Prioritising water and sanitation

Underpinning all these initiatives are several waste water treatment works (WWTW) and sanitation programmes.

One of these is the bulk water supply works project for the N8. The north eastern area is seeing continuous development and requires significant additional storage capacity.

Forming part of the project is the construction of a 35ML reservoir on Naval Hill. The project is already more than three quarters complete.

It forms the first phase of a planned 70ML additional reservoir capacity for Bloemfontein and will be the main supply reservoir to the N8 corridor development.

In addition, the construction of the north eastern WWTW started in February this year. Once complete, the 15ml-a-day works should benefit approximately 45 000 people in the long term.

Already, it is 35% complete and will provide sewerage services to the community in the area.

A third component of the project is the construction of the north eastern collectors (Bloemspruit to Race Course).

This 5.5km outfall will not only provide for new developments east of Bloemfontein, but also south of the Bloemspruit WWTW. Currently, this area cannot be developed as there is a lack of bulk sewerage services.

"7 Land Parcels"
In addition to the N8 project, the municipality has identified seven land parcels for development to bridge the housing gap.

This entails building affordable houses near commercial areas for low-income earners. The municipality refers to this project as '7 Land Parcels'.

This area encompasses the Sterkwater WWTW, which is currently running at its full capacity.

Once the project is completed, it will double the capacity of the works to 20ML a day.

Currently, the works serves approximately 26 500 low-income dwelling units from the south eastern area of Bloemfontein (Vista Park and Hillside View).

The project will also see the improvement of bulk water supply to Mangaung through the new reservoir.

It will supply water to approximately 18 000 new stands in the new Vista Park Development, 6 500 new stands in the Grasslands area, and will improve the level of service to approximately 6 500 existing stands in the Rocklands area.

Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu
In the communities of Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu, there is a critical need to improve sanitation.

There are more than 29 000 ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, 15 000 pit latrines and in excess of 1 100 bucket latrines that need to be eradicated.

Although more than 44 000 VIPs and pit latrines have been installed in the communities, most of them were installed in urban areas.

To upgrade these communities to a waterborne service, funding of approximately R1.52-billion will be required.

The current Botshabelo WWTW is a 20ML a day unit with a current hydraulic demand of 11ML a day.

Its spare capacity can only accommodate approximately 15 652 additional stands, before an upgrade is required.

Similarly, the existing bulk sanitation system at the Selosesha WWTW in Thaba Nchu is a 6.5ML-a-day unit with a current hydraulic demand of 4.5ML a day.

The current spare capacity can only accommodate approximately 3 487 additional stands before requiring an upgrade.

Currently, there are three contractors who have been installing water-borne sanitation in Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo since December.

To date, they have completed 60% of the project. The three main areas are Ratau (130 stands in Thaba Nchu), Bultfontein (230 stands in Thaba Nchu), and Extension F (295 stands in Botshabelo).

Water demand management
During the past two years, the municipality has spent R120-million implementing a number of projects for water demand management.

This included installing water meters, replacing aged asbestos water pipes, conducting water balance exercises and installing a telemetry system.

Furthermore, the municipality has replaced 12 000 domestic water meters, installed 300 bulk water meters and conducted a 10km bulk line assessment.

The result of this was the reduction of non-revenue water from 43.1% in 2011/2012 to 30.3% in 2012/2013.

Naval Hill Reservoir
The construction of the Naval Hill reservoir started in April 2012, and is expected to be completed in December 2013.

There are currently 37 local labourers and 39 skilled labourers employed on the project, which is 85% completed.

The purpose of a reservoir in general is to provide 12- to 24-hour storage capacity for the area to be served during electrical or mechanical interruptions of supply; to maintain sufficient pressure it needs to be constructed on high lying land (hills and mountains); to serve as a "buffer" for peak demands during morning and evening peaks; and, if interconnected with other reservoirs, it helps to optimise bulk water storage.

Contents and photographs for this page were supplied and signed off by Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality

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