Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  30 Apr 2009

DEVELOPMENT: Water Project Saves City Millions


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A R13,4 million investment to reduce water pressure on the Cape Flats has yielded savings worth R83 million per year for the City of Cape Town.

The water pressure management project was introduced in 2001 to reduce leakage during off-peak periods.

This project forms part of the City's Water Demand Management Strategy which focuses on initiatives, such as public awareness campaigns on water conservation, replacement of old infrastructure, the treatment and re-use of sewerage effluent and pressure management.

Addressing delegates at a conference organised by the International Water Association, Melvin Engelbrecht and Donnavin Wright of the City’s Water and Sanitation Department, highlighted the importance of pressure management as a tool to reduce water loss.

Cape Town's first water pressure reduction plant was commissioned in 2001 at a cost of R2,7 million and was the first of its kind in South Africa. This plant alone is saving the City R55 million per year.

The most recent large scale pressure management project was the R7,7 million Mitchells Plain project which supports a population of some 500 000 residents. Prior to its installation the area's night flow was 900 000 litres per hour of which 430 000 litres per hour was calculated as excess night flow. This plant is now rendering savings of R15 million per year.

The City has also implemented pressure management in other areas such as Gugulethu, Atlantis, Mfuleni and Delft. New projects are underway in Belhar, Langa and Eerste River.

"Water pressure management has yielded excellent results with very rapid payback periods. Benefits include fewer pipe bursts, the reduction of small leaks on connections, longer lasting household plumbing fittings and the reduction of wasteful consumption," says Alderman Clive Justus, Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services.

"This system also reduces wastewater volumes, resulting in further savings for the City through reduced treatment costs, thus prolonging the life span of the existing treatment plants. In Khayelitsha alone, the wastewater volume was reduced by 20 million litres per day, saving R2,5 million of sewerage treatment costs per year," he says.

Parallel to the water pressure reduction programme, the City has implemented water leak repair projects which are area based and the 'Fixit' programme which targets the highest water consumption at poor households throughout the city.

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