Cape Town looks to recycled water

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

From toilet to tap

It has been informed that Bill Gates would be funding a machine which would be used for converting the waste water of toilet into drinking water. Sarah Haigh from the Manchester University said that the invention would actually help in making the water safer for drinking.

It is believed that the invention would prove successful especially in the Third World. The researchers noted that the water thus procured from the waste water would be used to provide drinking water in the regions where clean water is not available.

Sarah Haigh was reported as saying, “There has been a lot of research into biofuels. There is a lot of energy already present in human waste. Nano-scale materials mean that you can harvest the hydrogen and turn it into hydrozene – which is basically rocket fuel”.

The sewerage water would not only be recycled into drinking water but would also be used for the creation of fuel. Although the revelation has win applause from all over the world, soon critics would be throwing comments upon the whole idea of transferring waste water into drinking water.

However, the researchers working over the machine are least bothered about the critics. It has been informed that the residents of Virginia have been using recycled water since 70s. Besides, Singapore has also invested huge money over the water purification facilities.

It has come to light that one in eight people all over the world doesn’t have the supply of clean water. There is a need to make clean water available to all. The researchers are hopeful that the invention of the machine would ensure adequate supply of drinking water to the regions where clean water is not available.

By: Makomborero Midzi
Source: Newspoint

Culprits of unlawful water usage

“Whilst unlawful water use by some irrigators is a concern that should be addressed, various other factors pose an even bigger threat to the availability and sufficiency of good quality water to society. It is, therefore, unfortunate that the irrigation sector was singled out as culprit with the launch of the National Water Week,” says Johannes Möller, president of Agri SA.

The quality of various water systems in South Africa is in a poor condition.

The Department of Water Affairs had since the enactment of the National Water Act in 1998 failed to implement sections of this legislation pertaining to the institutional capacity required to manage the country’s water resources.

“After 12 years the department only started in June 2010 with the verification and validation processes by appointing a professional service provider to assist them in addressing unlawful water use in the Vaal River system. This will only be completed in two years time,” Möller says. Continue reading

Half of Durban’s rivers okay

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

Ninety out of 175 rivers in the Durban area have very good or fair water quality, eThekwini’s water and sanitation department says.

The Umgeni River, plunging down the Howick Falls for 365 feet, revealed good water quality

The water classification at 90 river sites in the eThekwini municipal area were either “near natural” or “good” or “fair” following an aquatic bio-monitoring programme to determine the state of the health and integrity of rivers.

Those involved in the programme studied the state of living organisms in the water.

“We are looking at life in the water… which is an indication of water quality,” said project executive Selva Mudaly.

The water quality in Umdloti river, north of Durban, was “good to near natural”, while Umgeni and Umlazi rivers both had good water quality.

Out of the 175 sites tested, 85 rivers had either “fair”, “poor” or “very poor” classifications.

Mudaly said the worst affected rivers were Isipingo, Umkhumbane and Umhlangane rivers.

The water quality was bad, mainly because of the rivers being near industrial areas or informal settlements with a lack of proper sanitation, and waste water taps running into rivers.

Mudaly said the best way to fix the problem would be re-housing the areas and ensuring people had access to proper sanitation.

But he said eThekwini was also in the process of moving people away from the rivers because often pit latrines would be built on the riverbanks, causing sewage to leak into the water.

– Sapa

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