Ballito fights drought with recycled water

2015-11-27 08:45


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Durban – One of the areas north of Durban worst hit by the drought is likely to have a steady water supply all through the festive season, thanks to the use of recycled water.

- Are you affected by the drought? Send us your stories and photos.

Sembcorp Siza Water, a municipal commissioned distributor of bulk water in the Ballito area, has augmented supply to provide an additional 4 million litres of clean drinkable water, managing director of Sembcorp, Shyam Misra, told News24.  

During a media tour of the dams in the Ilembe District on Thursday, journalists saw the damaging effects of the national drought crisis.

The tour highlighted three major dams in Ilembe, one of which - the Umvotshana Dam in KwaMaphumulo - has never had a drop of water because of the current drought.

However, a glimmer of hope emerged at the Frasers Water Works in Ballito where a number of developments resulted in zero water shedding for the small coastal community.

- Everything you need to know about SA's drought crisis

Misra said the need for an additional supply came when the drought crisis hit last year.

"We do expect this supply to assist us with the festive period, but we have built the recycling plant to go beyond just that. It is cheaper than a desalination plant and has assisted us in not requiring water shedding measures.

"We recycle sewage water. It is closely monitored to ensure consumption is safe. We conduct safety checks every hour."

The Umvoti Water Works in KwaDukuza that is now nearly empty (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Misra said water shedding would only be implemented in the area if it was needed. He added that the process to get the plant running included a month-long online survey with the community.

"It was of course vital for us to consult. The community has been excellent, decreasing usage by 5 million litres a day."

Umgeni Water recently announced that it would only provide a 50% bulk water supply to many areas north of Durban, including parts of the eThekwini Municipality. Sembcorp receives its bulk supply from Hazelmere Dam, which is 26% full.
Ballito is part of the Ilembe District, one of the worst drought affected areas in the country. Parts of the district have not had water for up to three weeks at a time.

The country has been plunged into a drought crisis with five provinces declared disaster areas.

- Watch: Water restrictions: Here's how to keep your business and home going

Read more on:    durban  |  drought  |  natural disasters  |  water

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