The construction of the upgraded 5Mℓ/d Maphephetwa water treatment plant (WTP) in KwaZulu-Natal has been completed.
State-owned Umgeni Water, which supplies water to the eThekwini metropolitan municipality, initiated the project in September 2010.
Umgeni Water board member Visvin Reddy says that for 16 years, the existing plant has provided water for the rural communities of Inanda. But as the water service supply backlogs became more profound, the existing water treatment works were unable to adequately cope with demand on future projections.
The existing Maphephetwa WTP had a 1.4 Mℓ/d capacity and was initially planned to be upgraded to a 2.5 Mℓ/d plant, allowing for a later expansion to 5 Mℓ/d.
However, growing water consumption prompted the eThekwini municipality to request that the plant be upgraded to the full capacity immediately.
The Maphephetwa WTP is situated on the west bank of the Inanda dam, within the eThekwini municipality. The WTP draws water from the Nagle raw water Aqueduct 2, which supplies the Durban Heights WTP.
“The project began 21 months ago and has come to fruition. “This splendid new WTP has a capacity six times greater than the existing plant,” says Reddy.
Umgeni Water is confident that the upgraded plant will contribute to the elimination of water service backlogs as well as government’s commitment to ensure that the previously marginalised now have easy access to high- quality drinking water.
“From a consumer perspective, this means that households to be served by this water treatment works from July 2012 will now be able to progress a step higher on the water ladder,” says Reddy.
At a socioeconomic development level, the project played a role in creating 166 jobs during the construction phase.