Karoo direct water reclamation plant a first for South Africa

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 02 January 2011

Residents of the drought-stricken Karoo town of Beaufort West will start using recycled sewage water when the town’s direct water reclamation plant starts operating next week.

Gamka Dam - the main reservoir at Beaufort West - has dried up

The first plant of its type in South Africa, it has some local residents turning up their noses, but the plant became necessary to ease the plight of the town’s roughly 8 000 households hit by the water shortage.

Municipal officials say the demand for water has grown and the drought has been exacerbated by climate change.

The town’s main reservoir, the Gamka Dam, has dried up, forcing municipal officials to introduce a water management scheme.

The municipality was forced to cut supplies to households, while tankers supplied them with five litres of drinking water a day. Water tankers containing borehole water are available around the town for washing water.

A Stellenbosch-based company, Water & Wastewater Engineering, was commissioned to design, build and operate the plant to treat effluent from the town’s sewage treatment works.

Managing director Pierre Marais said water reclamation entailed taking treated effluent and purifying it to a drinkable standard.

The purified water will be pumped directly into the town’s reservoir. Continue reading