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Bulk Sanitation activities



The fundamental reason for establishing a Rand Water Bulk Sanitation section comes from the fact that through Rand Water’s extensive catchment-monitoring programme, the main polluters identified were primarily the Sewage Treatment Plants, specifically the plants belonging to local Municipalities.

Any sewage pollution that drains towards the sources from which Rand Water draws its raw water will have an impact on the quality and treatment cost of potable water.

 The primary focus of Bulk Sanitation therefore is to:


·   Extend Rand Water’s catchment monitoring programme.

·   To conduct assessments of the Sewage Treatment         facilities  in the catchment,

·   To report on the findings and

·   To provide site-specific recommendations to the respective municipalities that guarantee effluent compliance with the general standards set by the Department of Water Affairs.Current Status and Milestones Achieved

Bulk Sanitation has an ongoing contract with the Midvaal Local Municipality (started in 2003) with respect to the operation of 3 wastewater treatment plants and 1purification plant.

This includes an industrial effluent monitoring programme that ensures that all the industries / polluters are identified, categorized, controlled and appropriate billed.

Municipal By-Laws are utilised for discharging of industrial effluents into the Municipal Wastewater Reticulation Network. As a result pollution is minimized, sewer systems and wastewater treatment processes are protected and revenue associated with the conveyance and treatment of industrial effluent is covered.

The total income generated and received by Midvaal Local Municipality, through Industrial trade effluent from January 2008 to December 2008 was R 1, 200,352.26.

Rand Water’s Bulk Sanitation provided services to Randfontein Local Municipality related to the management, operation and maintenance of the Randfontein wastewater treatment works. The duration of the Management agreement was firstly for a twelve-month period, which expired on 30 November 2004 followed by a second agreement of thirty a six-month period from May 2005 to April 2008.

 The Scope of Work involved:


·   Management functions

·   Personnel allocation and empowerment

·   Analytical Services

·   Operational functions

·   Electrical, mechanical and Instrumentation maintenance

·   Garden Maintenance

·   Process upgrading

·   Industrial effluent-monitoring

·   Environmental monitoring and control

·   Water and Sanitation Bylaws


Achievements in the Randfontein sewage treatment works


·   Skilling of personnel through an intensive training  programme

·   The Waste water Treatment plant staff members received their competency rating

·  Two operators were classified as Class 4 and 5 by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs.

·    Industrial monitoring programme was implemented to ensure that all the industries/ polluters are identified, categorized, controlled and appropriately billed.

·    Pollution is minimized, sewer systems and wastewater treatment processes are protected and revenue associated with the conveyance and treatment of industrial effluent is covered.






·   The total income generated and received by Randfontein Local Municipality through industrial trade effluent from January 2007 to April 2008 was R1, 596,141.89.

·  A comprehensive biomonitoring programme was also implemented to monitor the possible impacts of the effluent from Randfontein Wastewater Works to receiving stream for healthy, safety environment.



·   In August 2007, Rand Water, bulk Sanitation partnered with Water Research Commission (WRC) on wastewater treatment plant Operation and Management – technical programme development for Water Management Excellence Conference held at the Sandton Convention Center.

·  Rand Water; Bulk Sanitation presented a paper on “supporting sustainable operation” in the October 2007, WISA newsletter.

·  Rand Water in partnership with the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (DWEA) hosted a South African Sanitation Summit on 26 May 2008. The main objective of the summit was to afford a platform to sanitation issues with specific reference to ‘‘the eThekwini Declaration’’, which was taken at the Second African Sanitation and Hygiene Conference in Durban in February 2008. Rand Water, Bulk Sanitation, facilitated a commission in this summit on Bulk Sanitation Asset management and regulatory framework. Partnering with DWEA was Rand Water’s way of reiterating its readiness to assist the government in monitoring and managing sanitation infrastructure. 



·  In September 2008 the Wilge Catchment Forum requested Rand Water, Bulk Sanitation to conduct assessments in 5 wastewater treatment plants along the Wilge River. The request was based on poor effluent quality on the Wilge River, which feeds into the Vaal Dam (source of raw water for Rand Water). The assessment indicates that most wastewater treatment plants do not comply with prescribed standards and that the primary cause for the poor state is the lack of technical and management capacity. The findings and recommendations were forwarded to the relevant municipalities and Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.  

·  In  October 2008, The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs Forestry assigned Rand Water, Bulk Sanitation to refurbish and commission the Brugspruit Water Pollution Control plant, which is in Witbank. The work includes replacement of all electrical and mechanical equipment, and civil structures and full operation of the plant. The estimate cost for the commissioning of this plant is R8.5 Million.  

·   The Thembisile Hani Local Municipality has also appointed Rand Water, Bulk Sanitation on 03 February 2009 for the management, operation and maintenance of Tweefontein wastewater treatment plant. The project cost is R2.2 Million.

·   Currently, there are three proposal submitted to Kungwini Local Municipality, Dr J S Moroka Local Municipality and Sekhukhune District Municipality, which may resume in March 2009. Funding for these projects will be from DWEA. DWEA has appointed Rand Water to be the implementing agents for the Western Highveld.

·   One of Rand Water’s strategic objectives is to expand Bulk Sanitation services to municipalities. The Chief Executive (CE) Mr. Percy Sechemane mentioned that bulk Sanitation would be one of the strategic objectives that Rand Water will focus on.

·   Rand Water is poising itself to take up the effluent challenges faced by municipalities. This is highly influenced by the blue green drop strategy initiated by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, which will force municipalities to comply to DWEA`s effluent standards.  



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