Meeting the current and future water storage needs of South Africa’s rural and urban communities is a top priority, as are future drought countermeasures. Mava Gwagwa, new business and key accounts director, SBS Tanks®, discusses the company’s innovative responses to these challenges.SBS Tanks’ current strategy for the municipal market is to ensure that every municipality in South Africa understands the advantages of our product line as a flexible solution. At SBS, we offer a turnkey package that brings true value to the end user. Our tanks have been engineered to last well beyond 60 years, with minimal maintenance. This means that municipal budgets are responsibly spent. This doesn’t apply only to South Africa. SBS exports globally and has an expanding presence in key public and private sector markets that include the USA.
Tank applicationsMining is one of the most aggressive environments and puts any product to the test. Our tanks meet the most exacting requirements in this area and that means that our products are field-proven for virtually every other application. SBS’s liners, which form an integral part of the tank system design, range from normal potable requirements to leachate and wastewater applications. Our tanks have also been widely used in the waste management industry, because they can store leachate from dump runoffs and other waste management sites, assisting in the client’s requirements for stench control.
Public sector offeringFor the public sector, we specialise in containing brackish water or wastewater for further processing. One of our flagship wastewater projects is the ongoing relationship we have with Sembcorp Siza Water in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal. Sembcorp extracts water from two sources: the local river system and processed wastewater. In November 2016, we provided a 1 Mℓ temporary storage solution to meet Sembcorp’s requirements over the December season, following a major tank failure on a non-SBS tank. Sembcorp sells its potable water to the local municipalities, so the implications were severe. SBS replaced the failed tank with the 1 Mℓ SBS tank in just four days, and then installed an additional 2 Mℓ and 3.3 Mℓ tank as per client requirements.
Storage for communitiesWe advise on the best outcome for communities. Sometimes, this solution involves the interconnection of our tanks with existing supplies. At other times, it’s a standalone installation for rural communities outside the existing municipal grid. Often, the initial enquiry by municipalities is the starting point for a proactive discussion that ends with the final best outcome, after exploring all the other alternatives. Here, we pride ourselves on providing objective professional advice based on our value engineering philosophy. Our goal is to lower the cost for municipalities – e.g. by optimising gravity-fed systems, thereby reducing pump station and pipeline installations. Multiple smaller tanks can also be installed at higher elevations.
To achieve this, SBS provides site assessment services to assist municipalities and consulting engineers with the best tank system location and layout. SBS also runs a series of annual roadshows at municipalities, which are also attended by contractors and consultants.Our smallest tank is 12 Kℓ (12 000 litres). However, because we’re modular, the capacity can be incrementally expanded. In other words, we can customise the volume, scalable up to a 3.3 Mℓ capacity, given available construction footprints.