Major upgrade scheduled for Leeuwkuil Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW)

30 August 2018 - Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) has a number of upgrades on the pipeline for its Leeuwkuil WWTW. The upgrades will be centered on catchment pump station repairs, Water Conservation and Water Demand Management (WCWDM), construction of a new rising main and the upgrading of the Leeuwkuil WWTP capacity by 15 Ml/d. 

This upgrade to the Leeuwkuil WWTW forms part of the Sedibeng Regional Sanitation Scheme (SRSS). The SRSS is a multi-faceted sanitation project aimed at developing a sustainable bulk sanitation capacity in the Sedibeng region. The upgrade work of the overall SRSS will cost an estimated amount of R 4.31 billion exclusive of VAT and will span over a period of 18 years.

The Leeuwkuil WWTW upgrade is one of the short-term (2017 - 2020) projects required to unlock development in the Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging areas.

The project commenced during the first quarter of 2018 and will take approximately 18 months to complete. The overall upgrades to the Leeuwkuil WWTW will be in the region of R 977 million of the total estimated budget of the SRSS.

The Leeuwkuil upgrade has been identified as a priority project and a prerequisite by the National Department of Housing. Over the coming 3 years, the housing department has a directive to construct 1 000 low cost housing units with waterborne sanitation services in Sedibeng.

At the moment, the Leeuwkuil treatment plant is deemed to be under capacity because of extraneous flow (storm water and water ingress into the sewer system through leaking pipes or household fixtures) which is estimated to be responsible for 40% of the current inflow. Through the constraint of extraneous flows alone, 10 Ml/d of capacity at the Leeuwkuil WWTW will be unlocked.

“A total of 1000 houses in Sharpeville have been identified for the for the retrofitting project whereby household leaks are being repaired to address the extraneous flow into the treatment works. A further 4 Ml/d of capacity will be freed through the Water Conservation and Water Demand Management initiatives such as consumer awareness, pressure optimization and valve and hydrant maintenance. These are considered as guaranteed quick wins in water savings and the reduction of flows into the Leeuwkuil WWTW” said Salome Strydom, Manager Planning Department Metsi-a-Lekoa.

“While the municipality is doing all within its means to deal with unlocking the Leeuwkuil WWTW, residents staying in the Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark, Bedworthpark, Tshepiso, Boipatong and Sharpeville areas to assist the process by fixing common water leaks in their homes.” Strydom said.

Leaks from pipes, plumbing fixtures and fittings are a significant source of water waste for residential customers. Research has shown that a leaking tap can waste between 30 - 60 liters of water a day and a leaking toilet cistern can waste anything between 150 - 750 liters of water a day, depending on the cause of the leak.

“Having a leaking toilet cistern and a tap in a one household can be responsible for a maximum of 810 liters of extraneous flow into the treatment works per day. It is in this regard the we call upon residents to work with us by monitoring and repairing leaks in their homes. This will assist home owners to use water sparingly and most importantly, to unlock the capacity at the Leeuwkuil WWTW,” added Strydom.

By: Chuchi Radebe

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