Plans to desalinate sea water in place

2015-11-12 06:01

A DESALINATION plant in the Elysium area, which is currently in the pipeline, may be just what the Ugu District needs to solve water problems permanently.

Municipal manager DD Naidoo said at a media briefing on Tuesday that planning for this plant and possibly another one in the Illovo area, is well under way.

Desalination involves a process of taking the salt out of sea water to make it consumable.

“We forget that even during a drought there is still an abundance of water, and that comes from the sea,” he said.

Naidoo added that he didn’t have much detail on these plants, but was aware that each would cost around R200 million. The cost per kilolitre would be about R20.

Closer to home, a new dam will be built onto the Umzimkhulu Water System.

“Plans for this started long ago, but now we will appeal to the minister to bring it forward.

“We are also looking at instituting water restrictions for the entire area, up to Harding.”

Naidoo reported that water was safe to drink in most areas, however, areas such as Uvongo and Gamalakhe are still having problems with the salt content.

“If the water is still salty, please don’t drink it. We are working on these areas and the salty water should flush out soon,” he said.

“The salt levels at the pump station to the Bhobhoyi Water Treatment Works have immediately reduced after attempts to open the river mouth were successful at low tide.”

The municipality also appointed contractors to dredge the lower Umzimkulu River and implemented the construction of a berm to restrict the salt water intrusion at the abstraction point.

Work is expected to be complete by Friday.

Naidoo said currently there were 14 mining activities along the river and officials from the Department of Mineral Affairs had been appointed to investigate whether this was affecting the flow of the river.

“This is being done for commercial use and we will work with these businesses to see what is best for everyone.”

A meeting will be held with all tourism stakeholders soon to discuss the upcoming December holiday season and how everyone can work together.

“We will do whatever it takes to keep holidaymakers happy and to enure that there is a water supply as the South Coast depends on these visitors.”

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