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Water and Sanitation Unit

Purpose

The purpose of this report is to divulge information on the status quo of the services rendered/available in Naledi Local Municipality.

Background

Naledi Local Municipality consists of Vryburg, Huhudi, Kismet Park, Colridge, Stella, Rekgaratlhile, Devondale, Geduldspan and Dithakwaneng. Broedersput was added to the Naledi area of jurisdiction after the Demarcation Board finalized their determination and now forms part of ward 5.

Discussion

In order to give a holistic view of the current situation, the Water section will be discussed in detail to afford Council the opportunity to arrive at an informed decision. Sustainable delivery of water has been the Achilles’ heel of Naledi for many years.

Water

The Dr. Ruth S. Mompati District Municipality is the water services authority, while Naledi Local Municipality is the water services provider. Sedibeng Water was appointed by the District Municipality to be the water services provider for the Pudimoe Purification Works, as well as the pipeline and pump stations leading to Vryburg. Their jurisdiction stops at the reservoir situated on the Western side of Huhudi.

Controls

The section was subdivided to cater for bulk water and reticulation. The personnel that are in charge of the bulk water supply is also responsible for the daily preventative maintenance on all boreholes. Boreholes are inspected on a daily basis to ensure that possible problems are detected timeously and fixed.

The reticulation teams are responsible for the maintenance of the entire reticulation system and responsible for fixing burst or leaking pipes. All new water connections are also done by this unit.

Material and equipment is lacking to ensure that all complaints are attended too timeously.

Water demand management

To measure is to know. Unfortunately, no bulk meter at boreholes was working. No bulk meter was available to measure water received from boreholes at the Vryburg reservoir to determine losses that may have been incurred from the feeder lines. No bulk meter existed on the outlet of the Vryburg reservoir to calculate losses between water supplied versus water sold. A program has now been embarked upon with the help of the District Municipality whereby every borehole will be equipped with a water meter. It is strongly believed that severe losses are incurred from point of supply to sold water, as a result of the age of water meters in the reticulation system. Meters are on average more than 20 years old. It is calculated that a meter loses its accuracy from year ten and will progressively deteriorate over time. Meters have the tendency to record less, thus creating a loss to the Municipality. A meter replacement program was embarked upon with astonishing results. A small scale project was launched because of the limited funds available. A total of 3 508 meters were replaced where it was found that 32% of all meters replaced were either not working at all, or were by-passed. It would seem that on the meters replaced thus far, the sale of water has more or less trebled for those consumers. No telemetric system exists on the boreholes, effectively forcing the Municipality to pay excessive amounts of overtime and travelling to the employees as all boreholes need to be physically inspected daily. These inspections are to determine whether pumps are running and to determine the condition of drive belts etc. at each station. Investigations are currently under way for the introduction of a new telemetric system. A water meter is supplied at Huhudi reservoir to measure the incoming water and a telemetric system is available to Sedibeng Water for the monitoring of their operations.

Sustainable capacity

Vryburg, Kismet Park and Colridge consists of 4 391 households and are being supplied with water derived from a total of 24 boreholes.

Demand during summer months outstrips supply by approximately 22.5%. Estimates made and measurements taken on the level control at the reservoir (may be out by 10% either way) shows that when all pumps are running, 7 200 000 liters of water is pumped from the boreholes each day. Usage (taking into consideration the drop in level by up to 9% per day) amounts to approximately 8 820 000 liters per day. The fact of the matter is that there is an under supply of 1 620 000 liters per day, just to break even. To break it even smaller, there is a need for an additional 19 liters per second to the main reservoir to supply (breakeven) in the need of Vryburg, Colridge and Kismet Park.

Huhudi is supplied with water from the Pudimoe purification plant. Although the plant has a capacity of purifying in excess of 6 000 000 liters of water per day, Sedibeng Water is struggling to meet in the basic needs of Huhudi. To ensure that Huhudi will have a constant supply of water 24 hours per day, a minimum of 5 500 000 liters of water is needed per day. Additional to this, a housing project consisting of 3 000 housing units with water connections and water borne sewer was completed. An additional supply of 750 000 liters per day is needed for this area.

The benefit of the new plant would have been that the Vryburg reservoir can also be topped up from water received from the Pudimoe plant. According to information received, the plant will not be able to operate at full capacity as the canal bringing raw water to the plant is too small. From a total of 19 Ml needed, the canal can provide only 12 Ml. It is understood that the District Municipality already engaged Vaal harts Water regarding the matter.

In order to be able to supply water to the community without interruption the storage capacity in the different reservoirs amount to 18Ml in Vryburg, 10Ml at extension 25 and 4.5Ml at Huhudi. Total capacity is 32.5Ml.

Stella and Rekgaratlhile consist of 460 formal and 340 informal households in Rekgaratlhile, while Stella consists of 805 units. A new housing project for 800 housing units in Rekgaratlhile is under way. Water is supplied from a network of boreholes, consisting of 9 boreholes currently in operation. Water is first pumped into a reservoir situated on the farm Middelkop (450Kl) situated 14 km outside Stella. From Middelkop water is pumped via a pipeline to Stella reservoir (450 Kl). According to information, more than 20 boreholes situated in and around Stella are not in use. These boreholes need to be tested and if a borehole proves to be productive enough, should be introduced into the system. An existing concrete reservoir (150KL) was decommissioned for reasons unknown. No leaks or major defects can be detected. This reservoir can easily be re-introduced into the network to act as backup for the other reservoirs. Currently, supply is inadequate. Additional boreholes and meters to cater for the demand management system need to be supplied. Operation of the pumps sometimes becomes erratic when pumps are not switched on timeously.

Devondale consists of 400 households and is supplied by one borehole into a reservoir of 27Kl. A second borehole was recently equipped to act as a standby. A pump operator sees to it that the pumps are started when necessary and to report any problems experienced. Devondale residents are supplied with water via standpipes. An additional 15 standpipes need to be provided in the new extension.

Dithakwaneng is supplied from one borehole and one reservoir (350 Kl). A backup pump exists but need to be connected to the network. Dithakwaneng was supplied with 600 new standpipes in the yards of residents which mean that the demand will increase significantly. Additional boreholes and meters for demand management should be supplied. Dithakwaneng consist of 3 000 households.

Geduldspan consists of approximately 350 households and is supplied from two boreholes with diesel engines. These boreholes are to be converted to electricity soon. Eskom has already been paid and the connection is imminent. The reservoir consists of a single yo-yo tank of 10 000 liters. No form of metering exists in Geduldspan.

Broedersput water is derived from two boreholes. Only about half of the village is reticulated with water pipes and way too few standpipes.

Broedersput currently consists of 430 households. The standard is 200 liters of water per household per day. This means that at least 86 000 liters of water need to be produced per day. On top of this, the standard is that enough water should be stored to last for a period not less than 72 hours.

Dilapidated networks

Part of the challenge will be to curb water losses. The losses can however only be determined once proper metering is done. The water network in Vryburg consists of cast iron pipes, asbestos cement pipes, galvanized steel pipes and polyvinyl chloride or commonly known as pvc pipes. It goes without saying that these different types of material do not bond well resulting in leaks underground. In some cases, leaks will show itself by water moving to or through the surface but in some cases will remain hidden underground until accidently stumbled upon. Asbestos cement pipes are not fit for use anymore as it poses serious health risks to the residents. A program of reticulation replacement should be embarked upon as soon as possible. Naturally it will have to be done in phases because of the cost implication. Currently, a specially appointed team is going from house to house to fix any leakages that can be seen. This includes everything from a running toilet cistern to a leaking water meter.

Conclusion

Naledi Local Municipality is under distress not only in providing water according to the needs of the community, but also in terms of operational losses that cannot be properly accounted for at this point in time. As already alluded too, this problem cannot be solved by Naledi on its own but need inputs from all stakeholders. In order to ensure that water delivery is sustainable, a water demand management system is the logical next step. It is however a costly exercise which cannot be afforded by Naledi from own funds. Various requests were put to the District Municipality as the water services Authority but as a result of financial constraints the problems could not be addressed.

 

Sanitation

Sanitation services are still a challenge as only Vryburg, Huhudi, Kismet, Rekgaratlhile and Colridge are equipped with a water borne sewer system. Stella is equipped with conservancy tanks that need to be emptied by means of a cesspool truck. All the villages are partially serviced by VIP toilet systems. The informal settlements are still using buckets.

To ensure that the work flow can be better controlled, the unit is subdivided into three sections namely distribution, cesspool services and bulk.

Distribution Unit
VRYBURG, HUHUDI, KISMET, REKGARATLILE AND COLRIDGE

The distribution unit is responsible for the connection of new sewer applications from customers and to maintain the existing sewer reticulation network. The work ranges from building of new man-holes, lying of pipes and assuring that sewage ultimately reaches the waste water treatment plant. In the instances where blockages occur, the maintenance teams rod the lines with steel rods to remove blockages and ensure that the lines are flowing.

Cesspool services
WHOLE OF NALEDI

As part of the distribution unit’s responsibilities, cesspool services are rendered where residents make use of VIP toilets or conservancy tanks. All cesspool services are rendered with two cesspool trucks to service the whole of Stella, Devondale, Dithakwaneng, all smallholdings, Armoedsvlakte and to assist from time to time with full manholes where a blockage has occurred.

Devondale is partly serviced by VIP toilets. As a result of a continuous influx of people there are always shortages of toilet facilities. Another 30 toilets are needed.

Geduldspan was recently serviced with VIP toilets.  However, as with Devondale, new arrivals are coming in all the time. An additional 50 toilets are needed.

Dithakwaneng was recently serviced with VIP toilets.

Broedersput is in need of approximately 50 additional VIP toilets.

Old and inadequate infrastructure in Vryburg, Colridge, Huhudi and Kismet plays a major role in causing blockages. Main feeder lines need to be investigated to determine whether it is still suitable to handle the increased loads caused by the expansion of the town. A program of washing the system has been embarked upon. This is being done with the jet blasting machine belonging to the Municipality. The machine has been refurbished and is in a proper working order. An application was lodged with the district municipality to supply a vacuum/jet washer truck.

Challenges at the Unit (Vryburg)

1, Transport is a major problem. The Unit is having only one (1) vehicle (LDV) instead of five.

2, The Unit does not have its own tractor for night soil removal and it is currently using the Swartfontein or Department of Public Works tractor.

3, The Unit does not have its own TLB to dig in assisting with blockages. Sometimes it forces the unit to wait for a couple of days before the TLB is available to assist.

4, Old and inadequate infrastructure.

Bulk Unit

The Waste Water Treatment Plant in Vryburg services Huhudi, Vryburg, Kismet and Colridge and is operated 24 hours a day hence there are three (3) shifts. Treatment of sewage is essential to ensure that the receiving water from which the effluent is ultimately discharged is not significantly polluted. The plant is an activated sludge type of plant and classified as a Class C plant with a capacity of 6.5 Ml. As a result of the classification of the plant, every shift leader should have a qualification of no less than a class 3 operator. The plant manager should be classified as a class 5 operator. The plant consists of the following processes: Inlet and grit removal, Inlet and primary treatment. From here, secondary treatment and withdrawal of sludge up to final treatment and release is achieved. The success of the plant depends on a critical balance between the levels of oxygen dosed to the raw sewerage to keep the microbes healthy. This is balanced against the inflow of raw sewage and the successful activation of the sludge to ensure that harmful bacteria are destroyed. This is achieved by repeatedly moving sludge from the settling tank to the clarifier and through the process of aeration again. Once the desired result is achieved, the sludge is pumped out to sludge drying beds from where the dry sludge is disposed of. The water from the clarifier is drawn to what is called a contact channel where the water is chlorinated with chlorine gas before being released into the water stream. A major challenge is that the operators at the plant are not suitably qualified to successfully operate this plant. Training was conducted to try and assist in honing the skills of these operators but it had little effect as the operators do not accept that technology has changed. They feel that their years of experience are sufficient to enable them to operate the plant.

Korone Consulting Engineers has been appointed by the District Municipality to operate and maintain the plant. The condition of the plant is not good. Since taking over from the previous service provider, the plant has deteriorated to an extent that it became a health risk. Although this situation was reported to the District Municipality on various occasions, no action was taken.

The industrial pump station has been refurbished.

As with the WWTP, Korone is not coping resulting in the pump station being flooded and releasing raw sewage into the water stream. This was also reported to the District Municipality but no action was taken.

Stella/Rekgaratlhile is having a non-functional unlicensed oxidation pond. The pond need urgent upgrading and should be licensed as soon as possible. A preliminary report was drafted by NEP consulting engineers on behalf of the District Municipality for the upgrading/refurbishment of the said ponds.

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