Durban and Cape Town residents will have to start looking seriously at drinking recycled water from the local sewage works within the next few years as water supplies are running out and there is not enough time to build big new dams.
Gauteng would also have to start diluting large volumes of acidic mine water within the next three years to avoid unacceptable pollution of the Vaal River system
Speaking at a water experts meeting in uMhlanga on Tuesday, Department of Water Affairs planning director Johan van Rooyen said Durban and Cape Town were both flushing large volumes of domestic “waste water” into the sea when it could be recycled to meet the growing water demands.
While it was technically feasible to desalinate sea water to solve the shortage in these cities, the cost of desalinated water was around R12 per kilolitre, whereas recycling domestic effluent to tap water quality cost about R7 per kilolitre.
The conference is investigating and promoting the recycling of domestic and industrial waste-water into drinking quality tap water in the 30th most water-stressed country in the world. Continue reading