03 November 2014 - Every two years, the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa (IMESA) invites local, provincial and government/ semi-government authorities and/ or their engineering consultants to submit entries for the IMESA Biennial Project Excellence Awards.
Entries are required to demonstrate ‘the art and science of infrastructure engineering to the general public and indicate how the profession finds answers to challenges’.
This year, the awards were held on 28 October in conjunction with the 78th IMESA Conference at the Durban ICC Arena. Two projects in which Aurecon was involved walked away with coveted awards at the ceremony.
Preekstoel Water Treatment Works (WTW) was announced the winner in the category for Water and Wastewater, while Wolwedans Human Settlement Development was announced winner of the Community Upliftment category.
“The success of these challenging projects reflects the impressive commitment and determination of the municipalities involved,” comments Albert Geldenhuys, Aurecon’s Managing Director, South Africa.
The catchment area of the De Bos Dam, which is the main water source for the Greater Hermanus area, experienced its most severe drought during September 2010 and April 2012. The dam content had dropped to below 18% of its full supply capacity by May 2012.
In addressing this water shortage, the Overstrand Municipality developed a series of groundwater well fields to supplement the surface water being sourced from De Bos Dam. However, the groundwater being pumped is rich in iron and manganese, which must be removed to prevent problems ranging from the staining of fabrics to the clogging of the water distribution network with gelatinous bacterial organisms that use iron and manganese in their metabolism.
Given that the groundwater will in future make up a substantial portion of the total quantity of water treated at Preekstoel WTW, as the groundwater scheme is expanded to cater for the growing demand of the Greater Hermanus area, especially during peak holiday periods, until 2020 and beyond, it became necessary for the treatment of the various well fields to be integrated and a tailored process designed to ensure reliable achievement of target water quality. A new project was therefore implemented to increase the water supply and treatment capacity of the Preekstoel WTW. Aurecon was appointed to provide water and wastewater treatment services for this important upgrade project.
A biological plant has been constructed adjacent to the existing plant at the Preekstoel WTW for treating a maximum of 10 Ml/day borehole water. After an extensive period of monitoring and tweaking, the biology had established sufficiently to deliver treated water meeting the SANS 241:2011 quality requirements of such a plant.
The Overstrand Municipality is to be commended for providing a cost effective and innovative means of securing the Greater Hermanus water supply requirements, as well as protecting the area against future droughts.
The Mossel Bay Municipality is part of the Rural Development Coordination Programme (RDCP) initiated by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. The programme aims to address the dire living conditions of informal settlements in its enlarged municipal area. In line with this, the Municipality and the Western Cape Provincial Department of Agriculture embarked on a joint rural development programme for communities that form part of the Mossel Bay municipal area.
The Wolwedans Human Settlement Development Project (HSDP) in Great Brak River was prioritised as the first critical area to be addressed in pursuance of this programme.
The living conditions in the informal settlements were extremely difficult, with an overwhelming sense of despair amongst community members. Apart from the significant lack of basic services such as shelter, health and food, job creation proved a key factorin addressing the issues of poverty and unemployment.
The Municipality opted to integrate the informal settlements into the formal Wolwedans and adjacent Green Haven areas through a combination of incremental in situ upgrading and relocation of the households to greenfield areas.
The Mossel Bay Municipality is to be commended for achieving a highly successful outcome to an extremely challenging and complex project.