Author: Danielle Petterson

Creative responses to water security

Groundwater extraction and desalination are some of the interventions being implemented by water-scarce regions. The next step is to ensure potable water quality, which requires specialist technologies and expertise, areas where Quality Filtration Systems (QFS) has years of project experience. By securing the contract to provide an emergency desalination plant for the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town, QFS addresses the increasing water demands of the metropolitan region. The project involved the supply, installation and commissioning of a fully containerised 2 MLD seawater reverse osmosis and multimedia filtration plant, delivered under a rental contract for a minimum duration of 24 months. Following the City of Cape Town’s need to augment severely restricted potable water supplies, the collaboration of QFS and Osmoflo on this project will help to bring fast relief to the severe water shortages in the area. QFS has been building membrane plants since 1999 and focuses on membrane-based water treatment for seawater desalination, wastewater reuse... Read More

R195m to eradicate pit latrines at schools

Government has raised R195 million to assist in eradicating pit latrines at schools across the country. According to Deputy President David Mabuza, a multi-stakeholder breakfast on sanitation infrastructure for schools has raised R195 million in commitments and pledges as part of the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative, which was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in August. This collaborative initiative between the public and private sector aimed at eradicating pit latrines at schools across the country. According to Mabuza, the breakfast resulted in R145 million in commitments and a further R50 million in pledges. “This R195 million will go to approximately 4 000 sanitation infrastructure [projects], which are going to be distributed all over the country,” he said. The funds, donated by the private sector, will be administered by the National Education Collaboration Trust which Mabuza says will ensure that the funds are being utilised correctly. The roll-out of sanitation infrastructure will at with the schools without any ablution facilities. According... Read More

Will SA run out of water by 2030?

South Africa could face a 17% water deficit by 2030 unless the country improves its water management. Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General at the Department of Water and Sanitation talks about some of the interventions underway. Source: eNCA... Read More

Cape Town to drop to Level 5 restrictions

Cape Town’s water restrictions will be “conservatively lowered” to Level 5 from 1 October 2018 as dam levels near 70%. The water usage target will be increased from 50 litres to 70 litres per person per day and the daily collective consumption target will increase by 50 million litres to 500 million litres to ensure that water conservation efforts remain in place. This will bring tariff relief of between 26.6% and 70% per kilolitre of water depending on the usage and tariff category. The drop from the current Level 6B restrictions comes after good winter rainfall and water saving efforts by residents, resulting in the Western Cape Water Supply System’s dams reaching a capacity of 68% – a very significant improvement on the situation at the end of the previous winter, when they were at just 38% capacity. According to the City of Cape Town, the relaxation of restrictions is a moderate proposal that is based on a hydrological... Read More

The answer to reuse

One of the most robust, versatile and widely used unit operations in the treatment of wastewater worldwide is dissolved air flotation. With a growing market for wastewater reuse, the demand for these systems is expected to rise accordingly. The importance of dissolved air flotation (DAF) systems in modern water treatment processes cannot be over-emphasised, explains Niel Kruger, process engineer, AquaPlan. Due to their highly efficient and cost-effective removal of suspended solids (SS), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and phosphorus in wastewater, DAF systems have now become an intrinsic part of the process of treating wastewater. A well-placed and well-designed DAF system offers unprecedented advantages for both upstream and downstream processes, as part of both the removal of pollutants in the wastewater, as well as the protection of membrane processes downstream of the DAF. AquaPlan has developed a robust, simple, easy-to-operate and versatile range of skid-mounted DAF systems, which encompass the dissolving of air, recirculation of white water, as well as... Read More

DWS battles pollution as Ramaphosa authorises new investigation

The South African Human Rights Commission is conducting an inspection at the Vaal Dam following allegations that approximately 150 ML of raw sewage is flowing into the Rietspruit and Vaal rivers daily. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) reports that it and its stakeholders, namely Rand Water, Gauteng Provincial Government, Sedibeng District Municipality and Emfuleni Local Municipality, are “seized” with finding resolutions to the issues of pollution of the river. According to the DWS, the Vaal River and Dam must be kept as free of pollution as possible as they are critical parts of the Integrated Vaal River System, which is central to the economy of Gauteng, the country, the SADC Region and ultimately the African continent The department has made R20 million available to the Emfuleni Local Municipality and technicians are back on site at the Emfuleni treatment plant attending to issues. However the DWS says it will take some time before the system working optimally. Rand... Read More

Water treatment solutions for the future

South Africa is in a water crisis. Given the surface water depletion in the country, the question of where future water will be sourced must be raised. The most common solutions for water provision always entail a massive infrastructure capital spend and long-term implementation, with the belief that bigger is better, cheaper and easier to operate. While looking for megaprojects to solve the entire South African water crisis, it is easy to forget the smaller, simpler projects that can assist with water crisis. Decentralisation The philosophy of decentralisation of water treatment is based on local water source availability linked to a local need. With failing infrastructure that includes the pipelines transporting water hundreds of kilometres across the country, decentralised water treatment starts making sense for remote, smaller communities or industry. Advanced technologies provide a smaller footprint, less operator involvement and less dependency on chemicals for water treatment. QFS has brought first-world technologies to South Africa and localised them to... Read More

Manglin Pillay and SAICE part ways

Manglin Pillay has resigned as CEO of SAICE following the fall-out from his recent article titled Out on a rib. Pillay came under fire after he published the article which many considered sexist and discouraging to women in the engineering field. The article resulted in wide-spread criticism and calls for Pillay to step down as SAICE’s CEO. At the beginning of August SAICE announced that it had held an emergency meeting of the Executive Board following the public outcry, stating that it had accepted an apology from Pillay and that processes were being implemented to deal with this matter internally. Manglin later issued a public apology, stating: “I, Manglin Pillay, unreservedly apologise for antagonising and offending so many people with my article published in the July 2018 edition of Civil Engineering. I humbly commit myself to taking counsel from fellow women engineers, other colleagues in the STEM fields and professionals in diversity training.” Pillay and the SAICE board have since... Read More

Emergency water solutions for SA

Desalination has been proven to effectively generate new and reliable water supplies. Quality Filtration Systems (QFS) and emergency water specialist Osmoflo have now collaborated to bring desalination solutions to South Africa. QFS has supplied membrane water treatment equipment to the South African market since 1999, and offers the latest technology for desalination pretreatment. QFS has partnered with Osmoflo, an international desalination equipment supplier, to assist South Africans with the current water crisis in the Western Cape. Osmoflo has one of the largest global fleets of emergency water treatment plants available for fast-track and rapid deployment projects, enabling the company to provide immediate assistance around the world. As a progressive water treatment company, Osmoflo provides tailored, turnkey water, water recycling and water reuse solutions across the industrial, resources and municipal sectors globally. With a strong reputation for supplying water treatment solutions during emergency situations, Osmoflo stands ready to offer emergency desalination plants to the South African market. “We are particularly... Read More

Promoting efficiencies for ‘Green Tourism’

The hospitality industry now has the opportunity to benefit from the third window application period of Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP). The opening of the window application period from 1 September to 30 November 2018 is for the addition of support for water efficiency measures in the industry, the Department of Tourism said. Last year, the department launched a programme in collaboration with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) in an effort to encourage small and micro tourism enterprises to move towards cleaner and more energy-efficient operations. The department said while the uptake in the programme during the first two application windows was positive, the department recognised the need to expand the programme focus to also include water efficiency to mitigate the impact of persistent drought conditions in some parts of the country on the tourism sector. The programme funding limits to qualifying small and micro tourism enterprises remain mostly... Read More

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