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BFI Water Projects progressing well for George

Aerial photographs of the new Water Treatment Works Residuals Handling Facility and construction site.

National Treasury, accompanied by the representatives from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Neighbourhood Development Partnership Programme and Provincial Treasury visited the George Municipality on a two-day programme as part of the Mid-Year Budget and Performance Assessment for Municipalities.

This included a National Treasury delegation visit to the 20 Ml/d extensions to the New Water Treatment Works (New WTW) earlier in March 2023. George Municipality received a Budget Facility for Infrastructure Funding (BFI) grant to the value of R1.107 billion from the National Treasury in the 2021/22 financial year. The BFI project with its various components has shown significant progress and expenditure to date in the 2022/23 financial year. George Municipality is actively working to keep our economy on the go – by ensuring adequate long-term planning and investment in our resources with the current main focus on water, sewerage, and electricity.

National Treasury praised the Municipality for its well-maintained infrastructure. “Service delivery is clearly visible with well looked after roads networks and cleanliness of the town. This will go a long way in attracting investments into the city.”

The full BFI project is to be completed in the next twenty seven (27) months. George Municipality provides water services to over 212 120 residents from 62 722 households (STATSSA 2017) across 28 wards including the coastal areas of Kleinkrantz, Wilderness, Victoria Bay, Herold’s Bay and Gwaing in the city of George area. The objectives of the project are to ensure adequate potable water supply to meet the demand of the current population and to provide security for future development, both social and economic, and to reduce pollution of certain main water courses.

Updates on the Potable Water Security and Remedial Works components funded by BFI
The project consists of 12 components, some of which will be executed in more than one construction phase.

Component 1 and 2
Residuals Handling Facility and the 20 Ml/d extension to the New Water Treatment Works (New WTW).

The first contract, valued at R263 million, was awarded for the civil engineering works and construction is progressing on site. The second contract, for the mechanical, electrical and instrumentation (MEI) works, was awarded for R217 million. Component 2 is the largest single component of the BFI project. The completed earthworks for the Water Treatment Works extension consisted of some 20 000 metric cubes of earth material that has been stockpiled on site for re-use elsewhere on other components of the BFI project as well as other municipal projects. Placing of concrete is progressing well and the structures are now above ground level.

The construction on the 600m long, 900mm diameter, clear water HDPE pipeline commenced towards the end of 2022 and is currently nearing 50% completion. The forestry permit was issued in early January 2023 and the remaining construction through sensitive indigenous forest can now proceed.

The dewatering facility for the water treatment process residuals is also progressing well and the concrete wall of two of the three tanks was cast while the third tank will be done shortly. This facility will eliminate the abrasive residuals from being discharged to the sewer system and therefore reduce the load on the sewage conveyance system and pumpstations, reduce the abrasive effect on pumpstation mechanical equipment as well as reduce the load on the wastewater treatment processes and the main sludge dewatering facility. The aim of this facility is to free up capacity that is currently being utilized by residuals discharged to the Eden, Meul and Schaapkop sewage pump station system as well as the Outeniqua Wastewater Treatment Works.

Component 3
The refurbishment of the existing Sludge Discharge System Phases 1 and 2 commenced at the Eden, Meul and Schaapkop Pumpstations.

Construction of the first phase is progressing well at the Meul and Eden Pump Stations

Phase 1: The first phase of the upgrading and refurbishment of the Meul Sewage pumpstation is well progressed and certain components have been completed, including a standby generator and new motor control center panels. The new Motor Control Centre at the Eden Sewage pumpstation has been completed. Civil construction on the Meul Sewage Pumpstation is progressing well and over-pumping is currently taking place, involving a temporary pumping installation to allow work to be done in the pump sump and in the pump room.  Phase 1 of the Schaapkop Sewage Pumpstation implementation was delayed, and the design process is now under way to incorporate both phases 1 and 2 to be implemented as a single project.

Phase 2: Consultants have been appointed for the design of the second phase of the pump station upgrades of the Meul and Eden sewage pump stations.

Component 4
The upgrading of the Garden Route Dam Outlet and Supply project includes the replacement of the existing 600 mm diameter raw water pipeline from the intake tower at the Garden Route Dam to the raw water pumpstations, with a new 800 mm diameter stainless steel pipeline to accommodate a higher flowrate in accordance with the future raw water flow requirements.

Tenders were requested and have closed, with construction planned to commence in June 2023.

Component 5
2 x 1250 kVA generators are being installed at the Garden Route Dam raw water pumpstation. Once completed, it will ensure that during loadshedding or any other power outage, raw water can continue to be pumped uninterrupted to the Water Treatment Works for processing for drinking water supply.

Status: Construction is well progressed, the generators and associated equipment are currently being installed, and full operation of the generators is scheduled for the end of June 2023.

Component 6
An additional approximately 30 mega litre raw water storage balancing dam, including a 340m long 800mm diameter raw water pipeline, will be constructed to secure sufficient raw water storage capacity to supply the 20Ml/day extension to the Water Treatment Works. The new raw water dam will supplement the 60Ml provided by the two existing storage dams that provide raw water to the two water treatment plants.

Status: The preliminary design process has been completed with consideration of two alternative positions in order to select the most cost-effective solution. Final designs are nearing completion, to be followed by the procurement of a Contractor to construct the works.

Component 7
The rehabilitation of the Old Water Treatment Works, located at 9th Avenue in Denneoord includes the refurbishment of the 25 Ml/d treatment plant which is currently rated at only 20.5 Ml/ per day.

Status: This component consists of four separate contracts and the tenders. Construction is under way at the Old WTW and some condition assessments of the existing infrastructure necessitated design changes at the start of the contract, causing unforeseen delays. The air extraction from the filter galleries was completed and the emergency chlorine scrubbers have been ordered, and delivery is scheduled for July 2023, but with a possible further slight delay due to shipping from the United States. Both shipments of filter media have been delivered and fencing construction is practically complete.

A temporary package water treatment plant was installed and commissioned in mid-December 2022 to facilitate scheduled plant shutdowns to enable work to proceed uninterrupted. This temporary plant also increased the volume of potable water available to meet the peak holiday season demand. Partial plant shutdowns will take place at the old WTW during April 2023. Remedial works is scheduled to be done at the Old WTW and the existing New WTW, and water demand will have to be very carefully managed during any of the planned partial shutdowns to ensure that potable water demand can be met.

Component 8
Refurbishment of the Kaaiman’s River Pumpstation equipment will include the installation of six (6) new submersible vortex impeller pumps in the sump, a strainer system and six (6) new high lift centrifugal pumps, with the replacement of the electrical control equipment also included in the upgrade. The Kaaiman’s Pumpstation discharges raw water into the Garden Route Dam and contributes significantly to the George raw water resource requirements.

Status: Tenders have been requested and closed, and construction is planned to commence in May 2023.

Component 9 and 10
The new 14,5 Ml Pacaltsdorp West Reservoir; 3 Ml Pacaltsdorp East Reservoir, 300 kl Tower and pumpstation will address the inadequate emergency and balancing storage in this suburb.

Status: The designs are in process for both sites, to be followed by the procurement of a contractor for the construction of the works. The detailed design process will be aligned with the environmental and town planning processes.

Component 11 and 12
A new pumpstation and control valves will be provided at the existing Thembalethu West reservoir and tower; a new 8 Ml Thembalethu East Reservoir, 1000 kl tower and pumpstation will provide adequate potable water storage and increase security of potable water supply to Thembalethu as well as provide capacity to meet future development water demands.

Status: The design of both the works is in progress and will be followed by the procurement of a contractor for the construction of the works, scheduled for early 2024.