A wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in the Western Cape is undergoing a R1.7-billion upgrade, with the plant set to be more reliable and efficient and its 72 Ml/day capacity increased by a further 18 Ml/day.
Overall, 26 Western Cape WWTPs, built in the 1950s and 1960s, are set to be expanded and rehabilitated as part of a €2-billion investment in the province’s water infrastructure.
“At one of the largest of these plants, a mostly brand-new modern waterworks is being constructed that not only prevents routine overflows of untreated sewage into the sea, but is more modern, energy efficient and reliable,” said Sew-Eurodrive sales manager Willem Strydom.
Sew-Eurodrive is supplying 20 units for each of the new aeration tanks on the plant.
“For the aeration drives for this WWTP upgrade, we were approached by one of our local treatment plant original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) back in 2018,” he explained.
“Through this OEM, we are supplying 20 units and, while these are not complete turnkey solutions, we are assembling them as pre-engineered drives with the gearboxes, motors and couplings mounted onto custom-designed baseplates, so that, once on site, it is very easy to couple each drive to the aeration impeller.”
At the heart of the 20 aeration units Sew-Eurodrive is suppling are its MC Series range of parallel shaft industrial gear units, which have been specifically designed for aeration and mixing applications.
“Of the 20 units, ten are 75 kW units, four are 55 kW and the remaining six are 90 kW drives,” he continued.
“A key feature of these MC units is their extended bearing distance (EBD), which is purpose designed for shaft loading from agitating, mixing and aerating applications, which transfer very high axial and radial loads back into the gearbox.
“EBD helps to stiffen the shaft to resist these loads, significantly reducing the radial movements seen by the seals, bearings and gears, resulting in better reliability, less wear and longer life,” Strydom says.
Other key features include an especially compact parallel shaft design; a one-piece, robust mono block, which enables horizontal, vertical and upright assembly; an optional ‘Drywell’ seal, which reliably prevents oil leakage from the output shaft; easy customisation with the range’s modular concept for achieving optimal gear ratios; and additional optional equipment such as motor adapters, belt drives and backstops.
“Following the scare in the Western Cape in 2018, when cities in the region were just 90 days away from turning off the taps, municipalities in all provinces are now looking to modernise their wastewater infrastructure. We are currently involved in several new opportunities.
“As well as restoring our water quality and security, water infrastructure projects have a lot to offer the South African economy, most notably, investments – and these projects are happening,” Strydom concluded.