Page 1

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

BULK INFRASTRUCTURE Getting to grips with RBIG


CAREER DEVELOPMENT Celebrating young water professionals

Creating capacityy through through h cont contin continued t expansion


It is not so much about leaving a legacy, but rather aachieving sustainable water savings. Andries Meyer, ssenior manager: Sustainable Water, Sasol New Energy


September/October 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 5 S


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Volume 8. No.5

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

BULK INFRASTRUCTURE Getting to grips with RBIG


CAREER DEVELOPMENT Celebrating young water professionals

Creating capacityy through through h cont contin continued t expansion



ERWAT discusses the construction of its largescale sludge handling facility at the Waterval Wastewater Care Works

Banking on bulk infrastructure


It is not so much about leaving a legacy, but rather aachieving sustainable water savings. Andries Meyer, senior manager: Sustainable Water, Sasol New Energy s



September/October 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 5 S

COVER STORY ERWAT: Creating capacity


WISA President’s message YWPs gather in Stellenbosch

8 12

HOT SEAT Andries Meyer, senior manager: Sustainable Water, Sasol New Energy, unpacks Sasol's collaborative efforts in relation to water conservation 18 PANEL DISCUSSION Pipes, pumps & valves: Network dynamics

30 Municipal Water Quality Conference feedback 49

• WILO South Africa • SA Leak Detection • ROCLA • Fiberpipe • KSB Pumps and Valves South Africa FEATURE INFRASTRUCTURE Banking on bulk infrastructure


Ensuring a reliable supply


WATERBOARDS Pressure promises power


SA first for Johannesburg Water


LABORATORIES To drink or not to drink?



Colesburg WWTW upgrade complete

WATER TREATMENT Ultrafiltration or conventional pretreatment?


DAMS AND RESERVOIRS New dam safety regulations


TECHNICAL PAPER A comparison of charcoal- and slag-based constructed wetlands: Part l 75 REGULARS Editor’s comment



Industry news


67 Processes and challenges of analytical services



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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 Basil Bold, Craig Sheridan, Kevin Harding, Venetia Mitchell 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:


To comment, or not?


MEDIA Physical address: No 4, 5 th 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:


ISSN: 1990 - 8857 Annual subscription: R290 (SA rate) E-mail: Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

against the abuse of power to solicit sexual favours from women. Her comments came as a result of a Sowetan newspaper article, published 28 August, that claimed a councillor in Limpopo was demanding sex in exchange for

access to water services. In light of the fact that it was also the end of Women s Month (August), this brought with it a whole host of debate-worthy issues, not least of which is the fact that South Africans have a Constitutional right to sufficient water, regardless of race, gender or any other label.

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.

Most debate worthy for me, however, was whether or not to give comment and, in fact, whether or not I was even qualified to give comment. The answer was quickly given by our readers and Facebook followers, who gave more attention to a study by the Water Research Commission (WRC) as to whether or not harvested rainwater was suitable for consumption than they did to the short article on the sex


scandal. This indicates to me that infrastructure delivery, water quality and community

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

ECENTLY THE MINISTER of Water Affairs, Edna Molewa, came out strongly

engagement remain top priorities, even when engaging in the social media arena. It therefore gives me great pleasure to highlight a number of interesting infrastructure projects in this edition of Water&Sanitation Africa, ‒ specifically those in the Colesberg region on page 42 and page 44. We also feature an article about the WRC s research on

energy efficiency on page 60.

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

Another very interesting project ‒ cutting edge in fact ‒ highlighted in this edition is the CHP (combined heat and power) plant at Johannesburg Water s Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will increase the energy efficiency of the works. In the long run, CHP could possibly be implemented at all six of the water utility s works.

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

This will substantially decrease Johannesburg Water s reliance on Eskom s supply via the national energy grid, increasing its financial efficiency as an institution as well. As always, I was fortunate enough to interview the role players and witness the launches. I hope this edition instils in you the same optimism I have for the industry

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

going forward. When one considers the dynamic calibre of young water professionals we have in our midst, as is highlighted through the success of their recent conference, covered on page 12, one cannot help but be confident about the industry. excellence

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57 • ISSN 1990-88 ober 2013

8 No. 5 R40.00 • Vol • Cover price


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Creating capacity ERWAT’s construction of the large-scale sludge handling facility at the Waterval Wastewater Care Works has reached the final stages, according to Koos Wilken, ERWAT’s executive manager: Development, and project manager Sipho Mateza. HE CONSTRUCTION of the sludge handling

bolster ERWAT s capacity to deliver in the region, which

facility at the Waterval Wastewater Care Works

has been witness to a lot of urban development and ex-

near Klip River, Gauteng, is being undertaken

pansion within the catchment. This is our regional works

in two phases, namely the civils phase and then

for that catchment area, so it is of critical importance

the mechanical, electrical and instrumentation phase.

because it serves large areas like Katlehong, Thokoza,

The facility was a follow-on project from the 50 Mℓ/d

Germiston, Alberton and parts of Vosloorus, says Wilken.


Module 4 expansion that ERWAT commissioned in 2008. As a result of the extension of Module 4, we have a significant increase in the amount of sludge that we need to stabilise and dewater. We therefore had to build a dewatering facility that would dewater sludge for Module 4, as well as the other modules, says Mateza. The existing plant consists of a modern preliminary treatment facility, four parallel liquid biological treatment modules and tertiary disinfection before the final effluent is discharged into the Klip River, with the total design capacity of the Waterval Wastewater Care Works now equalling 155 Mℓ/d. Once completed, the sludge handling facility will not only be able to process approximately 55 dry tonnes of sludge per day from the works, but will also significantly


RIGHT AND BELOW The Waterval Wastewater Care Works is located in drainage district 6 (DD6) of ERWAT's area of operation


COVER STORY Sustainable approach to sludge Traditionally, the sludge generated from the Waterval Wastewater Care Works, care



biggest operated

wastewater by


underwent digestion and then solar drying before being distributed to the local agricultural community. The approach we currently have is to stabilise the sludge, in line with the sludge guidelines and the requirements of the environmental impact assessment that was done. What is special is the fact that once you stabilise sludge you create a lot of alternate opportunities because it is then safe for other use, says Wilken. Once the mechanical, electrical and instrumentation phase of the project is completed, the digesters will then be operational. From that outcome, the possibility of the generation of gas becomes a reality. Although we are not doing anything immediately with the gas, apart from preheating the sludge before digestion, during the next phase we will be looking at the possible utilisation of the gas, perhaps to generate heat, which could be used to create electricity,

ABOVE AND RIGHT The sludge handling facility will be able to process approximately 55 dry tonnes of sludge per day from the works

he explains. The primary result of entering the operational phase is compliance with the immediate requirements of the environmental impact assessment and the sludge guidelines. However, I think it sets the scene to look

portion of the project, however, this was more special-

at more beneficial utilisation of the sludge, viewing it

ised and required more specialised skills, which inhib-

more as a valuable product rather than a waste product

ited the use of local labour and skills transfer. However,

and environmentally it will be a much more acceptable

there are local staff that are employed for both projects

solution, states Wilken.

‒ the civils and the mechanical and electrical portions of the project ‒ with the local labour on-site totalling

He adds that the second part of the present process,

29 workers.

which is drying the sludge, again creates opportunities for sustainable practice. Once you have removed the

The highlight of this project for me is that although

bulk of the water it is easier to transport the dehydrated

we had a number of difficulties, such as the procure-

sludge to different sites to make different products

ment of the mechanical and electrical instrumentation

‒ agricultural use, for example. It also creates the op-

contractor because of a change in management and

portunity to further process the sludge. As part of the

project managers, we were still able to navigate these challenges and deliver, continues Mateza.

next phase we will also be looking at the possibility of

The primary challenges on-site, according

pelletising the sludge and enriching it, he continues.

to Mateza, have been delays, which resulted

Construction dynamics

in the anticipated completion date being

The first phase of the project, which consisted of the

changed from 1 April to 10 October this year,

civils portion, started on 15 October 2009 and was com-

but the team is intent on completing the pro-

pleted on 18 November 2011. The first phase contract

ject as soon as possible. This is very much in

was initially estimated to be worth R50.8 million, but

line with ERWAT s strategic focus, adds Wilken,

came in well under budget, says Mateza, adding that

which is to supply the right-sized works in

the savings amounted to approximately R9.6 million.

the best geographical location at the most

The contractor on this project was Eigenbau.

economical cost, incorporating the finest and

The final M.E.I installation phase began on 12 March 2012 and, as Mateza indicates,

most appropriate available technology.

achievable on the construction of

“It sets the scene to look at more beneficial utilisation of the sludge, viewing it more as a valuable product rather than a waste product.” Koos Wilken, executive manager:

Module 4. On the sludge specific

Development, ERWAT

the team is still very busy on-site with the anticipated completion date being 10 October 2013. Skills transfer on-site is a major focus, although greater skills transfer was


Wilken adds that it is not easy to roll out large-scale projects as finances and sourcing the appropriate skills is becoming more challenging.



to Wilken, in general the challenges are primarily related to project management. It is more important


COVER STORY 20 YEARS OF SUSTAINABLE SERVICE The East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT) was established in 1993 and this year celebrates 20 years of providing bulk wastewater conveyance and a highly technical and proficient wastewater treatment service to more than 3.5 million people and more than 2 000 industries. It started operating as a Section 21 (non-profit) company after a strategic decision to regionalise the function of wastewater treatment, main outfall sewers and reuse systems, and currently serves three local authorities, with Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality being the main stakeholder. The company manages 19 wastewater care works, which treat a combined capacity of approximately 700 Mℓ/d of wastewater. This has been achieved through the division of its regional operation into three main drainage districts, namely DD3, which encompasses the upper regions of the Crocodile River; DD5, which encompasses the Blesbokspruit; and DD6, which encompasses Rietspruit and in which the Waterval Wastewater Care Works is located.





finding a balance between new technologies and older tried and tested technologies ensures that the works function efficiently from the start. This means that every project ‒ as with every module on this specific project ‒ is approached on an individual basis. Every time

“It is essential we extend the plant further, as well as the sewer conveyors or pipelines.” Sipho Mateza, project

we apply our minds, evaluate what worked in the past and what we are comfortable with, but also look at the other areas that are important to the company on a strategic basis, such as energy efficiency. There is constant renewal and careful moving forward.

manager, ERWAT

Planning for the future

that you get a good project manager on-site

Despite the expansion, Waterval Wastewater Care

who can ensure the project is completed on

Works is soon going to reach capacity, according to

time and within budget, with a constant focus on good record keeping. A good project manager will ensure that the necessary resources are available when needed, the necessary reporting has been done, the necessary risk evaluation has been done and they tend to those risks, with the risk assessment being a living document that they constantly take into account. He is quick to add that these challenges are not a deterrent to ensuring the success of the project. We need to embrace the challenges and find ways to get it done in budget and on time.

Wilken and Mateza. While the works is designed to treat

TOP The Waterval Care Works has a design capacity now equalling 155 Mℓ/d

155 Mℓ/d, Mateza adds that during heavy rainfalls the works is receiving a little bit more than that , which the ERWAT team must still treat to conform to the Department of Water Affairs standards. We are doing that successfully, but it is essential that we extend the plant further, as well as the sewer conveyors or pipelines. This is a huge investment that needs to be taken into consideration, says Mateza. I think as far as the future is concerned, we will need a further extension quite soon. We are also getting some flow from the Midvaal area, some of which is

Uniquely qualified

industrial flow, which also impacts the operation at

If you look at the end product, the layout plan, it is neat

Waterval. Strategically for us, it is a very important plant

and something we can be proud of. Built into that is a

and we will start planning for the new extension soon,

lot of experience and technology, says Wilken, adding

concludes Wilken.

that ERWAT utilises consultants on large-scale projects such as this one in addition to its own experience and expertise gained from previous projects. In our development of the project, we work very closely with operations and maintenance, and I think that is a big advantage in ERWAT. Our approach is really to work so closely with operations that when we hand the project over there are no hiccups or tension ‒ there is only close cooperation and a sense of satisfaction.

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The importance of water conservation The topic of water conservation – or at a more technical level, water demand management – can be discussed from many angles, but remains one of the most prominent items on the global water sector agenda. HERE IS A lot of research and literature


saving as they pursue their objectives within their

focusing on water conservation, which is

respective disciplines with one common goal: to pre-

widely available ‒ and more is being done

serve our precious water resources. We have seen lots

daily. But one cannot emphasise enough

of creative and innovative work being in the fields of

how important it is to get down to the basics as the

science, engineering, education and awareness, com-

unpleasant fact is that there are still far too many

munication, etc., which leaves us with a host of easily

people who remain careless and do not recognise

accessible material that has been simplified by our

the importance of water conservation. There is

colleagues in the web environment. Information and

therefore a dire need for behaviour change.

data becomes the invaluable foundation whereupon

With only 1% of water available for human

projects depend for successful implementation and it

consumption globally, treating our water supply with utmost respect should be the most sensible thing to do. We can t afford to further stress this already very limited supply of the most precious life-preserving resource ‒ simply said, we don t

is there for the taking.

“If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.”

want to run out, but there are those who fail to heed this call. When we still see statements in the media indi-

Repairing leaks is most probably on top of the list of things that we need to do with urgency and it is one of the low-hanging fruits that could easily be achieved. This is coupled to dire need for education, and awareness in this regard could

Ronald M Brown, president, WISA

yield significant results. Observing a leak on your plumbing or water conveyance system and failing

cating that nationally more than 30% of our water

to act not only threatens the availability and qual-

goes to waste, then we realise how important it is that we

ity of that supply, but has a negative financial impact. This

ensure that everyone has to play their part. We cannot

makes the importance of maintenance of your plumbing

remain silent when our livelihood is being threatened;

system or your supply infrastructure crucial. Knowing

the biggest threat is our unwillingness/inability to act or

where your water meter is, how to read it and monitoring

engage decisively to make or be that difference.

it is another very important aspect of water conservation

It is, however, very encouraging to note that there are

as the principle of

management by measurement

also those individuals, organisations, institutions and

applies. Simply said: if you can t measure it, you can t

communities whose primary objective it is to not only

manage it. Here you will be able to determine your water

make a difference, but to be the difference and they need

consumptive practices (whether wasteful or conserving),

to be commended for their dedication and commit-

leaks and financial implications.

ment. It is their contagious stewardship

These are just two examples of how easy it can be to play

that brings about the much-desired

your part in saving water as an individual or property own-

positive behaviour and culture

er. For larger entities it is not always that simple because it

shift about water

involves planning and major capital outlay, but they have to play their parts. When we surf the internet and browse through the water sector or engineering and science journals, it is very encouraging to see how much work is being done to apply engineering solutions nationally to resolve the water supply issues and huge sums of money are being spent. These include pipe replacements and refurbishments using newer technologies and materials,



PRESIDENT ’S MESSAGE water supply network upgrades, pressure management,

office, energy is required to run that equipment. So sav-

effective meter management, zoning of reticulation

ing water means using less energy, which reduces your

networks to reduce the water losses during maintenance

carbon footprint and helps the country become more

and repairs, and education and awareness drives. It is

energy independent.

money well spent, and when municipalities implement

Some prudent and succinct remarks made during the 2012

their water demand management and water conservation

budget speech by the Minister of Water Affairs:

strategies, which covers infrastructure, people, technology and the environment, the benefits are easily realised. Another very important aspect in the water conservation arena that we shouldn t lose sight of is the education and awareness pro-

We don t want to wait until we have a sit-

Stricter enforcement, accountability, monitoring and zero tolerance should be the order of the day

grammes rolled out by the various spheres of

uation like we have with electricity, she said. Molewa added that the problems of leaks in water supply systems also needed to be addressed. In some areas, up to 41% of the water supplied was being lost before it got to the user.

government and NGOs to our women and learners, i.e.

Further thereto, a major behavioural change is needed

the nurturers of the nation and the future leaders. Once

in the way South Africans use and consume water. If we

acquired, they take their knowledge in this regard very

don t act, we will face a near crisis situation in the future.

seriously and project it with passion and we should not

We are eagerly awaiting the roll-out of the No Drop initi-

shy away from the opportunity to engage them to sharpen

ative of the Department of Water Affairs and the effect and

our water conservation skills. We have the honourable

outcomes of water conservation in general. This should be

national Minister, Edna Molewa, and her deputy, Rejoice

a measurable yardstick of how institutions are approaching

Mabudafhasi, two very passionate leaders who engage at

and conducting their water conservation issues, but those

all levels about water conservation and they are joined by

who succeed can regard it as an immense milestone for

the host of women throughout our country who are equal-

themselves and our environment, which already is under

ly committed and passionate about water conservation.

tremendous strain.

We salute them for their persevering and caring nature.

Stricter enforcement, accountability, monitoring and zero

Water conservation is such an important issue in our

tolerance should be the order of the day to emphasise the

daily lives that one ought not to ignore it. The follow-

importance of conservation.

ing can be regarded as a few important reasons for

If all of us do our small bits and approach it holistically

water conservation:

today, then we are already working towards the sustaina-

• Without fresh water you will die in just a few days. Plain

bility of our environment.

and simple, no sugar coating. It is a simple morbid fact

I would like to leave you with a short but powerful quote:

that helps drive the point across: water equals life.

When the well s dry, we know the worth of water.

• Using less water keeps money in your pocket.

- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

• Protecting our natural ecosystems from further damage is critical, especially for the survival of some endan-

Ronald M Brown

gered species. The oceans, streams and lakes that are

President: Water Institute of Southern Africa

the lifeblood of so many local ecosystems are used as dumping grounds, hurting everything that relies on these water sources. • Conserving water can also save energy. In order to pump the water from a central facility into your home or

PATRON MEMBERS • Aecom • Amatola Water • Aveng Water • Baycity Trading 377 cc • BIGEN AFRICA Services • Bloem Water • Bushbuckridge Water • City of Cape Town • City of Tshwane • CSIR • Dow Water & Process SA


• Department of Water Affairs • ERWAT • ESKOM Holdings • eThekwini Municipality • Festo • Fraser Alexander Water Treatment • Golder Associates Africa • Grundfos Alldos • Johannesburg Water • Magalies Water • Merck • Mhlathuze Water • NCP Chlorchem

• Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality • Overberg Water • PD Naidoo & Associates Consulting Engineers • Prentec • Rand Water • Royal HaskoningDHV • SAME Water • Schneider Electric • Sedibeng Water • SembCorp • Siemens • Sobek Engineering


• Sulzer Pumps Wastewater SA • TCTA • Tecroveer • Umgeni Water • Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies SA • WAM Technology • Water & Sanitation Services SA • Water Research Commission • WEC Projects • Xylem • Zetachem • ZMG Watech



YWPs gather in Stellenbosch The 3rd Southern African Young Water Professionals Regional Conference took place in the magnificent location of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, South Africa from 16 to 18 July 2013. HE



ideas. Participants met peers within water and waste-

Professionals (YWP) Programme runs under the

water science, governance, engineering, technology,

auspices of the International Water Association

management and other areas of the water sector. This

(IWA) and WISA. In addition to their support,

conference aimed to further career development and

the 2013 conference could only take place thanks to

young professionals capacities in a multidisciplinary en-

the generosity of its sponsors: Department of Science

vironment, encouraging discourse on current and future

and Technology, DPI Plastics, Golder Associates Africa,

water concerns.




GreenMatter, Grundfos, Hitachi, The Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa, thee Mine Water Division

Water. Africa. Youth.

of WISA, Rhodes University, SADC, SRK Consulting,

The theme for the conference was Water. Africa. Youth .

Stellenbosch University, Water Research Commission, the

According to Hanke, this was chosen because it truly rep-

Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Woolworths.

resented an African-wide conference that covered a broad

Nora Hanke, chairperson of the Conference Organising Committee, said the 2013 conference aimed to provide a forum for young researchers and practitioners across the water sector to present and discuss their work and

The participants of the 3rd Southern African YWP Conference

spectrum of themes. She commented on what made this conference stand out from the previous conferences: There were two main aspects that distinguished this from the previous two conferences. Firstly, this year the conference was held outside of Gauteng ‒ in the Western Cape. A bidding process was conducted for the choice of location and this was a good indication of the growth and strengthening of the YWP in the past few years. Secondly, this was the ďŹ rst time that the conference was held over three days, in order to accommodate an increased number of speakers and topics.




Knowledge and expertise Delegates had the chance to acquire knowledge in their specific field of expertise. At the same time, the conference had a very strong focus on multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary aspects. This allowed for interaction within the various themes, providing delegates with the op-

TOP LEFT Tobias Barnard (left) and Nora Hanke (right) presenting Geoff du Toit (centre) with the Best Platform Presentation

portunity to talk and interact with specialists in their field, as well as broadening their expertise across disciplines. A number of the speakers presented for the first time at an international conference, which was an important and crucial part of their research and personal development.

Themes and speakers A wide variety of topics were covered in the conference

MIDDLE LEFT Tobias Barnard (left) and Nora Hanke (centre) presenting Jacqueline Thomas (right) with her certificate and trophy

sessions, including Environmental impacts, Cities of

LEFT Bashan Govender (left) of the WISA Mine Water Division presents Bronwyn CamdenSmith with her certificate for best mine water related presentation

sponsors and exhibitors from 13 countries attended the

the future, Water-linked ecosystems, Water and human health, New and emerging methods and technologies, Wastewater treatment and management, Resources planning, Legislation and regulation, Transdisciplinary water issues, and Sludge and anaerobic processes. These are all crucial topics to address the sustainability of Africa s water supply. More than 400 local and international delegates, guests, three-day conference, during which 74 speakers and 111 poster presenters described their research. A






comprising speakers: Dr Anthony Turton, Dr Kevin Winter and Dr Jennifer Molwantwa ‒ debated the topic Unpacking the many faces of water cooperation in a South African context , which was sponsored and chaired by the Department of Science and Technology. Of particular significance was the Green Matter sponsored workshop, titled



in the cross sector. Developing

It is widely recognised that capacity building and sustainable knowledge transfer are critical concerns for several sectors in Southern Africa, and the water sector is no different. The loss of intellectual assets is a major threat to effective water management, particularly in water-scarce countries such as South Africa where the onus has always been on the scientific community to find technological solutions for sectoral challenges. The repercussions for the sector include high staff turnover as well as the loss of skills and institutional memory. Young water professionals in South Africa are therefore faced with the threefold challenge of developing their skills; finding mentors to help them do so; as well as grappling with the added responsibility of re-learning knowledge that could have been retained through sustainable knowledge transfer policies and programmes. Fulfilling the present and future needs of the water and wastewater industries therefore requires the continuous development of a workforce that is adequate in size, capable in skills and strong in leadership. Recognising that Young Water Professionals (students and professionals in the water sector and under the age of 35, or who attained their most recent qualification within the past five years) are the future of the water sector, the Young Water Professionals (YWP) programme was established as an international initiative by the International Water Association (IWA). In Southern Africa, the Southern African Young Water Professionals (SA YWP), in collaboration with WISA, has been highly successful in providing opportunities for YWPs to meet and communicate; providing career development opportunities for YWPs; supporting employers with the recruitment and retention of YWPs; as well as ensuring that the Programme remains relevant. The YWP Programme provides a range of activities, services and initiatives to young professionals and students in the water and wastewater sector under the age of 35. The Programme connects with employers, academic institutions and other professional associations to ensure that the future needs of the sector are understood and addressed, and that intergenerational dialogue is created to form links between senior professionals of the sector and the incoming young professionals.

transdisciplinary skills in the water

The Programme includes the following aims:

arising from tailings storage facilities

• Connecting people in order to provide opportunities for YWPs to meet and communicate. • Career development opportunities for young water professionals through the organisation of workshops and online initiatives. • Sector support to help employers with the recruitment and retention of YWPs. • Programme development to ensure that the programme remains relevant to the needs of YWPs. • Engagement of young water professionals in IWA and WISA programmes and other water-related initiatives.



• Achieving distinction by connecting all young water professionals striving for personal and professional evolution • Distinction - excellence and greatness • Connecting - linking and transdisciplinary networking • Evolution - growth SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013


the Water Research Commission. Another topical issue was that of mine and industrial water and there were a number of sessions dedicated to this challenging topic. The prize for best mine water related presentation




sored by the Mine Water Division of WISA and went to Bronwyn Camden-Smith of the University of the Witwatersrand for her work on geochemical modelling of the evolution and fate of metal pollutants around Johannesburg.

Opening plenary Prof Eugene Cloete, vice rector: Research

Our vision:

sectors ,

was chaired by Dr Inga Jacobs of




Stellenbosch University, delivered the opening plenary of the conference in a session titled Eco‒nomics, water and development . ▶



Cloete s opening plenary highlighted the importance of

by sponsors, speakers and delegates who all evidently

every ecosystem, including that of the planet earth, which

shared a love for dancing. This was an excellent place to

has a limiting factor and determines the yield. The closer

meet one another in an informal setting. There were also

you come to this limiting factor in an ecosystem, the

photo corners with accessories where people had their

more instability there is in the ecosystem. Understanding how ecosystems in nature function might provide a more sustainable way into the future. He discussed how people should focus on managing wealth, not the eradication of poverty. Wealth is used as an acronym, i.e. Water, Energy,

The winning team performing its 'war cry' at the 2013 Water Olympics

pictures taken, making this a memorable occasion.

Delegates A broad spectrum of delegates was represented, including over 100 university students; over 130 from

Agriculture, Land, Technology and Health. If we have WEALTH in place for everyone, we will move towards a better and more sustainable future. The ecosystem will work and stay in harmony.

The social side A number of social events took place throughout the conference. On the ďŹ rst evening, the Water Olympics took place at Paul Roos Gymnasium, located a short distance from the conference venue. Teams competed against each other in various interactive games involving water. Prizes were awarded to the best and most spirited team. Fun awards, such as highest scoring abstract and furthest travelled to attend the conference, were also given. The formal Black Tie Ball took place on the second evening at the magniďŹ cent Stellenbosch Town Hall and was attended




A broad spectrum of delegates was represented including over 100 university students... people came from all over the world conference a truly memorable event that will have a lasting impact in the emerging African water sector. The closing ceremony saw the awards for the top poster and platform presentations being conferred, both of which were sponsored by the WRC. The Adrián Puigarnau Prize for Best Poster Presentation went to Dr Jacqueline Thomas of MSIBI Tanzania, who will now attend the WISA Biennial Congress in May 2014. The Jo Burgess Prize for the Best Platform Presentation was hotly contested, with the final scores from the indegovernment organisations; utility companies, NGOs and over 30 from consultancies. People came from all over the world to attend the conference: Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Germany, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda,






and Zambia.


The 2013 YWP conference Organising Committee in the photo booth

pendent panel of judges separating the top two speakers by just 0.5%. Sudhir Pillay of the WRC was the winner, but while he accepted the award he declined the prize in a heartfelt speech at the ceremony, so the prizewinner was Geoff du Toit of Aurecon, who will now represent South Africa at the IWA s next international YWP Conference in

Hanke stated: On behalf of the Conference Organising

Taiwan in 2014. Both awards include flights, registration,

Committee we would like to thank all delegates, speak-

accommodation and a subsistence allowance, thanks to

ers, volunteers, exhibitors and sponsors who made the

the generosity of the WRC. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013



Focusing on the future The water risks facing South Africa cannot be addressed by government alone. Collaborative partnerships between the public and private sectors, such as those entered into by Sasol, will be essential to address the risks facing us all, says Andries Meyer, Senior Manager: Sustainable Water, Sasol New Energy.


HE RISKS themselves are easily recognisable,

significantly. This situation and the risk of water short-

with Sasol s largest operations in South Africa

ages will remain serious until completion of the Polihali

dependent on the water-stressed Vaal River

Dam, part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project

system, which supplies most of Sasol s water

Phase 2, by around 2022, says Meyer.


We are faced with a situation in the

This is a critical business continuity imperative when

Vaal River system where the demand exceeds the sus-

one considers how integral to the day-to-day business of

tainable supply of the system and water shortages will most likely be experienced during drought conditions, unless the demand ‒ including water losses ‒ is reduced


BELOW Water leakage in Emfuleni

the locally based energy and chemical company water is. Water is critical for the operation of the Sasol facilities and is mainly used for steam production and cooling.



Our South African operations use approximately 110 mil-

with the funding partners ‒ Rand Water and the Govan

lion cubic metres per year or 4% of the total supply from

Mbeki Municipality ‒ regarding extending the project

the Vaal River system, he explains.

into a further phase, says Meyer.

As such, Meyer believes that partnerships and col-

The municipality is not only set to benefit from major

laborative efforts on a strategic level are important for

savings, but the money saved will enable it to continue

aspects like policy development. However, execution

funding and implementing further water conservation

mostly takes place on a local or operational level, hence

projects. Sasol s contribution of R1.5 million is part of

partnerships with local municipalities and communities

the total partnership contribution of R4.5 million for

are where most of the real work happens, says Meyer.

the project, which first launched in 2011.The objective

This is precisely why Sasol is focusing its efforts in this

of this initiative is to stop the major water leakages that

arena, as well as fostering further strategic partnerships

are a result of poor infrastructure, and wear and tear.

through its position as a founding member of the South

As part of the retrofitting action, it was also decided to

African Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN).

fit cisterns into more than 700 faulty toilets. The result

Sasol s involvement with the SWPN evolved from our

was water savings of approximately 21 million litres per

membership of the United Nations Global Compact CEO

month ‒ or 252 million litres per year.

Water Mandate, as well as our involvement with the

Sasol s need to get involved in this project is unequivo-

World Economic Forum initiative to establish the Water

cal, according to Meyer. The Govan Mbeki Municipality

Resources Group (WRG). The SWPN is the South African

is home to our largest production facilities in South

arm of the global WRG initiative. Similar collaborative

Africa, the Sasol Synfuels complex in Secunda, which

platforms are being established in countries like Mexico,

manufactures a significant portion of the country s liquid

Jordan and Mongolia.

fuel requirement as well as a large range of chemicals

As a result of this comprehensive and unified ap-

from coal. The majority of the employees of the Sasol

proach to water stewardship globally, Sasol initiated

Secunda complex reside in the Govan Mbeki municipal

the Sasol Water Sense campaign. Sasol Water Sense

area, hence the relationship with the municipality is very

is the identity created for all of Sasol s internal and ex-

important to Sasol. We wanted to start with our water

ternal water stewardship initiatives. It includes internal

conservation partnerships in our own backyard before

initiatives to improve water use efficiency, development

proceeding to other areas in the Vaal River catchment.

of technology to treat and reuse effluents, as well as external water conservation/awareness and education

Flying the flag

partnership initiatives.

This is just one of the recent projects Sasol has advanced through partnerships and funding. Further examples in-

Committed to water loss reduction

clude the Busa Metsi and Boloka Metsi projects. Boloka

Sasol, together with Rand Water, has made a commit-

Metsi is our flagship water conservation partnership

ment to help the Govan Mbeki Municipality reduce water usage by 15% by 2015. The first two phases of the project entailed identifying the priority tions in the municipality and interventions repairing of householdss leaks in the hle township ‒ approxieMbalenhle mately 1 500 houses ‒ having been ed, says Meyer.. completed, oject, named Ithosi, means The project, ent, and third, drop of water. The curre current, phase of this water loss reduc-

with the Emfuleni Municipality. It entails the repair of

(from left) Bob Kleynjan and Andries Meyer of Sasol New Energy

household and distribution system leaks in the Evaton and Sebokeng townships, explains Meyer. Seed funding of R5 million each was provided by Sasol New Energy and d the German Govern Government Developmentt Agency (GIZ) to initia initiate the work, with the balance of the fu funding provided ffrom the ring-fenced ssavings by the Em mfuleni Municipality. Th Emfuleni The project traine ed and employs local Water trained War rriors, as well as local co Warriors, commu-

ative commenc ced tion initiative commenced

nity plumbers to assis assist with

is year. The th ird earlier this third

community educatio education and

ntailed the repa air phase entailed repair

awareness, as well as the

hold leaks in th he of household the

physical repair of lea leaks.

g Lebohang

township p, township,

The project is no now in

area, in the Leandra area,

its third year (July 2 2013 ‒

g as well as establishing

firs year June 2014). The first

sibility of im-the feasibility

was mainly spent o on es-

ng plementing ment management

pressure e in

the e

tablishing the partn partnership and funding agreeme agreements, as

se Secunda area. This pha phase

procuremen and well as the procurement

y completed and is mostly

man appointment of a managing

ns are in pro ogress discussions progress

plu consultant, local plumbing



initiatives need to be elevated from the level of corporate social investment-type projects to a level of having a significant impact on addressing the water security and water quality risks facing South Africa. According to Meyer, in order to achieve this, government needs to create an incentive mechanism that will enable private sector role players to justify significant investments in external water conservation/quality improvement initiatives. In this regard, we have proposed the establishment of a water offsetting mechanism, which has been included as emerging policy in the National Water Resources Strategy 2. We are also currently collaborating with the Department of Water Affairs to develop a water offsetting policy, using the Boloka Metsi project as a case study, he explains. This is not only because the private sector needs to develop a social consciousness. Despite it being important, the main motivation for Sasol s water stewardship initiatives is not a social consciousness as a major water user, but rather a clear business imperative that we cannot sustainably operate our facilities or sustain the communities associated with our facilities without a secure supply of water, says Meyer. He adds that addressing contractors, community Water Warriors and plumbers. Phase 1 of the project ran from July 2012 to June 2013 and entailed mainly the repair of leaking taps and

ABOVE Plumbing repairs in Emfuleni

the risk of water security therefore has a direct business risk reduction motivation in addition to being part of the corporate social investment portfolio.

toilets in approximately 60 000 houses in Evaton and

As a result of the company s holistic water steward-

Sebokeng. Phase 2 of the project commenced during

ship focus, Sasol Water Sense, Sasol recently won the

July 2013 for a further 12 months and will again mainly

Water Management Award in the 2013 Mail & Guardian

entail leak repairs in the Phase 1 project area as well as

Greening the Future Awards. It was very satisfying to

40 000 additional houses in Sebokeng, says Meyer.

receive recognition for what our initiatives managed

He adds that Phase 1 of the project achieved water

to achieve and also provided additional motivation to

savings of approximately two million cubic metres to

continue on this journey. He adds that the value of

the value of R10 million. It is not so much about leav-

winning these awards goes far beyond simply the ac-

ing a legacy, but rather achieving sustainable water

quisition of another trophy or certificate. In addition to

savings that could be used in a future water offsetting

providing internal motivation to the partners involved,

mechanism. The two million cubic metre savings

it also greatly improves the public awareness and sup-

achieved during Phase 1 of the project is equivalent to

port from other stakeholders.

approximately 2% of Sasol s total water use from the Vaal system.

Public awareness is especially key in light of recent partnerships and projects, believes Meyer. The municipal water conservation partnerships specifically have

Challenging convictions

taught us that education, awareness and change of be-

Meyer believes that in order to be successful with re-

haviour is as important as the physical fixing of leaking

gards to water conservation and sustainable water man-

pipes, taps and toilets. Without a change in behaviour

agement, a mindset change is needed. From a private

by the community, the repair of water leaks will not

sector perspective, investments in water stewardship

yield sustainable results.

“Without a change in behaviour by the community, the repair of water leaks will not yield sustainable results.� Andries Meyer, senior manager: Sustainable Water, Sasol New Energy



The top infrastructure and service delivery stories making the news

Professor Kadar Asmal scoops Inaugural SAWEF Awards

Water conservation commitment critical: Mabudafhasi WE ARE GATHERED here today at this mayoral dialogue, which is the first of its kind in South Africa, to promote cooperation and share learning at all levels of government, in order to show commitment to waste management and water conservation, said the deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, on 6 August 2013, when she led a round-table discussion with mayors and municipal managers on water conservation issues at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Gauteng. The mayors dialogue is a fulfilment of the commitment made by the deputy Minister during her Budget Vote address at the National Council of Provinces earlier this year to meet with local government to discuss water and waste management issues. During the round table, a pledge was signed by the deputy minister and mayors in attendance, declaring their commitment


of Women s Month, the pledge also included a commitment to

the inaugural South African

working towards women and youth participation in water and

Water, Energy & Food Forum

These self-same CMAs

environmental programmes.

(SAWEF) Gala Awards hosted

were the subject of much

at Montecasino in Fourways,

discussion at the third SAWEF

with a large part of the west getting drier with time, said

Professor Kader Asmal, was

held early in the day at the

Mabudafhasi, adding that the challenges also included water

posthumously awarded

Montecasino Ballroom.

loss, as well as the availability of resources both human and cap-

the first ever SAWEF Order

ital. The challenge of water loss specifically, said Mabudafhasi,

of Leadership by Deputy

Turton reiterated the SAWEF

was well articulated through the Non-Revenue Water Study by

Minister of Water Affairs,

executives' belief that

the Water Research Commission, which found that the country

Rejoice Mabudafhasi, and

loses 37% of its water through non-revenue water. We are

SAWEF co-founder and

candidate for their inaugural

aware now that non-revenue water is a product of many factors

noted environmentalist Prof

Leadership Award, because

and these include poor planning, limited financial resources

Anthony Turton.

he was a manifestation of the

As a country we remain one of the 30 driest in the world,

The award was received

to implement the necessary programmes, poor infrastructure,

Continuing the citation,

Kader Asmal was a fitting

core values that we believe

asset maintenance and lack of capacity and water leaks. The

on behalf of the family

are necessary in our young

water sector can and must be creative and innovative in tackling

by Prof Asmal s nephew,

democracy as we grapple

these challenges.

Ebrahim Asmal. Speaking

with the complexities of

at the awards ceremony

finding viable solutions to

provided overviews of water conservation in South Africa, local

Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi

the wicked and enduring

government s strategy with regards to water, as well as perspec-

lauded the late Asmal for his

problems associated with the

tives on water conservation in the country.

commitment to pioneering

water-energy-food nexus.

The dialogue, which included focused group discussions,

democratic South Africa s wa-

Mabudafhasi concluded by discussing the signing of the

His ability to remain loyal to

pledge by mayors declaring themselves ambassadors of water

ter legislation and implored

his party while still retaining

conservation, among others. Let us do so with full consciousness

her colleagues to build on the

the moral integrity of a

and understanding that we shall be binding and committing

solid foundations that had

free-thinking agent is a key

ourselves to another level of service delivery to South Africans

been put in place.

element of his unique make

across all strata. Let us do this with a common determination to ensure that we keep our word and be respectful servants.

Professor Turton said Asmal s

up. His ability to drive change

legacy lived on through the

when many resist, through

National Water Act, which was

a combination of vision,

the first substantial piece of

dogged courage and sheer

legislation to be brought to

tenacity, constitutes what we

bear in the post-Apartheid

consider to be a key success

history, containing world-class

factor of leadership.

concepts such as environmen-


Deputy minister Rejoice Mabudahfasi and Ebrahim Asmal

to water conservation and demand management. In recognition

In short, the SAWEF

tal flows and the democrati-

Executive is happy to hold up

zation of the process of water

Kader Asmal as an example

resource allocation through

of the kind of leadership we

Catchment Management

should encourage in our

Agencies (CMAs) .

young democracy.



Mthonjaneni Bulk Water Project launched WHEN THE ENTIRE scheme

to benefit from the scheme

backlogs of water and sani-

to 41% for basic water and

is completed, it will provide

when both Phase 1 and 2 are

tation respectively. Through

55% for sanitation by last

water services to over 281 864

complete. Phase 1 consists

our dedicated and collective

year. We estimate that we

people within the service area

of a 20 Mℓ/d water treatment

effort of the national, provin-

require about R3.81 billion

and reduce the water backlog

plant and all related infra-

cial and local governments,

to eradicate these remaining

in the district municipality

structure, as well as balancing

the backlog has been reduced

backlogs, said Molewa.

by 30%, said the Minister

tanks and reservoirs. The

of Water and Environmental

project has seen a R149.4 mil-

Affairs, Edna Molewa, at the

lion investment from the

launch. The first phase of

Department of Water Affairs

the Mthonjaneni Bulk Water

to date.

Project in the Mthonjaneni

According to Molewa, the

Local Municipality, part

scheme will also ensure

of the uThungulu District

the delivery of sustainable

Municipality in Richards Bay,

basic water services and the

KwaZulu-Natal, was launched

enhancement of economic

on 24 August 2013.

development towards achiev-

Close to 700 households will

ing the national services

benefit from Phase 1 of the

target by 2014. When this

project, with an estimated

district municipality was

4 478 households expected

created, it had 81% and 89%

“It will provide water services to over 281 864 people within the service area and reduce the water backlog in the district municipality by 30%.” Edna Molewa, minister of Water and Environmental Affairs



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Women in water - 2013 winners announced THIS YEAR S WOMEN in

crops. Because of these roles,

Water Awards was held at

women have considerable

Mzilela Village in Giyani on 23

knowledge about water

August 2013. Congratulating

resources, including quality

the winners at the event, the

and reliability, restrictions and

deputy Minister of Water and

acceptable storage methods,

Environmental Aairs, Rejoice

and are key to the success of

Mabudafhasi, said: Since

water resource development

its inception, the Women in

and irrigation policies and pro-

Water Awards programme has

grammes, said Mabudafhasi.

reached many milestones in

She added that it had been

empowering women while

calculated that in South Africa

preserving our precious

alone, women collectively

natural resource.

walk the equivalent distance

The Women in Water Awards

of 16 times to the moon and

programme serves as a vehicle

back per day gathering water

for the Department of Water

for families.

Aairs to appreciate and recognise the good work done


by women and the vital role they play in the water sector,

Adopt a river


Sizabantu Youth Farming project

R100 000

REGION Mpumalanga

Khangisa Women Group

R50 000


encouraging perseverance in

Masazane Women in Water Project

R20 000

Western Cape

diďŹƒcult conditions without

Bomme ke Nako

R100 000

Northern Cape

resources. It also serves as a

Mananga Home-Based Care

R50 000


vehicle for communities to

Education and Awareness


R20 000

Free State

learn best practice with re-

Xikukwani Community Primary Cooperative Project

R100 000


Ikemisetseng Construction & Multi-Purpose

R50 000

Free State

Ngwanamanthe Agricultural Primary Cooperative

R20 000


gards to water management, while changing their attitudes

Water Conservation

for the better. Women are most often the collectors, users and

Phaphamang Environmental Organisation

R100 000


managers of water in the

Zamazama food Security

R50 000

Eastern Cape

Refitlhile Project

R20 000

North West

Rekgaratlhile Honey Bee

R20 000

Northern Cape

household, as well as farmers of irrigated and rain-fed



Community Development




: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:


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Focusing on entrepreneurship The Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) held its ninth annual general meeting on 20 August at the Bytes Conference Centre in Midrand. The meeting was well attended by members of SAPPMA and its sister organisation, the Installation and Fabrication Plastics Pipe Association. HE KEYNOTE speaker at the event was Dr Taddy


Blecher, chairperson of the South African National Government task team on Entrepreneurship, Education and Job Creation, and CEO of the

(From left) Mike Biesheuvel, Jan Venter and Bernard Mahl at SAPPMA AGM

Maharishi Institute and the Community & Individual Development Association. In his speech, Blecher challenged and encouraged South African companies to support entrepreneurship in order to address the growing problem of unemployment and poverty in the country. He highlighted the importance of creating sustainable employment in order to move South Africa into a brighter future. In the weapon you can use to change the world, Blecher told

words of Nelson Mandela, education is the most powerful

the audience.

SAPPMA board members announced Jan Venter, chairman of SAPPMA, announced the new board of directors, who will be leading the association in the com-

thuthuka group limited

ing year. They are: • Mike Biesheuvel (Sasol Polymers)


• Louis Albertyn (Marley Pipe Systems) • Hein Momberg (Fiberpipe) • Vijay Naik (Flo-Tek) • Gerhard Kotzee (DPI Plastics).

Merit Award winners Lead anode plant for Kamoto Copper mine, DR Congo.

Venter also used the occasion to announce the winners of the annual Merit Awards, a bronze medal that has been awarded to individual members of the Technical Committee since 2008 in recognition of their individual contributions and frequency of attending meetings. The work done by the SAPPMA Technical Committee is extremely important and is essentially the heart of the association, Venter said. The 2013 awards, consisting of a bronze medal and a cer-

CCD Thickeners for SNC Lavalin, Madagascar

tificate, went to the following recipients: • Renier Snyman (DPI Plastics), who also received a plaque as this was the fifth time that he was a recipient of the SAPPMA meritorious awards • Mike Smart (Flo-Tek) • George Diliyannis (Safripol)

35-million litre reservoir, North West Province, South Africa

• Ralph Mosikidi (Marley Pipe Systems). In conclusion, Venter thanked SAPPMA members for their

Contact: tel: +27 (0)11 468 5956 e-mail: / Adding value to your African project

V Squared V2/11696 Jun2012

passion and dedication over the past year. Plastic is no

TGL has projects in: Zambia, Madagascar, D.R. Congo, Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Mauritius, Mozambique

longer viewed as a cheap alternative or foreign material as it was in years gone by. It has finally taken its rightful place on the world stage as material that is recognised for playing an absolute and critical role in all areas of modern life, including piping systems, Venter said.





Sanitation subsidy investigated There are a number of challenges that are currently experienced in the subsidised sanitation sector in South Africa. These challenges are generally exacerbated by the fact that efforts are currently uncoordinated between departments and between the various levels of government. N ONGOING STUDY by the

some households have been seen to have

for septic tanks increased to R57 300 (19%).



benefitted from more than one subsidy.

The right of access to sanitation, unlike oth-

(WRC) has found that there seems

Others perceive the cost of construction of

er basic services such as water, housing and

to be a lack of clarity as to how

a basic sanitation facility to have escalated

electricity, is not an explicit but an implied

the household sanitation subsidy processes

at an unreasonably high rate over the past

right in the South African Constitution.

and procedures integrate or conflict with

10 years. Another perception is that the

Commenting on the issue, Jay Bhagwan,

the National Housing Programme subsidy

sanitation subsidy provided to poor house-

executive manager at WRC said: The Water

processes. To address this challenge, the

holds is not being effectively and efficiently

Services Act (Act No. 108 of 1997), which is

WRC commissioned a study to investigate

applied. The question remains: Is the san-

the principal policy regulating water service

the effective and efficient use of sanitation

itation sector effective and efficient in its

provision in South Africa, does, however,

subsidies in South Africa. This research is

use of public funds and, if not, how can we

legitimise the right of all South Africans to

expected to feed into the current review

improve this effectiveness and efficiency?

basic sanitation. The constitutional right



of the sanitation policy and of national

The preliminary outcomes of the study

to housing includes the right of access to a

have revealed that the full supply costs of

sanitation service as part of housing, accord-

The study looks at the issues of economic

providing subsidised sanitation facilities

ing to the Constitutional Court decision on

and social cost, to determine overlaps and

range from R22 800 for a VIP facility to

the Grootboom case.

grant systems.

gaps between different

R46 400 for a septic





Despite this relatively strong legislative


framework that underpins provision of

subsidy (i.e. Municipal

on 2012 prices. The

basic sanitation services in South Africa, the




interpretation and implementation of the


framework at and between various levels








subsidy, etc.) and to



of government is inconsistent. It is still very

determine what con-

constructed, operated

unclear as to financing the operation and

stitutes efficient use of

and maintained facility

maintenance of sanitation services, and

subsidies. A stakeholder

increases the unit cost

as to who is targeted by the policy, i.e., all

workshop held on 24

of a subsidised VIP

citizens or only the poor. Currently, very few

April 2013 at the WRC

toilet to R33 800, a

norms, standards and guidelines have been


32% increase in unit

provided on the economic efficiency and

experts to discuss this



effective use of sanitation subsidies. At a

matter in detail.

diversion (UD) costs

municipal level, this lack of clarity in policy

There are various per-

increased to R38 300

has led to confusion in the implementation

ceptions on this issue;

(29%) and the unit cost

of sanitation initiatives.








Aqualibrium rewards youthful innovation The finals of Aqualibrium 2013, the exciting SAICE-WRC Schools Water Competition, was held at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg on 16 August 2013. “This worthwhile competition never fails to excite the teams, spectators and everybody involved,” says SAICE’s outreach officer, Marie Ashpole. HE LAUNCH OF new streamlined equipment,


explaining the building of dams, distribution of water

developed by Prof Kobus van Zyl of the University

through water boards to municipalities and then to users,

of Cape Town and creator of the water distri-

as well as the conservation of water resources are also dis-

bution network concept for the competition,

cussed. The grid used for the water distribution network

saw the curbing of water losses, as experienced by

is on a background that depicts the entire water cycle. It

many municipalities in real life, emerge as a focus during

intrigues learners, as well as educators, who find it a very

this competition.

helpful educational tool, adds Ashpole.

As Ashpole explains, water distribution systems are im-

The 2013 champions, with 60 penalty points conceded,

portant to supply safe and clean drinking water to people.

was the team from Eqinisweni Secondary School in Ivory

The teams were tasked to design a model water distri-

Park, Midrand, with team members Thulani Ndlovu,

bution network to distribute three litres of water equally

Rudzani Mnisi and Tyson Chuma. In second place was

between three points on the grid using two different

Diamantveld Hoërskool from Kimberley, with 80 penalty

diameter pipes and connection pieces. They were then

points. The team consisted of Pieter van Zyl, Jannes

judged on how well they executed the task ‒ working on a

Wessels and Philip Swanepoel. Hoërskool DF Malan from

penalty points system. They had a period of about an hour in which to design, build and operate their network. This competition exposes learners to the practical application of processes that influence their daily lives, namely how water gets to their homes. They are made aware of the intricacies involved in the design of water distribution networks and the actual water delivery to households. The water cycle is explained to the learners as part of the competition. Issues such as why we have to pay for water,

Cape Town shared the third prize with Mfesane Senior

BELOW 2013 AQUA participants during the competition BELOW RIGHT 2013 AQUA winner, Eqinisweni group

Secondary School in Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay) with 90 penalty points each. The Hoërskool DF Malan team was Jacobus I Wüst, Reinhardt Husselmann and Jacobus M Louw, with Mfesane Senior Secondary School s team comprising Siyabonga Gaba, Nolusindiso Mdodana and Thabo Petse. The three winning teams shared the prize money totalling just more than R17 000. This is the 10th year the competition has been running, having launched in 2003. Both the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) and Rand Water



celebrated 100 years of existence in 2003 and they launched this joint competition for high school learners as part of their centenary celebrations. The competition was devised by Van Zyl and students from the University of Johannesburg. Since then, the competition has been streamlined and has gained momentum in application, such as team building and demonstrations.

A number of firsts This year the winners of the regional competitions came to Johannesburg from as far as Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Buffalo City (East London), Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay, Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth), Kimberley and Mahikeng to battle the local winners for top honours. Many of the teams were flown to Johannesburg. For most, this is a first experience of flying and visiting the big city . Without the major sponsorship of the Water Research Commission (WRC), Marley Pipe Systems, SMEC/VelaVKE, WISA, Prentec and Bigen Africa, this event would, of course, not be possible, says Ashpole. She adds that as a direct result of this competition there are presently three students studying civil engineering at leading tertiary institutions. These young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are determined to go MAD

Learners are made aware of the intricacies involved in the design of water distribution networks ‒ Make A Difference ‒ in their communities. We just have to continue with these kinds of projects in order to make a difference to the scarce skills situation and the lives of many people! As another notable first for the competition, this year Aqualibrium, the initiative, had the honour of being chosen as one of four finalists in the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) and BHP Billiton Awards, in the category where an individual or team is recognised for their outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation through science communication and through creating science awareness. The standard is extremely high; this year, only 12 awards were given across the science, engineering and technology spectrum. Making it to the NSTF-BHP Billiton Awards as a finalist is, therefore, an exceptional achievement. The SAICE team comprises Van Zyl from UCT, and Marie Ashpole and Fridah Mahlangu from SAICE s national office.

Increasing awareness The competition continues to create awareness regarding the issues surrounding water in South Africa, especially among the youth that participate. It spreads the message that water is a precious commodity, the use of which should be reduced, recycled, reused, respected and conserved. Through this competition, SAICE and the WRC, the current major sponsor, took the responsibility of spreading the news that water should be used wisely, infrastructure be maintained and new infrastructure be created to provide potable water to those without water, says Ashpole. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013




Green Drop awards on hold The Progress Assessment Tool for the 2014 Green Drop process starts in September 2013, with municipalities expected to respond by December 2013, according to Solomon Makate, Department of Water Affairs.




the onus on the participating municipalities

not vanished and would be released at a

workshop on the 2014 Green

to confirm the information is correct.

later date.

Drop Progress requirements,

Efforts to focus on the 2014 Green Drop

According to Molewa, she was not sur-

which was held on the open-

Report process have, however, been largely

prised at their disappointment and was

ing day of the 4th Municipal Water Quality

overshadowed by the announcement at

herself disappointed too, but the circum-

Conference at Sun City from 7 to 11 July

the opening session of the conference that

stances around the delay were beyond



the 2012 Green Drop results, which were

her control.

attended the conference from all avenues

to be announced at the Awards Dinner on

The report will be released as soon as fur-

of the water industry. The conference was

10 July 2013, would not be released. The

ther verification processes have been com-

convened under the theme





announcement was made by Thandeka

pleted, including the submission to cabinet,

committed to excellent Water Quality for

Mbassa, deputy director general: Regions

which should be in October, said Molewa.

the future .

for the Department of Water Affairs.

Only when each and every one of us

Makate further added that while the

Speaking at the Gala Evening, the minister

plays a leadership role together, we can do

criteria for the Green Drop process has not

of Water & Environmental Affairs, Edna

more, concluded Molewa.

changed, the audit period runs from 1 July

Molewa, acknowledged the disappoint-

2012 to 30 June 2013. The scorecards are to

ment of the Green Drop Report participants,

be prepopulated by the department, with

while assuring them that the report had


Delegates enjoying the closing gala evening on 11 July 2013


“Only when each one of us plays a leadership role together, we can do more.” Edna Molewa, minister of

potential water available. This is

Water & Environmental Affairs

cially of groundwater, improved

through improved efficiency and water loss management, reuse, local resource optimisation especontrol, resource protection, de-

in order to present a false impression of

salination, transfers and system optimisation.

drinking water quality performance and/

However, accessibility is conditional and

or compliance. The final 15% is awarded to

at a cost, stressed Brisley, adding that it

the asset management section.

requires effort and timeous implementation

She further indicated that site visits

while facing spatial challenges and sector

would be taking place in the final quar-

use viability challenges. Water quality and

ter of this year, from October 2013 to

habitat is a major concern.

December 2013, and would include water

As such we need to stretch not only wa-

treatment works inspections in order to

ter resources, but also water funding and

verify operational efficiency, check on pro-

infrastructure while managing major social,

cess control competencies and inspect risk

economic and environmental risks.

control measures.

Blue Drop Requirements 2013-14 unpacked

Approach to implementation NWRS2 implementation involves everyone

She added that the department s approach

Swart also unpacked the Blue Drop Audit

The National Water Resource Strategy 2

would be participatory, emphasising cit-

requirements at the conference, indicating

(NWRS2) is not only a Department of Water


that the key risk areas for the 2013 Blue

Affairs strategy, but rather belongs to and

commitment by all water users and sector

Drop Progress Assessment Tool include:

therefore should be implemented by the

stakeholders. There will also be a focus on

• the status of water safety planning; there

whole water sector. This was Marie Brisley

partnerships with the private sector and

needs to be evidence of the continuation

of the Department of Water Affairs main

civil society, according to Brisley, who also

of the process

message the first time the strategy was pre-

made sure to emphasise the fact that the

sented to a public forum at the conference.

success of the NWRS2 is dependent on all

Department of Water Affairs


• skills compliance to draft Regulation 17

to the implementation of the NWRS2 participation and implementation

• Drink Water Quality Compliance ‒ primar-

According to Brisley, without effective

ily with regards to microbiological (E. coli/

metering, billing and use efficiency, the total

faecal coliforms) compliance, chemical

water demand will rise to 20 billion cubic

centrality of water in planning and deci-

health, as well as risk-defined compliance

metres per year before 2025 and exceed the

sion-making where all sectors consider

issues as per the risk index.

total yield available. The core message of her

water availability in their development

According to Swart, the weighting would

presentation was therefore that fresh surface

planning, among other key implementa-

be 35% to water safety planning, with the

water as a resource is at its limit in most

tion principles.

possibility of a sampler s bonus in this cat-

areas; however, there is sufficient alternative

egory; 10% to process management and control, with the possibility of a process control bonus in this category; and 30% towards drinking water quality verification

stakeholders, not just the public sector. Implementation









Implementation Framework would guide

Delegates attending one of the many programme streams during the conference, which ran from 7 to 11 July 2013

development of implementation plans to operationalise the strategy. These are to be developed in a collaborative manner with

(i.e. compliance), with penalties awarded in this category for data differences, less than 11 months data being available and notification failures. Compliance is to be evaluated against Regulation 2834 and excellence compliance against Draft Regulation 17, which will be recognised as a bonus. A further 10% would be allocated to management, accountability and local regulation, with bonuses being possible for publication of performance and performance agreements. Penalties can, however, also be accrued for the incorrect or incomplete submission of drinking water quality data. According to Swart, the penalty will apply should the department find proof during or after the assessment that the water services institution is guilty of an offence as per Section 82 of the Water Services Act, by only submitting partial information SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013


INDUSTRY OVER VIEW sector stakeholders and water users per water use type and group.

• adequate funding, operation and maintenance of water resources infrastructure.

designations and, more specifically, occupational designations in accordance with sector

The five priorities for the next five years ‒

She stated that as a country we must manage

and the implementation plans are to respond

our scarce freshwater resource to the benefit

vices artisan, water pollution control officer,

to these ‒ have therefore been identified as:

of the country as a whole and we must be

superintendent and water utility manager.

• achieving

guided by national strategic imperatives as

The challenges for water sector profes-

defined by government. Let s make it hap-

sionalisation, however, remain. According to

pen, concluded Brisley.

Lagardien, these include the fact that the cur-




allocation reform • water






demand management • institutional

needs, such as process controller, water ser-

rent Organising Framework for Occupation

good governance • compliance monitoring and enforcement

Process controller professionalisation pivotal

for skills planning does not cater for water sector careers and the uncertainty over the

What we lack in the water sector is a credible

link between qualification and available ca-

skills planning programme, said Prof Alvin

reer paths in the sector limits the uptake and

Lagardien at the conference. Lagardien was

thus the sustainability of CB&T initiatives.

representing both the Department of Water

According to Lagardien, there is currently

Affairs and WISA as he reported back on the

a plethora of education and training pro-

developments in the professionalisation of

grammes that lack currency and portability.

process controllers.





According to Lagardien, the promoting

often receive no recognition with regard

of professional excellence requires new

to career progression skills enhancement. How do we link strategic/profes-

“What we lack in the water sector is a credible skills planning programme.” Professor Alvin Lagardien, WISA and DWA




career paths in the water sector to appropriate qualifications and training programmes? He reiterated that WISA has set up a capacity building and training division and has developed, to-


gether with the Department of Water Affairs,

1. No Drop outline, Paul Herbst: DWA National

• No Drop is an incentive launched in conjunction with the Blue and Green Drop programmes, focusing on water demand management and conservation activities. • 36.8% of water treated is non-revenue water and 5% is water leakage. • No Drop sets out a system and provides a benchmark for water demand management with the outputs of the programme being a framework for water use efficiency and a scorecard, which takes cognisance of the different municipality characteristics (e.g. size, location and budget) • No Drop Audits start in September 2013 and the results will be presented at WISA in May 2014.

2. 2013 Regulatory Performance Measurement System (RPMS) requirements, Sizani Moshidi: DWA

• Most municipalities have the tariff structure, tariff model and billing system in place, but the challenge is the implementation thereof and financial reporting remains a challenge in general, with workshops required on the RPMS. • Employing skilled people is a challenge as there is a shortage of the appropriate skills. • Debt collection in the rural areas is especially challenging as while the water demand is increasing, only 3% of the rural population is paying for these services. • Action plans have been introduced to assist municipalities with consumer queries and individual analyses have been circulated to municipalities, together with recommendations. DWA and municipality collaboration with regards to consumer queries is imperative.

a concept note to professionalise water sector careers. Given the need to improve the status of process controllers, as well as the related process of capacity building and classification, this was earmarked as the first designation to be professionalised by WISA, said Lagardien. As such, he reported that a national database of approximately 5 600 process controllers was being set up with four provincial process controller branches already having been established, the most recent one in Limpopo. In addition, a technical task team has also been established to provide input into the alignment of the classification and registration process. Finally, WISA s application as a professional body and its application for process control as the first professional designation has been lodged with the South African Qualifications Authority. WISA cannot become a training body and compete with its members, but it will be engaging on this level with the related role players, said Lagardien. The process of professionalisation will promote the image and recognition of the process controllers, improve accountability and establish a coherent training accreditation and certification system, he concluded.

Cocktail welcome function on the opening night, 7 July 2013




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Banking on bulk infrastructure Bulk infrastructure is now part of the targets and actions for Vision 2030, which are the guiding principles of the NWRS2, Lerato Mokoena, programme manager: Regional Bulk Infrastructure Programme at the Department of Water Affairs, tells Chantelle van Schalkwyk. HE FOCUS on the roll-out of bulk raw water


infrastructure developments has changed significantly in the new National Water Resource Strategy 2 (NWRS2).

Significant emphasis is

placed on the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the NWRS2. As part of IWRM, bulk infrastructure is highlighted and the strategy also gives

Taung/Naledi Bulk Water Supply has received R606.8 million for the refurbishment and upgrades

specific circumstances, according to Mokoena. In the Western and Northern Cape, for example, the key driver of bulk infrastructure is water scarcity. In Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, the key driver is to enable the provision of services to households with backlogs in services. Considering all the drivers, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) estimates that the provinces with the largest

considerable emphasis on the establishment of regional

water services bulk infrastructure needs are the Eastern

water utilities whose main function is bulk infrastructure,

Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.

says Mokoena.

Moekena adds that the roll-

This needs to be viewed in conjunction with the fact

out of bulk infrastructure

that all regions have significant bulk infrastructure needs, but for different drivers or reasons






FEATURE: INFRASTRUC TURE bulk projects for metros and focuses on bulk projects in all the other municipalities, says Mokoena. That being said, the importance of rolling out of bulk raw water infrastructure developments in order to meet delivery goals cannot be overemphasised. Bulk infrastructure is often quoted as the key reason for not meeting delivery goals for water services. Bulk infrastructure, however, does not directly address service delivery, but enables the provision of services by providing water resources and/or connecting the water resources with the reticulation infrastructure. To answer the question directly, bulk water is essential to meeting delivery goals, she says. The influence is twofold as well, addressing issues of sustainability at the same time ‒ essentially bulk infrastructure is the key to ensuring the sustainability of water supply. Through bulk infrastructure, water resources are augmented to meet

“Bulk water is essential to meeting delivery goals.”





to compact the effects of climate changes such as drought. Some of the RBIG projects funded include

Lerato Mokoena, programme manager: Regional Bulk Infrastructure Programme, DWA

desalination plants (the Clanwilliam/ Lambertsbaai project in the Western Cape, for example) and an effluent recycling





Western Cape), the development of small dams (Ludeke Dam in Greater Mbizana in the Eastern Cape) and the development of boreholes. The RBIG projects have to be directly linked to the water resources planning and strategy as documentprojects is specifically addressed in the NWRS2, referring to Annexure A: Perspectives per Water Management area , which highlights the specific requirements of bulk infrastructure in more detail, whereas in the past the NWRS mainly focused on the water resources for each water management area.

TOP Example of current RBIG projects currently being rolled out in KwaZulu-Natal

ed in the water resource reconciliation strategies and all town studies, explains Mokoena.

Planning prioritised Planning, specifically integrated development planning and decision-making, thus becomes critical in the roll-out

However, she notes that the roll-out of all new bulk

of these and other projects of a similar nature. Integrated

projects required is not described in all areas because not

planning and decision-making is essential on three

only would describing the bulk infrastructure needs in

key levels.

the NWRS2 make the document far too big, but there is

The first level, according to Mokoena, is the integration

still outstanding information on the number of potential

and alignment of the design of the infrastructure through-

options with regards to bulk infrastructure requirements .

out the water value chain starting from water resources, bulk infrastructure water reticulation, effluent services,

Providing clarity

bulk effluent systems and wastewater treatment. The

In an effort to provide clarity on a broad and expansive

misalignment of the design of each of these components

topic, Mokoena notes that the Regional Bulk Infrastructure

can lead to significant inefficiencies and can negatively

Grant (RBIG) is not limited to bulk raw water infrastructure

impact on service delivery as well as the environment.

and includes bulk infrastructure for the provision of water

She adds that the second aspect is the planning of the

services. This includes small water resources (i.e. small

roll-out of these projects and the third is the actual im-

dams), bulk raw water, bulk potable water and effluent

plementation or construction of the projects. Although

sanitation infrastructure. RBIG, however, does not fund

the timing of the planning of each component may be SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013


FEATURE: INFRASTRUC TURE mainstream media is expectations and planning/design parameters of projects that make service delivery unaffordable. The DWA is becoming a lot more stringent in planning studies before it approves the funding of projects, placing more emphasis on the sustainability of both the funding and the projects themselves. There is also a need to develop a rural water supply policy that redefines water supply objectives and addresses the many challenges that are specific to rural water supply, she says.

Challenging contractors A



faced in the roll-out of these mostly large-scale projects is that of nonperforming contractors. According to Mokoena, a number of often weak adequately aligned, often the problem comes in the

or inexperienced contractors have been appointed in the

execution of the various different projects. Financial con-

past for one of three main reasons:

straints or problems and challenges with procurement or

• in order to support emerging contractors

the construction can lead to one project being delayed by

• due to political interference

months and even years while the other project of another

• due to corruption.

component could be completed on schedule.

There is no easy solution to this problem because it

The misalignment of timing of construction can lead

may interfere with the legal rights of municipalities to

to infrastructure not being commissioned for lengthy

follow their own procurement procedures, says Mokoena.

periods of time after they are completed or the underuti-

However, she notes that the proposals to mitigate this

lisation of such infrastructure. The consequences of such

challenge include ensuring more detailed and appropriate

misalignment can have significant financial costs whereby

tender documents or after governance and monitoring of

the condition of such infrastructure can deteriorate very

financial regulations with regards to procurement process

fast if not operated and maintained. Mokoena adds that

should be intensified.

unfortunately there have been a few examples of such misalignment in the past, but the DWA is placing consid-

Community engagement essential

erable effort in minimising such incidents from reoccurring

A key supplementary objective of the RBIG is to create job

in the future by holding regular planning meetings with

opportunities. One of the principles of RBIG projects is to use

all stakeholders and industry role players, particularly the

labour-intensive methods where possible and to hire and


train local labour. The principles of Expanded Public Works Programme are promoted and are a condition for funding.

Conquering challenges

are temporary and only last for the duration of construc-

lenges with the RBIG that the department is facing; how-

tion, the benefits by engaging the local communities are

ever, the DWA has strategies, process and programmes in

as follows:

place to ultimately overcome them.

• training of unskilled labour

The first challenge is the long procurement and design process of projects. In this regard, the DWA is increasing its

• providing workers with work experience at a number of levels, from highly technical jobs to manual labour

own capacity and direct involvement in the implementa-

• temporary employment for the duration of construction

tion of projects and will also be making more use of water

• creation of permanent jobs related to the operation and

boards. The DWA has also developed term contracts for various contract and services, which will avoid additional procurement processes by municipalities and can be used by other government institutions.


According to Mokoena, although most of the jobs created

According to Mokoena, there are a number of key chal-

maintenance of the infrastructure • creation of permanent jobs, from job offers by the contracting companies. She adds that, as with any infrastructure project developed

With regards to the limited institutional capacity of mu-

for services within municipalities, projects have to be

nicipalities, which also has proven challenging in the roll

part of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The RBIG

out of similar projects in the past, Mokoena notes that the

projects are no exception and funding is not permissible

DWA has taken a decision not to allow the implementation

unless a project is included in the IDP and the Water Services

of any RBIG projects by a municipality that is deemed to

Development Plan. The IDP has to go through a compre-

have a poor track record and limited institutional capacity.

hensive community consultation process, which includes

An added challenge that is often not addressed in the

RBIG projects.



itself, Mokoena notes that the role of the private sector is

An entrenched local perspective on all infrastructure

essential as there is limited capacity within government

projects related to service delivery is key, according to

structures to design or manage the construction of such

Mokoena, in order to ensure a balance between expecta-

projects. The benefit of using the private sector is to ac-

tions, needs and affordability. Without local perspective

quire expertise, skills and capacity.

and consultation, however, infrastructure designed to

The private sector has also been engaged as funding

provide a certain level of service may not be acceptable

partners in a number of projects where they will directly

and rejected. The converse is also true that providing

benefit from the services provided by such projects,

infrastructure that meets the requirements and wishes of

although such funding partners are mainly mines or large

the public may not be affordable and too expensive to

industrial users. The benefit gained from the private

maintain after it is completed.

sector in such instances will be to enable and facilitate the

She adds that another key issue is to make communities

development of infrastructure that will meet the demand

aware of the significance of infrastructure in order to min-

for economic activity and facilitate further economic de-

imise vandalism and theft. Experience has taught us that

velopment, she concludes.

the more involved and aware a community is, the less the likelihood of vandalism and theft.


District municipality

Local municipality

RBIG funding

Private sector participation

Mbizana Regional Bulk Water Supply

Alfred Nzo


R780 000 000

Although the role of the private sector is

Taung/Naledi Bulk Water Supply

Dr Ruth Mompati


R606 754 000

Mogalakwena Bulk Water Scheme



R850 000 000

Sterkfontein Dam Bulk Water Supply Scheme

Thabo Mofutsanyane


R281 000 000

Greater Mthonjaneni Bulk Water Supply phases 2, 3 and 4


Mthonjaneni/ Ntambaneni/uMlalazi

R668 849 283

primarily in the design and construction of these projects, as both consultants and contractors are appointed as part of a procurement process by either the benefitting municipalities, the implementing agents appointed by the DWA or by the DWA





Ensuring a reliable supply Phase 1 of the Libode Water Supply Project, which includes the construction of bulk mains and reservoirs, is currently under construction and will be completed by December 2013, Nokuphumula Mkhwanazi, technical executive at GIBB, tells Chantelle van Schalkwyk. HE EXISTING set-up is not reliable


GIBB was appointed as the lead consultant

sizing of the major components. Their

as the communities continually ex-

on the project and is currently working with

inclusion into the scheme forms part of

perience water supply interruption

SMME sub-consultants.

a bigger picture, to upgrade and provide

and, as a result, OR Tambo District

This scheme will improve the reliability

Municipality identified the need to consol-

and assurance of water supply to the project

to the current and future residents of

idate water supply to Libode town and the

area providing a much needed additional

Mthatha, says Mkhwanazi. The proposed

surrounding villages, explains Mkhwanazi.

water source to the surrounding suburb

urban developments are located in a radius

He adds that often the communities end

areas of Mthatha and Libode, thus relieving

of approximately 5 km north of the Mthatha

up reverting to local rivers for water due to

the pressure from the Thornhill Water

CBD, astride both the east and west side of

these interruptions. This scheme therefore

Treatment Works.

the N2 to Kokstad.

afford communities of Libode town and

The bigger picture

includes the raw water abstraction works

villages a reliable water supply.

seeks to address these interruptions and




As a result, the overall project scope The town of Libode, in South Africa s Eastern

from the Mthatha Dam, provision of new

The Rosedale Extension to the Libode

Cape is situated on the R61 road from Port

30 Mℓ water treatment works, construction

Water Supply Project was approved under

St Johns to Mthatha and serves as the

of bulk pipelines from Rosedale to Libode

the presidential intervention as an emer-

administrative seat of the Nyandeni Local

and on to its surrounding villages and

gency water supply scheme. The main aim

Municipality, which is part of the OR Tambo

storage reservoirs.

of the project is to augment the existing

District Municipality . The district municipali-

Mkhwanazi explains that a phased ap-

water supply in Libode and at the same

ty is the water services authority responsible

proach was taken towards the project, with

time provide the neighbouring villages with

for the provision of water services to the

the roll-out of the scheme divided into

potable water.

area under its jurisdiction.

three phases:

The current population of 31 815 has

A few planned urban developments

been allowed for in the planning of the

around Mthatha are also included in the

project. This figure is expected to grow to 35 152 by 2033. A total of 33 villages will benefit from this scheme, says Mkhwanazi.



A bulk gravity pipeline under construction as part of Phase 1


FEATURE: INFRASTRUC TURE Community advantage

• Phase 1 consists of the construction of a bulk gravity pipeline and

A major impact for the local econo-

a rising main to convey water from

my expected from the project is the

a proposed 30 Mℓ water treatment

creation of jobs, says Mkhwanazi,

works at Rosedale to Libode town

adding that the SMME contractors

and villages. The salient quantities

involved on-site have also gained

include 34 km of pipeline (700 mm,

some useful skills and the local

600 mm, 300 mm and 200 mm

labour. This project creates vast op-

diameters), one Pump station and

portunity for job creation and it has

three reservoirs.

enabled the engagement of local labour for excavation of trenches

• Phase 2 will be the construction of

and construction of water mains.

a 30 Mℓ water treatment plant in

SMME contractors have been giv-

Rosedale, including raw water ab-

en opportunities to be mentored by

straction from the Mthatha Dam. • Phase 3 will provide reticulation from the tee-off to reservoir R532 to the rest of the ru-

Approximately 300 people will be employed on-site at the peak of the project

large construction companies as the project is packaged in such a manner as to promote development of SMMEs. The suppliers of

ral villages to the east of Libode. This phase will consist of the construction of 40 km of

along the R61 route from Mthatha to

glass reinforced pipes (GRP) deployed their

pipeline and eight storage reservoirs

Libode. Phase 1 of the project includes the

skilled personal to assist and mentor the con-

For Mkhwanazi, it is this phased approach

construction of bulk mains and reservoirs,

tractors in pipe laying. Engineering graduates

that makes the project unique. The phased

and is currently under construction and will

have also been given opportunity to gain

integrated approach of the project is aimed

be completed by December 2013. Phase 2,

experience on design of various components

at addressing the current challenges, which

which involves the design of the water treat-

and also on-site monitoring as assistant

include unlocking local housing develop-

ment works, is in the design stage at the

resident engineers.

ment and also providing sustainable bulk

moment and Phase 3 is at the tender stage

According to Mkhwanazi, most subcon-

water supply that directly acts as a catalyst

of the planned reticulation to the town and

tractors are from the OR Tambo District

to trigger socio-economic development

the surrounding villages.

Municipality and the suppliers are from



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with high water tables, which consisted of





granite coarse stone laid below the bedding

Preliminary design

30 November 2011

46 days

15 January 2012

so as to create a soaker way system in order

Detailed design

15 january 2012

55 days

15 March 2012

to drain away water from the pipe trenches,

Working drawings

20 February 2012

24 days

15 March 2012

can also be considered innovative.

Tender document preparation

16 January 2012

15 days

31 January 2012

Tender advert

29 January 2012

7 days

03 February 2012

was without its own unique challenges

However, this does not mean the project

Issue of tender documents

03 February 2012

6 days

09 February 2012

‒ especially relating to the unique local en-

Tender briefing

09 February 2012

1 day

09 February 2012

vironment. An environmental specialist was

Tender pricing & closer

03 February 2012

25 days

28 February 2012

employed to conduct a basic assessment so

Tender adjudication

29 February 2012

14 days

14 March 2012

as to respond to the ecology and sensitive

Bid committee tender evaluation

15 March 2012

7 days

22 March 2012

areas, and as a result, certain sensitive areas

Tender award & acceptance

22 March 2012

8 days

30 March 2012

such as graves, wetlands and flora were

Contractors on-site

01 April 2012

13 days

14 April 2012

identified and had to be avoided during

Construction period per package

01 April 2012

20 months

13 December 2013

pipe route selection. In certain cases this affected the route negatively as long length

within the Eastern Cape, therefore creat-

consumption, and the provision of water

route options had to be used in order to

ing economic growth and development



avoid these areas, says Mkhwanazi, adding

through infrastructure development. About

adds Mkhwanazi. In addition, the housing

that on river crossings, authorisation and

300 people will be employed on-site at the

developments in Libode and surrounding

sound engineering solutions were applied.

peak of the project.

villages, which is largely dependent on the

Another impact on the local community has been as a result of the fact that the


provision of water and sanitation infrastruc-

A unique perspective

ture, will be fast-tracked.

What made GIBB particularly suited for the project, says Mkhwanazi, is that the com-

majority of land through which the scheme is constructed is considered as tribal (state)

Project prowess

pany is uniquely experienced in the nature

land, which is under the authority of tra-

During the construction stage, the high-

of the project through its expertise in bulk

ditional authorities, explains Mkhwanazi.

lights of the project included getting SMME

water master planning and its vast track

Consultation and negotiation was required

contractors and big contractors to work and

record and knowledge of the project area

with the appropriate role players and

deliver within the programme and budget,

after having conducted a master plan report

authorities during the detailed design

says Mkhwanazi. Another highlight for him

for the project area .

stage and during construction to obtain

was overcoming the social challenges and

There are a few key lessons learnt that

permission for construction and to deal

enabling that every local community along

Mkhwanazi will be implementing on future

with issues of compensation for any loss of

the pipe route benefits in job creation , as

projects, most important of which is inte-

productive land.

well as the mentorship of graduates.

grated planning, which takes cognisance of

In addition, the process was further facil-

On-site innovation has been utilised in the

the present, medium- and long-term sce-

itated through the engagement of social

specialised installation of GRP pipe joints,

narios for water demand and evaluation of

facilitators, ward councillors and chiefs.

which according to Mkhwanazi, involved an

the possible socio-economic impacts being

The local community is also set to ben-

innovative installation process. The use of an

carried out in an optimal manner, which cre-

efit from having safe potable water for

underground water drain in wetland areas

ates value for money and sustainability.



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Colesburg under construction The overall progress of the Umsobomvu Local Municipality Bulk Water Supply Scheme reached 77% in March this year and completion is still expected in the second quarter of 2014, Lerato Mokoena, programme manager: Regional Bulk Infrastructure Programme at the DWA, tells Chantelle van Schalkwyk. COLESBURG BULK WATER SUPPLY (BWS) PROJECT Contract, consultants and contractors

• Implementing agent: Umsobomvu Local Municipality • Operation & maintenance: Umsobomvu Local Municipality • Project manager: Aurecon • Funder: DWA RBIG (77%) and Umsobomvu LM (23%) • Consultants: • Phase 1: Merrimetsi Engineers • Phase 2: Worley Parsons • Contractors: • Phase 1A: Lohan Civil/Tebogo JV • Phase 1B: Entsha Henra • Phase 1B-LLCs: 10 local learner contractors (LLCs) from Umsobomvu Local Municipality • Phase 1C: Lohan Civil/Tebogo JV • Phase 2 (civil): Ursa Civils CC • Phase 2 (M&E): Inenzo Water • General • Health & safety agent: Tandana Safety CC • Environmental control officer: MDA

projects of this nature and that the involvement of too many departmental and seconded per-

HE MAIN AIM with this Bulk Water Supply


Scheme project is to eradicate any existing water backlogs and to ensure sustainable water services

Pump station at Orange River

sonnel providing input to a project can become extremely difficult to manage and consolidate ‒ especially on a project of this size and scale.

to all of the approximately 4 773 households in

Despite these hard learned lessons ‒ or possibly as a

the Umsobomvu Municipal jurisdiction area of Colesberg

result of them ‒ the project team will continue with the

‒ at least until 2030.

current programme management methodology to also complete the next phases of this project.

Lessons learnt According to both Mokoena and the most recent report

Existing infrastructure

on the project from the Northern Cape chief directorate:

Colesberg has a population of approximately 17 259

Bulk Infrastructure Programme, there were a number of

people, with an average of 3.6 people per household. It

key challenges faced in rolling out this project, including

is estimated that approximately 77% of this community

labour unrest on Phase 2 of the project due to miscom-

‒ and the other communities that fall in the Umsobomvu

munication between the community liaison officer, the

Municipal area ‒ are indigent. In addition, Colesberg relies

project steering committee and the municipality, which

solely on two sources of water for its supply: the Orange

ultimately caused a delay of 4.5 days. A further challenge

River and groundwater. Currently 3.762 Mℓ/d of raw water

was in the issuing of a water licence and finalising the

is abstracted from the Orange River, while 1.476 Mℓ/d of

registration of servitude deeds; however, these were due

groundwater is abstracted from borehole fields.

in part to process and procedure.


Additionally, the existing system that delivers water from

The lessons learnt thus included that the timely ap-

the Orange River to the town of Colesberg consists of an

pointment of contractors is extremely important in order

abstraction pump station at a deep natural pool in the

to be able to synchronise yearly expenditure and scheme

Orange River that pumps water through a 200 mm diam-

completion, among other things.

eter pipeline that is 800 m long to a balancing reservoir at

In addition, the team found that the appointment of

the booster pump station, referred to as the Tolhuis pump

a well-qualified and competent contractor is crucial in

station ‒ visible from the bridge on Route 717. The water SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013

FEATURE: INFRASTRUC TURE is measured between the balancing reservoir and the

• Phase 1: Construction of a 24.8 km pipeline from the

Tolhuis pump station.

Orange River to Colesberg, including the upgrading of

From there it is pumped by another 200 mm diameter

the river abstraction and new pump station. This phase

pipeline, 10 223 m long, to another balancing reservoir at

was further divided into:

Tienmylhoogte booster pump station, from where the raw

• Phase 1A ‒ 8.0 km pipeline and temporary upgrade of

water is finally pumped to the Colesberg Water Treatment

pump station

Works (WTW) through another 200 mm diameter pipeline,

• Phase 1B ‒ 12.3 km of pipeline, upgrading WTW pumps

which is 14 418 m long.

• Phase 1B ‒ 4.5 km pipeline, implemented by 10 local

The pumping capacity was 41 ℓ/s when the system was

learner contractors (LLCs)

upgraded in 1998 and the capacity delivered to the WTW,

• Phase 1C ‒ a new river abstraction works and pump sta-

before the implementation of the RBIG Umsobomvu bulk

tion (civil, mechanical, electrical and electronic works).

water supply scheme, is 35 ℓ/s to the WTW.

• Phase 2: Upgrading and extension of the existing

Field of dreams

• Phase 3: Bulk water supply to Noupoort (renamed as

Colesberg WTW Potable water is also abstracted from the Van der

Noupoort Bulk Water Supply):

Waltsfontein well field, home to 11 boreholes, to a collec-

• Phase 1 ‒ upgrading of the existing Noupoort Bulk

tion reservoir at the Van der Waltsfontein pump station,

Water Supply network

from which it is pumped to the 2.7 Mℓ reservoir. Potable

• Phase 2 ‒ augmentation of the Noupoort BWS with a

water is also abstracted from a borehole in the centre of

new borehole field

town ‒ known as the Trappiesdam borehole ‒ to a small

• Phase 3 ‒ upgrading/replacement of the Noupoort

collection reservoir before it is pumped to the outlet line

internal water reticulation network (will not be funded

of the 2.7 Mℓ reservoir. This 2.7 Mℓ reservoir mainly supplies

by RBIG).

the Central Town, Lowryville, Towervallei and Industrial

This means that 77% of the project is being funded by

area, as well as parts of Kuyasa, as the area of supply inter-

the DWA through the RBIG, while the Umsobomvu Local

links with the Kuyasa network at two locations.

Municipality is funding the remaining 23%. To date,

According to Mokoena and the report: The existing

R103.8 million in RBIG funds has been made available

surface water infrastructure and groundwater resources

to phases 1 and 2 of the project, with the expenditure

for Colesberg are inadequate to meet the demand from

having only totalled R79.9 million as the project is still

the town. In addition, the Pixley ka Seme Feasibility Study

nearing completion.

indicated that Colesberg had reached a level where there

The project was 77% complete in March of this year and

was no spare potable water capacity available, indicating

well on track to meet its project completion date of the

that they had in fact already reached existing water re-

second quarter of 2014.

source insufficiency in 2006.

Project breakdown The roll-out of a bulk water supply scheme in itself involves the coordination and implementation of a number of separate projects approached in a phased manner ‒ as is the case with this project. Some of the phases or contracts include the construction of a 4.5 km pipeline between Colesberg and the Orange River, connecting two separate pipelines, as well as a new Tolhuis Pump Station and River Abstraction Point and the upgrading

BELOW New abstraction point at Orange River RIGHT Pump station sandstone brickwork

and extension of the Colesberg WTW, relating to both civil contracts, and mechanical and electrical contracts. As is the case with the upgrade of the Colesberg project,

Wastewater Umsobomvu

Treatment Local



was added to the Regional Bulk Programme Priority List in 2006. However, it managed to secure funds in 2008 to do an Implementation Readiness Study Report, which was submitted to the DWA in March 2009 and approved by the national team on 18 June 2009. The Regional Bulk Infrastructure Funding Agreement was signed in August 2009, allowing Umsobomvu and the DWA to move forward on project implementation. It was only during the planning phase of this project, however, that the decision was taken to implement it in different phases, namely: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013




Colesburg WWTW upgrade complete Despite a long wait, and having only handed over the site in July 2011, the upgrade of the Colesberg Wastewater Treatment Works was completed in the first half of this year, Lerato Mokoena, programme manager: Regional Bulk Infrastructure Programme at the DWA, tells Chantelle van Schalkwyk.

• a biological reactor • clarifier • anaerobic ponds • RAS/WAS pump station • sludge pump station • sludge ponds • chlorination contact channel • interconnecting pipework • site works, landscaping and fencing. Eventually, the tender for the civil, mechanical and electrical work was advertised on 14 January 2011, with the site inspection also taking place in the same month.



approximately R5.8 million, and the DWA

The tender for the civil works was awarded

added to the Regional Bulk

contribution through the RBIG, which to-

and site handover took place during July


talled approximately R19.4 million.

2011, with the tender for mechanical and






Despite the agreement only being signed

electrical work also being awarded and

Infrastructure Programme (RBIG) initially

in June 2011, the consulting engineer, in this

site handover for these contracts taking

started in 2006, it was only during June

case WorleyParsons (which also acted as the

place in August 2011. The project itself ‒

2011 that the Regional Bulk Infrastructure

project manager), was already appointed

barring perimeter fencing and a few small

Funding Agreement was signed between

during 2005. As Mokoena explains, the delay

aesthetic things ‒ was largely finished in

the Department of Water Affairs (DWA)

between this date and the eventual project

February of this year.


commencement was because the munici-

The site meeting and performance


pality struggled to secure sufficient funds for

evaluation of the completed site was con-

Colesberg Wastewater Treatment Works

the programme and numerous discussions

ducted on 22 May 2013, with the relevant

(WWTW) Phase 4.

took place between the municipality, the

role players from both the DWA regional

The project itself, which was estimated

Department of Human Settlements and the

and national offices attending, as well as

to have cost in the region of R25.3 million,

DWA. The project specs included upgrades,

representatives from WorleyParsons and

was jointly funded by the local munic-

construction and installation of:

Umsobomvu Municipality.



Umsobomvu implement



Infrastructure whose






the Grant


WWTW reactor




Municipal (MIG), equalled

The Umsobomvu Local Municipality has taken ownership of the new and improved infrastructure


Setting the scene The town of Colesberg is within the jurisdiction of the Umsobomvu



FEATURE: INFRASTRUC TURE Category B local municipality, which falls

rock formation on the pump stations,

is estimated to now be able to serve a pop-

within the boundaries of the Pixley ka

clarifier and reactor excavations. However,

ulation of 30 280, almost double the current

Seme District Municipality. The town itself

these were easily overcome as the project

population, and 3 864 households ‒ serving

is situated at the junction of the national

has been executed according to the initial

the community not only now, but well into

roads from Johannesburg to Cape Town and

construction drawings.

the future.

With regard to skills, there were eight local

When investigating the lessons learnt from

Despite being located on a key thor-

general labourers employed by the contrac-

the project, the crucial message that comes

oughfare, the town only has a population

tor from the local Colesberg community and

across is the importance of appointing a

of approximately 17 259 people, with esti-

as they reportedly performed very well on-

well-qualified and competent contractor,

mates indicating that 77% of all residents of

site, the contractor is also utilising them as

especially on projects of this nature where

Colesberg are classified as indigents.

semi-skilled labourers on a WWTW project

production against time and budget restric-

As a result, the IDP Review in 2008/2009

he is currently busy with in Colesberg, with

tions is of extreme importance.

indicated that there was a total housing

one of the eight labourers being put on

Also the timely appointment of a com-

backlog of 2 248, of which 2 200 were

a three-month probation before possibly

petent consulting engineering firm from

required in the town of Colesberg itself.

being appointed permanently to the con-

the project inception right through to im-

At the time the WWTW upgrade was

tractors staff. He is currently working as a

plementation is important for maintaining

proposed, Colesberg was in the process

supervisor on one of the contractor s sites in

the project momentum and continuity,

of developing 2 354 stands, referred to as

the Eastern Cape.

concludes Mokoena.

Port Elizabeth.

the Ouboks Development, as one of the

As the project has been completed, the

flagship housing projects in the province

Umsobomvu Local Municipality ‒ as the

‒ and also likely to place substantial strain

initial implementing agent ‒ has taken

on the local drinking water and wastewater

ownership of the new and improved infra-

treatment networks.

structure, and also took over responsibility for the operations and maintenance of the

On-site successes

newly constructed WWTW from February

The key challenge experienced during the

of this year. Mokoena concludes that, since

implementation of the project was hard

the plant has been successfully upgraded, it SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013

PROJECT TEAM • Overall management: Umsobomvu Local Municipality • Regulator: Department of Water Affairs • Project manager and consulting engineer: Worley Parsons • Civil contractor: Ursa Civils • Mechanical & electrical: HT Pelatona Projects




Sanitation scheme takes shape




and treatment works is located on the western reaches of Midmar Dam and a number

of problems led to its closure. The primary reason, however, was that it was discharging effluent that was progressively polluting the dam, a major water source for the KwaZuluNatal region,

explains project principle,

Peter Sibanda. The works was replaced with a sewage pumping





Treatment Works, which was upgraded to cope with the additional load. This entire infrastructure, including 11 km of pumping mains and sewers, has now reached maximum capacity, he says. Set to add extra pressure to the current net-

The old Mpophomeni sewage treatment works, which was mothballed in 2001, is getting a new lease on life in a major R160 million sanitation upgrade project being undertaken by consultants Royal HaskoningDHV.

work are plans by the uMngeni Municipality, in conjunction with the Ministry of Human Settlements, to develop housing projects in a number of areas within the municipality. One of these is the Khayelitsha Social Housing Project located between Howick and Mpophomeni, intended to accommodate 1 900 houses, schools and commercial developments, says Sibanda.




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Think water, think WISA! T

Water& Sanitation

The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa T

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Think water, think WISA! T

Water& Sanitation

The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa T

Complete water resource and wastewater management


Think water, think WISA! T

Water& Sanitation

The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa T

Is water an untapped commodity?

Complete water resource and wastewater management

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January/February 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 1


Think water, think WISA! T

Water& Sanitation

The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa T

Complete water resource and wastewater management


Is water an untapped commodity?

PANEL DISCUSSION Deliberating on desalination

PANEL DISCUSSION Deliberating on desalination





We have reached the point where GRP composites posites cannot be ignored. Jan Krüger, technical manager, er, Fiberpipe



January/February 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 1

PANEL DISCUSSION Deliberating on desalination

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January/February 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 1

January/February 2013 • ISSN 1990-8857 • Cover price R40.00 • Vol 8 No. 1

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FEATURE: INFRASTRUC TURE The uMgungundlovu District Municipality, which took

The Mpophomeni Sanitation Scheme has recently

over the responsibility for water and sanitation in the

been approved by the Department of Water Affairs

uMngeni municipal area in 2009, arranged for consulting

and includes:

engineers SSI ‒ now Royal HaskoningDHV ‒ to carry out

• a 6 Mℓ/d treatment works for Mpophomeni, Khayelitsha

a feasibility study to review the upgrade of the Mpophomeni/ Howick



ture. A key requirement of the Department of Water Affairs was that all sewage or final effluent

Capacity in the existing western main sewers and the Howick Treatment Works will be partly freed up for development in Howick

was to be transferred downstream of Midmar Dam to eliminate any possibility of pollution of the water body. According to project manager Chris Hazelden, four alter-

and 25% spare capacity for future expansion; the site has space to at least double its treatment capacity • infrastructure to deliver sewage from Khayelitsha

• two new main sewers within Mpophomeni plus some other smaller sewer refurbishments that will eliminate identified sewage pollution within the township

natives have been reviewed and the most economical is

• effluent delivery systems, including an artificial wetland

to redevelop the Mpophomeni site as a treatment works.

effluent polishing system at the treatment works and

The existing works has infrastructure that can be reused

a subsidiary wetland system on the Merrivale stream

such as back-up facilities that can store and subsequently

recommended and designed by independent water

recycle inflows for more than three days when power out-

quality and wetland specialists.

ages or breakdowns occur and, beyond that period, any

The project is estimated to cost R160 million and will

spillages can be partly treated. We estimate that 80 000

be completed by February 2015. The environmental

man days of construction job opportunities will be created

approval process has been running in parallel with the

as well as some permanent job opportunities, he says.

project development.

Capacity in the existing western main sewers and the

Due to the sensitive location of the site, water quality

Howick Treatment Works will be partly freed up for devel-

assessments of the streams receiving the effluent, impact

opment in Howick; the Howick Treatment Works site has a

assessments on the Umgeni River system, geohydrolog-

limited area for future expansion and ultimately will only

ical assessments of site impacts and a site stormwater

be able to service Howick itself, adds Hazelden.

management plan have been undertaken. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013

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Network dynamics The safe and efficient delivery of water is a major focus for communities and government alike, with South Africa being one of the few countries that enshrines the basic right to sufficient water in its Constitution, stating that “Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient water”.


OWEVER, ALL too often the


importance of the means of


delivery ‒ the water network

management strategies.

that makes this happen ‒ and

programme, as well as focusing water







discussion, Chantelle


Both the programme and the strategies

Schalkwyk talks

the value placed on the maintenance,

seek to promote the efficient use of water

to a number of

upgrade and installation of these networks

and, more importantly, the reduction of


is underestimated.

water losses through proper maintenance

and valves man-


The efficacy of these water networks

schedules, as well as the effective man-


is increasingly being spotlighted by not

agement of water demand. Throughout all


only an increased focus on new build, but

of these processes and programmes, the


also an increased focus on maintenance

effective, efficient and correct installation,

of these products





and about



maintenance and choice of pipes, pumps

in ensuring sup-

Department of Water Affairs is highlighting

and valves in the network play a critical role

ply on a sustain-

this through the recent launch of its No

in ensuring their success.

able basis.



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hat role do pipes, pumps and valves play in infrastructure?


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the energy supply being under

decrease our

pressure in our country.

operating costs and, with WILO, we

How important is identifying the right product fit for the project? Very important

multistage pump, driven by a 30 kW, 380 V, 2-pole motor.

its wings into Africa,

We will be entering bigger projects and supplying more people in Africa with drinkable water

can offer this.

where we have WILO representatives in Kenya, Tanzania, Angola and Zambia. We will be entering bigger projects and supplying more

• A COR-3MVI1603-6/CC vertical

people in Africa with drinkable

multistage booster set, which

water. There will be numerous

consists of three MVI1603 ‒ 6

installations for WILO South

in a project will have a major

What are the products defining characteristics/ specs? WILO s highly efficient

booster pumps driven by

Africa in the next few years, as

impact on your energy costs

variable speed drive (VSD)

three 2.2 kW, 380 V 2-pole

we will be making a big impact

and maintenance, as well as

products offer low kilowatt

on the pipes and valves, and

consumption, resulting in

can cause damage to the

high energy cost saving, water

because the wrong product

in the African market and living

The installation at Eikenhof Dam, Grabouw

up to our motto: Pioneering for you .

equipment installed.

How much impact does using the right product have on water loss? Fortunately with a pump, water loss can only occur when there is a leakage on the pump itself. Making sure all the seal ratings are correct when selecting a pump for a certain project is therefore critical.

How important are regular inspections in ensuring effectiveness? Each part on a pump has a lifespan, so regular inspections ensure all SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013


Leaking Pipes?

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PANEL DISCUSSION David Wade Nu Flow Stuart Hamilton JD7

SA LEAK DETECTION hat are the most innovative offerings your organisation has for the market? SH JD7 leak

repair leaks and damage

detection and pipe diagnostics

effortlessly. Nu Flow

technology (JD7) has several

has a high temperature

not be underestimated.

the city to evaluate the

new products, but the latest is

epoxy capable of handling

Pressure management and

true losses and help

the pipescan+, which looks at

temperatures up to 95° C with a

flow rate tests can also reveal

reduce water loss in

water mains thickness and can

curing time of one hour.

problems in the early stage.

the low-pressure mains

programmes to be written and

What role do pipes play in the infrastructure arena?

What role does maintenance play? SH Maintenance is a

DW Locally, we have worked on

approved, ensuring all pipes are

SH Large-diameter pipes

must ‒ as in all industries ‒ and

projects for:

renewed at the optimum time.

are the main artery that feed

should not be ignored in the

• Department of Public Works in

DW Once leaks have been

all the other systems. Unlike

water industry. Maintenance

located in water and drain

when a smaller main fails and

should be a standard practice

pipe systems, Nu Flow offers

the area is disrupted, when a

to avoid issues before they

trenchless pipe rehabilitation

larger main fails there are far

arise, enabling better planning

solutions for failing pipe

wider issues and those affected

and investment programmes to

networks. Nu Flow has three

can number in the thousands.

be designed.

different relining systems,

Any cross contamination

DW Maintenance must be

giving it the ability to reline

in the main artery will have

budgeted for and scheduled

asbestos concrete (AC), copper,

implications downstream.

in order to identify potential

PVC, HDPE, earthenware,

DW Nu Flows strength is

problems before they

galvanized and all steel pipes

that we do all the smaller

materialise. The joints in pipe

from diameters as small as

connections on the bigger

networks need to be inspected

15 mm. The three relining

network and although the

routinely as this is usually the

systems are:

main arteries are important, the

starting point of pipe problems.

• spin casting for large

CCTV inspection will show the


• Bangkok Thailand‒

to pipes. It is able to reline 90-degree bends, T pieces,

LDS1000 & Investigator

junctions and transitions,

to investigate the leaks in the mains within

calculate the life expectance allowing capital investment

where acoustic leakage

• blow-in-place epoxy coating

attention and this is where Nu

How much of an impact can this have on water loss?

• pull-in-place lining.

Flow comes into play, especially

SH The state of infrastructure

Nu Flow s structural relining

where pipes run in high-density

has a great effect on the water

systems require no launch pits

areas. In these areas, pipes run

loss and to properly control ‒

to be dug in order to get large

beneath or within infrastructure

and prevent ‒ water loss you

machinery into position for the

and repairing or replacing them

have to understand when the

process. The liner is inserted

using traditional methods could

mains are at life end and failure

and pulled into place from

result in further damage to

could be imminent. All leaks

existing access points, thereby

infrastructure. Even traditional

have a life cycle starting from a

completely eliminating the

pipe relining methods like pipe

weep-leak-burst-failure. Regular

need to cause any damage

bursting need launch pits dug

inspections will get all losses

to infrastructure.

to get machinery to the level of

while at the leak stage.

diameter pipes

lateral connections that need

location does not work.

KwaZulu-Natal • Transnet Buildings in Braamfontein, Gauteng • Murray and Roberts, Cape Town • Radisson Hotel in Cape Town.

the pipe from where the new

What are the products defining characteristics?

pipe is pulled into place.

What recent projects have you been involved in? SH

SH The JD7 system detects

How important are regular pipe inspections? SH

• Singapore Airport ‒ survey

leaks using acoustics from within the pipe and

Planned inspections are

airport to advise on the life

simultaneously sees the leak

less costly. Personnel and

expectancy and investment

with the onboard camera,

equipment can be deployed in

allowing the user to do

a pre-planned, cost-effective

condition assessment with

manner. However, when

advice on the pipe renewal

multiple disciplines internally.

inspections are done under

schemes in the City of London

DW Nu Flow is able to reline

emergency situations, the cost

on the best time for renewal

pipes from 15 mm to 300 mm

is much higher.

diameter working from

DW A visual inspection often

existing access points, thereby

reveals valuable information

eliminating the need to chop

relating to problems or

open structures in order to

potential problems and must

of the fire main around the

programme using JD7 • Thames Water London ‒

TOP RIGHT Reline, repair & renewal at Sun City RIGHT The blue epoxy is used when relining drain systems



3847 Wetpaint Advertising

ROCLA ow important are pipes, culverts and conduits in the infrastructure arena?

would have much higher

SLR The contribution of

water sources.

buried conduits to the

Stormwater management

optimal functioning of an

The contribution of buried

infrastructure system may be

conduits may be estimated by

divided into four categories,

taking a combined transport

where buried conduits

engineering and hydraulics

form the link between end

engineering approach.


occurrences of sanitationrelated diseases and also risk polluting all of its natural

users and bulk treatment

The value of any change to

facilities in all cases. These

a transport system requires

categories are:

determining the reduction

Potable Water

in stand time for users of the

In addition to human

system. This reduction is linked

consumption, potable water

to a monetary gain for the

is also used in the industrial

economy as a whole.

sectors of many countries.

The value of changes to


hydraulic systems, on the

Adequate provision of

other hand, is determined by

sanitation is linked to the

calculating the possible losses to

physical well-being of

infrastructure that could result

society. Without buried

from system failure.

conduits to transport sewer

Adequate stormwater

effluent from households

management therefore protects

to treatment plants, society

both the time of people and the infrastructure of society

Rainwater Harvesting Systems that last for more than a lifetime

BELOW Rolling joint pipes stacked for use on-site

in general.

BOTTOM Interlocking joint pipes with rubber collars installed

Buried conduits provide

Fire Protection large quantities of water for fire protection. This not only

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Servaas le Roux design engineer Justin Kretzmar sales engineer protects the lives of members

on a regular basis. A major

of the society, but also the

problem in this regard is where

used for effective

livelihoods of these people.

unsuitable objects are dumped

transfer of water.

into the networks, causing

For stormwater

How important is product selection? SLR It is critical.

blockages and pipe damage.

The things you have to consider when putting in a pipe or

applications, the rainwater harvesting system,

primary focus is to direct the

also not undertaken as regularly

the ecoRain rainwater utilisation

water into a flow path that will

as prescribed. The design of a

system, comes into play.

result in the least amount of

culvert are the fill height,

conduit under the road allows

Basically, we are transforming

turbulence, thereby optimising

traffic load, bedding class

for maximum and minimum

our pipes from transporting

the hydraulic capacity of

and excavation conditions. It

flows, but these are estimates

water to storing water. This

the conduit.

is essential that specification

and often sedimentation results

concept is imported from ‒ and

of the products is done by

because the actual flow is

under licence from ‒ Rocla

knowledgeable people.

different from the estimatation.

Australia. It s a self-contained

The sedimentation, if not

modular water supply system

important, because if the

removed by a high flow rate,

for business and

bedding class ‒ or any one

blocks the system, often

industry, that can be

of the above factors ‒ is not

resulting in road damage.

modified to fit any size

Site supervision is also

Stormwater maintenance is

upheld, then the pipe class may

or space, and is supplied

What are the newest offerings your organisation has for the market? JK We

wing wall units are

have been making the same

also innovative. Used

pipes for 96 years, so there is

at either end of a

piping applications require

little product innovation with

pipeline to protect

pipes that are only jointed to

regards to the pipes themselves,

the embankment, our

accommodate placing. Other

but there have been innovative

product also allows

piping systems require pipes

applications of the pipes.

for fast and efficient

that have been provided with

We are looking back and saying

installation with no

joints that prevent water loss.

what else can we use our pipes

site mix concrete,

Still others require pipes with a

for and this is where the new

reinforcing and no

have to be changed.

How much of an impact does the right product have on water loss? SLR Some

pressure rating to prevent highpressure water from ingressing/ egressing from the pipe. Often sewer system designs do not take into consideration the impact a blockage in the network can have downstream.

BELOW Rocla's Johann van Niekerk with an example of the precast concrete wing wall prior to installation RIGHT Rocla 600 mm diameter wing wall during and after installation

with the requisite filters. Our precast concrete

formwork required. Where water velocities are expected to reach up to 4 m/s or more, the wing wall unit is the most common structure

The result is a significant increase in the working pressure of the system, resulting in leaking through the pipes and joints failure.

How important are regular pipe inspections and continued maintenance? SLR Potable water network inspections are important, but it is fairly easy to detect leaks. You can pick up huge losses at a certain area because the water utility supply from their side is high, while the supply available to the users is low. Sewer reticulation requires regular maintenance, but is not always entered into




PANEL DISCUSSION Jan Kruger, technical manager



ow important are pipes in the larger infrastructure arena?

therefore important to choose

epoxy is necessary

projects such as the

the right pipe, but even more

and the pipes

Berekisanang Pipeline

important is operating the

are ideal to use

‒ 3.5 km in DN600/

JK South Africa is a water scarce

pipeline correctly.

in sub-aqueous

DN700 & DN800.

country and no development


These are just a few

Water for industrial and

How important are regular inspections? It is difficult to

domestic use is essential, and

inspect pipelines as they are

for conveying water you need

normally underground and

pipelines. Pipelines are normally

sophisticated equipment is

the first infrastructure needed

normally required. If personnel

for development. Pipes are

with experience are used,

of 50 years when installed

for using GRP pipes is the fact

required to constantly transport

they can ensure that the lines

and operated correctly, which

that the installation laying rate

water; there is no bigger

are operated correctly and by

in turn lowers the total cost

is very fast, which leads to a

context than that.

checking air valve chambers

of ownership.

lower installation cost. Very little

can take place without water.

• GRP has a very low coefficiency and can save on pumping costs. • GRP is lightweight and high strength. • GRP has an extended lifespan

Why is your product uniquely suited to the projects? Apart from being cost effective, the major reason

maintenance is required and

etc. an experienced person

How does utilising the right pipe impact water loss?

projects in the past year.

Why are they uniquely suited to local conditions?

nothing that occurs naturally in

GRP pipes require very

attack the pipe. We therefore

little maintenance and

have examples of pipes that

that is the most important

have been installed for 25 years

Life cycle cost should play a

What are your organisation s most innovative market offerings? GRP pipes are still

requirement for a good pipe

with the inside surface still

major role in the decision of

relatively new if measured

in South Africa today due

having a glossy finish. Pipes are

the material. Operation of the

against traditional pipe material.

to the lack of experience of

designed for a life of 50 years,

pipes should also be taken into

Developments are still taking

operations personnel.

but could last for much longer if

account. It is no use installing

place to improve materials

a pipe and then ignoring

and manufacturing processes.

the operation requirements. Unfortunately, we have a skills

can give a good idea of the pipeline condition.

Pipelines are expensive and it is very important to choose the right pipe for the right reasons.

the ground or in the water will

installed and operated correctly.

The future pipe material lies in

What recent projects have you been involved in? We

What are your future plans?

engineered materials.

supplied the Kamfers Dam

Due to the shortage of skilled

shortage in South Africa and

The advantages are as follows:

project for the Sol Plaatjes

labour and funding, Fiberpipe

this should be addressed as

• GRP pipes are easy to install

Municipality with approximately

has embarked on overseeing

and non-skilled workers can be

27 km of DN700 and DN500,

the installation of GRP pipes.

trained to install the pipes.

and we supplied approximately

The problem with a composite

13 km of DN700 and DN300

pipe is that only a few engineers

in various pressure classes

really understand it. This

to the Rosedale Libode Bulk

year we have started training

Water Supply Scheme. We also

students at university and

supply pipes for bulk irrigation

technikon levels and next year

soon as possible. Water leaks cost South Africa millions of rand per year. It is

• GRP is non-corrosive so no

LEFT Field Services representative Jaco Fourie, training the contractor during installation BELOW GRP pipes are lightweight and easy to offload


we will take it a step further to also train engineers in the water and sewer field. We are therefore planning to have GRP training sessions in most of the major centres.


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Pumps Valves Service Q




KSB PUMPS AND VALVES SOUTH AFRICA hat is KSB Pumps and Valves newest offering for the market? WD We have


to find solutions for their mine water supply, processing and slurry pumping requirements.

recently introduced a new

How important is specifying the right product?

sales among the top

Our company

supply every type of

has always been

which comprises a full line-up

How does this take the current context into consideration? The company

of pumps for every application

has a long and successful

on a mine supported by a

system to minimise downtime

Wolfgang Demmler managing director

five contenders, we have the ability to pump required on

mindful of the fact that failure

a mine. This gives customers

of a single pump can, in some

the chance to standardise on

instances, result in operational

KSB s high-quality engineered

history in the mining industry

losses costing millions of

pumps throughout the

world-class logistics and supply

in Southern Africa. The

rand. Through KSB Mining, we

entire operation from water

chain system. The company

addition of slurry pumps to

have addressed the industry s

circulation to cooling, process

now provides end-to-end

the range followed by the

problems by implementing

and slurry pumping.

mine solutions that include full

implementation of new ultra-

systems that ensure we can

design, assessment and rapid

modern supply chain systems

supply parts anywhere in the

response support systems in

was the final requirement

region within hours.

the event of failures.

needed to give customers a

on mines to the local market,

A dedicated mining division,

true one-stop shop experience.

preventing failures from

Why is KSB Pumps and Valves uniquely qualified to deliver in the African context? Standardisation

Our approach extends to

We adopted a holistic

occurring in the first place. We

enables companies to

established to manage the new

plan based entirely on the

now provide a service to review

dramatically reduce

multipronged system, allowing

requirements of our mines.

customers requirements and

stockholdings of spares

mines to make use of a single-

It prioritises uptime and

design a reliable system, and

and parts across the board

source supplier throughout

addresses the shortcomings

specify the right pumps and

as there is a high degree of

the duration of the mine from

currently being experienced by

valves from within our properly

commonality among KSB s

design, through operation to

mining companies and project

engineered range. In addition,

entire range of pumps. Its

the eventual closure of the

houses, such as poorly specified

we compile the correct

strategy to manufacture

facility. The mining division will

pumping systems, unreliability

maintenance schedules, as well

products close to destination

also be able to collaborate with

and slow parts supply in the

as stockholding requirements

markets also means that

customers technical personnel

event of a failure.

to ensure the system is

customers in the sub-Saharan

properly supported.

African region are quickly

KSB Mining, has also been

As a focused pump and valve company with global

supplied from the regional manufacturing facility and head office in Germiston.

LEFT A typical processing plant where KSB pumps are extensively used BELOW Reliable pumps are required for tough opencast environments

State-of-the-art logistics further streamline parts supply as a just-in-time system ensures the right products are available in the right place at the right time to ensure a far faster turnaround of parts and shorter lead time anywhere throughout the region. This robust system also enables previously unheard of after-sales support from any of its eight sales and service centres throughout South Africa, as well as regional offices in Ghana and Kenya. Within KSB Mining, we have the technical know-how to control mine pumping systems and make the entire operation more energy efficient as well as more reliable. Our deep knowledge of mine hydraulics, combined with quality products for every application on a mine, gives us a distinct edge when developing new mines or refurbishing existing ones.





Pressure promises power The current status of global energy shortages requires new thinking due to the emphasis on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and growing energy consumption. Recently installed hydroelectric technology has proven to be a huge success for Bloemwater’s head office in Pellissier, producing 96 kWh of energy from a pressurised conduit. control valves before being discharged into the reservoir. According to Jay Bhagwan, WRC executive manager, pumping systems account for nearly 20% of the world s electrical energy demand. In South Africa, for example, there are 284 municipalities and several water supply utilities, as well as mines, all owning and operating gravity water supply distribution systems that could be considered for small-, mini-, micro- and pico-scale hydropower installations. Most of these water distribution systems may be equipped with turbines or pumps as turbines, supplementing and reducing the requirements for pressure control valves. The hydropower energy may be used onsite, supplied to the national electricity grid, or fed an isolated electricity demand cluster. Africa





continent with regard to hydropower generation, with only 6% of the estimated potential exploited, explains Marco van Dijk, project leader from the University


OUTH AFRICA is acknowledged to not be particularly endowed with

of Pretoria. Municipalities consume around 60% of

the best hydropower conditions,

their energy requirements in the distribu-

as may occur elsewhere in Africa

In other words, it is simply harnessing

tion of water services cost. For example,

and the rest of the world. However, large

what is already available in the existing

energy accounts for around 40% of Rand

quantities of raw and potable water are

water infrastructure.

Water s cost in the production of water.

conveyed daily under either pressurised or


The Bloemwater "hydropower from a pressurised conduct" installation on site






has in



With increases in electricity costs, this could

gravity conditions over large distances and


elevations. The University of Pretoria, sup-

Municipality, where around 30 kWh of pow-

For the Bloemwater project, a 96 kW cross-

ported by the Water Research Commission

er is being generated in the pipeline at the

flow turbine and synchronous generator

(WRC), is engaged in a study investigating

exit to the Elardus Park reservoir. This was

will be installed. This is about 10% of the full

and demonstrating the potential of ex-

followed by the Bloemwater installation,

potential of the pipeline. The turbine will be

ploiting the excess pressure or hydropower

providing a sustainable energy source as

housed in a turbine room, currently under

energy available from pressurised water

the main supply of energy for operating its

construction, located next to the Brandkop

distribution systems.

head office in Pellissier. The Bloemwater

Reservoir. The Bloemwater head office will

This type of energy generation, referred to

facility will be the largest unit to date in the

be directly connected to this hydropower

as conduit hydropower, is different to the

country, producing 96 kWh of energy from

plant, says Mokutu Kgwale, director for

conventional hydropower generation usu-

a pressurised conduit.

Infrastructure Development, Operations &

possibly reach 55% and more.

ally associated with large dams. The excess

The Caledon-Bloemfontein potable water

energy available in pressurised conduits

supply system supplies the majority of the

(pumping or gravity), which is normally

water demand in Bloemfontein. The water


dissipated through a pressure-reducing

is supplied to the Brandkop Reservoir, which

will be diverted through the turbine. The

valve, is transformed into clean, renewable

is where Bloemwater s head office is located.

turbine s runner will be turned due to the

hydroelectric energy by means of a turbine.

Excess energy is dissipated through pressure

water passing through it, which will excite


Maintenance at Bloemwater. Approximately 30% of the water supplied the




Control equipment will regulate the flow and pressure through the turbine, resulting in the generation of clean, stable electricity

BLOEMWATER the generator, allowing hydroelec-

demonstration project will provide huge

tric energy to be generated. After

savings for Bloemwater, as well as a quick

passing through the turbine, the

return on investment. Bloemwater, if able to

water will be discharged through

exploit all the opportunities in its networks,

a constructed opening in the roof

can become a serious player in energy as

of the south-west corner of the

well. A good international example of such

reservoir. Control equipment will

could be drawn from the German company

regulate the flow and pressure


through the turbine, resulting in

which delivers water to three million

the generation of clean, stable


electricity at the correct voltage and

Bavaria. Since the early 1970s, it has been

frequency of 50 Hz. The generated

using power generated continuously from

electricity will be connected via

energy recovery.

the control equipment to the main supply of the head office. Sufficient


Landeswasserversorgung, Baden-Württemberg


Hydropower schemes have very long lifetimes and high efficiency levels with


low operating and maintenance costs.

will be generated to supply the


Hydroelectric energy technology is a prov-


Bloemwater s

en technology that offers high efficiencies

head office as well as meeting the



as well as reliable and flexible operation,



confirms Van Dijk. Conduit hydropower re-

reservoir terrain. About 800 MWh

quires a small capital investment and has a

could be generated annually with

short return on investment period. As long

this micro-hydropower installation.

as people use water, renewable electricity

Bhagwan further comments: This

can be generated.



Committing to a new path The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, met the chairpersons and chief executives of water boards and other water entities on 15 July, as part of quarterly forums in which the minister discusses strategic issues about the delivery of water in the country. HESE ISSUES include governance

by the department, in terms of which

The meeting also agreed that water

protocols, water sector skills devel-

the National Water Act is envisaged to

boards should be consolidated from 12 to

opment, performance monitoring,

be merged with the Water Services Act.

nine regional water utilities. The meeting

tariff setting and revenue manage-

This National Water Act Amendment

further noted that water management

ment, and other critical water management

Bill of 2013 will serve as the legislative

areas have been consolidated from 19

issues prescribed in the mandate of water


to nine, in which nine catchment man-

boards and other entities.

water reallocation.





agement agencies will be established.

The meeting noted remarkable progress

We have just released the National

Through an implementation plan, Breede/

in the management of municipal debt that

Water Resource Strategy for final gazet-

Gouritz and Inkomati/Usuthu catchment

is owed to water boards. This resulted in

ting and one of the key issues addressed

management agencies have been gazet-

the reduction of debt from R5 billion to R2.5 billion. The meeting also noted progress on the new Municipal Water Infrastructure Grant, which is aimed at addressing backlogs

ted for public consultation.

Water boards should start with the preparation of due diligence reports to assist the process

in water provision for communi-

gage their governing boards within two weeks of the process, it was decided that water boards should start with the preparation of due

ties without access to water. Water boards

in the strategy is one of equity in water

agreed that they will play a big role in its

allocation, such legislative reform needs to

This process will require formalisation

implementation to facilitate faster water

assist us to achieve the much needed eq-

of the national and regional consultative

delivery to communities.

uity in water allocation, said the Molewa.

structures, which will be led by the de-

The bill was be tabled before Parliament in

partment with the participation of water

August 2013.

boards, the minister said.

The water boards also supported the law reform process that was presented


Although some water boards would finalise the process to en-


diligence reports to assist the process.



SA first for F

Johannesburg Water officially launched its pilot Biogas Project at the Northern Works Wastewater Treatment Plant on 20 August. The project has been hailed as a first of its kind in South Africa and Chantelle van Schalkwyk was there to witness the groundbreaking achievement.

OR THE PAST couple of years, the City of

Johannesburg has been striving to deliver quality services to the residents of the greater

Johannesburg. This means that the munici-

pality is constantly looking for new innovative ways to

cater to its residents in the best way possible, as well as to live up to the name of a world-class African city. The biogas-to-electrical energy on wastewater treatment works project is another way we are proving our commitment to service delivery, said Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Infrastructure Services and Environment (EISD), Councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe, at the launch. According to Mfikoe and Johannesburg Water project engineer Peter Louw, the utility made the decision to investigate biogas-to-electrical energy options following the realisation that continued electricity tariff increases by Eskom would have a direct effect on the operational costs of wastewater treatment in Johannesburg. The cost of electricity for wastewater treatment will treble over 7 to 10 years from R95 million per annum in 2010 to over R300 million per annum, and the increases will place an additional financial burden on the Water Services Authority and Water Services Provider and could seriously affect the wastewater treatment operations in Johannesburg, said Louw, adding that this estimated amount excludes the proposed 16% tariff increase per annum by Eskom. He added that currently Johannesburg Water treats one billion litres of sewage per day at its six wastewater treatment works, with the potential to produce 8.5 MW of electrical energy.

CONTRACTORS Tender documentation and contract management Main contractor (design, build and operate) Control & instrumentation Biogas scrubbing Civil construction Gensets



Zithole Consulting (RSA) WEC projects (RSA) Ertec (RSA) Applied Filter Technology (US) Renniks Construction (RSA) Dresser-Rand Guascor (US/Spain)


Johannesburg Water The project was therefore implemented at the big-

of hydrogen sulphide in the gas, said Gifford. From

gest wastewater treatment works in Johannesburg,

there, the gas exits the tower and is taken through

the Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, as a

the first filter ‒ a coalescing filter ‒ which removes

pilot project. The aim is to eventually incorporate all

a lot of the free moisture before entering the blow-

six of Johannesburg Water s treatment works into

ers where the pressure is boosted.

the programme.

It also heats the gas up as the gas coming from

Louw explained that as Johannesburg Water has no

the tower is at 30° C. By the time it comes through

experience of biogas scrubbing and combined heat

the blower it will be at about 80° C before entering

and power (CHP) generation, it has entered into an

the heat exchange on the end where we reduce the

operation and maintenance contract with the main

water content of the gas, continued Gifford. This is

contractor, WEC Projects, which also designed and built the plant. Initially,




provide about 55% of the wastewater treatment's electricity needs and all of the electrical power generated at the wastewater treatment plant will be

achieved by means of a glycol solu-

“The cost of electricity for wastewater treatment will treble over 7 to 10 years.” Peter Louw, project engineer, Johannesburg Water

tion being fed through at 1° C. Hot gas comes in, is cooled and leaves the chiller at approximately 24° C, this reduces the relative humidity of the gas from 100% down to a maximum of 40%.

used on the works site, said Mfikoe.

The gas then goes from the heat exchanger into the SAG vessels that remove siloxanes and VOCs as a result of

Process intricacies

the specific layering of proprietary media and then back

The recently refurbished digesters ‒ four out of the six

down the gas line to a smaller filter. The smaller filter is

within the complex ‒ produce the gas, which is then fed

just there to ensure that if dust came through from the

into a common ring from which the gas is taken off and

activated carbon, it gets removed, explained Gifford,

brought to the CHP plant. We tie in just before the flare

adding that the gas then goes into the HDPE gas mani-

and then the gas goes through our gas conditioning pro-

fold and then runs down behind the engine.

cess because as it comes off the digesters it is basically a

The removal of these contaminants is essential, ex-

raw fuel that needs to be dewatered and have impurities

plained Louw, because they lead to corrosion, increased

like hydrogen sulphide, siloxanes and volatile organic

maintenance costs, reduced CHP performance and can

compounds (VOCs) removed, explained Jason Gifford of

also reduce the engine life.

WEC Projects Energy Division. Biogas scrubbing ‒ as the cleaning of the gas is termed

Engineered dynamics

‒ is essential for long-term, cost-effective operation of a

Constant monitoring of gases is also important because,

CHP plant and is illustrated in the infographic: Process

as Gifford stated, the engine needs to know what the

intricacies visualised.

energy content of the gas is and this is based on the

The gas is fed into the top of the tower where a bac-

methane content . A higher methane percentage means

terial process is used to remove the hydrogen sulphide.

less gas by volume is needed to generate the same

When the plant is at full flow, it s designed to reduce the

amount of electricity. Electrical efficiency at the plant is

hydrogen sulphide from 2000 ppm to less than 100 ppm

near to 40% and thermal efficiency is approximately 50%


Gas conditioning process: biogas scrubbing

Generator component: Dresser-Rand Guascor engine


Offsetting electrical demand


FEATURE: WATER BOARDS on the engine,

so our

complete plant efficiency is about 90% . The





train into the generator is

“You are now using a byproduct to generate power.” Jason Gifford, Energy Division, WEC Projects

controlled via a number of valves and flows through flow meters and flame arresters in line, before entering the engine itself. Gas, when available to the engine, is a source of fuel that runs the engine, drives the alternator and generates all the power, he said. He added that the thermal energy recovered from the engines is used to heat the digesters. Previously, the gas produced by the digesters was used to fire a boiler that heated water to heat the digester sludge.

With our

ability to recover the heat from the engines to then heat

Reaping rewards

the same circuit that the boiler previously heated, there

According to Gifford, a plant of this nature will pay back

is no need for the boiler, which then becomes a standby

within four to seven years, but most beneficial in the

component or a top-up if we are, for example, only

case of a wastewater treatment works such as this one

running one engine at partial load. Water comes into

is that the fuel is free and that makes a major positive

the engines' heat recovery system at about 70° C and will

impact on lowering operational costs.

leave at about 83° C. The cooling circuit of the engine is

Additionally, the sludge recovered from the wastewa-

similar to that of a car, explained Gifford, the difference is

ter works has got a very low energy content so a huge

that we recover the energy as opposed to dumping it into

volume is needed to generate a relatively small volume

the atmosphere.

of gas. Because a wastewater treatment works relies

According to Louw, in addition to the refurbishment of

on anaerobic digesters to help reduce the total organic

the remaining existing sludge digesters, enhancement of

load on the plant and also to stabilise the sludge before

biogas production through the addition of waste organic

disposal, you are now using a by-product to generate

materials is also being considered, as well as the replace-

power and that is why it makes financial sense in this

ment of the high-power consumption plant and machin-

case, said Gifford.

ery with lower power consumption equipment.

This is the first CHP plant project in Johannesburg Water s stable. The Driefontein Wastewater Treatment

Synchronised support

Works is next, with design work having started at the

On the electrical side of the generator is where we syn-

beginning of this year and construction currently under

chronise to the grid. The generator will see what the grid

way. The Driefontein plant will be commissioned in the

voltage is and what the grid frequency is, and as soon as

first quarter of 2014.

it is matched, it will then close the on-board breaker. We

According to Louw, the repayment period for a green-

generate at 400 V and then step up the voltage. These are

field CHP installation at an

also dual wound transformers to accomodate the future

8% increase in power costs

electricity supply upgrade to the works from Eskom from

per annum is five years. CHP

6.6 kV to 11 kV and when that happens we will change


taps on transformers and step up to 11 kV, said Gifford.

common as the cost of

He was careful to clarify though that the plant will never export power out to the grid. All this plant will do is offset


electricity increases, cluded Louw.

some of the electrical demand from Eskom. Additionally, should Eskom s supply fail, there is a system in place where the breakers can be opened remotely, ensuring continued supply to this section of the works.







To drink or not to drink? Processes and challenges of analytical services relating to borehole and potable water by Venetia Mitchell, laboratory liaison manager at Talbot & Talbot ABORATORY TESTING of various chemical,


microbiological and physiological parameters of borehole and potable water sources (drinking water) is imperative to water service providers

and household users of a borehole water source. Results of analyses from water testing laboratories provide third-party verification of the quality of drinking water sources and the suitability of water sources for human consumption.

• when last the water source was tested and any previous results of analyses that are available • the requirements of the South African National Standard on drinking water, SANS 241:2011 • whether a customer will use the water source for another purpose such as livestock watering or bottling • whether the borehole source is newly drilled or an existing source.

When advising of water quality testing requirements of

While exploring these items with a customer, the laboratory

a drinking water source, a laboratory takes several factors

would also establish whether there is a need for once-off

into account as this assists in determining the parameters

sampling or whether routine monitoring would be more

that should be tested as well as the frequency of sampling.

beneficial to the customer. Sampling of borehole or po-

These are:

table water sources is sometimes undertaken by the lab-

• location of the sampling site, e.g. at a treatment works or a

oratory (where this service is available), but is more often

distribution tap • number of people being serviced by the sample site, e.g. is the borehole source for single household use or community based

undertaken by the customer. The customers are a diverse group and may be individual users such as farmers, consultants, water service providers or water bottlers. In cases where the sampling is performed by the laboratory, there is control over the procedures used and the integrity of the sample is known. However, in the instance where the customers undertake their own sampling, the laboratory can only exert a certain degree of control by providing appropriate sample bottles and written instruction on sampling. The preservation of sample integrity



FEATURE: LABORATORIES between the sample site and the laboratory is vital and

and unique identification of the equipment. Records of

samples should ideally be returned to the laboratory with-

all maintenance must be kept current and any main-

in four to six hours of sampling. If this is not practical, it is

tenance should be traceable to the person performing

advised that the customer refrigerate or keep the samples

the maintenance.

in cooler packs while in transit to the testing facility.

Technical operation: staff training and competence

On arrival at the laboratory, the samples are processed in accordance with the customer s initial testing request and within the parameters of the laboratory s quality management system. The laboratory controls the reliability and integrity of the results within this management system where established policies

ABOUT TALBOT LABORATORIES Talbot Laboratories is an accredited water testing facility based in Pietermaritzburg. It offers the service described above. The customer base comprises customers within the South African borders as well as others in Mozambique, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam and Kenya.

All staff performing work within the laboratory must be deemed competent to undertake the tests for which they are responsible. Laboratory staff training of suitably qualified science graduates is usually supported by an extensive training and competence plan

and procedures form the basis of such a sys-

and only once deemed competent would an

tem. This system maintains confidence in the validity of the results and provides a foundation for tech-

analyst be equipped to perform certain laboratory tests.

nical competence and customer service at the laboratory. An established quality management system would


be formally documented and audited as part of the

When all results of analyses are available, a quality check

laboratory s ongoing management. In some instances,

of all the data is undertaken to ensure data integrity and

laboratories formalise this into an accreditation to an in-

technical accuracy. This check encompasses checking all

ternational standard, such as ISO 17025:2005. Challenges

quality control aspects of the tests, calculation and tran-

experienced on sample arrival at the laboratory comprise

scription checks and a cation-anion balance. A final report reflects the results accompanied by an

both operational and administrative aspects and could be

interpretation of the data in accordance with the custom-

encompassed within the broad categories noted below.

er s original request. Generally for samples collected from

Sample receipt

borehole and potable water sources, the objective of the

Sample arrival at the laboratory is not always accompa-

testing is to understand the suitability of the source for

nied by direct instruction from the customer and may

human consumption.

involve consultation on submission to clarify testing

The report would reflect the results of analyses and

requirements. This may consist of direct discussion on

a comparison to SANS 241:2011. Further to this, an

arrival or further telephonic or e-mail correspondence if

explanation of the results would be provided to offer

samples arrive via courier.

the customer an understanding of the results in terms

It is imperative that the laboratory captures the initial

of how they compare to the SANS 241 limits for drinking

request correctly as this affects the way the laboratory handles the sample and also interprets the results of analyses.

Technical operations: methodologies applied The technical methods adopted in a laboratory should be relevant to the service offered and the customer requirements. Water testing methods are standardised through international methods and adopted locally by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). Even though these methods are

water. Where the results are outside these limits, the

Water testing methods are standardised through international methods and adopted locally by the SABS

laboratory offers an explanation on the effects of these exceedances and also provides suggestions on mitigation measures. The water testing facility generally offers a holistic service in that there is consultation from first contact with the customer in providing advice and a quotation for the work, sampling in some instances, testing the samples, reporting the results of analyses and advising on water quality and mitigation measures.

standardised, the laboratory needs to confirm that the methodology applied within their own environment is within the acceptable limits of the methods. This validation is carried out using various approaches including, but not limited to, inter-laboratory comparisons, calibration using reference standards or comparison of results achieved with other methods. A certain degree of uncertainty of measurement is also introduced in any laboratory and this should be determined for each of the methods applied. This uncertainty of measurement is calculated taking various parameters into consideration. These include parameters such as human factors, environmental conditions and sample handling and preservation.

Technical operation: maintenance and calibration All equipment used in a laboratory should be maintained within a maintenance schedule and this plan would cover routine and non-routine maintenance, calibration



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

Does your company have an environmental, analytical or plant operations treatment challenge? Identifying potential problems with water and wastewater is Talbot & Talbot’s area of expertise. Our team of specialists are dedicated to creating and implementing scientifically engineered solutions, that reduce your environmental footprint and conform to legislation. The team is also proactive in maintaining your water or wastewater treatment plant and identifying alternative energy resources that are key to driving down production costs. So if you are looking for solutions, call Talbot & Talbot - it’s a simple choice.

+27 (0) 33 346 1444





water treatment control made


Buckman’s EZe Monitor ® system delivers not only the right chemistry but real peace of mind too. Let’s face it. Water quality is difficult to control, and no amount of operator testing or automation can fully ensure that a water system’s treatment chemicals are at their optimum levels at all times. That’s why Buckman created its proprietary EZe Monitor technology. EZe Monitor is a comprehensive online plant system that goes well beyond simply reporting chemistry concentrations. In fact, it provides real-time assessment and control around the clock to keep water systems in constant balance and plants operating more efficiently and sustainably.

EZe Monitor tracks all water quality parameters— pH, ORP, corrosion rate, and conductivity—as well as chemical treatment levels accurately. And it automatically adjusts the feed of treatment chemical accordingly. In addition, the system makes all information easily accessible for review. So operators can stay in control of their operation and their budget.

• Real-time water treatment monitoring • Complete, dynamic and real-time chemical feed control to improve operational efficiency and reduce environmental impact • Remote access and system configuration • Local and remote data collection and documentation • Data representation to support ROI and Return on Environment calculations, so customers can see the impact EZe Monitor has on the bottom line

of both

plant and planet

According to Andre Colangelo, Direct Water Treatment Global Market Development Manager for Buckman, EZe Monitor is about a lot more than convenience. “Both undertreatment and overtreatment come at great cost to a plant and to the environment,” Colangelo says. “For us, it isn’t just about making things easier for customers; it’s about helping them address their most important sustainability goals, which include lowering costs, improving safety, enhancing productivity and minimizing environmental impact. “And, ultimately,” he adds, “it’s about maximising return on investment for our customers.”

more control, less hassle

EZe Monitor system offers Buckman customers:

meeting the needs

expanding the benefits Recently, Buckman expanded its EZe Monitor offerings to provide support for every area of the plant, from boilers to clarification to reverse osmosis systems, and each EZe Monitor system can be customised for a variety of plant configurations. With EZe Monitor, operators can reduce water usage, eliminate overtreatment, decrease cleaning time, minimize blowdown and reduce the need for costly effluent treatments. As a result, overall plant productivity and profitability are enhanced. As the name suggests, EZe Monitor makes a difficult job an extremely easy one. Learning more about it is easy, too. For more information about Buckman and its products and technologies, visit the company’s website,

• Integration with Buckman OnSite®, Buckman’s new customer portal and data dashboard that collects all critical information about a customer’s operation in one convenient place In Africa: Hammarsdale – Tel: +27 (0) 31 736 8800 • Bedfordview – Tel: +27 (0) 11 997 5100 • email: •




a breakthrough in customer reporting

An innovative, interactive breakthrough in customer reporting, Buckman OnSite® is a web-based customer portal and data dashboard interface that gives customers access to vital information about their operations through automated controller data, manually entered data and more.

The product is the latest in a long line of innovations that continue to provide value not only to industry and communities at large, but also directly to Buckman’s customers. Buckman OnSite improves how you the customer view your operation, Buckman’s services and the relationship between the two. A real insight, it’s a powerful tool for both the rep and the customer. For Buckman, the value lies in the fact that it saves valuable time spent by service reps creating and compiling customer service reports, and it allows for quick review and feedback to customers in between service visits. This translates into faster, more efficient and effective customer service on-demand as the customer no longer has to wait long periods for the service reports and the data is up-to-date not merely historical information. It also means the rep can spend more time on activities that actually improve the customer’s operation.

Additionally, value is found for customers in that it offers a new level of visibility into their own processes and provides updates and reports that would normally only be provided by Buckman service reps during their service visits. “OnSite is a great tool for ensuring continuous compliance, alerting us to alarm conditions so we can respond quickly. It also gives us a mechanism to enter our corrective action and to track data trends. “It will definitely improve cooling water chemistry control and compliance. You can also have reports generated that help monitor the percentage of compliance. Buckman has done a tremendous job in developing this tool to enhance its customers’ understanding, communication and performance,” says Bert Valenkamph, director of Station Chemistry and Environmental Compliance at NIPSCO.

Buckman OnSite® functions ƒ‹Ž›•—ƒ”› ”‡’‘”–•

š…‡’–‹‘ ”‡’‘”–•

‘…—‡–ƒ–‹‘ ƒƒ‰‡‡–


‘‹–‘”‹‰ ‘ˆ‘–Š‡”‡› ’ƒ”ƒ‡–‡”•

• e-mailed to customer and rep daily • increases communication • allows for minor adjustments and training • report also displays comments that were captured in the manual data log interface

• e-mailed reports providing timely notiƤcation of issues that need to be addressed (out of compliance)

• user can archive, organise and access documents such as service reports, material safety data sheets, lab reports, business reviews, etc. • Ƥles are formatted based on 8 Business Management Standards

• ability to graphically compare online controller data and manually entered lab data • only data management process that can do this currently

• inventories and chemical usage • process parameters such as megawatt loading, backpressure etc.

A screenshot of the operator comment log (dashboard)



The functionality of Buckman OnSite is key in its indelible impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of operations on a case-by-case basis, as well as in the larger global context, reaffirming the organisation’s underpinning mantra that “commitment makes the best chemistry”. Functionality includes daily summary reports, exception reports, document management, data comparison, as well as the monitoring of key parameters. “It works well, is easy to use and gives timely feedback to everyone involved,” says Elijah Rumler, Outside Operator, Oneok Hutch. No other chemistry company comes close to providing the comprehensive reporting, graphical interpretation and document management capabilities of Buckman OnSite. It gives you the customer a new level of visibility into your processes, a way to monitor your success and see more clearly the value that Buckman brings to it.

In Africa: Hammarsdale – Tel: +27 (0) 31 736 8800 • Bedfordview – Tel: +27 (0) 11 997 5100 • email: •





Skills transfer, the Buckman Way Buckman’s commitment to skills transfer initiatives locally is deepening as the global water treatment innovator’s second Wastewater Treatment course is also hailed as a success.


EAFFIRMING BUCKMAN S worldwide repu-

too take an interest, with smaller and secondary indus-

tation as a knowledge-based organisation that

tries also becoming involved.

offers both technical advice and expertise,

A holistic approach

in addition to supplying chemical products,

Buckman South Africa recently presented its second

As such, Buckman s holistic approach aims to make the

Industrial Wastewater Treatment Course. The training

world a more sustainable place for people, the environ-





ment and ultimately business










Wheeler, industry technology manager; Pam Allison, technical consultant; and Alfonso Palazzo,

Buckman's holistic approach aims to make the world a more sustainable place for people, the environment and ultimately business profitability




dressing water challenges by engaging with clients to help reduce their risk, improve efficiencies and be both good stewards of the environment

industry specialist. The significant skills shortage locally, along with

and the bottom line, explains Wheeler, adding that

Buckman s own inherent internal code of ethics, was

the pressure is increasingly mounting economically and

pivotal in the conceptualisation and ultimate roll-out of

socially, on a global scale, for companies to not only

the course, which ran over three days from 16 to 18 July

exhibit, but rather embody good corporate citizenship.

2013 at the Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre

In addition, according to both Palazzo and Wheeler,

in Benoni, Gauteng. It was in part a response to a call

the urgency is mounting as discussion increases around

to action from the industry at large. There is always a

the increasing scarcity of water and the direct impact on industries, relating specifically to the pressure being

concern, given the current context, regarding the skills for effective management of wastewater and effluent treatment and as such we are always reinforcing our commitment to developing and training not only our customers, but also our associates, says Wheeler. Palazzo agrees, adding that the call is increasingly coming from a broader spectrum of industries as they

Buckman technical consultant, Pam Allison, engaging attendees in discussion

placed on industries to reuse and recycle water streams.

Tailored tutoring The course material was carefully tailored by the three presenters in accordance with well-recognised reference material on industrial wastewater treatment principles and technologies, including physical and chemical, as well as biological processes and unit operations, to render industrial wastewater safe for discharge, recycling or reuse. There has, however, also been a focus on regulatory and legislative changes in this course. Despite the majority of current attendees being from the industrial







spans both the industrial and municipal sectors. According to Wheeler, the outcomes addressed include an




conservation and reuse, and an understanding of basic wastewater



equipment, chemistry and biology. The focus is also learning how to apply these at their wastewater treatment works or plants, as well as troubleshooting, says Wheeler, who adds that this should enable the attendees to be able to address any issues or challenges they currently have or that could arise in the future. In addition, it also aids in motivation and prevention going forward, as well as equipping the attendees with the technical support needed to succeed. The course is similar to the one held last year and is ECSA accredited, with a 3-point rating having been awarded.

A changing dynamic The number of attendees remained fairly consistent, with the class limit being set at 30. Alfonso notes that this time, while the attendees remained in the large majority from the industrial sectors, there were many more outside attendees or non-customers. In addition, we also had a number of tertiary institution attendees with,

RIGHT Course presenters and conveners Alfonso Palazzo, industry specialist (left) and Peter Wheeler, industry technology manager BELOW RIGHT The almost 30 attendees from various industries

among others, students from Wits and a lot of industry champions and even some consultants. This made a marked difference in the level of intellectual engagement, with more insightful questions being asked as well as a general consensus that the attendees were assimilating the information a lot smoother than before. Alfonso also notes that networking between delegates has also increased, with after-hour discussions and interactions a certainty. Again this was facilitated by the course presenters through provision being made for short interactive breakout sessions in which the attendees were able to apply the theory and practical, as well as their own experience, to find solutions

optimise their operations, to his knowledge. This is

among themselves.

evidence we have made an impact.

At the core is increased communication, which ultimately leads to a greater understanding of our clients

Annual highlight

needs and the kind of solutions they need to optimise

Towards the end, after the action review, the team will

operations, increase efficiencies and ensure profitabili-

again sit down and discuss what we have learnt from

ty, says Wheeler.

this experience and how to improve for the next one, says Palazzo.

Retrospective reflections

Due to the success of both this event and the previous

The 2012 course, which ran from 19 to 21 September,

one, there will most definitely be another one, with

was most definitely a session on point and a topic of in-

it being entered into the expert course presenters

terest, and has certainly born fruit, according to Palazzo.

diaries as an annual highlight. We may even consider

He notes that after the last session, the team engaged with at least one of the attendees to help a customer

geographically specific area training moving forward, concludes Wheeler. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013




A source of value HOOSING THE right solution,


An industry-specific example of available

Environnement, has a number of offerings

solutions, Degrémont s water treatment

industry s operational focus, can



solutions on offer for the oil and petro-




chemical industry are born of continuous



specifically improve


















tiveness, while protecting the environment,



research and development initiatives at

says Degrémont s marketing manager for

metal and steel, as well as the pulp and

the Degrémont Ondeo IS Oil & Petrochem

Southern Africa, Francine Dubreuil.

paper industry.

Centre of Excellence. The centre specialises

Water is a raw material used and treated

in water treatment for this industry, devel-

in large quantities by the oil industry. The

oping cutting-edge technologies for risk

quality and mix of wastewater to be treat-

control and the ongoing quest for reduced

ed also depends on the quality of the crude

operating costs for the entire water cycle.

oil, the process for treating the oil and the



Degrémont s



applications planned for its by-products.

solutions serve to address not only the

Faced with major changes to environmen-

industry-specific challenges, such as envi-

tal legislation (new regulations) and under

ronmental opposition and constraints faced

increasing pressure to curb costs while cut-

in the pulp and paper industry, but also the

ting back on investments, the oil and petro-

standard industry operational challenges.

chemical industry needs the help of experts

These include guaranteeing industrial pro-

who can inject greater efficiency into the

duction continuity, controlling risks, costs

management of the industrial water cycle.

and investments, increasing productivity, optimising water and energy consumption,

Densadeg lamellar clarifier for mining


and reducing environmental impacts.


Degrémont, a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, is the world specialist in the design and construction of water treatment plants and an important contributor towards sustainable development. Degrémont, a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, is the world specialist in water treatment plants and as such makes an important contribution towards sustainable development.


Degrémont’s subsidiary in South Africa previously trading as AQUAZUR, is committed to keep plants running smoothly. The objectives of Dégremont’s Spares Department are mainly to supply the needs of its clients with • The best and affordable quality spares, as per the original designs • Delivering the spares within the best specified delivery period

For PULSATOR Settling tank or similar • Baffles • Lamellar blocks and plates • GRP pipes • Vacuum Fan For AQUAZUR V & T Filters or similar • Nozzles, Washers & Grommets • Partialisation Valves • Clack Valves • Silica Filter Media • Siphon • Slab mould Other Spare parts • Chemical dosing pump • Various pumps • Various valves • Pipes (GRP, Fibreglass, PVC, Steel) • Instrumentation • Air diffuser • Mixer • Membranes • Screening

DESIGN AND SUPPLY OF SPARE PARTS THE WATER TREATMENT SPECIALISTS For this and other Degrémont water treatment plant equipment, contact George van der Merwe, Technical mngr | Mornay de Vos, Business Development Manager |

Tel: +27 (0) 11 807 1983

Fax: +27 (0)10 591 5095



A comparison of charcoaland slag-based constructed wetlands: Part l Subsurface flow constructed wetlands (CW) with charcoal- or slag-based bed matrices were investigated for their potential use in remediating acid mine drainage (AMD). By Craig Sheridan, Kevin Harding, Edward Koller and Antonio De Pretto* CW IS effectively a reactor in which some

manganese, in addition to high sulphate concentrations

components of the wastewater are broken

(Peppas et al., 2000; Potgieter-Vermaak et al., 2006). It

down by the organisms occurring within

is mainly associated with mining and quarrying, and is

the CW, while others may be degraded by

formed when sulphide-bearing minerals are oxidised in

physico-chemical processes or a combination thereof.

the presence of water and oxygen (Potgieter-Vermaak et

Two 200 ℓ small-scale CWs were built at the University.

al., 2006; Akcil and Koldas, 2006; Lindsay et al., 2011). In

of the Witwatersrand. Commercially available charcoal

the AMD formation process, water that passes through

and <19 mm basic oxygen furnace slag were used as the

abandoned or existing mines, tailings dumps or waste

bed matrices and the units were planted with a variety

rock reacts with the exposed iron-sulphide minerals.

of plants. The units were exposed to artificial AMD. The

These iron-sulphide minerals are oxidised, usually by

results showed that the systems removed almost all sol-

oxygen, resulting in acidic, sulphate-rich liquid being

uble iron and more than 75% of the sulphate. Both CWs

formed, with iron and other heavy metals present in

were able to increase the pH of the AMD.

their soluble form (Ziemkiewicz, 1998; Potgieter-


Vermaak et al., 2006). The metal content of AMD is a



result of the type and composition of the material found

AMD is liquid drainage from existing or historic mining

Constructed wetlands as used in this work

in the mineral being oxidised (Akcil and Koldas, 2006).

operations that is typically characterised by low pH and high concentrations of heavy metals such as iron and

AMD has long been considered an environmental hazard (Sheoran and Sheoran, 2006) and can cause




long-term damage to waterways and to the biodiversity of ecosystems that rely on these waterways (Akcil and Koldas, 2006). In addition to its acidic nature, some AMD effluents contain cyanides


6 000

6 000

Fe3+(mg/ℓ) Fe2+(mg/ℓ) pH

1 500 500 4

1 500 500 1.35

and/or heavy and toxic metals. In literature, it has been proposed that the heavy metal content of AMD is of greater environmental concern than the acidity of the effluent (Sheoran and Sheoran, 2006). AMD presents a particular problem for South Africa where large de-

TABLE 1 Experiment 1 and 2 AMD feed composition

and pH levels (Dvorak et al., 1992; Younger, 1997). It has been shown that passive treatment is possible using the process of dissimilatory sulphate reduction (DSR) coupled with organic carbon reduction

(Tuttle et al., 1969). According to the literature (Lindsay et al., 2011), sulphate-reducing bacteria form the catalyst in the DSR process, consuming organic carbon (CH2O, for example) under strictly anaerobic conditions according to Equation. (1) below:

posits of natural reserves, most notably gold and coal, occur (, 2013). As such, mining of these

(1) SO42- + 2CH2O

H2S + 2HCO3‒

resources is one of the largest industries in the country. The current production of AMD is primarily as a result

The generation of bicarbonate by this reaction increases

of current and historic coal and gold mining operations

the alkalinity. Further, the production of H2S promotes

(Potgieter-Vermaak et al., 2006; Tutu et al., 2008). The

the removal of metals that have low solubility products

extraction of these minerals from mines, whether open-

as metal sulphides, such as the ferrous ion (Fe2+). The

cast or shaft, often results in wastewater and effluent

action of DSR and metal-sulphide precipitation has been

(Akcil and Koldas, 2006). Furthermore, because of the

shown to reduce the aqueous concentration of Fe, Cu,

high cost of treating AMD, a trend has developed in

Pb, Zn and Ni (Waybrandt et al. 1998; Benner et al. 1999).

South Africa in which mining companies submit to the

It has been observed that the rate of sulphate reduction

closure of an AMD-affected mine in an attempt to avoid

by sulphate-reducing bacteria is strongly affected by nu-

costs associated with treating the AMD (Labuschagne et

trient availability, particularly the availability of carbon

al., 2005). Within the Gauteng province, the presence of

(Benner et al., 2000). Therefore, there must be an organ-

soluble, and hence mobile, uranium poses an additional

ic carbon amendment to the reacting system. Particular

threat to potentially impacted receptors of AMD (Tutu et

passive treatment systems that have been utilised for

al., 2008).

DSR include anaerobic bioreactors (Dvorak et al., 1992; Christensen et al., 1996), anaerobic wetlands (Kadlec et

Treating AMD

al., 2000) and reactive permeable barriers (Waybrandt et

a) Treatment options Various strategies for AMD treatment and mitigation

al., 1998). All of these technologies have been applied

have been proposed, including primary prevention (the

constructed wetlands as a potential remedial strategy

prevention of acid-producing processes), secondary

for AMD was investigated.

to AMD treatment. In this study, the use of amended

control (the prevention of acid migration or movement

c) Amended constructed wetlands wetlands are at-

after formation) and tertiary control


(the collection and treatment of effluent). Primary prevention is not always feasible as the prediction of the potential of a process to create AMD is exceedingly challenging and costly (USEPA, 1994). Furthermore,

AMD has long been considered an environmental hazard and can cause long-term damage

tached-growth biofilters/bioreactors that




adapted to grow in an environment of complete or near-saturation of the vadose zone (Wallace et al., 2006).

this would vary from site to site and


between mines as the AMD compo-

have been applied to AMD (Kadlec



sitions frequently differ. Secondary control is often not

et al., 2000; Wallace and Knight, 2000), with most of

feasible as there is no standardised method for ranking,

the applications at abandoned or disused coal mines

measuring and reducing AMD (Akcil and Koldas, 2006).

(Ziemkiewicz, 1998; Batty and Younger, 2004) or for the

Tertiary control is typically conducted by a number of

removal of iron and/or manganese from mine effluent

different methods including, but not limited to, lime

streams (Wallace and Knight 2006). The effect of vegeta-

neutralisation (Sheoran and Sheoran, 2006), gypsum cat-

tion is an important parameter in constructed wetlands

ion-anion exchange (Akcil and Koldas, 2006), reverse os-

used to treat metal-contaminated water (Batty, 2003)

mosis (Squires et al. 1983), etc. However, active treatment

since plants are able to remove dissolved metals from

is expensive and, as such, AMD is often left untreated (Diz,

water via the process of rhizofiltration (Dushenkov et

1997). Thus, there is a need for a cheap, effective passive

al., 1995). However, vegetation has proved difficult to

treatment system that is efficient at removing AMD.

establish in AMD treatment applications due to the low pH (Batty and Younger, 2004).


b) Passive treatment systems Passive treatment systems have been used for many

livestock manure, winery waste, crop residues, organic

years to treat mine effluents of varying compositions

soil, municipal compost, municipal biosolids and grain

Various organic carbon sources, such as wood chips,



mill by-products have been used as carbon amendments for treating AMD (Lindsay et al., 2011; Tuttle et al. 1969; Christensen et al. 1996). The influence of various carbon sources on the passive remediation

Each sample was analysed three times in the Spectroquant so as to obtain a representative mean concentration

an ion adsorption capacity. Both systems were planted with a mixture of plants, although primarily with Zantedeschia aethiopica (arum lily) and Cyperus papyrus (papyrus reed).

Experimental Procedures

of the mill-tailings pore-water of a Various mixtures of peat, spent brewing grain and

Experimental apparatus Two experimental rigs

municipal biosolids were found to promote DSR and

acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene tanks connected in se-

metal-sulphide precipitation (Lindsay et al., 2011), while

ries were constructed. The first rig was filled with 50 kg

decreasing the aqueous concentrations of zinc, thallium,

(in total) of hardwood charcoal (Ignite Products) and

manganese, nickel and antimony (Lindsay et al., 2011).

the other was filled with 70 kg (in total) of basic oxygen

The investigators concluded that the use of an organic

furnace slag, with a nominal particle diameter of 25 mm

carbon amendment in treating AMD was necessary for

(Harsco Metals & Minerals South Africa). Both the rigs

the effectiveness of long-term treatment.

were assumed to have a void fraction of approximately

disused silver-zinc-lead-gold mine was investigated.

Alternative AMD-neutralising agents have also been




40% and were then filled with tap water such that the

reported in the literature (Potgieter-Vermaak et al., 2006;

effective liquid volume of water was 60 ℓ. The CW was

Ziemkiewicz, 1998; Feng et al., 2004; Yokley and Lancet,

sparsely planted with Zantedeschia aethiopica and

1987). A study on the use of steel slag in AMD remedi-

Cyperus papyrus. The rigs are shown in Fig. 1.

ation was conducted (Ziemkiewicz, 1998). Steel slags of

Simulated acid mine drainage In Experiment 1, a simulated AMD (pH 4) was

soluble calcium

fed to the CWs and in Experiment 2, a lower

and manganese

pH simulated AMD (pH 1.35) was fed to the

oxides encased

CWs. In each experiment, the AMD was fed

in a glassy calci-

at 30 mℓ/min such that the AMD had a nomi-


nal residence time of 2.5 days. The simulated

icate matrix. It

AMD was made according to the concentra-

was found that

tions of Potgieter-Vermaak et al. (2006) and

steel slags tend

its composition is presented in Table 1.

are a

effectively mixture


Upon feeding the AMD into the CWs,

high levels of

samples were taken from the outlets of the




systems every two hours from 08:00 to 20:00

time and also

for three days. The first sample of each run


was taken as a control sample before the


acid neutralisation potentials. It



found that steel slags are able to provide

Dr Craig Sheridan, School of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand

Dr Kevin Harding, School of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand

addition of the AMD. The samples were analysed for pH, sulphate and total iron concentration. The pH was tested using universal indicator paper, while the sulphate and iron ion concentrations were analysed using the Merck test kits (No 114791 for sulphate


and No 114761 for total iron) and the Merck

concentrated alkaline recharges to AMD. Further, steel slags retain a

Spectroquant. Each sample was analysed three times

relatively high permeability to water, retain structural in-

in the Spectroquant so as to obtain a representative

tegrity when pelletised and packed, and do not absorb

mean concentration.

atmospheric carbon dioxide to form calcite, which implies that even steel slag that has been exposed to the

*Industrial and Mining Water Research Unit, School of

elements for many years is still able to yield high levels

Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of

of alkalinity (Ziemkiewicz, 1998). Thus, steel slag rep-

the Witwatersrand

resents a viable amendment to a CW designed to treat AMD as it is able to provide a stable support medium for vegetation, as well as to effectively reduce acidity levels. In this study, the AMD remediation potential of two small-scale CWs was investigated. The first was constructed with a bed matrix of basic oxygen furnace slag and the second with commercially available charcoal. Charcoal was chosen as an amendment as it is stable,

The paper was originally published in Water SA Vol 39 (3) 369-374. This paper has been edited and abridged for publication. The second and final instalment of the paper will be published in the November/December edition of Water&Sanitation Africa. For references or information about the complete paper, please contact the editor at

not prone to normal biodegradation processes and has SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013




Ultrafiltration or conventional pretreatment? “Ultrafiltration is an emerging technology in this region, but there has been significant growth over the past few years,” Susan Cole, regional commercial manager: sub-Saharan Africa, Dow Water and Process Solutions, tells Chantelle van Schalkwyk. CCORDING










growth indicates a definite will-

conventional sand filtration in potable

ingness on the part of the water

water treatment.

costs, explains Cole. Additionally, she adds that DW&PS con-

treatment sector to adopt the

tributes to sustainable industrial progress

technology as a cost-effective and viable

Stringent standards

by integrating various technologies in a way

treatment technology in the Southern

Increasingly more stringent drinking water

that can increase the operating efficiency of

African and sub-Saharan African regions.

regulations around the world are placing

any single facility while reducing its environ-

Pretreatment ‒ be it the conventional

added pressure on water utilities and service

mental impact.

methods or via ultrafiltration ‒ is essential

providers to up their game. Ultrafiltration

in ensuring optimal system performance,

can provide water virtually free of patho-


especially relating to the fast-growing

gens and turbidity, according to research,

a smaller footprint as it is a single-stage

industry adoption of ultrafiltration for

and as industry experience with it increases,

process. There is lower chemical use, for

reverse osmosis (RO) pretreatment, with

the water industry globally is gradually gain-

example, coagulant and pH adjustment,

most causes of failure of RO systems due to

ing confidence in ultrafiltration.

and maintenance is easier as ultrafiltration

The SANS 241 specification for potable

deficient pretreatment.

With specific reference to the DOW range,



operation can be automated.

Simply put, Cole explains that ultrafiltra-

water specifies microbial limits for certain

tion is a membrane process based on size

microbes. Ultrafiltration is a separation/

Challenging conditions

exclusion (physical sieving). It rejects par-

barrier technology and, over and above

The question, however, when introducing

ticles, colloids, suspended solids, oxidized

excellent suspended solids removal, it can

new technology into the South African

iron (Fe)/manganese (Mn) and microorgan-

effectively remove bacteria and viruses, in-

market is whether it is suited to local condi-

isms. The uptake has been as good as it is

cluding Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts,

tions and challenges. DW&PS s pressurised

because ultrafiltration technology presents

says Cole, adding that sand filtration cannot

hollow fibre ultrafiltration products are the

do this consistently or effectively.

BELOW AND OPPOSITE The IntegraPac systems are modular and can be delivered on integrated skid for ease of installation a

outside-in type filtration and the hollow

Removal of microorganisms upfront of the

fibres are made of hydrophilic PVDF, a very

final disinfection step in potable water treat-

robust fibre capable of withstanding many

ment can also possibly reduce the dosage of

different harsh conditions without any deg-

disinfectant required to reach the SANS 241

radation of the fibre itself, states Cole.


disinfection residuals specification. Besides

She adds that apart from its apparent

solu solution to some of

this very useful performance characteristic,

robustness, another benefit is its cleanabil-

o our regional water

ultrafiltration is also a very good technology

ity , which uses a simple air scour, drain and

ttreatment issues,

for wastewater reuse, a hot topic in South

backwash. For more challenging waters/

sshe says.

Africa right now, she continues.

effluents, however, utilisation of a chemical-


T The


ly enhanced backwash and clean in place,


this are both varied

The greener solution?

over a wide pH range of 1 to 12, is possible



The increased uptake of ultrafiltration is

to restore membrane performance.


also in line with the increased global focus

According to Cole, the Dow h-PVDF hollow

say says Cole, ultrafil-

on energy efficiency and reductions in

fibre ultrafiltration can also handle high tur-


mo most

tra tration is more cost

carbon footprints. Dow Water and Process

bidities of up to 300 NTU directly onto the

effe ective than the

Solutions (DW&PS) components are known

module with only a 150 micron screen filter

old older,


to be the most durable and longest lasting

upfront of the ultrafiltration module. We

ven ventional treatment

in the industry, reducing raw material and

have examples of local Dow ultrafiltration

tech technologies


natural resource use. When DW&PS s com-

plants operating in harsh environments with


ponents are installed in water treatment

great success. Difficult effluents we have


systems, they reliably produce water that

successfully treated with Dow ultrafiltration

a also able to sup-

meets defined water purity requirements

so far include brewery wastewater, textile

p ply


effluents as well as coal mine water.

Afric Africa u using


associated economic and environmental











FEATURE: WATER TREATMENT Operation & installation

ultrafiltration module ‒ has 102.5 m2 filtra-

Ultrafiltration plants are usually designed

tion surface area, which is an increase of

and built by engineering firms and original

>30% versus our previously largest module

equipment manufacturers. This means that

with 77 m2 filtration surface area .

installation is relatively simple and, accord-

Dow was recently awarded a contract to

ing to Cole, can be made even simpler by

supply ultrafiltration modules for an ultra-

utilising pre-engineered solutions such as

filtration potable water treatment plant in

the DOW IntegraPac™ skid products.

Baku, Azerbaijan. This will be the largest ultrafiltration installation in the world, with a

The DOW IntegraPac™ is a ready-to-

capacity of 520 Mℓ/d, says Cole.

assemble, compact skid solution that delivers Dow s proven ultrafiltration technology, while simplifying engineering and lowering

An attractive option

skid costs. The product is supplied with the

An in-depth cost comparison has not been done locally by Dow, according to Cole, but

IntegraPac™ ultrafiltration modules, auxiliary parts and piping. All that needs to be added

while increasing in productivity and capaci-

feedback from various local sources inde-

are the pumps, valves and any additional

ty. The product is modular so one just adds

pendent analyses shows that ultrafiltration

pipework needed beyond the skid itself.

as many modules as required to reach the

is definitely viable from a cost point of view

A six-module skid should take two people

desired clean water (filtrate) flow rate so

compared to conventional sand filtration.

about two hours to assemble.

the options for design are endless, says

It is therefore on a par with conventional

Operation is also relatively simple, says

Cole, adding that DW&PS has a range of

media pretreatment options, such as the

Cole, and can be automated for further ease

ultrafiltration modules capable of supplying

use of gravity filters and pressure filters,

of operation.

from the smallest capacity of about 2 m3/h

and the use of two-stage pressure filters,

per module (33 m2 filtration surface area) to

and the positive additional benefits ul-

Size matters

the largest of about 12 m3/h per module.

trafiltration offers make treatment using

As municipalities continue to grow, space is

(77 m2 filtration surface area).


increasingly at a premium. This means solu-

She adds that the organisation s latest

tions need to be both smaller in footprint,

offering ‒ the DOW IntegraFlo™ IW102-1100 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013




option. The results speak for themselves, she concludes.




New dam safety regulations Mining and industry are still coming to terms with the latest regulations of the National Water Act, which demand more attention to safety risks and more detailed reporting to authorities regarding compliance, construction and operation of dams.


VERY DAM with a safety risk must now be classi-

This raises the dam s hazard potential, irrespective of size,

fied, and that classification brings with it a range

as well as the owner s level of obligation and liability.

of legal obligations for the dam owner, says

The new regulation and compliance requirements have

Manda Hinsch, principal scientist and associate

yet to be taken on board by many companies, which do

partner in SRK Consulting s Pretoria office.

not appear to be fully aware of them and their legal im-

Dams need to be classed as small, medium or large, de-

plications, she says. Among the new requirements is the

pending on the height of the dam wall, while their hazard

need to prepare an emergency preparedness plan (EPP)

potential needs to be classified in terms of their potential

and an operation and maintenance manual once the

adverse impact on surrounding water quality, potential

hazard potential reaches Category 2 status.

loss of life and potential economic loss that might be caused by dam failure.

At the lowest end of the risk spectrum is a Category 1 dam, for which the conditions are a capacity of at least 50 000 m3 of clean water, a wall height of between 5

Quality a concern


and 12 m, and low potential adverse impacts. With a

A crucial part of the new regulations is that they are con-

Category 2 dam, the design standards become stricter, in

cerned with the quality of the water being stored, says

response to the higher risks of impacting the natural and

Hinsch. If the dam contains water containing waste, as

human environment.

many mine dams do, then the potentially negative impact

An inspection of a Category 2 dam, for instance, can

on resource quality is regarded as significant or severe .

only be done by an approved professional, someone who


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

FEATURE: DAMS & RESER VOIRS is registered in this role by the Department of

Situation B

Water Affairs. A number of SRK water special-

The next level in the EPP (Situation B) is

ists hold this status, states Hinsch.






The more onerous Category 2 dam listing

volved are alerted to a possible evacuation.

can apply even to a small dam, if the hazard

Possible triggers would be turbid seepage

potential is rated as significant or high ‒ as

at more than a litre per second, blockage

defined by the regulations. This is where

of the spillway or water levels rising to near

many mines may be underestimating their

the non-overspill crest while heavy rain is

liability in terms of inspections, maintenance

still falling. The

and operations, explains Hinsch.





The possible implications of the new regu-

(Situation A) requires a warning system to

lations are significant, as there are more than

evacuate the downstream area. This would

3 400 small dams in South Africa s total of

apply when the dam wall has failed and

4 700 registered dams, while more than 1 000

water flows downstream, or where there

are medium-sized and less than 200 are large.

is heavy flooding and water flows over the wall crest. It could also be invoked

In terms of the new regulations, owners of registered dams in the country need to put in place an operations and maintenance manual, she said. This will outline the operating



to keep the dam compliant and to identify any warning signs ‒ such as cracking, movement and leakage ‒

“A crucial part of the new regulations is that they are concerned with the quality of the water being stored.” Manda Hinsch, principal scientist and associate partner at SRK Consulting in Pretoria

where signs of serious damage have been identified, such as excessively large cracks in the wall, unusually damp spots in an earth wall, or where movement like sink holes or sliding has taken place. SRK is well qualified to assist dam owners in compiling required documentation, liaising with relevant

that may indicate future problems. The manual links closely with the required EPP, which

authorities and undertaking dam inspections to ensure

must plan for three levels or situations of emergency.

compliance of the dam as we have all disciplines and

At the lowest level (Situation C), procedures must be in

required specialists within our company, says Hinsch.

place if the observer is unsure of how serious a problem is and needs professional advice.

But the regulations go quite a lot further than this. Even the alteration, expansion or repair of an existing

The symptoms to trigger this step include turbid seep-

dam needs to go through an official process, which

age with soil particles at less than one litre per second

must issue a licence before any construction work can

or an unusual increase in leakage levels. They could

take place.

also include wet patches on the downstream slope,

The building or upgrading of dams, as well as their

deep erosion upstream or downstream, erosion in the

decommissioning, is also subject to regulatory control.

spillway channel or defective outlet valves.

When a dam is planned, a feasibility study first needs to be done and submitted to the Department of Water

ABOUT SRK CONSULTING SRK Consulting is a leader in natural resource and development solutions, providing technical services through 50 offices in 22 countries, on six continents. With an African presence in Angola, and practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, the global group employs more than 1 700 staff in a range of engineering, scientific, environmental and social disciplines.


Affairs. At this point, the department can categorise the dam according to its criteria, and this clarifies the legal obligations on the owner. Dam safety inspections must be done every five years ‒ on any category of dam ‒ and a new dam must be initially inspected about three years after it has been completed.




SBS Tanks nominated for prestigious award SBS Tanks’ 3.3 Mℓ Zincalume steel tank was recently proposed when the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) called for nominations for its prestigious Steel Awards 2013, the 32nd celebration of excellence in the use of structural steel by South African steelwork contractors. IM MARTIN FROM Martin & Associates Consulting


tanks that have been engineered to withstand the harsh

Engineers answered the general call for nomina-

South African climate. Martin states: Our main interest

tions; a project nomination is accepted as an entry if

was to refine certain elements of design to maximise

it satisfies the criteria of Steel Awards. Martin nom-

efficiency of production. It is a great challenge to com-

inated the 3.3 Mℓ liquid tank manufactured, supplied and

ply with the design criteria for varying site conditions,

installed by SBS Tanks. This tank has a diameter of 21.16 m


and is 9.39 m high. The wall panels and roof sheets of all

and transportation (containerisation). It was exciting to

SBS tanks are made of steel that is hot dipped and coated

work on something new and different to the everyday

with a molten alloy of 55% aluminium, 43.5% zinc and

building structures.




1.5% silicon, commonly referred to by its trade name

Reneé Pretorius, SAISC communications consultant and

Zincalume. The alloy ensures SBS tanks are highly resistant

editor, explains the process and details of being nomi-

to corrosion.

nated and winning an award: The judges decide on the

It is something out of the ordinary from normal steel

categories each year as we receive a different mix of en-

structures and presented a whole new perspective to

tries every year; however, we will always have a Light Steel

design for all the varying conditions. Although we are not

Frame Building and a Tubular Structures category. To win

the first to ever manufacture sheet steel tanks, we pushed

a category award means that your project has satisfied the

the boundaries a bit, Martin explains.

judges in terms of showing excellence in the use of steel

Martin & Associates Consulting Engineers and SBS Tanks

in a specific category. The judges have a long list of criteria

worked together on this project, developing a range of

and the project must excel in all of these (that are relevant to the category). A project will never win an award if there is a trace of poor workmanship, even if the project fairs

The tank nominated has a 3.3 Mℓ capacity, with a diameter of 21.16 m and a height of 9.39 m

well in the other criteria. Members of the team receive a certificate and there is a tremendous amount of media exposure and prestige among their peers. Delayne Gray, SBS Tanks managing director, feels honoured that the SBS tank has been nominated for this award. Although this is our first nomination for these awards, we hope it is not our last. We aspire to add value and provide products of quality and excellence into our industry. We are extremely proud of our product and know it is worthy of this nomination and look forward to attending the awards ceremony in celebration of this. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will be held at three venues ‒ in KwaZuluNatal, Gauteng and the Western Cape ‒ on 19 September 2013. Martin & Associates



and SBS Tanks will be attending the ceremony




look forward to the evening, which is themed Into Africa . SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013




A new approach required Much has been written about the unacceptably high non-revenue water losses suffered by most municipalities and it is common knowledge that there are few water supply authorities that can claim a water loss of less than 30% of their purified water input. By Basil Bold, Sensus South africa


T IS BEING claimed that one of the


primary factors for this incredible

results in ever-increasing

water loss is ageing reticulation infra-


structure. Two primary components

not being meas-






for the replacement of mechanical domestic meters is six years. The South African

of a water reticulation infrastructure are


pipework and meters. A number of munic-


ipalities have recognised the importance


of accurate metering, both from the view-

ďŹ ed this and

proposed legislation

point of increased revenue recovery from


setting the target at

billing and, perhaps even more important-


ly, with respect to identifying where the


water losses are occurring.


It is a fact that the accuracy of volumet-






reality at present is In

ric-type mechanical water meters used

Germany, for example,

mainly for domestic metering deteriorates




every 10 years. The





requirement SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013




majority of meters in this country have been in service for between


PRODUC TS & SER VICES 10 and 15 years. Besides some tweaking,

reflecting a staggering drop in water loss

been proven in this country, and indeed

the fundamental components and basic

coupled with a substantial

in many First World economies, the same

monly used volumetric doprinciple of commonly

increase in revenue, it

cannot be said of prepaid water systems.

ave not changed in over 30 mestic meters have

requires a leap of

tion needs to be asked as years. The question



ness of meter replacement to the effectiveness



ven the relatively short acprogrammes, given

to smarter

po power available to drive the data

curate lifespan off the replacement meters.


tr transmission module whereas pre-


pa water is reliant on battery powpaid

es in South Africa revealed est municipalities


er which is also required to operate er,

rovement of 9% in billing an average improvement


th shut-off valve. As a result, prepaid the

ertaken by one of the largA project undertaken

The fundamental difference between prepaid water and prepaid electricity pre


is the fact that electricity meters have

he older mechanical meter after replacing the

w water meters are costly devices incor-

technologies with new and improved

po porating a mechanical water meter,

technologies. These findings indicate

m a mechanical shut-off valve and the

that staying with meters where technologies


nec necessary electronic control hardware.


Un Unlike electricity prepaid meters, the

or decades is basically static for

meter are installed externally and exmeters posed to the elements and are more likely

a costly exercise.

to be exposed to tampering. Prepaid

The smart solution At


water systems require the installation of cost secondary billing system required a costly recent ent

to man manage credit loading and manage-

ter international Water Berlin

o tokens. ment of

ion, Exhibition,

Perha the biggest issue relates to the Perhaps

g to it was interesting

percept perception that the shutting off of water

note that all of the anufacmajor meter manufacxhibiting turers were exhibiting

Although the electronic meter is more expensive, the cost of installation and ownership is greatly reduced

eration of the next generation smart

meters .



ended beyond cases, these extended dels to a sothe current models id capable of called smart grid assimilating

d and


ter and electricity data on both water


o a central database meters directly to in near real time.


res as a result of payment default is perceived

solution is to opt for

pun as punitive. This results in consumers re-


jecting the system and actively looking for

The new generation of smart meters in-

meter that has been smart meter enabled .

ways to bypass or disrupt it. Finally, there

corporates two basic features: a measuring

Typically, this entails a volumetric meter

is also the health issue, which forbids the

technology with no moving parts and an

employing the very latest construction

total cut-off of water to consumers as well

electronic radio frequency (RF) interface

materials, which are lighter, more sensitive

as the legal nightmare should the water

allowing for remote reading of the meters.

and have better wear resistance. More

supply be shut off during a fire.

The fact that smart meters are not subject

importantly, they can be fitted with an

There is a perception that consumers

to wear means that their accurate service

intelligent RF module. The module re-

do not want to pay for water, but one of

life can extend to 10 years and in the case

places the old and unreliable reed switch,

the surprising outcomes of smart water

of the new Sensus iPerl, a guaranteed accu-

which is not suitable for billing purposes,

installations is the fact that bad debt and

rate service life of 15 years.

with an accurate, high-resolution inductive

the legal costs of debt recovery reduces to

The downside of the new technology is

interface. The module incorporates the in-

a point where it is no longer a major loss

the initial capital outlay, which could be

telligence normally associated with a true

factor. It has been noted that the average

three or more times that of conventional

smart meter such as meter serial number,

consumer will accept the responsibility

mechanical meters. Although the elec-

total recorded volume, forward/reverse

to pay if the bill is accurate, timeous and

tronic meter is more expensive, the cost

flow, leak detection, etc. This information

easy to pay, e.g. by mobile phone.

of installation and ownership is greatly

is transmitted at frequent intervals to

Furthermore, being kept informed of

reduced. These meters do not require a

the central database. Besides ensuring

consumption, which includes warnings of

protective housing, nor the cleaning of

accurate billing, it allows water supply

possible leaks or excessive consumption,

strainer blockages or replacement due to

authorities to warn consumers of possible

encourages consumers to manage their

stoppages. They can be installed off the

leaks and excessive consumption in near

water consumption.

verge within the customer s property,

real time.

a newer


It is generally accepted by leading water

resulting in less tampering and vandalism.


meter manufacturers that smart metering

Additionally, meter reading errors are

Prepaid proposed

solutions will supersede both current

eliminated as these meters are read re-

Another alternative is prepaid water me-

mechanical metering systems and prepaid

motely. Despite incontrovertible evidence

ters. While prepaid electricity meters have

metering systems.


Geared Motors \ Drive Electronics \ Drive Automation \ Industrial Gears \ Services


We drive the water industry

SEW-EURODRIVE, a BEE company, leaders in the field of geared motors are now able to supply an Industrial Gear Unit that offers more efficiency for mixing and agitating applications with their MC range of Extended Bearing Distance (EBD) Industrial Gear Units. In process plants, large axial and radial forces occur at the agitator shaft during agitating processes. Traditional designs solve this problem with separate, external bearings that take on the function of the agitator shaft bearings, a solution that very often proves cost intensive. Our new EBD concept extends the bearing span across the low speed shaft and offers stronger bearings within the gear unit itself, which means that in many cases separate bearings are no longer required in the agitator or an over sizing of the gear unit can be avoided. These high torque MC Industrial Gear Units can be used for the reliable operation of mixers, mounting flanges, agitators and surface aerators.

SEW-EURODRIVE - Driving the world.

Tel: +27 11 248-7000 Web:



Accurate level measurements ELLER AG FÜR Druckmesstechnik offers probes


batteries. The microprocessor electronics compensate

to monitor groundwater levels and filling levels

for linearity and temperature deviations by the pressure

in tanks that can be used under a wide range of

sensor, achieving a further increase in the accuracy of the

conditions. Depending on requirements, these

pressure and temperature signals. Different operating

probes provide fully autonomous operation or they can be

modes, with an absolute pressure sensor or an overpres-

used with an integrated data logger, wireless transmission

sure sensor with a pressure-compensating capillary, can

(GSM), an ambient pressure-compensating capillary or

also be supplied for the DCX-18. The measurement data

a separate absolute pressure sensor; additional options

are stored in a nonvolatile memory. The batteries are fast-

include integrated temperature measurement. Depending

charged every time data are extracted via the charging/

on the sounding tube, probe diameters of 16, 18 and

read-out plug (which is sealed with an O-ring). Type DCX-

22 mm are available. With a diameter of only 16 mm, the

22 AA level loggers (with a 22 mm diameter) register

DCX-16 can be used in locations where every milli-

and compensate for fluctuations in the local barometric

metre counts (e.g. for sounding tubes with small

pressure with a watertight air pressure sensor that is fit-

diameters). The pressure sensor is welded into

ted on the top end of the sounding tube. These devices

the logger housing. The DCX-16, which is screwed

are resistant to conditions of use in a damp environment

in position and is fully watertight, operates as an

and will not even be damaged by brief flooding. The

autonomous battery-powered data collector with

efficient electronic equipment registers the signals

an absolute pressure sensor. In shallow water, a second logger (barometer) can be used for separate recording of the barometric pressure on the surface. The differential pressure and/or the filling level are then calculated in the

from the high-precision pressure and temperature

DCX-22 AA with air pressure sensor

sensors, corrects linearity or temperature deviations according to a mathematical model, and then records the values to the internal memory. For standard operation,

PC by subtraction of the time-stamped measurement data

the built-in battery has a lifetime of 10 years. Thanks to

from the individual loggers. The DCX-16 SG/VG provides

the user-friendly GUI provided with the instrument, The

a cable connection, wherein barometric pressure is fed

DCX can be adapted to the specific requirements for the

to the sensor as a reference, via a pressure-compensating

measuring point so that only useful data is stored. The re-

capillary in the connecting cable. There is no need to

cording interval can be event-controlled. Installation data

remove these loggers from the sounding tube in order to

and comments on the measuring point can also be stored

read the data. The interface plug is secured on the sound-

in the probe. For sounding tube diameters of 2 inches or

ing tube with a fixing device. The fully welded DCX-18

more, the data loggers can operate in conjunction with a

(with a diameter of 18 mm) is designed as an autonomous

screw-on remote mobile wireless data transmission unit

level logger for low-cost, long-term measurements of level

(GSM). It is then easy to send the measured values to a

and temperature, with rechargeable accumulator-type

central unit via e-mail or SMS.

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Abeco Tanks Atlas Copco Aquadam ASW Buckman Laboratories Degrémont Dynamic Fluid Control Elster Kent Endress + Hauser ERWAT Fiberpipe GAST GIBB Engineering & Science Hansen Industrial Gearboxes Headstream Water Solutions


81 16 14 24 70-73 74 21 61 9 OFC 56 11 39 37 49

Kaytech 41 Krohne 29 KSB Pumps 58 Lepelle Northern Water IBC Mather + Platt 27 Nalco Africa IFC Quality Filtration Systems 15 Rocla 54 Royal HaskoningDHV 47 SA Leak Detection 52 Saint-Gobain Construction Products 17 Sasol Group Services 18-20 SBS Water Systems 82 Schneider Electric 2 Sensus 85 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013

Sera Dose Tech


SEW Eurodrive


Talbot & Talbot




Tenova Bateman




Tracker Connect




Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies


Videx Storage Tanks


Water & Sanitation Services Wilo

OBC 50

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Despite great successes of bulk water services delivery in our region, Limpopo province, we know that a lot must still be done and we are committed to strengthening our partnership with water services authorities to improve the quality of life in our communitiesâ&#x20AC;?

Lepelle Northern Water currently operates 11 water treatment schemes as well as 3 wastewater works, accross the Sekhukhune, Capricorn, Mopani regions.

Tel: (015) 295 1800/1841

Water&Sanitation Africa Sep/Oct 2013  

The Sep/Oct 2013 edition of Water&Sanitation Africa

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