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The Board, Management and Staff of Umgeni Water extend a warm welcome to you.
The Water Resource and Innovation Conference on 22nd May 2015 is the final event in the
Umgeni Water 40th anniversary events calendar. The decision to hold a conference of this
nature was taken as it was deemed the most appropriate and effective platform to bring as
many of our partners in the water and sanitation sector together to share our experiences
that includes both highlights and challenges. We have tried to structure the conference
content into themes that focus on the main pillars on which management of our business of
providing water and wastewater services depend. Our hope is that the conference will be
mutually beneficial. We encourage feedback from delegates after each thematic session. We
will take this feedback seriously as we continue to optimise our processes and strategies to
serve our customers in the years that follow.
We also hope that delegates, comprising partners, peers and customers, leave this
conference with an assurance that Umgeni Water is a growing and learning organisation that
is well prepared to meet and overcome the challenges that confront us in the course of our
In conclusion, we thank you for taking the time to share this space with us.


The conference organisers and Umgeni Water give notice that they do not accept
responsibility or liability in respect of either person or property for injury, damage, loss,
accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned as a result of attendance at the
conference or the social event.
Name Badges
Badges are the tickets to teas, lunch meals and to the cocktail event and should be worn at
all times as they need to be displayed at entry.
Smoking / Mobile Phones
Please note that smoking is not permitted anywhere in the ICC except designated areas.
Mobile phones should be switched off during sessions.
Exhibition and Posters
Suppliers will be exhibiting their products at the tea / lunch area and can be viewed during
the tea and lunch breaks. Likewise, posters will also be displayed at the Umgeni Water stand
in the same area.
Delegate Interaction and Participation
Umgeni Water values feedback and comment from its guests at the conference. To this
effect after each thematic session, delegates are requested to answer a question on the
paper provided pertaining to the presentation session attended and drop the completed
paper a box at the session venue.
Names drawn randomly at the end of the session in each of the two venues will win the lucky
delegate a gift.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
The conference is validated for CPD points for professional engineers, technologists and
technicians registered with ECSA. The required CPD credit sheets will be available at each
conference venue from the session chairperson.


Water Resource and Innovation Conference

Conference Programme: 22 May 2015

10h30 -11h00
11h00 -12h00

12h00- 13h00
13h00 14h00

Tea / Coffee
Briefing Session for Speakers
Board Member opens conference and introduces children to sing the National
Board Member introduces CE who officially welcomes delegates and Dignitaries
Board Member introduces Speaker to deliver message from the KZN Province
and Local government
Board Member introduces Key Note Speaker:
Ministry of Water and Sanitation delivers key note address
School children: Musical item
Board Member presides over the next three technical papers
Value Added By Focused Research And Development Projects
Peter Thompson
A concept plan to supply bulk water in KwaZulu-Natal
Kevin Meier
An Innovative Approach to Bulk Water Services Pricing
Kajal Singh
Leadership and Human Capital
Development (Chairperson:
Mokete Mayongo)

Operational Resiliency

Youth Skills Development and

Malishe/Presantha Maduray)

Technical Sustainability and Long term

(Lindelani Sibiya)

Perspective of Umgeni Waters future
(Bongani Dladla)

Water Quality and Supply, Risk

Management (Thandeka Zulu, Kim
Hodgson, Ingrid Cawood)

Linking Municipalities to
Innovation Research and
Development (Chairperson:
William Moraka)
A Tactical Approach to facilitating
better Water and Sanitation

(Chairperson: Msizi Cele)

What makes Operations successful

(Monica Malunga)
Infrastructure Stability :
Chairperson: Sunil Maharaj

How to Expand Your Pipeline Network.

The Importance of Planning (Steve


Management (William Moraka)
Why Municipalities should work
closely with Universities, Water
Some working Models,
(Prof Chris Buckley)

A Sustainable Approach to Asset
Management (Ntsiki Baai)

Review of WSP/WSA structures.

Building effective relationships with
Municipalities, service models,
strengths/ weaknesses, lessons
learnt.(Dan Naidoo)

Innovation and Technology

Development (Chair: Jay

Water Resource Adequacy Sustainability (Chair: Graham


Umgeni Waters Innovative Approach

to Package Water Treatment Plants
for Rural Applications (Lakesh

Drought Management and Planning

(Angus Nicoll)

Water Utility Benchmarking System

(Njabulo Ngema)

Integrated Research for Long-term

Catchment Protection (Prof Graham

Handling of Bulk Water Delivery Projects

Introduction (Suhayl Rawhani)
Umgeni Waters capacity to deliver large scale bulk water delivery projects.
Case Study- Lower Tugela Water Treatment System. (Krish Govender, Mike
Killick, Robert Moffat)

Enterprise development - Contract participation goals (Noni Gumbi)

16h30 16h45
Close of Conference Session (Chairperson: Thami Hlongwa)
Lucky Prize Sponsor Ray Naguran delivers a message
CE presents Conference lucky draw prize
Conference Summation, vote of thanks and closure
16h45 -21h00
Cocktails and networking


Author (s)
Baai Ntsiki
Buckley Chris, Rajagopaul Rachi

Cawood Ingrid, Hodgson Kim and

Zulu Thandeka
Dladla Bongani et al.
Gamede Cyril, Pillay Manu and
Ngema Njabulo
Gillham Steve
Govender Krish, Killick Mike, Moffat
Jewitt Graham, Hughes CJ, Matta S;
J Namugize, Ndlovu H, Ncgobo S,
Ngubane S, Nswirba N, Zwezwe N
Malunga Monica, Maharaj Sunil,
Pillay Karessa, Padayachee Kimon
Maharaj Lakesh, Boyers Bruce,
Thompson Peter, Myers Roan,
Nyawose Jabulani.
Malishe Mzwandile and Maduray
Meier Kevin
Moraka William

Naidoo Dan

A Sustainable Approach to Asset Management
Why Municipalities should work closely with Universities,
Water Boards. Some working Models, Centre of
Water Quality and Supply, Risk Management
Tomorrows excellence starts TODAY, Young
Professionals Perspective of Umgeni Waters future
Water Utility Benchmarking System
The Importance Of Planning When Expanding A Pipeline
Umgeni Waters capacity to deliver large scale bulk water
delivery projects. Case Study- Lower Tugela Water
Treatment System
Understanding Drivers And Developing Solutions To
Address Deteriorating Water Quality In The Upper Umgeni
Operational Resiliency: What Makes Operations
Umgeni Waters Innovative Approach to Package Water
Treatment Plants for Rural Applications
Youth Skills Development and Training
A concept plan to supply bulk water in KwaZulu-Natal
A Tactical Approach to facilitating better Water and
Sanitation Management

Nicoll Angus
Sibiya Lindelani and Sachita Korlam

Building Effective Partnerships between Water Sector

Stakeholders and Institutions in order to achieve the
Developmental Water Management Framework
Drought Management and Planning
Technical Sustainability and Long term Growth

Singh Kajal and Hlongwa Thami

An Innovative Approach to Bulk Water Services Pricing

Thompson Peter, Toolsee Naheen,

Rajagopaul Rachi
Gumbi Noni, Hlongwa Thami

Value Added By Focused Research And Development

Enterprise development - Contract participation goals



Author (s)


Makhaye Lungi and Kubheka Mbali

Umgeni Waters approach to community


Ngubane Musawenkosi, Makatini T.C,

Hodgson Kim and Majam Sameera

Assessment of monitoring effectiveness for

cryptosporidium and giardia
In the Durban heights and Umzinto systems

Padayachee Kimon, Naheen Toolsee,

Rajagopaul Rachi

Disinfection Dosing And Telemetry System

Design For Rural Potable Water Plants

Lessons learned in sustainable aquatic alien
weed management at Umgeni Water

Terry Steve, Hunter Alistair


A Sustainable Approach to Asset Management

Ntsiki Baai,
Since 1974, Umgeni Water has been acquiring, developing and managing infrastructure. Providing a
full range of water services from security of supply to ensuring an uninterrupted and sustainable
supply of potable water is no coincidence as the organisation has been able to achieve this feat
successfully since inception.
This achievement is a culmination of a long-term 30-year infrastructure master plan for its area of
operations, which ensures that demands are closely monitored, infrastructure capacities are
optimised and the timing of infrastructure development takes place prior to the facilities reaching their
maximum capacities. This long-term master planning involves understanding the factors influencing
water demands and being able to manage them effectively; the limitations of existing infrastructure
emanating from the annual asset management plans; and developing a range of alternatives which
achieves a social, economic, and environmental balance.
The strategic objectives (SO) of UW that impact in one way or the other on physical asset
management are the following:
SO1. Improve existing assets and increase infrastructure (Growth);
SO2. Improve financial ratios (Return on assets);
SO3. Improve service delivery systems;
SO4. Increase customer and stakeholder value;
SO5. Increase services and customers;
SO6. Increase technical skills and competency; and
SO7. Increase water resource sustainability (water loss)
The critical questions that had to be answered were: What is the state of UWs assets and systems in
relation to the best standards? How effective are the asset management systems thereof? What is the
level of risk exposure of UW associated with existing infrastructure?
The proposed solution was to attain a PAS 55 certification by 2020 or ISO 55001 when it becomes a
standard. Such certification would provide assurance to our customers and stakeholder that we are
operating at the very highest levels in terms of asset strategic control which involves surveillance,
premises, and implementation control. A systemic approach towards such goal was to conduct a PAS
55 assessment by nature of a Management Review as contemplated by Section 9.3 of ISO55000.
However, given the problem in context, it was critical that the short term solution addresses not only
the management systems status, but also provide evidence on asset performance and asset specific
risks profile.
PAS 55 is a publicly available specification on the optimal management of physical assets published
by the British Standards Institute. It refers to physical asset management as systematic and
coordinated activities and practices, through which an organisation optimally and sustainably
manages its assets and asset systems, their associated performance, risks and expenditures over
their life cycles for the purpose of achieving its organisational strategic plan. This standard is
applicable to any organisation where physical assets are critical for success. It therefore becomes
imperative for a water utility like Umgeni Water that is infrastructure dependant for its service delivery,
to assess its management systems against such a specification.

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A 5 year programme was then developed with its first milestone being the assessment whose scope
was packaged into 4 outputs as outline below:
Output 1 Assessment UWs readiness for the certification against the eminent ISO 55001
Certification by 2020
Output 2 Review the existing infrastructure risk management systems and processes leading to
a formal infrastructure risk quantification system.
Output 3 Perform a high level advanced asset condition and asset performance assessment,
based on standardised and tested asset management principles and submit a detailed report
Primarily, the key internal stakeholders had to be engaged with the view of removing barriers and
promoting collaboration within all Divisions to ensure success of the primary objective. Thereafter, the
following methods were applied in respect of each output.
For output 1, the current maturity level was compared to the desired maturity target. The maturity
target was set at 3 (out of 5) as an organisation would need to be scoring consistently 3 or above in
order to be able to qualify for ISO or PAS 55 certification. This enabled a set of activities to be defined
in support of improving asset performance towards the desired maturity. The scores were based on
the 17 KPA Pragma model and also benchmarked against three current standards: PAS55, ISO
55000. A detailed desktop systems analysis focusing on policies, procedures, practices, reports, and
interviews of key personnel at all levels was undertaken to assess levels of knowledge for
understanding and for action.
For output 2, the ISO 31000:2009 risk management process was used. This process was initiated by
establishing the context of the Umgeni Water (Infrastructure Risk Management System), more
specifically the objectives of Umgeni Water. These objectives, in the context of the exercise, are
defined as Critical Success Factors (CSFs) from a risk management perspective. By further taking a
risk-based view on these CSFs, major risks to Umgeni Waters Infrastructure were identified. In other
words, potential risks impacting the achievement of the Umgeni Waters CSFs were highlighted. Risk
owners were allocated to each specific risk. These CSFs where rated according to a significance
scale of 1-5. The Umgeni IRM framework was used to underpin the risk model used to rate the risks
Finally in output 3, the condition assessment of all assets identified for assessment employed a
combination of vibration analysis, infra-red thermography, oil analysis, ultrasound detection and visual
inspection. In addition to the above, pump efficiency measurements required power, speed, flow and
pressure to be measured and compared to system curves. A standardised 5 level system was used to
measure the state of the asset focusing on (i) condition level and (ii) life status level.
The Condition Level is a measure of the state of health of the asset by identification of factors that
influence remnant life. Condition is relevant for short to medium term planning. It is of most interest to
reliability, maintenance and production managers as it affects the Opex budget.
The Life Status level is an estimate of where the asset is positioned on its typical usable life curve.
Life Status is relevant to long term planning and is of most interest to asset managers as it affects the
Capex budget.

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Results of the exercise yielded the following:

For output 1, the score for each element and the average maturity result was 2.77. Due to the
particular nature of the business, a target of 2 was chosen for Operator Asset Care.
Areas performing well above target were (i) Organisation and Development; (ii) Financial
Management; (iii) Risk Management; (iv) Health, Safety, Security and Environment; (v)
Operator Asset Care; (vi) Life Cycle Management; (vii) Shutdown and Outage
Areas performing below target but gap less than 30% and could be brought up to standard
within 1 year: (i) Strategy Management; (ii) Information Management; (iii) Technical
Information; (iv) Contractor Management; (v) Asset Care Plans; (vi) Work Planning and
Control; (vii) Support Facilities and Tools; and (viii) Performance Measurement
Areas performing significantly below target and require major intervention: (i) Materials
Management; (ii) Focused Improvement
In output 2, Umgeni Water has treated all their infrastructure related risks as Low Risks. For the
purposes of this assessment a risk ratio was used. The Risk Ratio compares the Pre-mitigated Risk
rating (risk rating excluding control measures) to the Residual Risk rating (risk rating including control
measures). The resulting value ranges between 0 and 1. The closer this value is to zero the more
effective the identified control measures are. The organisations infrastructure Risk Ratio is 0.58,
which means there has been a risk reduction of 0.42 from the Pre-mitigated Risk rating to the
Residual Risk rating. The heat maps below illustrate Pre-mitigated risks and Residual risks. By
displaying the risks in this format we show how the risks migrate with control measures in place.
The conditions assessment (output 3) for both the electrical and mechanical systems was obtained. In
general, the infrastructure life status and condition status were above average when compared to
similar utilities.
It can be concluded that the results of the PAS 55 assessment, the risk assessment, and the
condition assessment correlate and that the asset management systems are to a large extent
effective and robust though minor effort is required to bring all elements within the target. Such targets
can be achieved within a period of one year.


Ntsikelelo Euphony Baai is a professional Technologist with a BTech in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a Masters in
Business Leadership. He has vast experience in Infrastructure
asset management and is currently working for Umgeni Water as
an Asset Manager. His responsibilities include developing and
implementing an asset strategy leading to effective utilisation and
revenue generation in line with the service delivery strategy of
Umgeni Water.

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Why Municipalities should work closely with Universities, Water Boards. Some working
Models, Centre of Competence
Prof Chris Buckley ( and Rachi Rajagopaul
There are great benefits in aligning the technological needs of Water Services Authorities (WSAs) and
Water Services Providers (WSPs) to the research focus of the tertiary institutions and research
institutions. This is not to say that fundamental research should be guided or influenced by current
technological gaps, but applied research should work hand in glove with operational challenges faced
by WSAs and WSPs.
South African research institutions including universities are very good at producing research papers
but the pace of implementation on full-scale is very slow. WSAs and WSPs are faced with a number
of challenges that affect water service delivery including inappropriate treatment processes,
equipment and unit processes that are not in line with changing raw water impurities, climate change
and specialized technical skills.
A strong working relationship between the municipalities/Water Boards and universities including
WRC, DST, and WISA will also have the following spin-offs:
An efficient information transfer channel will result in technology sharing and making available
the latest research findings.
It would accelerate the implementation of new and more effective technology as most WSPs
and WSAs grapple with the challenges of old technology that has become inappropriate in
dealing current water quantity and quality requirements.
Collaborative and joint projects will also provide much needed opportunities to accelerate
skills development.
Most municipalities are faced with the prospect of losing skilled technical due to natural
attrition like retirement and the supply of new but experienced professionals is not keeping up
with the demand. While on the other hand, tertiary institutions are frustrated at the poor
placement rate of their young but inexperienced graduates.

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The paper will explore the status quo in the South African water and sanitation sector and develop a
working model that will provide space for improvement and growth for the various role players.
The formation of a structure in KZN that gives equal voice to municipalities, Water Boards, Tertiary
Institutions and Research and Development Agencies will be explored. The roles and responsibilities
including expected outcomes and advantages of this cooperation and collaboration will be further
discussed. While still in its infant stages the formation of a centre of competence in water and
sanitation (WATSAN) has a very keen and vibrant partnership comprising municipalities, tertiary
institutions, WRC and DST.
Prof Buckley is a chemical engineer and has spent his career as a contract
researcher in the field of urban and industrial water and effluent management at
the University of Natal and currently the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The
primary funding sources are the South African Water Research Commission,
Thekwini Municipality, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sasol and Umgeni
Water. He has partnerships with many international research groups.

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Water Quality and Supply, Risk Management

Ingrid Cawood, Thandeka Zulu and Kim Hodgson (
Risk has been defined by Umgeni Water as all sources of uncertainty that could affect, positively or
negatively, the organisations ability to achieve its strategic and business objectives. In this regard,
Umgeni Water has adopted an Integrated Risk Management Framework, a multidisciplinary approach
to managing risk, which enables employees to better understand the nature of risk and to manage it
more systematically to ensure a safe and sustainable water supply. The Integrated Risk Management
Framework comprises four related elements, including the development of risk profiles at all levels of
the organisation, integration of risk management processes into key business and operational
processes, adoption of suitable treatment measures and measurement of responses to risk mitigation
for continuous improvement. The organisation commits to continuously and proactively managing risk
to ensure a sustainable water supply to our municipal customers.
As part of the Integrated Risk Management approach, Umgeni Water currently implements an
integrated Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) management system based on the ISO
9001:2008 (Quality Management) and OHSAS 18001:2011 (Health and Safety Management)
standards. In an effort to ensure continuous improvement and verify organisational conformance to
these two standards, the organisation undergoes external audits undertaken by an independent
certification body.
For any SHEQ system to work effectively, management commitment is critical. Umgeni Water has
mastered this essential aspect through a robust approach to health and safety. The organisation has
a Health and Safety policy approved by the General Manager Operations as delegated by the Chief
Executive. This policy is reviewed on annual basis to ensure alignment to legislation, ISO standards
and the requirements of interested and affected parties, thus ensuring good corporate governance. As
continuous dialogue between employer and employees is important, Umgeni Water has several
SHEQ committee structures that operate at various levels. Outcomes from these structures are
provided to Executive Committees through a quarterly corporate SHEQ reporting system. This allows
urgent SHEQ issues to be escalated timeously, even to Chief Executive and Audit Committee
Chairman level, to ensure adequate management commitment to mitigate risks and improve safety
performance. Umgeni Water safety performance is measured through the Disabling Injury Frequency
Rate (DIFR), recorded at 0.15 for the 2013/14 year, against target of 0.9. To maintain this very good
performance, there has been a significant focus on improved management and reporting of near miss
incidents, vehicle incidents and vandalism of infrastructure, particularly in the remote areas of
A recent initiative driving behavioural change to improve safety performance is the introduction of
breathalysing tests. A breathalysing procedure was developed, aligned to the Umgeni Water antisubstance abuse policy. The organisation also has a risk-based medical surveillance program linked
to man-job specifications to ensure that medicals are exposure-specific and employees are deemed
fit to support the organisational objective of supplying safe, sustainable drinking water.
Integrated Risk Management is incorporated into all drinking water supply systems in Umgeni Waters
operational area through a comprehensive, proactive approach to water quality management, applied
from catchment to consumer.
This sustainable risk management approach promotes an
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understanding of the entire water supply system, the events that can compromise drinking water
quality and the operational control necessary for optimising drinking water quality and protecting
public health. Water quality is thus carefully managed through a rigorous management system which
includes implementation of water quality monitoring programmes, auditing, compliance reporting,
water quality risk assessments and the implementation of Water Safety Plans. These plans are
developed, with participation from all stakeholders, to ensure a holistic approach to drinking water
quality management and use a systematic, transparent approach for the consistent provision of safe
water with a clear focus on public health. The water safety planning approach involves the
identification of hazards and the prioritisation of risks, identification of existing controls and validation
of the effectiveness of these controls and the development of improvement plans to mitigate high
priority risks.
Water quality monitoring programmes are reviewed annually for all operational sites and sampling
and analyses are undertaken in accordance with Umgeni Waters ISO 9001 certified monitoring
programme and SANAS 17025 accredited laboratory methods. Furthermore, water quality
performance data, information and reports are disseminated regularly to all stakeholders. Assessed
according to the SANS 241 Drinking Water standard, Umgeni Water provides excellent drinking water
quality to customers, suitable for a lifetime of consumption.
In terms of management of drinking water quality incidents, emergency response protocols exist to
ensure the production of safe drinking water and protection of public health. In these protocols,
potable water quality failures are defined and classified into alert levels based on the magnitude and
extent of the failure, as well as the risks posed by the failure. Relevant actions, in compliance with
legislative requirements, are detailed to rectify the failure and communicate the health risks to the
community and relevant authorities. All potable water quality incidents and failures are recorded in an
Incident Register, together with the correct and preventative actions taken and evidence of required
communication to the authorities and communities.
The Department of Water and Sanitation has acknowledged Umgeni Water excellence in terms of
risk-based drinking water quality management through the incentive-based regulatory tool, the Blue
Drop Certification Programme. Umgeni Water is committed to supporting municipalities to ensure that
all drinking water systems can be progressively improved toward joint Blue Drop Certification.
At an annual frequency, the Umgeni Water Board identifies the risk appetite and tolerance levels for
the organisation taking into account the Umgeni Water business plan for the following financial year.
Risk appetite is defined as the amount and type of risk that the organisation is prepared to pursue,
retain or take and risk tolerance is the organisations readiness to bear the risk in order to achieve its
objectives, after treatment has taken place. Risk scores and appetite and tolerance levels are
analysed in accordance with the risk priority table. This table sets time-frames for the implementation
of risk action plans to improve the control environment to treat risks to an acceptable level and also
identifies the authority structures for specific sign-off of continued toleration of residual risk in
accordance with these pre-defined levels. Risk review and monitoring is embedded throughout the
organisation and quarterly reporting on the status of risks and achievement of risk performance
targets is undertaken to the various risk governance committees and ultimately to the Umgeni Water
Board. Internal Audit continually provides independent assurance that risks are being treated and that
controls implemented to treat risks are adequate and effective to mitigate the risks.
Through continual review of the past using root cause analysis (hindsight), analysing the present
(insight) and providing control assurance, Umgeni Water continually commits to having the foresight
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through risk assessment (analysing the uncertainties, threats and opportunities when changes occur,
the ramifications and implementing cost effective risk treatment) to manage the future to provide a
sustainable water supply to our customers.

Thandeka Zulu is currently employed by Umgeni Water as the SHEQ
manager, looking after Safety, Health, Environment and Quality compliance
within the organisation. She started her career in 1999 with sixteen years
experience in the SHEQ field of which almost seven was in the water sector.
She has experience in the chemical industry, waste management Industry
and logistics. She is in possession of a B.Tech degree in Environmental
Health, B.Tech degree in Business Management and is a registered
professional member with IOMS.

INGRID CAWOOD is a Medical Technologist: Clinical pathology and Microbiology

and is the Risk Manager of Umgeni Water. She also has a B Tech in Total Risk
Management. She has worked for the organisation for 28 years and has 12 years
of Risk Management experience.

KIM HODGSON is a registered Professional Natural Scientist with an M.Sc.

degree in Geography and 23 years of Water Quality Management experience in
the water industry.

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Tomorrows excellence starts TODAY, Young Professionals

Perspective of Umgeni Waters future
Bongani S. Dladla, Nothile Hlombe, Musawenkosi Ngubani, Lesailane Mphafudi, Lusanda Ncoliwe,
Thobekile Makathini, Santham Chetty, Hlengiwe Dlamini, Njabulo Ngema, Gcwalisile Kunene, Wendy
Mhlazi, Mluleki Mnguni, Justice Rambau, Megan Schalkwyk, Thobekile Sibiya, Radhika
Soobramoney, Walter Makhoba, Lindelani Sibiya, Nosihle Dlamini, Sanele Mazibuko, Silindile Mtshali,
Noluthando Mbele, Mzwandile Malishe
Vision: To establish Umgeni Water as a Leading employer of talented and skilled young
professionals that will work towards improving the quality of life and enhance economic development.
Executive Summary
Skills shortages and an aging workforce have necessitated the need to develop Young Professionals
in the water sector. In November 2014 Umgeni Water Young Professionals was launched. The
forum aims to uplift the organisations young professionals and create a sustainable knowledge base
by building an environment which encourages innovation, networking and meaningful skills
development. Her Excellence Dr Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma, African Union Commission Chairwomen
stated that, If we can involve young people and women in all our human endeavours, then this
continent is poised to be among the greatest in the world in the next 50 years. Its possible. It
can be done. With a third of Umgeni Waters workforce under the age of 35, Umgeni Water is
aiming to realise this idea by creating a forum for young professionals run by young professionals.
The forum is open to all Umgeni Water employees under the age of 35. The forum focuses on issues
of Professional Development, Social Responsibility, and Branding and Marketing.
The forum will create a new generation of engaged skilled youth for Umgeni Water and the South
African Water Sector. A series of events are planned by the Branding and marketing portfolio under
Professional Development and Social Responsibility theme. Each year the young professionals
independently decides on activities
The forum will partner with key stakeholders in order to create a network that will push for its agenda
at regional, national and international level. The forum also lobbies for the inclusion of Young
Professionals in internal and external committees
Umgeni Water has committed a budget for all UWYP programmes that add value to the young
professionals, the organisation and the community. The 2014_15 calendar included the official
launch, Nongoma Career Day and 2015 Youth Day Skills Workshop.

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Figure 1: Umgeni Water Young Professionals portfolios and their responsibilities

The proposed activities for the 2015/2016 calendar includes joint technical tour to a large water
infrastructure project with young professionals from Rand Water and Bloem Water, Young Women in
Leadership Workshop, active participation at the 2015 National YWP conference and two career
days, applications and bursary information sessions for rural schools.
The formal launch of the forum was well attended by board members, all members of the executive
team, senior managers and young professionals. The presence of the board and executive indicated
their commitment and support to of the development of young professionals in the organisation.
Under the banner of social responsibility, the young professionals participated in the Science Imbizo
by the Department of Science and Technology in uLundi. Her Excellence Minister Pandor personally
thanked UWYP for their participation in the event. The highlight for the forum has been the Career
Day organised by the young professional for 7 rural schools in Nongoma. The event attracted
approximately 700 learners. Over 250 learners were assisted with application to tertiary institutions.
UWYP is in the process of identifying rural disadvantaged schools within Umgeni Waters operational
area that will benefit from the scheduled career days. The young professionals are currently drafting
Umgeni Waters marketing strategy.
The future is very bright and the young professionals are committed to ensuring the future is bright.
Short Biography
Mr Bongani Dladla (25) is the Convener of Umgeni Water Young
Professionals. He joined Umgeni Water as a bursary student. He currently
works at Umgeni Water as a Civil Engineer, where he is responsible for dam
safety, design and construction of bulk water infrastructure for rural areas. In
2011, he graduated top of his class with a BScEng (Civil Engineering) Cum
Laude at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He recently completed a
Management Development Programme at the same institution and currently
working on MScEng in Civil Engineering. He is a World Economic Forum
Global Shaper and the Incoming Curator for the Durban Hub.

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Water Utility Benchmarking System

Cyril Gamede, Manu Pillay and Njabulo Ngema (
The Authors acknowledge the significant contribution made by Umgeni Water ICT team, who
developed the software solution, including: Radesh Padayachee, Robyn Hoole, Gawen Sueltz, Roy
Beni, Bradley Sampson and Jenny Lawrence

In April 2014, Umgeni Water identified an information gap and deliberated that this could be
sustainably filled by developing a water utility benchmarking system. This issue came to light
specifically during the water tariff consultation and parliamentary approval processes which were
somewhat inefficient owing to certain comparative data and information not being easily accessible.
Umgeni Water identified that a tariff benchmarking system will increase the depth and breadth of
information available and provides transparent information that will assist customers, shareholder and
regulatory bodies, in this instance, to fairly assess the appropriateness of proposed water tariffs.
In addition to tariff information, the system will be scalable, lending itself to a wide range of
parameters that are needed and used for strategic decision-making purposes. As this will benefit not
just Umgeni Water but all water utilities and sector stakeholders alike, this was viewed as a great
opportunity to extend this to all water utilities, under the banner of SAAWU.
Municipalities have recently launched a Municipal Benchmarking initiative (MuniBench) under the
wing of SALGA, which serves as a unifying and inspiring initiative to improve municipality
performance. This further highlighted a value-chain gap, presenting an opportunity for developing the
SAAWU Water Utility Benchmarking programme.
The system was piloted, developed and rolled out as a programme within a twelve (12) month period.
The system was fast-track through an appropriately resourced and cohesive team, backed by
SAAWU, all water utilities and sector leadership. The system is web-based and can be used by other
water utilities and stakeholders, whenever needed and wherever they are. The value of the system for
key decision-makers is demonstrated using examples of tariff, production costs and non-revenue
water data and information.
The Water Utility Benchmarking System has been presented to key stakeholders including: SAAWU,
comprising all water utility members, SALGA, representing municipalities, DWS, representing the
executive authority and oversight provider / regulator, and the Portfolio Committee on Water and
Sanitation, representing the water sector oversight / regulatory body. Overall, wide-spread positive
response was received from stakeholders engaged. All stakeholders will continue to be engaged
regarding further development of the system.

Going forward, more effort is needed to firmly embed the system as a core programme of SAAWU. In
addition, more effort is needed to communicate the information the system offers to the Portfolio
Committee on Water and Sanitation. This will ensure more efficient and effective tariff discussions,
enabling the sector to better converge on sustainable value chain tariffs.

Page 11 of 51

A partnership has been forged with SALGA and in the near future specific harmonies will be sought
between the Water Utility Benchmarking System and the Municipal Benchmarking System to help
with step-changes needed to improve service delivery.
Parameter development will continue into the future, with at least four new parameters added each
year. The system will be further developed as one of the key planning tools / information systems
available to Regional Water Utilities to serve the region in an integrated manner.

Brief biography for Njabulo Ngema

Njabulo Holds a B Sc (Honours) Zoology; B Sc Environmental Management
(both University of Zululand). Balanced Scorecard Professional (Balanced
Scorecard Institute)
As a Strategy and Special Projects Officer at Umgeni Water, Njabulos provides
technical and process support to the Umgeni Water Group on strategy review,
planning, and organizational performance management activities.

Page 12 of 51

The Importance of Planning When Expanding a Pipeline Network

Steve Gillham (

There is an on-going requirement for water authorities to continuously keep expanding their pipeline
networks in order to either provide water to previously unserved communities so as to improve service
delivery, or to new adjacent areas as existing developments expand. In many instances these pipeline
expansion projects are undertaken in an ad hoc manner with no, or poor and inadequate planning
undertaken at the onset.
The focus of this paper is to discuss the importance of the planning phase when embarking upon a
pipeline expansion project, and to highlight, based on the authors experience, a few of the associated
key related aspects often neglected by authorities in South Africa in their haste to extend water
Whilst a pipeline expansion project may function correctly at commissioning and meet its immediate
objectives, any lack of planning soon becomes evident thereafter when the network is unable to
sustain the supply at an acceptable quantity and/or quality, and the authority faces difficulties in
extending the network further. Challenges that then need to be overcome include insufficient water
resources to meet the increased demand; inadequately sized supply infrastructure; insufficient
treatment and storage capacity; and the inability to maintain acceptable water quality throughout the
network. The result is a sub-optimal development which is inefficient and ineffective in a regional
context. Corrective actions are then usually very costly and are associated with extensive delays in
improving service delivery.

Short Biography Steve Gillham

Steve Gillham is a registered professional engineer, and has a BSc degree (Civil
Engineering) and a B.Com degree. He currently holds the position of General
Manager: Engineering & Scientific Services at Umgeni Water. His entire career has
been spent in the water sector in South Africa, and is a well-known and respected
authority on water matters in KwaZulu-Natal particularly relating to infrastructure
planning and development. He was, initially employed by the Department of Water
Affairs and then moved to Umgeni Water.
Over this period he has accumulated a wide spectrum of experience and knowledge in water
disciplines ranging from catchment management and groundwater resources to water supply and
water resource infrastructure development.

Page 13 of 51

Umgeni Waters capacity to deliver large scale bulk water delivery projects. Case Study- Lower
Tugela Water Treatment System
K Govender, M A Killick, R Moffat
Umgeni Water is implementing the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme (LTBWSS) to supply
110 M/d by 2020 in two phases of 55 M/d, to a number of towns along the KwaZulu-Natal North
Coast in South Africa. These range from Mandini Local Municipality to the north and KwaDukuza
Local Municipality to the south as far as Ballito. The scheme consist of an abstraction works and lowlift pump station located on the left bank of the Lower Thukela River, a desilting works, a water
treatment works, and a high-lift pump station linked to bulk supply pipelines with associated water
storage reservoirs. Construction of the water treatment works commenced towards the end of 2013
and is programmed to be completed in early 2016.
Design Considerations
The entire treatment works was designed with an operator centric layout. The plant was configured
so that the operators have direct sight of the core operation areas from the administration and rest
areas. Additionally, the routes that operators take during their daily tasks were optimised, and
barriers such as stairs and wet, hazardous chemical areas were eliminated as far as possible.
The tight timelines for completion of the project meant that the equipping of the abstraction works and
the water treatment works proceeded simultaneously with the two associated civil construction
contracts. Carefully programmed schedules were included in the contracts, setting out the sequence
of the Works for each contract, when each principle component must be ready for installation of
equipment, definition of what ready for installation means, the duration allowed for such, and similar
requirements for commissioning.
The construction of the weir in the Lower Thukela River was critical to the programme. Flow in the
river is seasonal, with most high flow events occurring in the wet summer months. Construction
within the river could only take place in the drier five month winter period. The road giving access to
the abstraction works on the southern bank of the river needed to be completed by May to ensure that
the Contractor had access to the site in time to fully utilize the winter period for the weir construction.
During the application process with Eskom for the permanent supply to the LTBWSS, it became
apparent that a client build of the necessary power supply infrastructure (substation, transformers,
etc.) would be required, in order to expedite the connection to the Eskom power grid.
Challenges and Lessons Learnt
Funding and Procurement
The project was jointly funded by Umgeni Water and the Department of Water Affairs through their
Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG).
A joint decision was made to fast-track the
implementation of the project, but the funds from RBIG were only available after the project needed to
start. This meant that Umgeni Water began the project at risk, and also had to provide bridging
finance in order to pay the contractors until the funds were released.
Page 14 of 51

One of the biggest challenges faced was getting the tenders through the Bid Committees, bearing in
mind their responsibility of evaluating and awarding all other Umgeni Water tenders. With support
from management and the cooperation from the Bid Committees, the LTBWSS tenders were given
priority and fast tracked through the process. Lesson: Keep all your stakeholders well informed of
progress and deadlines to gain their support.
Upon the award of the first Contract, an appeal was received from one of the unsuccessful tenderers.
The appeal was dismissed after about a months delay on the strength of Umgeni Waters adherence
its systems and procedures. Lesson: It is important to have good strong policies and procedures.
Thorough documentation will assist you to overcome legal challenges.
Having appointed the design engineers and awarded Contract C for the Gravity Main, the budget
remaining from Umgeni Waters R600m contribution was down to R350m. At this point in time, the
letter of commitment from the Department of Water Affairs had still not been received. A combined
tender for the WTW, Abstraction Works and Weir had already been out to tender and awaiting award
at a value in excess of R500m. Due to the lack of funds available to make the award, the tender had
to be cancelled and split into two separate tenders. This led to delays and an increased cost from the
two new tenders. Lesson: One of the downsides of fast-tracking. You sometimes have to take risks to
achieve your goals.
Project Implementation
The critical success factors for timeously and successfully implementing a megaproject of this nature
are as follows:
A capable and knowledgeable client with an experienced project manager and strong
technical and financial support team
A well planned, designed, specified and detailed scope of works. This was undertaken by
Competent, skilled and experienced contractors. The main contractors involved in this project
are Group 5, Steff Stocks, Veolia Water (Mechanical and Electrical), and Esorfranki.
A dedicated contract administration and construction monitoring team. This is being done by
Bigen Africa and Madan Singh and Associates.
Good and effective communication and firm but healthy project team relationships. Clear lines
of communication were established between the contractor, construction monitoring team, the
designers and the client. All parties are solution oriented and focussed on getting the job
done. All parties treat each other with respect. The project is regarded as a team effort, and
each party is a critical link and has a significant role to play towards the successful completion
of the project.
Implementation Challenges
Environmental and land aspects were addressed as far as possible during the planning and design
phase. Inevitably, issues still arose during implementation, which lead to costly delays. Initial
environmental search and rescue efforts delayed the commencement of construction by more than a
month, at a cost of R50 million. Access delays on the 29 km gravity main added a year to the
construction period, along with a huge cost to complete the works successfully. Umgeni Water
Page 15 of 51

appointed two different Consultants to undertake the engineering design (Aurecon) and the
construction administration and monitoring (Bigen / MSA). Since the latter was engaged only after
some contractors had already been appointed and construction works had commenced, this meant a
steep learning curve for the Construction monitoring team. Complications were introduced by this
arrangement, since the two engineering teams had to interact, and FIDIC design review difficulties
were encountered since the design Engineer was not administering the contract Since the programme
was so critical and severe penalties would be applied to the contractors, should they not meet their
deadlines, it was a huge challenge to get the contractors to accommodate each other and work
PMP, B. Tech. Eng(Civil), MPMI, MPMSA
Krish Govender is a registered Project Management Professional (PMP) and also
has a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Civil Engineering, specialising in Water
and Wastewater. He has over 20 years experience in Project Management of
multi-disciplinary water and building related projects. He is currently Umgeni
Waters Project Manager on the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme.

PrEng, MBA, BEng Civil

Mike Killick has 27 years of experience in the design, supervision of construction,
planning, project management and financial analysis of bulk water supply and
water resource infrastructure. Mike has been involved with integrated water
resource management and related project co-ordination and management of a
wide range of water resource related studies. Mike is currently the Aurecon Project
Director on the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme.

PrEng, B. Eng (Hons) Civil

Robert Moffat is a registered Professional Engineer with over 20 years
experience in planning, design and implementation of large rural and bulk water
supply projects. Although he has experience in various fields within the Civil
Engineering Discipline, such as Engineering services, structural and pavement
designs he specialises in bulk water supply and pumping systems. He is currently
Bigen Africas Project Director on the Construction Administration and
Construction Monitoring of the L T B W S S.

Suhayl Rawhani is serving as Manager: Project Office at Umgeni Water. He
obtained his Bsc (Agirc Eng) in 1981 from the University of Cranfield, UK and
completed MSC Eng (Civil) at Wits in 1993. He has over 30 years of experience in
the design, implementation and project management of water engineering and
information systems. He is a certified PMP and has been a member of several
professional organisations including WISA.

Page 16 of 51

Understanding Drivers and Developing Solutions to Address Deteriorating Water Quality In

The Upper Umgeni Catchment
GPW Jewitt12, CJ Hughes1, S Matta1 J Namugize1, H Ndlovu1, S Ncgobo1, S Ngubane1, N Nswirba1, N

Centre for Water Resources Research, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg


Umgeni Water Chair of Water Resources Management
The Umgeni catchment (4 349 km2) in South Africa is one of the worlds fastest growing urbanisation
centres. Providing water and sanitation for the rapidly expanding residential population and
sustaining agricultural and industrial production in the catchment is crucial, typifying the challenges
facing many developing regions. These catchments are stressed by high demands for water for
competing uses, rapid uncoordinated development, high levels of pollution and deteriorating water
quality. Many of the residences are semi-rural or peri-urban and so require different approaches to
those used in most major cities. The Umgeni River and its catchment is now the focus of an
innovative water resources management programme which is aims to retain and restore its
ecological infrastructure - naturally functioning ecosystems that produce and deliver valuable
services to people, such as good quality water, flow regulation, soil formation and disaster risk
Thus, several research projects, which aim to provide a deeper understanding of water quality
deterioration within the Umgeni catchment, and as such, the water-related ecosystem services, which
sustain water quality and quantity, have been initiated under the Umgeni Ecological Infrastructure
Partnership (UEIP). Through these, researchers have developed new techniques for the mapping of
critical areas of the catchment, such as wetlands, riparian areas, and areas of natural vegetation
which still provide critical services to downstream users (Figure 1), as well as degraded areas that
have the ability to provide these services if they are rehabilitated. Assessing the economic costs and
benefits associated with protection and rehabilitation of ecological infrastructure will provide evidencebased guidance to water resources managers to decide on how and where to restore ecological
infrastructure in the catchment.

Page 17 of 51

Figure 1: Dry Season base flow in m3 per hectare per day from the Upper Umgeni catchment from
Natural Vegetation (50th Percentile)
Recognizing the limitations of narrow monitor and evaluate approaches, the researchers are also
unlocking the potential for successful community-based water quality monitoring and capacity
building, as well investigating the efficacy of existing monitoring programmes and techniques. Citizen
science, defined as the partnerships between scientists and non-scientists where data are collected,
shared and analysed, encourages citizen engagement for improved water governance. Improved
water governance does not substitute technical rehabilitation of ecological infrastructure, but will
rather compliment any rehabilitation initiatives to better ensure future water resource quality and
quantity in the catchment. Results to date highlight a major decline in monitoring (Figure 2) and the
difficulties in assessing pollution loads to the Umgeni impoundments since 2000 (Figure 3), as well as
the value of citizen science in filling this gap.

Figure 2: Total number of samples analysed per year at Lions River (U2H011)

Page 18 of 51

Figure 3: Relative contributions for SRP load from Umgeni and Lions Rivers and Mthinzima Stream.

Prof Graham Jewitt (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Prof Graham Jewitt holds the Umgeni Water Chair of Water
Resources Management.. He has undergraduate and MSc
Degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a PhD
from the University of Stellenbosch. He is on the editorial
boards of the journals WaterSA and Hydrology and Earth
System Sciences (HESS. He is rated B internationally
recognised through the South African NRF Rating system.

Page 19 of 51

Operational Resiliency: What Makes Operations Successful?

Monica Malunga, Sunil Maharaj, Karessa Pillay, Kimon Padayachee
The mandate of the Operations division of Umgeni Water (UW) is the supply of sustainable and reliable
bulk water and sanitation services in partnership with Water Services Authorities (WSAs), for the ultimate
benefit of the communities. To this end we realize the importance of providing excellent customer service,
operating as a successful commercial business enterprise, balancing water coverage with sustainable cost
recovery, managing UW resources and the environment in a sustainable manner, and maintaining the trust
and respect of the communities/partners.
Operations positions themselves, plan, structure, mobilise resources, source, specify, operate and
maintain our infrastructure, abstract, treat, sell, distribute, monitor, conserve and re-use water, to deliver
quality, effective, affordable water services to our stakeholders, which will deliver on organisational
As part of its water supply function and mandate, Umgeni Water abstracts raw water, from dams, river and
borehole sources and transports this untreated water, using both gravity and the most effective pumping
options to bulk water treatment works, treated to meet SANS 241:2011 quality standards and distributed to
customers. Equally, as part of its wastewater supply function, Umgeni Water receives influent from
municipal sewer systems, treats this at bulk wastewater treatment works and constantly strives to improve
the quality of effluent discharged back into receiving systems. The operational business processes
involved in achieving these objectives include the following elements: systems operation; asset
management; systems planning; measuring, billing and collection; relationship management; and support
A main factor contributing to the success of the division is our people. Extensive training, encouraging
leadership and managing performance is a key focus. Operations pride itself on its potable water quality
and treatment works are incentivised to achieve 100% compliance. Staff are recognised in various forms;
an example is quality compliance awards ceremonies where staff receive various rewards. Another factor
is the implementation of effective inter-departmental communication and co-operation.
One key strategic activity is the comprehensive performance evaluations (CPEs) performed annually for
each treatment plant. Operations ensure that all process related findings emanated are attended to
timeously. The findings are added to future planning initiatives and responsibilities divided within the
division. In terms of quality management systems, Operations is ISO 9001: 2000 certified.
UW is constantly under pressure to reduce costs. We have targeted four major cost drivers to focus on for
improvement: chemical; energy; maintenance and; staff costs. These costs are closely monitored.
Of vital importance is the quick response time when encountering water supply interruptions and final
water quality failures. Strict Incident Management Protocols (IMPs) are in place that is followed in this
event. All operations staff are trained in the implementation of IMPs, which are prominently displayed at all
sites. A well-established system for preventative and reactive maintenance of equipment exist that ensures
assets are well maintained.
Asset Management at UW has evolved from a very basic management philosophy to one of total asset
management philosophy. Our asset management performance is measured on the following broad
categories: capacity; reliability; responsiveness; quality and legislative requirements. The asset
management strategy focuses on condition assessments of the various components of key strategic and

Page 20 of 51

critical infrastructure to its various sub-components i.e. civil, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and
control. Our system is in the process of achieving its PAS 55 certification.
We are constantly striving to reduce our energy usage. Some implementations to this effect include, the
installation of occupancy sensors, solar heating, energy saving lamps replacement, motor replacements
with energy efficient types, use of variable speed drives to improve pump efficiencies, wash water
recycling if possible, online water balancing, and power factor correction.
The Division understands that partnerships with stakeholders and communities are the key to achieving its
vision. Continuous engagement with customers takes place periodically. Meetings at an operational level
take place monthly to discuss and report on performance in agreement with Bulk Supply Agreements
(BSAS). At an executive level, meetings are scheduled quarterly, targeting strategic issues.
One of the challenges faced by Operations in achieving its goals is operation of its treatment plants
functioning above their capacity. The risk here is mitigated due to the staff competency and ability to
respond timeously. Internal cross functional teams and/ or support services are also assembled on a
needs basis to address this. The current problem of load shedding is being mitigated by the installation of
generators at critical nodes of supply.
Vandalism and theft of UW infrastructure is also a major challenge experienced. To deal with this,
additional security and the installation of intruder alarms has been implemented. As a mitigation,
operations also continuously reviews the materials of construction used for high risk infrastructure, an
example is using Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) instead of steel.
Operations consist of people from various educational backgrounds, disciplines and levels of experience.
The identification and coordination of regular operator and legal related training courses are facilitated to
maintain this and an efficient and tested training program also exists for all new staff placements. Internal
appointments at higher level are first filled internally, amongst existing staff that are already knowledgeable
and experienced in their designated field.
A total of 440 million m3 of potable water per annum are currently supplied to customers. In the past year
there were no unplanned supply interruptions that exceeded 24 hours as per service level agreement. This
is achieved through performance driven individuals, who are cognisant of the importance of role they play
and the end product delivered. They are determined when they deem something necessary for achieving
good service delivery and are passionate about ensuring continuous supply of excellent quality potable
water. They are aware that running smoothly is required 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are well
prepared to respond in emergency situations.

BSc. Chemistry (UKZN); B.Tech Management (DUT).
Ms Monica Malunga has over 10 years of experience in Umgeni Water at management
and senior management level and is currently the Regional Manager in the Ulwandle
Operations division since 2012. She is also a Trustee of the Umgeni Water Provident
Fund, Chairperson of Imbewu Capital Partners Development Trust since 2005. Monica
was a previous Board member of the Black Management Forum (BMF)

Page 21 of 51

Umgeni Waters Innovative Approach to Package Water Treatment Plants for Rural Applications
Boyers, B., Thompson, P., Myers, R., Maharaj, L., Nyawose, J. (
The design, construction and operation of the Umgeni Water mobile water treatment plant at the
Mhlabatshane Bulk Water Supply Scheme (BWSS) was a flagship project for the organisation, with a
vision of developing a plug and play system that could easily be moved to critical supply areas
experiencing potable water shortages.
This paper highlights the pros and cons of package plants for stop-gap use, based on a case study
conducted at the Mhlabatshane BWSS from February 2014 to October 2014. The key areas of discussion
include previous perceptions and problems associated with package plants, innovative design
considerations, integration with the main treatment works, the level of automation, the final water quality
and an overview of the construction and direct operating costs.
Package plants were negatively perceived by Umgeni Water for many years, since previous plants
experienced major operational and maintenance problems which affected the final water quality and
quantity. These costly investments were normally operated for a short period of time and then placed offline. Poor flocculation was one of the main process related problems encountered and this resulted in poor
clarification, the over-loading of filters and therefore resulted in poor final water quality. Mechanical,
electrical and instrumentation (ME&I) failures were challenging, as spares were not always readily
available and the in-compatibility of equipment, such as the PLC, made it difficult for the experienced
maintenance staff to provide quick solutions. Queries were normally referred back to the contractors or
suppliers and this led to significant delays and operational down-time.
The innovative approach for the new mobile treatment plant was mainly on the advancement of the
flocculation tank technology in order to ensure that adequate residence time was included in the process
prior to clarification. The tank was built with four compartments with one rapid mixing and three slow
mixing zones. Mechanical mixers were installed and operated on variable speed drives which improved
the flexibility of adjusting mixing energies to accommodate for the choice of coagulant. This has proven to
be very successful as the process is now capable of treating river, dam or borehole water sources and it
can handle large variations in raw water quality. A clarifier by-pass valve was also included to
accommodate direct-filtration depending on the raw water source or seasonal changes. All ME&I
equipment were selected from Umgeni Waters preferred or standardised lists so that there was an
availability of spares within the organisation or within the specific operational areas, to enable maintenance
staff to effectively service the plant and provide quick turnaround times. All major equipment that were
either mounted on concrete slabs or containerised, had flanged connections to allow for easy installation
and removal of piping. Electrical connections followed a similar philosophy in order to achieve the main
design principle of the plant being mobile. The filtration feed pumps, backwash pumps and blowers were
installed in two open-sided 6m containers to allow for the ease of maintenance. In addition, other design
improvements included energy efficiency, the ease of plant optimisation, and the speed of deployment.
The package plants conventional process design is such that it can be easily integrated into an existing
treatment works that may be experiencing quality issues, i.e. due to operating above its design capacity, or
it can operate as a stand-alone system. Existing plant utilities such as lime and chlorine dosing systems,
process water, sludge disposal and backwash recovery systems can be shared between both the package
and main plants and the PLC was standardised to ensure compatibility. The plant is fully automated with
actuated control valves, flow proportional dosing, a streaming current detector (SCD) to control the
polyelectrolyte dosage, automated clarifier desludging and filter backwashing. All of these displays are
visible on a SCADA computer which was installed in a lockable container with the MCC panel. All
equipment had a duty-standby arrangement.

Page 22 of 51

The water quality during the seven months of operation, while the main treatment works was being
constructed, has been excellent. The average final water turbidity was below 0.3 NTU, with no
microbiological failures. A water quality monitoring programme was initiated during that period and
Sampling Officers visited the site on a weekly basis. The routine samples were compliant with SANS
241:2011 and the Umgeni Water internal control limits.
Typical construction costs included, the excavation and levelling of the site to accommodate for the total
package plant footprint of approximately 200m2, the design and construction of the concrete slabs for the
flocculation tank, two clarifiers and three pressure filters to hold the full weight of the structures inclusive of
its water volume, the transport and placement of the major process units on the concrete slabs, storage
tanks for raw, backwash and final water, and the tie-ins to the raw water intake chamber and the final
water distribution reservoirs. This was about 30% (R3 million) of the total capital cost of the project. The
total operating costs (direct and indirect) for the Mhlabatshane package plant was R25.44 per kl for the
seven months duration. The indirect costs also included the asset impairment costs. The high total cost
was mainly due to the plant being operated at only 25% of its design capacity for majority of the time and
for only 8 hours per day to meet the potable water demand. It must be noted that this system is unique as
it does not have a dedicated Eskom supply and thus it relies on three diesel generators which operate the
dam pump-station, booster pump-station and package plant respectively. The direct operating costs for
this period was R10.18 per kl and this would have dropped to R2.51 per kl if the package plant was
running at its design capacity for the same daily hours of operation. Although, at a minimum, one Operator
and Shift Attendant are required per shift, it is evident from the high operating costs that these plants are
not intended to serve the long-term needs of an area. If the intention is to install such a plant to address
the design capacity or quality issues of an existing waterworks, detailed technical discussions are required
to ensure that it is effectively integrated as part of the existing works to avoid simply doubling the daily
work volume of Operators, such that additional resources are required for it to become a sustainable
Overall, Umgeni Waters vision was for its new mobile treatment plant to provide a short term (stop-gap)
sustainable solution for critical areas of supply. The adopted design philosophy ensured that the plant was
compact and mobile so that it can be easily de-commissioned, dismantled and moved to a new site with
four to six weeks if the required raw water, concrete slabs and reticulation at the new site are already in
The mobile water treatment plant won the SAIWA (industrial division of WISA) award for "Outstanding
contribution in Industrial Water Technology at the WISA 2014 Biennial Conference and Exhibition held in
Nelspruit on 27th May 2014. This accolade was a positive affirmation of package plant technology and its
innovative approach to supply high quality potable water to rural communities or critical supply areas in
order to service the needs of Umgeni Waters customers.
Umgeni Waters CE, GM: E&SS, Operations,Asset Management and Process Services staff; Consulting
Engineer, Bosch Stemele; Contractors, WPCP, Sowa Projects and VinPower
Brief Biography: Dr Lakesh Maharaj
Lakesh, Senior Process Engineer in the Process Services Department holds a PhD in
chemical engineering.

He is currently involved with process design, process

optimization and trouble-shooting and training of junior engineers.

He is also an

honorary research fellow at UKZN involved with water research.

Page 23 of 51

Youth Skills Development and Training

By M. Malishe and P. Maduray;
The post-apartheid state ushered in a period of wide-scale reform of public policies, amongst which
were reforms to the countrys education and training systems. One of the strategies developed by the
government was the National Skills Development Strategy III. This strategy seeks to encourage and
actively support the integration of workplace training with theoretical learning. Some of the challenges
that this strategy responds to are:


The inadequate skill levels and poor work readiness of many young people leaving formal
secondary and tertiary education and entering the labour market for the first time.
Continuing skills shortages in the artisanal, technical and professional fields that are
fundamental to the development and growth of our economy.
Systemic blockages such as a lack of synergy between the various post-school subsystems (e.g. universities, FET colleges, SETAs); a lack of clarity in relation to the role
expected of the various parts of the skills development system; inefficiency and waste; and
the silo mentality which prevents the partnerships and alignments needed to improve
The absence of coherent strategies within economic and industrial sectors, compounded
by the lack of systematic skills development to support and sustain growth and

Umgeni Waters Efforts to Reduce the Skills Shortage

The shortage of skills is affecting every sector in the country and therefore requires innovative ways to
minimize its impact. The main challenge experienced by the organisation is the problem of skills gap,
with many incumbents fresh from institutions of higher learning coming into the mainstream without
the requisite experience, e.g. operator or artisan experience. The combined skills of the more
experienced staff cannot be replicated overnight and hence there is a need to retain them, whilst fasttracking the training of the new incumbents.
Umgeni Water (UW) supports government initiatives of increasing access to training and skills
development opportunities particularly for young people, through Strategic Objective 9 of the
Business Plan: Increase skills and competency. Skills training and development is effectively
implemented through the following avenues (Figure 1), amongst others:

Page 24 of 51

Umgeni Water Trainees

Bursary Students


Ar`san Trainees






UW In-services

Figure 1: Umgeni Water Trainees

In 2010 Umgeni Water implemented a Learnership programme for 37 unemployed youth in the
Electrical, Mechanical and Instrumentation fields. Umgeni Water offers bursaries to thirteen students
in each financial year for tertiary enrolment in the fields of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
and Financial Accounting. Each year an average of three students complete their studies and are
absorbed as Graduate Trainees by Umgeni Water. Fifteen University graduates are enrolled in
engineering, science and other required professional fields in the organisation. Umgeni Waters
graduate trainee programme is a two-year mentorship programme aligned to guidelines provided by
professional registration bodies. Twenty students from local Universities of Technology are offered InService and Graduate training in the fields of Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology, Biotechnology
(Laboratories), Water Quality and Environment, Chemical Engineering (Waterworks), Electrical,
Instrumentation & Mechanical Engineering (Workshops).
UW also offers workplace experience opportunities to young interns for 1 year, providing training in
Legal service, Human Resources, Finance, Safety and health and administration. There is currently a
shortage of qualified engineers and technically skilled people at municipalities in KZN. To address this
shortage, the National Treasury has placed 44 University and University of Technology graduates at
Umgeni Water to receive training and the expertise required to become competent and successful
higher-level employees.

Presantha Maduray, 28 years old holds a Bsc Chem Eng from UKZN Employed at
Umgeni Water since 2011, started through the Graduate Programme .Currently
employed as Process Technologist at Umgeni Water within the Process Services.
Completed the Emerging Managers Programme at UKZN in 2014 with distinction

Mzwandile Malishe holds a B Tech and a B Com (Honours) degrees specialising in

human resources management. He has over 15 years experience in human resources
especially training and development. He is currently a Talent and Organizational
Development Manager since 2008 in the Corporate Services Division of Umgeni Water

Page 25 of 51

A Concept Plan to Supply Bulk Water in Kwazulu-Natal

Kevin Meier (

South Africa is exposed to many of the pressures of a developing country, notably the provision of
access to basic services such as a sustainable source of drinking water. In 1990 it was estimated that
around 15 million people were without a safe water supply. Recently there have been numerous, and
often contradictory reports that attempt to quantify the extent of the countries, backlog to drinking
water. These backlog numbers are often used as a basis to determine and justify the infrastructure
programmes required to reduce the backlogs, as part of the countries water supply planning process.
These reports usually emanate from water utilities (such as Umgeni Water) that develop bulk
Infrastructure Master Plans (IMPs), Water Service Authorities (WSAs) that develop Integrated
Development Plans (IDPs) and Water Services Development Plans (WSDPs). In addition to these
water supply plans, there are currently several supporting programmes including the Department of
Water and Sanitations (DWS) Total Water Services Business Master Planning process, the All Towns
/ Reconciliation Studies, the Prioritisation of Water Services to 23 District Municipalities, the
Interim/Intermediate Water Supply Programme (IIWSP), Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), and the
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Universal Access Plan (UAP). It is widely
recognised that the water supply planning process, to date, has not entirely fulfilled the water planning
requirements of the country as was originally envisaged. Realising that many of these initiatives have
a common vision and agenda, Umgeni Water, as an agent of both COGTA and the DWS recently
undertook a water access planning programme for the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The main
objective of this project was to co-ordinate the development of an all-inclusive conceptual water
supply plan for KZN. The plan includes:
The development of continuous water supply footprint areas showing demographics, current
and required levels of water service, and importantly any gaps in water service delivery to the
1.8m households in KZN.
The provision of conceptual plans of regional or stand-alone schemes to supply water,
In areas where regional schemes arent viable or where an interim water supply is needed to
meet intermediate deadlines, a local scheme is recommended, and
An indication of costing and implementation timing to address water backlogs.
To provide a basis of all water planning studies to date, a status quo assessment was done of all
existing studies and reports relating to water supply. This included the all town studies (by DWS), all
municipal WSDPs, IDPs, Infrastructure Grant Projects, various Geographic databases, and field
verification with the Municipalities themselves.
Spatial datasets including Eskoms building count data (2011), the DWS Level of Service data,
Census 2011 (Stats SA) and orthophoto imagery were used to delineate continuous Water Supply
Footprint Areas showing current and required levels of water service. These footprints were verified
where possible with the relevant Municipal officials during site visits. The footprint data has been used
as a central repository for all relevant data including future water demands.
Existing and planned water supply schemes were identified initially from the status quo assessment,
and then verified where possible with the relevant Municipal officials. To address the short term water
backlogs, local and regional supply schemes (at a conceptual level) have been proposed and costed
to achieve Universal Access to water for all 10 Municipalities. There are some 300 000 (of 1.8m)
households without adequate access to potable water in KZN. The study found that to achieve
Universal Access would require some 1400 schemes at a cost of ca. R20.7 billion. These schemes
Page 26 of 51

range from schemes with small water treatment plants to bulk lines, reservoirs to reticulation and
stand pipe connections to boreholes with tanks and hand-pumps.
Various pre-existing Infrastructure Grant projects were generally not considered when proposing
conceptual alternate schemes to eradicate current backlogs. Consequently, there could be
overlapping of the proposed conceptual schemes to the regional bulk schemes and thus overlapping
of infrastructure costs.
In addition to reporting and maps, all spatial data have been loaded to a spatial database.
The project has not only enabled COGTA to achieve their interim strategic need to provide Universal
Access Plans for water, but has also provided a sound basis for Umgeni Waters regional water
planning. This is especially significant since the utility has been requested to begin operations in other
parts of KZN and the Eastern Cape.
Although it would appear that universal access to water is possible, this is fraught with difficulties.
Notably, the study is based on small, short term and often unreliable schemes. Consequently, Umgeni
Water has commissioned a second phase of this study to identify areas where sustainable regional
schemes could be used. Many don't have the means to pay for water, hence making the viability of
water supply challenging, especially for longer term operation and maintenance of the schemes.
Nonetheless, Umgeni Water is continuing with its quest to provide clean safe water to all people in its
Table 1. Summary of UAP water backlogs and proposed schemes (for implementation by 2020) in
# of proposed
Cost (R)
MWIG 2014
R 1 160 000 000
R 3 725 626 814
R 347 000 000
R 1 778 176 784
R 813 000 000
R 5 947 359 627
R 224 000 000
R 4 073 582 259
R 307 000 000
R 4 251 330 305
R 927 022 088
R 1 057 401 792
R 4 797 717 979
R 3 134 658 799
R 1 415 983 390
R 5 889 576 950
R 4 076 737 351
R 4 968 798 729
R 2 704 212 440
R 20 723 945 911 R 36 638 663 121

District Municipality Backlog (households) Backlog (%)

Harry Gwala


Biography: Kevin Meier

Kevin Meier graduated with an MSc in Agricultural Engineering from the

University of Natal, South Africa in 1996. Kevin worked in the consulting
environment for nine years where he became a professional engineer. He then
joined Umgeni Water as a Planning Engineer in 2005 and is now the manager
of the Planning Services Department where he heads up a team of engineers
and hydrologists. The Planning services Department identifies infrastructure that
will be required to meet future water resource and water supply needs for
Umgeni Waters operational area.

Page 27 of 51

A Tactical Approach to facilitating better Water and Sanitation Management

William Moraka, Director: Water Services
South African Local Government Association
(PO Box 2094 Pretoria, Tshwane, RSA, 0001)
Post 1994, our policy choices were premised on accelerating service delivery particularly to the unserved with minimum innovation and partnership with innovators. Further, we under-estimated the
scope and the scale of the task at hand. Many of the proclaimed Water Services Authorities
particularly District Municipalities under played the magnitude of the task compared to the
Metropolitan Municipalities. Essentially many of these organisations had no institutional predecessor
and were deemed new institutions.
The population size served by Metros and District municipalities as depicted in the graph below is of
significance. Failure to manage water resources delivery services sustainably could have dire
consequences. Today majority of South Africans enjoy access to good quality water and decent
sanitation as a result of amongst others infrastructure funding (MIG), bulk providers (water boards)
Municipalities etc. However there are still major challenges on innovative methods of delivering
services at a municipal level.

Figure 1. Relative Size of WSAs in South Africa: STATSSA (superweb)

Governance (Institutional Delivery Mechanisms)
The success or failure of water services delivery is dependent amongst others on the type of decision
making process and information presented to decision makers. Research undertaken by SALGA on
the delivery approaches concluded that:
Clear preference for internal over external mechanisms, which are difficult to sustain politically

Page 28 of 51

High level of divergence between the recommended mechanism and the current mechanism
whenever the recommendation was not to provide the services internally
Weak link between the S78 process and water services performance
In some instances good performance has been achieved whether a S78 study was performed
or not
Significant changes to the service delivery mechanism succeeded
where these have been supported by strong leadership to
ensure sustained political support for the process
Instability, accountability and risk in the district-local interface (WSA and WSP)
These are some of the major issues the sector should reflect upon and chart a way forward
Research and Technology
Research conducted by various organs of state begins to share some light on innovative methods
and approaches to service delivery. Part of this approach is embedded in SALGAs business unusual
method and tactical approach
Developing a credible technological database (equivalent to trip advisor) for access by
Establishing Centers of excellences in major cities in the following disciplines
o Scientific Services
o Operational Training and Development - Water and Sanitation Simulation
o Technology Innovation
o Performance driven sector
o Strategic Asset Management with emphasis on Failure Mode Effects and Criticality
Analysis (FMECA)
Funding Instruments
Figures put together by National Treasury indicates that the local
Government sector has spent in the order of R141b between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Most of
these funds were spent towards the unserved. Essentially spending most of the fund on social
infrastructure - on the basis of our policy choices. Going forward the local government infrastructure
grant review process championed by National Treasury in collaboration with SALGA, DCOG, FFC
and the DPME is seen as a game changer in the infrastructure delivery domain. It seeks to define a
better infrastructure delivery approach and most importantly a drive towards funding the right
infrastructure for the right purposes with life cycle asset management as the core.
Furthermore off the market funding for both raw and potable projects - requires an innovative
approach - such could include
Setting aside a % of the total project value for non revenue water
Enablers - levers of change
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Define a common planning horizon and synchronize such

Define an Integrated Infrastructure Delivery Model(s) and funding instruments
Define the water value chain management structures and its parameters

The global water community is emphasizing the need to explore innovative ways of service delivery
and most importantly harnessing technological advances in a quest to better manage water
resources. Water Security supplemented by Science and Technology and Managing risk and
uncertainty for water infrastructure resilience is vital for future generations.
In this regard the following matters should form part of an ongoing debate within the water sector.

A coherent policy and science framework and or debate is require to guide the sector on its
ability to delivery and manage water and sanitation sustainability
Creation of Centers of excellences that will serve as anchors of innovative solutions
The Water Sector to set the research and agenda and the delivery mechanisms
Quantify all potential sources of water and define the delivery mode, and management
Upscale innovative solutions
Partnerships are key
Pooling Funding and Integrated Infrastructure Development to facilitate better coordinated
water resources management and service delivery

William Moraka is a Director in SALGA.

Page 30 of 51

Building Effective Partnerships between Water Sector Stakeholders and Institutions in order to
achieve the Developmental Water Management Framework

Dan Naidoo (

In reviewing the overall challenges in the water sector, there are three key significant issues that need
to be addressed besides the implementation of infrastructure. The first is effective governance and
regulations, the second is institutional arrangements and capacity and the third is the effective
management of finances, infrastructure and consumers.
While there are many current initiatives by many different stakeholders, to achieve the outcomes of
government, the status of service delivery and the associated measures indicate an obvious
inefficient approach to the challenges that remain.
The immense challenge, of providing an effective service delivery model to municipalities that is both
financially viable and sustainable within the current economic constraints, requires a different
approach. This involves relationships between the various stakeholders and role players and how
they come together in jointly transforming the water sector to meet the Development Water
Management Framework.
The National Water Resources Strategy has adopted a position of developmental water management,
a framework which directly addresses the linkages between water management and the
developmental and transformational goals of government. This approach also requires the
consideration of the entire water value chain in terms of how water contributes to achieving equitable,
beneficial and sustainable development across the country. The Constitution indisputably mandates
developmental water management and requires that the legislation and its implementation actively
promotes and gives effect to the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
Therefore, in attempting to provide possible solutions we must not lose sight of dealing with the whole
water value chain from water resource to consumptive and productive use and back to the water
resource. In order to meet this requirement which is outlined in various pieces of legislation, that
provide guidance, the overriding requirement is that the various tiers of government and institutions of
government must partner and work together in achieving this mandate.
The objective of this paper, while acknowledging the various known obvious reasons for poor service
delivery and the current backlogs in water services provision, will be to review the current approaches
by the various spheres of government and government institutions and propose possible options in
working together and adopting a partnership approach to effective water services delivery. The
review will encompass the critical assessment of the current constraints and advantages of the
various financial models, legislation, strategies, and frameworks being utilised by the various roleplayers and how these can be jointly adopted/implemented in partnership to ensure that we meet the
water service provision mandate, with a key focus being on rural water services provision. The
following key challenges in the Water Sector will provide the framework for the discussion:

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Water Services challenges

There are challenges throughout the supply chain but the key challenges that are most prevalent are
as follows:

Poor functioning of effluent treatment works leading to health risks, contamination of water
and pollution of water resources and the environment.
Poor service delivery.
Water scarcity.
Weak water services institutional capacity.
Lack of adequate bulk infrastructure.
Financial viability of service providers throughout the value chain
Viability of retail operations

Biography: Dan Naidoo

Dan Naidoo has a BSc (Hons) Water Utilization Eng degree and post graduate
management certifications. He has spent most of his years at Umgeni Water in
various management positions in the Operations Division and has a wealth of
operations management experience. Over the recent years he has provided
strategic support related to technical and administrative functions on behalf of
Umgeni Water to KZN COGTA and DWS. He has also managed the RBIG
National Programme for DWS since inception in 2008 to date and has been appointed as
Administrator in support of KZN COGTAs support to municipalities. Dans current interest includes
Infrastructure Funding Models and Institutional arrangement s for the water sector.

Page 32 of 51

Drought Management and Planning

Angus Nicoll (

The three security characteristics of risk, threat and vulnerability are applicable to water supply. From
a planning perspective, water from the Umzinto Supply System is required to be supplied at a 98%
level of assurance (i.e. a 1:50 year risk of failure). Drought is not an unexpected event and is
considered a natural recurring feature of climate.
Drought events result in less water being available to meet the needs of the unchanged water
demands, thereby the need for management interventions. Depending on the communitys
vulnerability, and its capacity to manage the potential threats, a drought may become a disaster.
Drought management at Umgeni Water focuses on risk management, which entails planning in
advance to minimise drought risk; contrary to crisis management which merely reacts to the current
event. In this regard, the following risk management aspects are continuously evaluated by Umgeni
Water Planning Services:
Preparedness: monitoring to determine risk; and drought management plans to limit
Mitigation Responses: actions to be implemented before and during drought event to limit
Emergency Responses: measures to be implemented in case of extreme circumstances,
where mitigation responses have not reduced the threats.
Umgeni Water recently implemented the Mpambanyoni River Emergency Scheme to reduce the risk
of non-supply from the Umzinto Supply System. This scheme, which transfers raw water from the
neighbouring catchment, comprises the following:
Temporary abstraction at DWS weir U8H003 on the river.
Temporary pump station, two stages pumping from river abstraction to tank and then high
lift pumps (8 Ml/d).
Pipeline (5.1km)
The storage level of EJ Smith Dam was 30.6%, when construction started on the 19 November 2014.
Pumping commenced on 20 December 2014 and over the 31 day pumping period EJ Smith Dam
storage level increased from 41.3% to 69.7%.
Mike Tyson stated: Everybody has a plan until they get hit... Its the ability to trust the process, and
absorb any curve balls, which prevents the focus from reverting to crisis management. The drought
management plan comprises of triggers to aid decision makers and stakeholders of when decisive
action needs to be taken. The first of 3 key insights gained from the drought event within the Umzinto
Supply System was the short lead time between triggers, as illustrated in Graph 1.

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Graph 1: Comparison of Timing between Decision Making Trigger Points

The time to implement mitigation measures of water demand management (WDM), reduction in water
use and alternative potable water supply was 36, 38 and 65 days respectively. For various reasons,
the above interventions had limited success in being fully implemented. Consequently EJ Smith Dam
failed, i.e. unable to supply water.
Other key insights include:
The importance of measurement, leadership in doing the right things
The price of drinking water dilemma, economics alone is not appropriate
The above insights illustrate the contribution of Umgeni Water over and above the role as bulk Water
Service Provider; i.e. creating conditions which enable people to be successful during time of crises.
Particularly in cash flowing the emergency scheme; despite the reduction in sales associated with the
drought mitigation measures.
The following actions will enhance managing future drought events:
Water network plans and water balance analysis
WDM assistance
Visual representation of triggers and mitigation response successes
Financial facility to provide for mitigation responses
The risk management approach used by Umgeni Water helped minimise the impacts associated with
the drought. However, the need for emergency response measures was still necessary in order to
prevent the drought from becoming a disaster. Post drought recovery activities need to assess the
environment and the economy when reviewing the communitys vulnerability for future events.

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Profile of Angus Nicoll

Angus has a BSc Eng and PGDip in Management from University of Natal.
4 years mining industry, (Coal) responsible for water management, treatment
and pollution control
3 years consulting civil engineering, responsible for technical aspects relating
to water within the Townships and Structures section
6 years bulk water services industry, responsible for technical aspects relating
to water resources and infrastructure planning for the entire Umgeni Water
supply area
10 years construction and property development industry, responsible for the
associated commercial operations and financial management aspects

Page 35 of 51

Technical Sustainability and Long term Growth

Sachita Korlam and Lindelani Sibiya (

Water utilities and municipalities in South Africa are facing a plethora of challenges, including aging
infrastructure with associated failure, rising costs, increased regulatory requirements, unplanned
developments, poor water demand management, poor sanitation planning, and a shortage of artisans,
scientist and engineers. How does a utility or municipality measure its state of readiness to meet and
mitigate these challenges? It is a well-established fact that what cannot be measured cannot be
managed or controlled.
This paper provides a synopsis of a management framework that Umgeni Water uses to measure and
monitor its performance against these challenges with a specific focus on the technical, which is
based on an internationally accepted tool and framework for managing and measuring its
performance and status of development as a water utility. The framework has 10 key attributes which
can be used to evaluate the utility status and the model is known as the Ten Attributes of Effectively
Managed Water Sector Utilities and is summarised in Figure 1 below.
Figure 2: Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities
Water and waste water management is a highly technical
environment and the availability of appropriately qualified and
trained technical expertise and operational support can make or
break a water utility. The tool describes 10 key attributes for the
effective management of a water utility. The state of development
of a utilities technical backbone can be measured in five of the 10
key attributes.
The five attributes are briefly described below:
Product Quality
Operational Optimization
Infrastructure Stability
Operational Resiliency
Water Resource Adequacy

Page 36 of 51

Product Quality is an indicator of the potable water,

Engineering and Scientific

Services provide invaluable
support to Operations in
terms of ensuring
sustainable operations are

treated effluent and process residuals compliance with

regulatory and reliability requirements and consistent with
customer, public health, and ecological needs.

Operational Optimization ensures on-going, timely, cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable

performance improvements in all facets of operations. It minimizes resource use, loss, and impacts
from day-to-day operations and maintains awareness of information and operational technology
developments to anticipate and support timely adoption of improvements.
Infrastructure Stability is an indicator of how well the utility understands the condition of and costs
associated with critical infrastructure assets. It measures how well the utility maintains and enhances
the condition of all assets over the long-term at the lowest possible life-cycle cost and acceptable risk
consistent with customer, community, and regulator-supported service levels, and consistent with
anticipated growth and system reliability goals. The utility needs to ensure assets are repaired,
rehabilitated, and also that replacement efforts are coordinated within the community to minimize
disruptions and other negative consequences
Operational Resiliency ensures that the utility leadership and staff work together to anticipate and
avoid problems. The utility needs to proactively identify, assess and establish tolerance levels for a
full range of business risks (including legal, regulatory, financial, environmental, safety, security, and
natural disaster-related). It must also ensure that it effectively manages these risks in a proactive way
consistent with industry trends and system reliability goals approaches as part of an overall strategy
to maintain and enhance ecological and community sustainability
Water Resource Adequacy ensures water availability consistent with current and future customer
needs through long-term resource supply and demand analysis, conservation, and public education.
Explicitly considers its role in water availability and manages operations to provide for long-term
aquifer and surface water sustainability and replenishment.
In Umgeni Water, the Operations Division is responsible for Operational Resiliency, including the
operation and maintenance of treatment processes and infrastructure. Going hand-in-hand with this is
the technical support offered to Operations by the Engineering and Scientific Services (E&SS)
division. The division comprises of 280 engineers, scientists and technicians who provide a technical
support of Umgeni Waters water and waste water infrastructure.

Page 37 of 51

The demand for technical support has grown over the last 10 years, driven primarily by the challenges
of escalating demand and treatment costs, deteriorating water quality, aging infrastructure and limited
fresh water resources. New and innovative solutions are therefore needed, and the technical support
provided has been instrumental in enabling Operations achieve process efficiency.

In terms of product quality and to meet statutory requirements for public health protection, almost
1000 sampling points are visited each month, spanning a distance of about 50 000 km, as per the
monitoring programmes developed each year. Samples are analysed daily for compliance with
SANS 241, at four laboratories at Umgeni Water Head Office in Pietermaritzburg by approximately 60
technicians and scientists. The results are used for process monitoring and optimisation,
troubleshooting, pollution control and protection of resource water quality of the catchment, and are
also required for attaining Blue Drop and Green Drop status.
The Process Services department has been part of the organisational structure since the founding of
Umgeni Water in 1974. The Process Evaluation Facility (PEF), offshoot from the Process Services
department, was formed in 1992. At that time, the PEF started off with just two staff. Today, the PEF
consists of over 30 chemical engineers, technologists and technicians, who are responsible for
providing technical support to Operations, which include pilot and laboratory scale investigations and
process audits, which would otherwise need to be outsourced to consultants.
Troubleshooting and problem solving requires that Operations and E&SS work jointly, especially for
ad hoc disputes about water quality failures and water losses. Independence in these investigations is
necessary for ensuring no biasness. These investigations are key to implementing Incident
Management Protocols and the findings and recommendations are critical to ensuring corrective and
preventative actions are implemented. In terms of Operational Resiliency, Umgeni Water ensures
that the utility leadership and staff work together to anticipate and avoid problems. One of the key
instruments it uses to achieve this resiliency is by undertaking Comprehensive Process
Evaluations (CPEs) and Process Audits of plants. Besides being a regulatory Blue Drop
requirement, these audits are also necessary in ensuring operational sustainability and resiliency.
These provide audits are a proactive way of identifying and managing process risks by an undertaking
an independent professional assessment of the condition and performance of plants and processes.
This is a key aspect of effectively managing risks and system reliability. Umgeni Water also provides
these services to its existing bulk customers and is considered to be part of the tariff.
As indicated above Infrastructure Stability is an indicator of how well the utility understands the
condition of and costs associated with critical infrastructure assets? The increasing demand for
potable water and sanitation services has necessitated the roll-out of large CAPEX projects for plant
upgrades and new plants. This service is provided by a multidisciplinary team of 60 engineers and
Page 38 of 51

technicians. This service includes preliminary and detailed design of water infrastructure as well as
associated implementation via a project management unit of including feasibility studies, technical
input during design for these projects.
One of the recent highlights in this regard has been the use of in-house expertise in the design for the
upgrade of Hazelmere waterworks in the North Coast. Operating manuals and training sessions were
provided to the Operations personnel, to ease the transition from operating a 45 ML/day plant to
operating the upgraded 75 ML/day plant which uses improved and innovative treatment technology.
Exploring technology advancements as part of Operational Optimisation was recently demonstrated
when GSM technology was used to revolutionise the way disinfection can be managed by Operations
in challenging circumstances. The design of an unmanned disinfection system for rural standalone
schemes is currently being piloted at Ekwazini Maphumulo in Ilembe. This innovative mode of
process monitoring and control resulted in logistically easier and cost effective provision of safe
drinking water to customers.
In terms of Operational Optimisation and minimising resource use, one of the highlights in terms of
chemical selection has been the adoption of polymeric coagulants. Alum was traditionally the
favoured chemical coagulant in water treatment. When polymeric coagulants emerged in the market,
with the well-known operating cost-cutting benefits of producing less sludge requiring treatment and
disposal, Process Services conducted extensive investigations confirming its effectiveness and was
one of the worlds leaders in changing over to these newer products.
Polymeric coagulants are now widely used at most of Umgeni Waters potable water treatment plants.
Chemical optimisation didnt end there, since over the years, standard procedures when procuring
chemicals now require that plant trials for evaluating various chemicals are done. Process Services
and the Laboratory work jointly with Operations to verify the products offered by various suppliers by
conducting plant trials. Recommendations are made on the best chemical for each plant, which are
used in the decision making process.

In terms of Water Resource Adequacy, Umgeni Water has a Planning Department, which comprises
of 12 planning engineers who are dedicated to ensuring that there are sufficient water resources for
the next 20-30 years. The services offered to Operations include Water Resources planning, Water
Conservation, Water Demand Management, and Bulk Infrastructure
Infrastructure Master Planning, Bulk infrastructure studies, geo-hydrological and hydrological
The worlds fast running out of fossil fuels, and coupled with the electricity supply shortcomings,
renewable energy is an attractive option. A green initiative undertaken by Umgeni Water is the use of
methane rich waste gas from the anaerobic digesters at Darvill WWW to generate electricity. The
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generated electricity will be used at Darvill, to keep key equipment operational during power failures.
E&SS and Operations are working closely with consultants on this project, which apart from
environmental benefits, also improves process reliability by limiting the extent of process interruptions
associated with power disruptions. This mitigates the operational strain of not being able to treat
incoming waste in periods when there is no power, by maintaining critical operating parameters of key
equipment within operating limits.
Brief biography of Lindelani Sibiya
Lindelani Sibiya, a Senior Process Technician in the Process Services Department,
holds a B Tech degree in (Chemical Engineering). Currently studying towards a
BSc honours degree in water and wastewater utilization, Lindelani is providing
valuable technical support for Operations in process optimization, trouble-shooting
and process audits.

Page 40 of 51

Umgeni Waters Innovative Approach to Bulk Water Services Pricing

Kajal Singh ( and Thami Hlongwa
Only tariffs based on sound economic principles can ensure the efficient use of resources and hence
reduce wastage, promote sustainability of services and continuous improvement. The Strategic Water
sector overview 2013 supports this basis by its conclusion that To ensure sustainable water services
it is essential to recover costs and to maintain institutional financial viability. Paying for water is vital
and an effective payment mechanism is required to ensure water is used effectively and sparingly.
To this end, suitable tariffs must be set by all relevant water services institutions involved.
However, tariffs cannot be increased just to compensate for process inefficiencies, poor management
decisions or for generating surplus funds.
The Water Services Act (section 34) provides the principles on which a water board that is financially
viable has to operate.

Therefore this definition forms the basic principles on which Water services

pricing should be based to be efficient in satisfying the need (for the proposed tariff increase).
Sustainable pricing is characterised by pricing that is:
(a) affordable
(b) predictable and transparent
(c) equitable and fair to users
(d) Promotes water conservation among users
The objective of this paper is to examine the issues regarding sustainable and efficient bulk water
services provision (the problem statement) and address the issues by capturing the basic principles
that can overcome the shortcomings identified in pricing.
Current Guidelines for Bulk Water Services Pricing
Pricing for the provision of bulk water services is guided by legislation and discussion papers issued
by National Treasury or Department of Water and Sanitation. In terms of the Water services Act
section 31(2), bulk water pricing is provided by water boards and is submitted for Ministerial approval
after a detailed consultation process with its customers, National Treasury and SALGA, Section 42 of
the MFMA (Municipal Financial Management Act 56 of 2003) and National Treasurys MFMA circular
23, sets out the consultation process that must be followed, as well as, a guideline in terms of the
motivation required from the Water Board for a pricing adjustment. This is documented as follows:
Such submission must be accompanied by:
a motivation for the proposed amendment;
an explanation of how the amendment takes account ofPage 41 of 51

governments inflation targets and other macro-economic policy objectives;

steps taken by the organ of state to improve its competitiveness or efficiency in order to
reduce costs;

any objectives or targets as outlined in any corporate or other governance plan applicable
to that organ of state;

any written comments received from the National Treasury, organised local government or any
municipalities; and
explanation of how such comments have been taken into account
Deficiencies in the Current Procedure for Tariff Adjustment
The relevant governments department and structures like National Treasury and SALGA expressed
some reservations in the current tariff adjusting procedure even though it followed legislative
A report for National Treasury by Rolfe Eberhard on 'Administered Prices: Water' highlighted issues
with respect to Bulk water pricing that include the following:
Bulk tariffs are set inconsistently by Water Boards and with a lack transparency
There are no incentives to cut costs or improve efficiency.
Prices for bulk water, provided by other agencies, such as Water Service Authorities are also not
formally regulated. Where WSAs manage their own bulk supplies, costs (and price) are subsumed
in their retail tariffs. Where WSAs provide bulk water to other WSPs, price and other terms are
negotiated between the parties.
SALGA in its assessments of water board tariffs 2016, to some extent, share the same sentiments and
have included as concluding remarks in their report which include the following:
Information received from the water boards is not presented in a manner that is consistent
therefore comparison becomes increasingly difficult.
Projections should be provided for at least 3 years.
There should be a full breakdown of the key cost drivers and a consistent definition of cost of
sales, direct costs and overhead costs should be used by all Water Boards.
In devising the principles of highly effective and sustainable pricing for the provision of Bulk Water
service, cognisance should be taken of the abovementioned comments and the legislative guidelines
provided for pricing of bulk water services provision.
Umgeni Water's Systematic Approach to Bulk Water Services Pricing
The principles of efficient and sustainable pricing of bulk water services provision should be
encapsulated in a financial model which is sensitive to the cashflow impact of inputs. Cashflow is the

Page 42 of 51

best indicator of liquidity, gearing and solvency and should therefore be the mainstay of efficient and
sustainable pricing.
If an entity is able to understand the cashflow impacts of its business decisions it may be in a more
advantageous position to respond to risks or opportunities.
The Cash Flow Model

The cash flow tariff model will deliver a tariff that is predictable, transparent and affordable rather than
pricing adjustments that cause widespread shocks in the economy.
The adoption of a pricing policy that adheres to the principals described above will ultimately lead to a
pricing mechanism that is efficient and sustainable. Furthermore, the efficiency
of pricing for bulk water services provision may enhance the efficiency of retail
tariffs as all water services providers ascribe to a consistent methodology.
Brief biography of Kajal Singh CA (SA): Umgeni Water: Manager: Treasury
Kajal, a Chartered Accountant Is the Manager (Treasury), with 10 years
experience in a management role at Umgeni Water, specialising in Treasury Management and
financial planning. Her role at Umgeni Water involves the management of UWs available investments
and funding as well as the determination of the annual tariff increase proposal and the associated
funding strategies to ensure the continued financial viability of Umgeni Water.
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Value Added By Successful Research and Development Projects at Umgeni Water

P Thompson, N Toolsee, R Rajagopaul
Due to challenges with the increasing demand and escalating treatment costs, coupled with
deteriorating water quality and limited fresh water resources, the utilisation of new technology and
processes to improve efficiencies and increase effectiveness within Umgeni Waters (UW) operations
is considered a key component of moving the organisation forward in its growth phase. A large portion
of the knowledge gained in new technology and processes that will be applicable to the organisation
is through the innovation, research and development (IRD) projects that are undertaken by the
organisation itself and by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) for the organisation through the
UW/UKZN Chair of Water Resource Management. Evaluation and implementation of new
technologies and processes are driven by organisational strategies and are undertaken to directly
address technical and non-technical challenges of a medium to long-term nature in Umgeni Water to
improve operating efficiencies by reducing chemical and operating costs as well lowering energy
Umgeni Waters Process Evaluation Facility (PEF), established in 1992 to evaluate new technologies
and equipment entering the market, has a dedicated raw water feed coming from Wiggins Water
Works and ten testing bays for evaluation of new technologies on pilot scale prior to full scale
implementation. The facility is unique in that it can also allow for side by side efficiency comparison of
new technologies or treatment process chemicals. The PEF also facilitates training of young staff on
pilot scale equipment and also allows for close collaboration with UKZN by providing many students
with opportunities to complete Masters and PhDs using Umgeni Water related work at the facility.
The impact of Umgeni Water constantly striving to be a leader in research and development is not
limited to the organisation itself. Umgeni Water plays an active role contributing to research and
development to various Water Research Commission (WRC) projects which helps increase the
countrys water knowledge hub to address challenges related to limited fresh resources. Process
audits for water safety plans that were developed at Umgeni Water became an integral part of the
Blue Drop and Green Drop certification systems. The certification scheme is currently used by
Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation to measure and rate municipalities water quality
management and sanitation services.
Umgeni Water has implemented several projects emanating from key research work. There is always
a drive for constant research and development which also ensures that the organisation keeps
abreast of new technologies. Summaries of some of the key research and development projects over
the past five years are highlighted below:
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Membrane Technology Evaluation

An innovative microfiltration filtration technology was investigated in a joint project with the then
university of Natal, Water Research Commission and Umgeni Water resulting in the installation of a
fullscale demonstration of a horizontal cross-flow microfiltration sludge dewatering unit at HD Hill
Waterworks in Pietermaritzburg in 1987. Microfiltration using specially woven fibre polyester material
was further researched for potable water application at the Wiggins Process Evaluation Facility in
1992. On the back of this research a microfiltration system for rural application was designed and
developed by DUT in collaboration with Umgeni Water in 2010.
Umgeni Water has continued to support and engage with DUT in research into ultrafiltration
membrane technology over the past 10 years for both water and wastewater treatment applications.
Following research on the application of membrane technology for wastewater reclamation at Darvill
Wastewater Works in Pietermaritzburg, a full scale 2 Ml/day reclamation plant is being currently
planned for on site water use at Darvill.
Pilot scale evaluations at the PEF which is based on the Wiggins Water Works (WW) site indicated
that UF was a viable option for the treatment of low turbidity waters, which have proved problematic to
treat via conventional means. The pilot studies produced water of excellent quality and lower chlorine
demand. A 10 Ml/day UF plant is to be constructed at the Wiggins WW to further fine tune operation
and maintenance issues full scale level.
Ultrafiltration is also being evaluated against other technologies as a potential pretreatment stage in a
proposed desalination treatment plant at the Lovu river estuary to remove specific organisms capable
of clogging and damaging reverse osmosis membranes used for desalinating seawater.
Disinfection Systems for Small Rural Schemes
Disinfection in small rural water systems is problematic due to a number of factors. Some of these
include poor infrastructure, inadequate process monitoring and control and inaccessibility. This is
generally the situation in the ILembe schemes, where water quality failures especially with respect to
microbiological failures are experienced on a regular basis. A novel disinfectant system especially
designed for small unmanned water treatment systems is currently being piloted at the Ekwazini
borehole system in Maphumulo. The disinfection system will be operated, monitored and used as a
model for new disinfection systems to be installed in the area. The design allows for GSM technology
to be used to alert operators and supervisors via SMS when there are equipment or water quality

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Umgeni Waters Mobile Laboratory

One of Umgeni Waters greatest challenges lies in providing safe drinking water to rural communities,
especially in scattered locations. Water quality process interventions must take place promptly to
ensure that rural communities are not faced with health risks from consuming water. Umgeni Waters
Mobile Laboratory was a product of innovative thinking and is equipped to conduct onsite water
treatment analysis and tools for process optimization for process water quality emergencies. Test
results can allow for effective process interventions which can reduce health risks posed to rural
communities. The mobile laboratory is a valuable asset that can provide tools for technical support
and undertaking process audits at rural and remote water or wastewater works.
Durban Heights Filter Clogging
Filter air binding is one of the major challenges experienced at the Durban Heights Waterworks (WW).
This phenomenon is caused by super-saturation of the dissolved gases in water and results in
extensive head losses, shorter filter run times, increased backwash frequencies, higher water usage
and greater electricity consumption. Pilot scale evaluations of different designs were conducted to
mitigate air binding. Recommendations of pilot plant evaluations have been used for the motivation for
the main plant filter upgrade and design of the proposed filters.

Research findings from evaluation of new technologies and processes have added significant value to
the Umgeni Waters operations and therefore research and development will continue to be at the
forefront of the Umgeni Waters strategy to ensure that organization is capable of successfully
addressing any water and wastewater related challenges in the future.

Biography of Peter Thompson

Peter holds a BSc honours degree in water and wastewater utilization. With
over 27 years in water and wastewater treatment and management, Peters
responsibility as Manager of Process Services within the Engineering and
Scientific Services Division is to provide technical leadership for the
Organization on process engineering issues including innovation research and

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Enterprise development - Contract participation goals

Nonhlanhla (Noni) Gumbi (

Umgeni Water is committed to the development of small enterprises into effective and efficient
companies from which the public sector can draw for services. This has been done through
procurement strategies for services rendered to Umgeni Water. By partnering with Umgeni Water in
the services suppliers render, they are enjoined in this commitment contract participation goals,
The paper will discuss the rationale behind the policy, how it is implemented, controlled and
managed. Insights into some challenges and how they are being resolved including how how the
initiative is beginning to bear fruit will be also be discussed.

Nonhlanhla (Noni) Gumbi , currently Procurement Manager in the
Finance Division, Umgeni Water, completed a Bachelors degree in
Technology and a diploma in Accountancy. She is a Member of the
Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS). Noni has
twenty six (26) years experience, with fifteen (15) spent in Supply
Chain Management (SCM). Her experience includes time spent at
leading production companies including Unilever, iThala Bank,
Transnet and Foskor Mineral Reserves and Resources.

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Umgeni Waters commitment to community Upliftment

Lungi Makhaye ( and Kubheka Mbali

In its commitment to improving quality of life and enhancing sustainable economic development,
Umgeni Water has embarked on an A journey from water for a few to water for all. This
initiative ensures that a percentage of Umgeni Waters Capex spend targets infrastructure projects
that support rural development and community sustainability.
Implementation of large water infrastructure in semi urban and rural areas is generally disruptive to
the normal life style of affected residents in the short to medium term. These intrusions may also
affect livelihoods of families negatively through relocation of residences, traditional burial grounds,
farming lands, increase in environmental risks, etc. In recognition of these and other inconveniencies
suffered by the communities whose privacy has been affected by the establishment of much needed
infrastructure, Umgeni Water, in implementation of its infrastructure projects, has endeavoured to
partner with local community structures in delivering tangible benefits to immediate project
Umgeni Waters Social and Community Upliftment Initiative seeks to create an ongoing business
relationship with all community stakeholders in its area of operation by implementation of the following
Employment of local labour, incorporation of capacity building and training to support
community institutional structures to be part of project deliverables during construction.
Umgeni Water is committed to assisting local, provincial as well as national government by
implementing environmental education programmes as a vehicle to raise public awareness regarding
scarce resources, improving accessibility of educational resources and generally contributing to
sustainable livelihoods. Through this programme, Umgeni Water hopes to raise the awareness on the
management of water resources and to work jointly with communities in the reduction of adverse
impacts on Umgeni Water resources.
This poster presentation highlights Umgeni Waters Institutional Social Development (ISD) and the
Water Education teams experiences in the day to day business of implementing bulk infrastructure
and water education projects by using a few case studies. It outlines Umgeni Water's interaction with
key community stakeholders and the process of engagement the team enacts in support of
community development.

Brief biography of Lungi Makhaye:
Lungi holds a B Public Admin degree, Advanced Programme in Organisational
Development certificate (UNISA) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and
Management (UKZN). Currently a Programme Coordinator social development
she has more than 12 years experience in all aspects of social institutional
support and development programmes including community outreach initiatives
to create awareness of the functions of water boards, water treatment processes
and also of the need to preserve the environment.

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Assessment of Monitoring Effectiveness for Cryptosporidium And Giardia

In The Durban Heights and Umzinto Systems
M. Ngubane, T.C Makatini, K.G Hodgson and S. Majam
Research has demonstrated that effective protozoan cyst removal is achieved through a multi-barrier
treatment process. Disinfection alone is inadequate for the effective removal of protozoan parasites.
There is no prescribed method for the monitoring of these protozoan parasites, despite the health
risks associated with exposure to them. In South Africa, the monitoring of Cryptosporidium and
Giardia is primarily focused on final waters to comply with the South African Drinking Water
specification, SANS 241:2015. Historically, Umgeni Water has adopted a reactive approach to
monitoring these parasites where the final water sample is analyzed for the parasites only if they are
detected in the raw water sample. This method of monitoring may not be completely sufficient in water
supply systems where a high risk of exposure exists. This method, while adaptive, was deemed not
adequately risk based and the monitoring of Cryptosporidium and Giardia was thus required to be
The Rand Water model included desktop evaluation of the catchment land uses, raw water
abstraction processes and water treatment works processes, as well as an assessment of water
quality data from laboratory analyses. The resulting Cryptosporidium and Giardia risk classification for
both the Nagle and EJ Smith dams were high risk. However, the risk categories for both the Durban
Heights and Umzinto treated water were classified as low risk, due to the effective multi-barrier
processes that are in operation at the water works.
The model was initially envisaged to be applicable to all water supply systems, irrespective of size
and complexity. However, upon application of the model to the Umgeni Water systems, a number of
shortcomings were identified. However, the model does provide a structured framework for
consideration of factors that may affect protozoan parasite risk and although an alternative approach
was used to inform monitoring, the principles from the Rand Water model were considered and
The approach adopted by Umgeni Water involved the classification of catchment-to-consumer
systems according to risk. Low risk systems included those systems indicating no positive historical
Cryptosporidium and Giardia data (raw water < 1 oocyst/10 and treated water < 1 oocyst/10). In
addition, the raw water resources for these systems are often characterized by long retention times
and the operational water treatment monitoring data indicates good process control and treatment
efficacy. In contrast, high risk systems are systems that are considered to have sources of sewage
enrichment within the catchment and positive historical Cryptosporidium and Giardia data (raw water
1 oocyst/10 and treated water 1 oocyst/10). High risk systems are often also characterized by
significant informal settlements with inadequate sanitation in the upstream catchment. Systems that
are run-of-river abstraction systems may also be deemed high risk due to their limited assimilative
capacity for source water quality improvement.
The protozoan parasite monitoring approach adopted by Umgeni Water includes monitoring of both
raw and final waters at variable frequencies according to risk. Any system classified as high risk will
be monitored at least at a monthly frequency to comply with the requirements of the SANS 241: 2015
risk defined monitoring programme. Systems classified as a low or moderate risk will be monitored
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between 4 and 6 times per year, aligned to and exceeding the SANS 241: 2015 risk assessment
monitoring requirements. Seasonal frequencies (higher frequencies in summer) will also be
considered for the run-of-river iLembe schemes.
In the case of treated water protozoan parasite failures, reactive monitoring - from catchment to
consumer - will be undertaken to establish the source of the protozoan parasites as well as the risk to
Although the results of application of the Rand Water model concluded that the source waters
assessed were high risk due catchment activities, the proactive, risk-based approach to drinking
water quality management at Umgeni Water ensures safe drinking water of low risk to all its
consumers. An alternative, risk-based approach, in compliance with the requirements of SANS241:
2015, was adopted to inform protozoan parasite monitoring at Umgeni Water.

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Disinfection Dosing and Telemetry System Design for Rural Potable Water Plants
Kimon Padayachee Naheen Toolsee, Rachi Rajagopaul
Chlorine failures at numerous rural water borehole schemes in the Ilembe region were the major
causes for non-compliances in drinking water quality as per SANS 241:2011. The current borehole
systems use calcium hypochlorite (HTH tablets) as their method of disinfection through an inline
feeder system. The inline feeder system clogged frequently resulting in failures in dosing of HTH into
the treated water rendering it unsafe to drink. In addition, there was no reliable cost-effective
technique to measure the final residual chlorine in the water. There was an urgent need to design and
implement an innovative disinfection dosing and telemetry system that would ensure a cost-effective,
reliable and safe disinfection dosing system.
A desktop study was conducted which investigated the different types of disinfectants and sodium
hypochlorite was selected as the most suitable disinfectant of choice due to factors such as, the
remoteness of the area and reduced safety concerns when compared to the use of chlorine gas at
these areas. The table below shows the different disinfection systems in terms of their cost, safety,
maintenance etc. Reliability, maintenance costs and safety were considered as being the most
important parameters.

The use of a telemetry system at these remote areas was considered necessary since in most cases,
only one operator was responsible for several rural plants which are far apart from each other. The
telemetry system design has the ability to report system failures and process values via SMS to an
operators cellphone. All SMS notifications will be descriptive of what the reporting parameter is. The
operator who receives the SMS will acknowledge the notification. If this is not done within a specified
time period, the notification is escalated to senior staff. Some of the reporting features are low levels
in a dosing tank, chlorine concentration ranges, no flow on the main line and if there is equipment
failure. The figure below shows the process layout of a typical borehole location with the proposed
disinfection dosing and telemetry design.

Page 51 of 51

The current prototype model has been installed at a rural borehole location in Maphamulo. All
equipment has been installed and the commissioning is being finalised before handover takes place
for implementation at other high risk sites in the area.
Challenges and Expected Outcomes
The main challenge on site was the degradation of sodium hypochlorite over time due mainly to high
temperatures in the storage enclosure where the sodium hypochlorite solution was housed. The
rapidly changing concentration of the sodium hypochlorite solution affected the maintenance of the
optimum dosages for the required chlorine residual. The problem was resolved by using a higher
concentration of sodium hypochlorite as the dosing solution.
The implemented design will allow for improved final water quality in terms of residual chlorine and
minimal operator intervention at these remote locations.

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Lessons learned in sustainable aquatic alien weed management at Umgeni Water

Steve Terry , Alistair Hunter (
Well managed and sustainable water resources are essential to allow Umgeni Water to abstract
adequate quantities of acceptable quality raw water for water treatment. However, alien aquatic
weeds, particularly introduced invasive species, are becoming a growing challenge to maintaining
sustainable water resources. Over the past 30 years, water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), water
lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) and Kariba weed (Salvinia molesta) have become significant and increasing
threats to the water resources within the Umgeni Water operational area. If left unmanaged, aquatic
alien weeds can increase at exponential growth rates, resulting in increased evapotranspiration and
deterioration in water quality as well as detrimental impacts on biodiversity and the environment.
This poster presentation gives an overview of the aquatic weed problems in the Umgeni Water
operational area, insights into how the water resources are being degraded by nuisance aquatic weed
infections and the various control options available to Umgeni Water. The short- and longer-term
benefits and challenges associated with mechanical removal, herbicide application and biocontrol are
discussed in terms of sustainable water resource management. Multi-stakeholder partnerships,
particularly with regulatory institutions, non-governmental organisations and the general public, are
emphasised as an essential requirement for implementing aquatic alien weed control. Case studies
and lessons learned are presented from the Albert Falls impoundment and the uMsunduziuMgeni
river systems. An adaptive monitoring framework is being developed to the balanced costs of
management actions against raw water treatability and environmental benefits.

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Brochure compiled
Rachi Rajagopaul
(Senior Scientist, E&SS)

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