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Mar 24, 2009

Umgeni to study new water treatment plant in northern KZN

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KwaZulu-Natal bulk-water supplier Umgeni Water will study the feasibility of a new water treatment plant, near Sundumbili, to increase supply to the North Coast region of the province.

The treatment plant forms part of the supply infrastructure of the Lower Thukela bulk water supply scheme, which Umgeni Water is implementing on behalf of the Ilembe District Municipality.

Umgeni Water corporate stakeholder manager Shami Harichunder told Engineering News Online that it plans to initially construct a water treatment plant with a capacity of around 55-million litres a day, but that the plant would ultimately need to be able to treat 110-million litres a day, which was the maximum water available for abstraction from the Thukela River.

“The distribution system from this plant would link into Umgeni Water’s existing North Coast supply system, which takes water from Hazelmere Dam, on the Mdloti River, to create a bidirectional supply system to support future growth in the North Coast region from Ballito to Mandini.”

Harichunder noted that this would allow a better and increased water supply to Ilembe District Municipality, as well as having benefits for the eThekwini Municipality.

“The potable water requirements of a proposed international development to the north of the Thukela River would largely also be addressed by this scheme.”

The feasibility study is expected to be complete within about a year. Umgeni Water plans to have the project completed within the next five to ten years, if water demand in the region grows at current predictions.

Meanwhile, Umgeni Water also called on contractors to tender for the construction of the Isithundu water plant, at the Illembe District Municipality.

The project is a package plant that will comprise an autonomous valveless gravity filter (AVGF) and inclined plate clarifiers. The major unit processes, such as clarifiers and filter, would be made of steel.

The plant would be located on a site that required site preparation and road construction, therefore, the process would create employment opportunities for members of the local community, Harichunder noted.

It was anticipated that the proposed plant would produce 125 000 litres a day, supplying water around 5 000 people.

The estimated cost of the project is R1,5-million.

|One of Umgeni Water’s key focuses is to alleviate poverty within its area of operation. The plant, when commissioned, is likely to seek local personnel to operate it,” Harichunder said.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
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