Overhaul for sewage works

2008-07-30 00:00

A R30 million project is to be launched before the end of this year to solve Mpophomeni’s sewage problems and deal with increased effluent from the new housing developments being established in the Howick/Merrivale area.

It involves the opening and upgrading of the Mpophomeni waste water treatment works, which were decommissioned by the Transitional uMngeni Council in 1996. Umgeni Water, Umgungundlovu District Municipality and uMngeni Municipality are working jointly on the project.

Umgungundlovu acting municipal manager Sbu Khuzwayo said Umgeni Water will be the service provider for the project on the basis of BOTT (build, operate, train and transfer): they will build the waterworks, operate it, train municipal staff and transfer the complex to the municipality within 10 or 15 years. He said capital will be provided by Umgeni Water and the municipalities will repay it on a monthly basis.

uMngeni municipal manager Dumisani Vilakazi says the Mpophomeni waste treatment plant was decommissioned because in the apartheid era, effluent from blacks and whites was not allowed to mix, so townships had their own waterworks.

When the transitional council came into being it was felt this was a huge waste of water and resources as both the Mpophomeni and Howick waterworks were running at half-capacity. The Mpophomeni plant was decommissioned and the Howick plant served both areas.

Vilakazi said that with developments in the Howick and Merrivale area, it became clear that there was an urgent need to re-open the Mpophomeni plant.

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