R16 mil­lion face lift for Le­bowak­gomo wa­ter treat­ment plant

African Times - - News - MASHUDU SADIKE

THE Le­bowak­gomo Waste Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant in Lim­popo is re­ceiv­ing a R16 mil­lion re­fur­bish­ment that is ex­pected to dou­ble its ca­pac­ity and al­le­vi­ate wa­ter short­age in the Le­pelle-Nkumpi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

In ad­di­tion, the Capricorn District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (CDM) is in­stalling me­chan­i­cal screens that will au­to­mat­i­cally re­move dirt from the wa­ter, thus im­prov­ing the turn­around time for in­ter­ven­tions.

These were just some of the an­nounce­ment made by CDM mayor John Mpe dur­ing his State of the District Ad­dress at Ga-Rafiri, Zebe­diela last week.

Ac­cord­ing to Daniel Hlong­wani, a Wa­ter Qual­ity tech­ni­cian, re­spon­si­ble for wa­ter and waste op­er­a­tions in the district mu­nic­i­pal­ity, the Le­bowak­gomo wa­ter treat­ment plant was op­er­at­ing at half its ca­pac­ity for years, caus­ing it to over­load.

It is cur­rently run­ning on six mega litres of waste even though it is de­signed to carry three mega litres, he said.

Hlog­wani says the in­ter­ven­tion, which started in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year, was de­signed to find a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to the prob­lem that af­fected thou­sands of res­i­dents of Le­pelle-Nkumpi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity for years.

Le­bowak­gomo Town­ship has about 35 000 peo­ple. He says some of its sur­round­ing ar­eas are not re­ceiv­ing safe piped drink­ing wa­ter be­cause of the over­loaded plant.

“The pop­u­la­tion in the town­ship around has ex­ceeded the de­sign ca­pac­ity that is meant to carry about half the load that comes from Le­bowak­gomo and the sur­round­ing ar­rears and so caus­ing a lot of block­ages. We are re­ceiv­ing up to six mega litres per day, which means that the plant’s de­sign has to be dou­ble,” said Hlong­wani.

He added that lack of fund­ing was the main cause of the wa­ter prob­lem which af­fected sev­eral vil­lages es­pe­cially in the Ga-Mphahlele and Zebe­diela ar­eas.

In a move to al­le­vi­ate san­i­ta­tion prob­lems in these ru­ral ar­eas, Hlong­wani said other in­ter­ven­tions are be­ing im­ple­mented

“We are now in the process of in­stalling me­chan­i­cal screens that re­moves dirt on time in­ter­vals so that it gets rid of it at a reg­u­lar ba­sis and to en­sure that the health of our per­son­nel is kept be­cause this sys­tem en­sures that no­body has to al­ways clean man­u­ally,” he said.

Dur­ing his SODA, Mpe an­nounced that R21 mil­lion has been set aside for san­i­ta­tion pro­jects in Le­pelle-Nkumpi for the 2018/2019 year.

The plant is meant to clean and pu­rify wa­ter go­ing into the Tudumo River, which is ul­ti­mately the source of the Oli­fants River.

This will be done in three phases with the aim of im­prov­ing the health and hy­giene of the com­mu­ni­ties, he says.

“When the wa­ter comes in from the town­ship house­holds in the la­trines it trav­els up to what we call the Head of Works which then is en­gaged in a bi­o­log­i­cal process that eat up the dirt from the slush plant process that ac­ti­vate bac­te­ria.

“The re­ac­tor, which like the slush plant has stir­rers that en­hance oxy­gen which kills the bac­te­ria, is the last phase where we pour chlo­rine for the wa­ter to get clearer and get dis­in­fected,” ex­plained Hlong­wane.

He said that 12 kilo­grams of chlo­rine were poured into the wa­ter on the final phase be­fore the wa­ter flows to the Tudumo River.

Le­pelle Nkumpi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity pre­vi­ously had a budget of 16 Mil­lion to ac­ti­vate the re­pairs and re­fur­bish­ment pro­gramme of ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture that was ini­ti­ated in or­der for the LWWTP to be able to op­er­ate at its full de­sign ca­pac­ity of three mega litres per day. Capricorn District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is spend­ing R16 mil­lion on the re­fur­bish­ment of Le­bowal­gomo wa­ter treat­ment plant.

Pictures: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela/ Visu­alBuzz SA

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