably due to the presence of iron-oxidising bacteria
pH runs. As such, it is surmised that other wetland plants
‒ particularly Sagittaria australis ‒ that may have been
would also be able to treat the very acidic AMD, although
present in the CW system (Emerson et al., 1999), although
it may prove diﬃcult to establish the vegetation to be
this had not been tested at this time. The appearance of
used under such conditions (Batty and Younger, 2004) and whether it would survive over extended periods.
Iron and sulphate removal The results of iron and sulphate removal using the charcoal and slag CWs are presented in Figure 2 and Figure 3,respectively.
FIGURE 2 Sulphate and iron reduction within both slag and charcoal CWs for Experiment 1 (pH = 4.5)
iron hydroxide in the CW eﬄuent indicated that the CW failed to eﬀectively ﬁlter out the solid iron precipitate. This means that further treatment steps may be needed after the CW to eﬀectively ﬁlter out iron precipitates, should such a CW be designed. If ﬁltration were eﬀective, clogging of the CW matrix could reduce the eﬃcacy of the system with time.
Sulphate removal Sulphate was removed in both systems to less than 25% of the input amount. A diurnal eﬀect was observed, which was suggestive of biological/microbial removal, and, indeed, during sampling a stench of H2S gas emanating from both the charcoal and the slag CW was noted. Given the short duration of the experiment, it was not possible to conclusively determine which system was more eﬀective at sulphate removal. It appears that at an initial pH of 1.35, both systems were operating well by 60 h, with the slag-based CW demonstrating better sulphate removal. At a higher pH of 4, by 60 h it appeared that the charcoal-based CW was more eﬀective at sulphate removal. Further work NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
TECHNICAL PAPER (Eq. (1)). Photosynthetic organisms are not active at night and there is therefore an absence of organic carbon, which implies that the SRB were not able to conduct DSR in the dark (Rumbold, 2011). If this were the case, the sulphate concentration in the CW should increase at night, as was observed. Although the ability of a slag matrix structure to sequestrate metal ions through a solid precipitation sequestration process is well documented (Ziemkiewicz, 1998; Nehrehneim et al., 2008), literature relating to sulphate reduction could not be found. Further work is required to determine the mechanism of sulphate reduction in the slag-based bed, be it chemical, biochemical, physical or a combination thereof.
Conclusions and recommendations should be conducted to conﬁrm this and to determine long-term trends. The morning peaks observed in the sulphate levels, particularly in the charcoal-based bed, could possibly be explained by the diurnal activity of photosynthetic microorganisms and plants in the CW. The cycle of photosynthesis produces an organic carbon source that could
FIGURE 3 Sulphate and iron reduction within both slag and charcoal CWs for Experiment 2 (pH = 1.35)
be utilised by the SRB as a reactant in the DSR reaction
From the results of the pH, iron and sulphate tests presented, it was concluded that CWs, amended with BOF slag or charcoal, were able to eﬀect some remediation on an AMD stream. Both slag- and charcoal-based CWs removed iron almost completely from the aqueous phase. It was noted that a slag amendment appeared to provide a better environment for sulphate reduction and was marginally more eﬀective than charcoal at AMD treatment, although both CWs removed in excess of 75% of the sulphate in the feed. The mechanisms of remediation were not fully elucidated but the BOF-amended CW probably eﬀects remediation through chemicophysical processes while the charcoal CW eﬀects remediation through physical, chemical and biological processes. There is a need to conduct further research to better understand the microbial action underlying the iron and sulphate reduction. The long-term and maximum capacities of the systems also need to be understood as it has not yet been established how much AMD the slag can treat per unit mass, or the rate at which charcoal should be added to a charcoal-amended system. The iron ﬁltration properties of the two systems will also be investigated in future research. Acknowledgements The authors thank the following individuals and groups for their contributions: • Harsco Metals & Minerals South Africa, for the supply of the BOF slag for this project • Dr Karl Rumbold, of the School of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of the Witwatersrand, for support • Dr Laura Millroy of the Biosciences division of the CSIR, for her help and guidance in the development and research stages of the project • Janet Walker, for the generous donation of the plants used in the experiment • The support staﬀ at the University of the Witwatersrand.
This paper has been edited and abridged for publication. For references or information about the complete paper, please contact the editor at maryke@ 3smedia.co.za.
FEATURE: WATER ME TERING
IRRIGATION WATER METERING
It makes good sense Measuring and metering of irrigation water will not only improve regulation of agricultural water use in South Africa, but it will also boost farmers’ profits. This is according to the Water Research Commission (WRC), which has invested in irrigation water metering research for more than a decade. HILE IRRIGATION WATER measuring
metering technology is available and to provide guide-
is still not widespread in South Africa,
lines for managed implementation of irrigation water
emerging trends suggest that water me-
measuring, explains Backeberg.
ters are becoming increasingly important
tives of volumetric water use charges to recover opera-
tools to aid farmers. There is an increasing realisation
tion and maintenance cost for water supply, there is no
that it makes absolute business sense to accurately
doubt that irrigation water use measuring will expand in
and reliably measure water use in order to reduce
future. While the enforcement of regulations for water
cost and thereby increase proﬁtability,
measurement will ensure compliance, this should be
executive manager: Water Utilisation in Agriculture, Dr
seen as a last resort. Preferable is the realisation that ir-
rigation water measurement is good business practice.
The ﬁnancial returns to an irrigator are strongly cor-
Eﬀorts have been made to involve farmers and/or man-
related with the volume and pattern of irrigation water
agers of water user associations and irrigation boards in
application (not only through the cost of water but also
all the research and technology transfer projects of the
that of electricity). Moreover, there are a number of new
WRC. This has certainly raised awareness and gradually
technologies that oﬀer better information and decision
changed the attitude [of the farming sector] towards
support to irrigators, making water use management
measuring or metering of irrigation water use, certainly
more convenient and accurate.
for those individuals and organisations involved in these
In addition to the beneﬁts to farmers, the implementation of irrigation water measurement has been
projects, notes Backeberg. The
encouraged through the National Water Act and the
project, which was co-funded by the Department of
National Water Resource Strategy (the ﬁrst as well as the
Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, facilitated a process
second version, the latter published earlier this year).
towards eﬀective implementation of water measure-
The Department of Water Aﬀairs (DWA) has also an-
ment at river, irrigation scheme and farm level in South
nounced its intention to publish new regulations for water measurement, which could see more strict
water metering. In anticipation of this trend,
funded research in the area of irrigation water measuring and metering for over a decade. The knowledge
through this process has clearly the
beneﬁts of water metering and measuring in irrigated agriculture. The of
research and technology transfer
by the WRC has been to
With correct incen-
water NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
FEATURE: WATER ME TERING Africa. In order to achieve this, end users of water-measurement technology were made aware and convinced to adopt the technologies. The report is titled Guidance for sustainable on-farm and on-scheme irrigation water measurement. Speciﬁc attention was given to technical requirements and ﬁnancial justiﬁcation for implementation of the technologies for water measurement. Purposeful capacity
The challenge now is to exploit the commercial benefits on farms and irrigation schemes, which will be to the economic advantage of the water sector as a whole building and training of end users formed an important aspect of this work. Diﬀerent target groups were involved in the project, from individual farmers and water managers on schemes to manufacturers of metering equipment and government oﬃcials, among others. The ﬁnal output of this technology transfer project is a ﬁnal report that documents the implementation process, the lessons learnt and guidelines towards general implementation of irrigation water measurement. As with all eﬀorts to encourage uptake of research-based knowledge, in particular with reference to technologies and management practices for water measuring and metering, the most important requirement is to appreciate the complexities of the adoption process. This project again highlighted the need to use diﬀerent communication channels to disseminate available knowledge, allow progression of time from awareness to persuasion to implementation and ongoing adaptation. It also recognises the role of demonstration for observing and evaluating the beneﬁts of irrigation water measuring. The WRC will now be ﬁnding partners to exploit and disseminate the available knowledge (including correctly managed implementation) and technologies on irrigation water measuring and metering. For this purpose, a shortterm research project will be initiated later this year with a team comprising representatives of role players, such as the South African Irrigation Institute, Agricultural Research Council, Agri SA and the South African Association of Water User Associations. The challenge now is to exploit the commercial beneﬁts on farms and irrigation schemes, which will be to the economic advantage of the water sector as a whole, Backeberg points out. International evidence shows that the lead time for research-based knowledge to become applicable and accepted in the market takes 25 to 35 years. Perseverance and a continuous drive to support exploitation of available knowledge to implement water metering and measuring over the next 10 to 20 years are therefore essential.
To order the report, Guidance for sustainable on-farm and on-scheme irrigation water measurement (Report No. TT 550/12), contact Publications at t: +27 (0)12 330 0340; f: +27 (0)12 331 2565, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.wrc.org.za
PRODUC TS & SER VICES
LAKES AND DAMS
Master of shallow water “The steady decline of the raw water quality of rivers, lakes and dams should be taken seriously as it has direct impact on water quality,” warns Vuokko Laurila, regional sales manager of Watermaster Southern Africa. N ORDER TO overcome this and other challenges,
Moving Watermaster is easy. The machine is transporta-
such as the threat of climate change, this will have to
ble as complete unit. It can load and unload by itself and
be carefully managed, believes Laurila. Things like
walk in and out of water without crane assistance. When
reuse of water, management and allocation of water,
it is in water it cruises to the site using its own propulsion
control of invasive alien vegetation, and management
system. Anchoring and moving at the working site is also
of natural water resources are critical and Watermaster
independent; no wire cables, separate anchors or assisting
technology can play an important role in maintaining and
vessels are needed.
cleaning the fresh water resources before its puriﬁcation.
Watermaster therefore reduces investment, operational and maintenance costs, since one machine can do the
Beneﬁts of Watermaster technology
work of many separate machines, says Laurila.
Laurila says: In South Africa, the maintenance of dams, lakes and rivers is very limited. Everyone is talking about
A local case study
the puriﬁcation of water and access to water, but what
Ekurhuleni has faced a number of challenges with the
about the maintenance part of natural water resources?
state of its lakes and wetlands, some of which are used as
She often gets customer feedback where she hears about
outdoor recreational parks. According to Laurila, increas-
the silted and vegetated rivers and dams that have been
ing urbanisation within the municipality has resulted in a
left to deteriorate for years, resulting into high concentra-
number of challenges for the lakes and wetlands, namely
tions of suspended silts and clays. This is a direct result of
concentrated stormwater outﬂows, invasive alien plant in-
catchment mismanagement, erosion, siltation, unstable
festations, mining and dumping. This resulted in the mu-
riverbeds and loss of in-stream fauna that feed on plank
nicipality actively working to try ﬁnd solutions to restoring
its water resources. It ultimately decided on Watermaster
This type of mismanagement reduces the supply of wa-
Classic as the most suitable equipment option for the
ter that the water-stressed country has available and also
job. The Watermaster dredger was ordered in September
aﬀects its quality. Vegetation, invasive plants and build-up
2009, delivered two months later and almost immediately
of silt can cause further problems for local councils with
rolled out at the Kleinfontein pilot dam. After a few
regard to the puriﬁcation of water, says Laurila.
months of rake work with the Watermaster, the dam was restored to its former glory.
She adds that the removal of silt, debris and overgrown vegetation helps to maintain the ﬂood control capacity of drainage ditches and also improve water quality downstream by removing the pollutants contained in those deposits. Also, unkept water environments aﬀect tourism as well as local communities enjoyment of their heritage.
A visual representation of the Watermaster technology in action
Lakes that have so far been cleaned in the region include the Kleinfontein Dam, Civic Lake and Middle Lake, with Homestead Dam, Brakpan Dam, Alexandra Dam, President Dam and Boksburg Lake all lined up for dredging and cleaning operations.
According to Laurila, Watermaster is a speciﬁcally designed multipurpose machine that cleans and maintains shallow water environment such as dams, lakes, ponds, rivers, canals, seashores and industrial pools. The maximum working depth in the water is about 6.3 m. This multipurpose water construction machine works where no other machines can operate. It has an excellent mobility and is suitable for numerous applications. The applications include: • Environmental work: Flood prevention, vegetation and trash removal, silt and sludge removal • Industrial work: Waste ponds cleaning and mining applications • Civil engineering work: Deepening work, piping and cable work, maintenance work. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
PRODUC TS & SER VICES
AIR RELEASE VALVES
Pipeline protection A leading local valve manufacturer is marketing its air release valve as the most efficient and cost-effective method of protecting water and sewerage pipelines against damage caused by surge, air build-up and vacuum. VENG MANUFACTURING DFC claims laims
Vent-O-Mat was quickly recognised by South African
out that its Vent-O-Mat range is without
engineers as being unique in its ability to deliver simul-
taneous three-way protection in the roles of air release,
g and the potential cost of repairing
surge moderation and vacuum break.
pipeline damage after the fact.
Such protection is necessary because, even at normal
ca in The product was conceptualised in South Africa
ﬁlling rates, a fast approaching ﬂow medium can generate
the early 1980s to simplify pipeline protection. The
a transient pressure rise (shock) of potentially damaging
liver goal was to design a single valve that would deliver
proportions, unless air is retained in the pipeline and grad-
ually released to cushion it.
duct Extensive market research preceded product
Similarly, a pipeline that experiences column separation
used development, and the design philosophy focused
due to pump stoppage, can be subjected to high pres-
on the physical laws that govern air valve and
sures when the separated column rejoins. Draining a pipe-
line poses additional challenges, carrying the potential
vant The result was a product that delivers relevant
for the development of negative pressure (vacuum) and
protection through immediate reaction to pipeline dy-
associated risk of structural damage.
sful, namics. Comprehensive user trials proved successful,
Development of the product website, ventomat.
and the product was launched in 1982.
com, is ongoing and features an air valve course, sizing
e does Although the installation of a Vent-O-Mat air valve ontrol not always eliminate the need for other surge control measures, which depend on the pipeline proﬁle and the
programmes and a blog that allows visitors to seek
Typical Vent O-Mat valves
and receive solutions to air valve problems from experts worldwide. Site-available software, much of which
operating conditions, the Vent-O-Mat does oﬀer automatic
can be downloaded free of charge, ensures that not only
protection during ﬁlling of a pipeline when most surge
are the air valves sized correctly, but also placed correctly
devices are not operational.
within the pipeline.
A major advantage of the product is that protection
An advanced sizing programme and life cycle costing
against destructive surge and water-hammer phenomena
software evaluate all critical pipeline components.
are independent of mechanical devices, ensuring reaction
Vent-O-Mat has been adapted to meet local speciﬁ-
within milliseconds. Before Vent-O-Mat, most air valves
cations in target countries, and exports to 30 countries
were prone to premature closure and poor sealing, and
worldwide today account for almost three-quarters of
none was able to eﬀectively assist with the elimination of
annual air valve production at Aveng Manufacturing DFC s
surge and water hammer as a standard automatic function.
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Abeco Tanks
Keller AG Fur Druckmesstechnik
Swan s Water Treatment
Mather + Platt
Bentley Systems International Bigen Africa
Dynamic Fluid Control
SBS Water Systems
Sera Dose Tech SA
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies
Videx Storage Tanks
Water & Sanitation Services
Water Research Commission
Zest Weg Group
EFFICIENCY POWERED BY INNOVATIVE ENGINEERING
Coralynne & Associates +27 (011) 422 1949
0861 00 ZEST |
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