Specialising in
Grey Water
and
Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa .

Over half of wastewater treatment plants well below standard

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 01 July 2011

Less than half of South Africa’s 821 sewage works are treating the billions of litres of effluent they receive each day to safe and acceptable standards, according to the latest Green Drop Report.

56% of treatment plants are performing poorly or in a critical state

The report – a measure of the state of wastewater treatment plants in all nine provinces – was released by Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Thursday.

While it awards Green Drop status to 40 plants – up from 33 in 2009 – it warns that another 460 plants (56 percent) are either in a “critical state” or delivering a “very poor performance”.

The latest report examines wastewater treatment at 821 plants in 156 municipalities — the previous (2009) report examined 444 plants in 98 municipalities — and says this is “100 percent coverage of all systems”.

It is understood the report does not cover treatment works owned by public works, such as those at prisons, and other private operators.

Many of the poorly performing plants are located in the country’s poorer provinces, including the Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape and Limpopo.

“The Western Cape, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, are producing the high-performing waste water systems; Eastern Cape, followed by Free State, Northern Cape and Limpopo, are producing the bulk of the systems that are in critical and poor-performing positions.” Continue reading Over half of wastewater treatment plants well below standard

Call for wastewater facilities to be prosecuted

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 28 March 2011

More than one third of 231 ­local municipalities do not have the capacity to perform their ­sanitation functions, a new study by the Council for ­Scientific and Industrial ­Research (CSIR) has found.

Overflows of raw sewage are severely detrimental to the environment.

The report, discussed at a United Nations water ­conference in Cape Town, includes a comprehensive survey of South Africa’s levels of water pollution.

It also tracks access to clean, safe water and sanitation. And it warns that South Africa is heading for ­disaster unless it tackles the problem of water pollution, ­including its failing sewage treatment ­systems.

It found that the situation was so bad, it called for waste-water facilities that did not comply with their licences to be prosecuted.

Water quality, the report ­stated, was excellent in metropolitan areas, but in many rural areas and towns, drinking water quality and waste-water effluent quality were frequently below the standards set. Continue reading Call for wastewater facilities to be prosecuted

Deadly health risk to water supplies

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 12 November 2010

The breakdown of ageing sewage treatment works and the discharge of bacteria into rivers and streams pose a deadly health risk to water supplies, the African Christian Democratic Party warns.

Collecting water form […]

Information on dysfunctional sewage plants will not be made public

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 15 September 2010

In a written reply to parliamentary questions, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said revealing such information could lead to “serious misinterpretation” of the data.

Not all waste-water treatment works meet the […]

SA’s water: A looming apocalypse?

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 07 May 2010

South Africa faces a far more disruptive threat than Eskom power failures, one that is potentially calamitous and may even be seen by religiously-minded citizens as the coming of the biblically predicted apocalypse.

It will be characterised by the failure of wastewater purification systems, the pollution of rivers and dams and even the poisoning of waters in reservoirs or dams serving as reservoirs if the purification process is inadequate at that level.

The first signs of the disaster are already visible in remote rural areas where the municipalities – which are responsible for wastewater purification – are too poor to attract appropriately qualified personnel to operate purification systems and ensure that they are properly maintained.

Though water and environment affairs minister Buyelwa Sonjica denies that there is a water crisis at present, she implicitly admits that one is inevitable unless strenuous action is taken to prevent it when she warns that South Africa will have to spend R23-billion to prevent the collapse of the wastewater treatment system.

An excellent synopsis of the main dimensions of the impending crisis if appropriate and urgent measures are not taken is contained in a publication by the Centre for Development and Enterprise and Business Leadership SA.

The publication summarised the contents of a round table discussion by representatives of government, business and academia on the genesis of the problem and the threatened crisis.

The scene-setting introduction makes two broad points: Continue reading SA’s water: A looming apocalypse?