PetroSA to invest in desalination plant

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 27 May 2010

State-owned oil company PetroSA is to invest R80 million in the construction of a 200 cubic metre an hour desalination plant. The construction of the plant would alleviate the impact of drought in Mossel Bay and the southern Cape, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Wolwedans Dam is used by Petro SA to operate the GTL refinery

“The plant will provide five mega-litres of water per day, and should address PetroSA’s water requirements for operating its gas-to-liquid (GTL) refinery in Mossel Bay,” said PetroSA.

It would join forces with the Mossel Bay municipality in an attempt to desalinate sea-water for use by both the company and the town. “It is envisaged that the desalination plant should be operational by November 2010,” it said.

The Mossel Bay Municipality said the town was facing its worst drought in 130 years. “The drought has reached such critical proportions that the Eden District area of the southern Cape has been declared a disaster area,” it said.

The water level in the Wolwedans Dam, which PetroSA uses to operate the GTL refinery, was at 12,5 percent and it was projected that no more water would be available by October 2010.

PetroSA said in had introduced several measures in the past couple of months to save water and manage water usage in Mossel Bay. These included recycling 60 cubic metres an hour of storm water at a cost of R8m and recycling 170 cubic metres an hour of treated effluent. There had also been a R22.5-million investment in an effluent water purification project run by the Mossel Bay municipality.

“These improvements are significant for the 600 cubic metres per hour water requirement of the GTL refinery and should mitigate the water supply risk to the refinery,” PetroSA said. The oil company said it had also encouraged its employees to participate in the water saving campaign by reporting any potable water and firewater leaks for immediate repair.

The desalination plant would be constructed at PetroSA’s logistics base, close to the Mossel Bay harbour. The logistics base lay-down area was large enough to accommodate the desalination plant and already had power supply, PetroSA said.

The area was also in close proximity to the GTL refinery water supply line and had suitable sea conditions for water extraction.

– Sapa

Water Affairs to restrict usage by 40%

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 16 March 2010

The Western Cape Water Affairs Department has approved legislation that restricts annual water usage in drought stricken municipalities from Hessequa to Bitou by 40% with immediate effect.

Saving Water

“The legislation is gazetted and will be implemented through by- laws in Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou and Beaufort West,” department provincial director Rashid Khan said in George.

The legislation also applied to conserving ground water, and households with boreholes were banned from watering their gardens between 7am and 7pm.

Although the idea of limiting private borehole use had been kicked around at previous provincial disaster management meetings, officials had to wait for the legislation to put the restrictions into effect.

Khan said they wanted to stop people with boreholes from overusing the “precious commodity”. They also did not want excessive private borehole use to lead to a lowering of the water table.

“This legislation comes into immediate effect except in Hessequa and Beaufort West where the legislation will only be gazetted in April. Offenders will be prosecuted if they ignore this ban,” Khan said.

He said municipalities would also be penalised if they did not affect sufficient water saving measures.

Source: The Herald

Goodyear Goes Green

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

In just two months, Goodyear South Africa has managed to save 5,6 million litres of water – the amount 180 houses would use in a month – through an intensive, ongoing recycling initiative.

While water restrictions do not yet apply to industry, the tyre firm is trying to save where it can, in light of the Eastern Cape’s critical water shortage.

Utilities manager Douglas North said last week that the Uitenhage plant had adopted a three-fold approach to saving water. It recycled waste water from its boiler house, collected and reused water run-off, and ensured steam condensate from various production processes did not go to waste.

The recovered water was either redirected through a newly-installed, separate plumbing system to the plants’ toilets or used as makeup water for cooling machinery. The firm had also installed numerous water meters to monitor water usage – and further reduce consumption where it could. Continue reading

Water Tariff to increase 5-fold

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

Buffalo City residents stand to pay thousands of Rands a month more in punitive water tariffs as the city’s dam supplies dry up, according to the BCM.

The new tariffs came into effect at the beginning of the month. According to estimates given by the municipality on its website, a family of four could end up paying nearly R4000 a month if using 65 kilolitres of water.

The city’s major water supply dam, the Bridle Drift Dam, is less than 40 percent full, and the BCM said it was introducing heavy new, punitive tariffs in a bid to cut down on domestic consumption.

A memorandum from the Director of Engineering Services to the acting Chief Financial Officer, dated January 21 and of which the Dispatch has a copy, highlights the new tariffs that came into effect on February 1.

The memo, however, also says that in addition to the normal tariffs, those who used more than 21kl of water a month would be charged punitive tariffs of five times the normal tariff.

Rand per kilolitre Kilolitres used Punitive Tariff
R5.16 0 to 6
R5.26 7 to 10
R7.30 11 to 20
R9.47 21 to 30 R47.37
R11.89 Over 31 R59.45

With the punitive tariff included, a household would pay R47.37/kl if using between 21 and 30kl of water, and R59.45/kl for more than 31kl.

According to the Buffalo City Municipality’s website a family of four living in a three-bedroom house with “several bathrooms”, a pool and a garden would probably use around 60000 to 65000 litres a month. In terms of the punitive charges, this would result in a bill of between R3657 and R3865.

A family of four living in a four-roomed house with one bathroom is likely to use between 30kl and 35kl litres a month. If the punitive tariffs are applied, their bill could top R2080.

Speaking to the Dispatch yesterday, Director of Engineering Services Nceba Ncunyana confirmed the tariffs charged as of February 1. He also said it was a precautionary measure to limit water usage to ensure the city did not run out of water.

Ncunyana said the average household in BCM used between six and 10 kilolitres of water per month, equating to a bill of between R30.96 and R51.60. “It (punitive tariffs) is not to punish people, but to limit the over-usage of water because the Bridle Drift Dam … which supplies water to Buffalo City has dropped to below 40 percent due to the scarcity of rain,” he said.

Residents, who claimed not to have been informed of the punitive tariffs, said BCM should have focused on educating the public on the water shortage and saving instead of introducing the tariffs. Continue reading