The Emfuleni local municipality has budgeted R1-billion for the expansion of the Sebokeng wastewater treatment works (WWTW), in southern Gauteng.
Plans are under way to upgrade the hydrau- lic capacity of the Sebokeng WWTW, which is operated and maintained by water utility Rand Water and the municipality, to 200 Mℓ/d.
The project is due for completion in 2014, by which time it will service in excess of one-million people, up from the 700 000 people it currently serves.
The existing plant is designed to treat 100 Mℓ/d of wastewater and is divided into three activated sludge process modules of 30 Mℓ/d, 35 Mℓ/d and 35 Mℓ/d.
In 2011, Rand Water reported that the overburdened hydraulic capacity of the treatment plant made it difficult to meet its legislative requirements, as well as maintain compliance with Green Drop certification requirements.
Engineering, management and specialist technical services provider Aurecon was tasked with the design and construction monitoring of the extension works, comprising new inlet works, primary settling tanks, two 50 Mℓ/d biological nutrient removal activated sludge units and clarifiers, disinfection, sludge dewatering and drying.
Aurecon provided a number of engineering services for the project, including feasibility analysis, the design of mechanical equipment and control systems, project management and contract documentation.
The expansion project forms part of the municipality’s regional sewer scheme on which it will spend R4-billion over the next five years.
In her State of the Municipality address, in May, Emfuleni mayor Greta Hlongwane said the expansion of the Sebokeng plant had been prioritised and that the tender for the engineering and civil works had been advertised.
Further, to ensure local contractors bene- fit, the municipality has instituted a 30% local empowerment clause in the contract.
This means that whichever company is appointed the main contractor on the project will have to ensure that 30% of the R1-billion goes to local contractors in the form of subcontracts. This will, in turn, lead to greater local job creation opportunities.
The municipality points out that the upgrade to the sewer scheme will ensure that it improves Green Drop compliance of the final effluent discharged into the Rietspruit stream, which leads to the Vaal river.
The project will also allow housing developments to take place, as the system will have increased capacity.
Emfuleni municipality spokesperson Klaas Mofomme states that the project will benefit the Emfuleni municipality, the City of Johannesburg and the Midvaal local municipality, which drains its wastewater directly into the Sebokeng WWTW.
Creamer Media’s Research Channel Africa reported in its Water 2012 report that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in its 2011/12 budget, allocated funds that would assist local municipalities in improving service delivery.
The Emfuleni local municipality is one of the municipali- ties that has benefited from this economic boost.