The Zululand District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal has adopted a long-term vision committed to the development of the region through hard work and a common purpose. This includes the mandate to deliver services with excellence and integrity which include water and sanitation. The recent installation of two SBS Tanks bulk water storage tanks serves to highlight this commitment.
Working with ECA Consulting Engineers and the Main Contractor, Afrostructures Pty Ltd and SBS Tanks, the Zululand District Municipality (ZDM) has acted proactively to expand on existing water infrastructure to serve the growing rural population in the Makhosini region. Two existing concrete reservoirs at Makhosini have now been supplemented with two new bulk water storage tanks from the SBS Tanks Standard Tank range, an ST17/06 and an ST13/03.
“Despite being the largest district in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and making up 16% of its geographical area, 77% of the population in ZDM is rural and widely dispersed in settlements across a range of difficult terrain.” said Mava Gwagwa, Director: New Business, SBS Tanks.
High levels of unemployment and the existence of fewer economic zones have resulted in a low revenue base for the ZDM. This has had an impact on not only infrastructure development and maintenance, but also service delivery in the area. Municipal managers, engineers and consultants had to consider the most sustainable solution to deliver bulk water storage to the Makhosini site as quickly as possible, and also had to acknowledge the logistical challenges, environmental impact and budgetary limitations.
“The poor road infrastructure, remote nature and need for cost and time efficiencies make SBS Tanks the ideal solution for rural municipal installations,” Gwagwa says. “Our tanks are made up of lightweight panels that used to build the tank structure onsite, from the ground up using a jacking system. The reduced weight and modular design of the materials means the tanks can be transported on a light delivery vehicle, or in areas where road infrastructure does not exist, can be carried to site by hand. Community members can be hired to assist with this process if necessary, providing much needed employment. There is no requirement for heavy machinery onsite during the installation process.”
At Makhosini, in Zululand, the tanks, installed by SBS Tanks’ in-house installation teams, hold a combined capacity of 750,000 litres of water storage. The SBS tank model, ST17/06 provides the bulk of that storage capacity at 600,000 litres and stands just over six metres tall, while the ST13/03 accommodates 150,000 litres of water and stands just over three metres high.
“At SBS Tanks we consider it a privilege to assist municipal teams in the delivery of water storage and sanitation solutions to communities, no matter how remote,” Gwagwa says. “We also enjoy working with experienced contractors such as Afrostructures and consultants such as ECA Consulting Engineers who share the SBS Tanks values of improving and enhancing our country, changing lives through the delivery of sustainable, cost-effective engineering solutions with integrity, to Build for Better.”
SBS Tanks have been engineer designed to last and have an expected lifespan of 65+ years. An internal bladder, or water storage liner is fitted within the tank during the installation process, which prevents the water, effluent or other liquids stored within the tank, from making contact with the structure of the tank. This adds to the corrosion resistance of the tank, which comprises steel panels that have been coated in Zincalume® for protection from corrosion. On completion of installation, which can take a matter of days on either a compacted sand bend or a simple ring beam, the tank can be filled or commissioned immediately. SBS Tanks offers a 10-year No Leak warranty on the tank and liner.