With regard to potable water and sewage water treatment, what expertise does Tenova Bateman Technologies bring to this sector?
MN Tenova Bateman Technologies, a division of Tenova Mining and Minerals, provides innovative, proven solutions for domestic and industrial water and wastewater treatment – ranging from low-cost rural facilities to zero discharge and integrated industrial systems. The technologies incorporated into our solutions include: aerobic digestion, high rate anaerobic digestion, biological nutrient removal, membrane bioreactor, clarification/ thickening, dissolved air flotation, dewatering, filtration, ion exchange technologies, reverse osmosis/nanofiltration, evaporation/ crystalisation and detoxification/ neutralisation. We also offer a reference list in water and wastewater treatment business in Southern Africa dating back to 1941.

When it comes to stormwater and wastewater, just how important is an efficient water reticulation system?
Sewage reticulation systems that are poorly designed, operated and maintained result in spillage into rivers, dams and oceans. The health risks associated with this include pathogenic microorganisms and chemical contaminants. The primary chemical contaminant is high nitrate levels, which are known to cause infantile cyanosis. Efficient stormwater reticulation systems are of extreme importance involving the management of urban catchments, flood control, ecological and social needs and as an important urban water resource. Without a doubt, stormwater and untreated wastewater need to remain segregated.

Do you offer a holistic approach to water reticulation, i.e. design, operation and maintenance?
Tenova Bateman Technologies’ capabilities covering water and effluent treatment offer added value through in-depth understanding of technologies to the selection, design, supply and construction of the best process plant to suit the requirements. This ensures the most cost-effective solution to our clients’ needs.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges facing the local water and wastewater industries, particularly in rural areas? What are your recommendations?
The challenge facing the South African government is the supply of potable water and sanitation to its people, with the majority of rural area residents lacking access to potable water and sanitation. As plants are nearing the end of their serviceable lifespans, the major bottlenecks to this are the elimination of service delivery backlogs as well as the threat of infrastructure maintenance shortfalls. Water quality continues to be a concern with acid mine drainage polluting catchment areas and waterways, particularly in rural areas. It is imperative that government reconsiders its funding scheme for these services to eradicate disproportional allocation to urban areas over rural. As such, plants will have to be designed using more efficient technologies, which, although attracting higher capital investment, will operate more efficiently, require less intensive maintenance and provide all South Africans with uninterrupted potable water and sanitation. In addition, operations and maintenance must receive more funding to ensure the sustainability of existing plants, without forgetting the importance of knowledge sharing, mentorship and training at new and existing plants.

What top three water projects has your company been involved in?
We have either commissioned in the last 18 months or are in the process of implementing the following projects:

Meulwater: a potable water treatment plant for Drakenstein Municipality situated in the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve was required to be environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing to ensure least disruption to the sensitive ecology of the area. Treatment capacity of the works is 8 Mℓ/d, upgradable to 15 Mℓ/d and the treatment process has been optimised to suit the relatively good raw quality of mountain water with provision for future water quality deterioration. We were the mechanical and electrical contractor for this project, category winner of the 2012 CESA Engineering Excellence awards.

Riemvasmaak Water Treatment Plant: a fully automated potable water treatment was designed and built for the Siyanda District Municipality. The plant has a capacity of 30 m3/h and incorporates clarification, filtration and chemical dosing unit processes.

Johannesburg Northern Waste Water Treatment Works: upgrade and refurbishment of Module 3 of Unit 2 at the plant, originally built by our company. This turnkey refurbishment project included supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of civil work, mechanical equipment electrical and instrumentation. The plant was completely refurbished with new mixing systems and aeration equipment, a new clarifier bridge, scum collection system and screw pumps.

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