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 Inga Jacobs  
A Pipe dream The Efficacy of Point of Use water treatment systems

Date: 2 October 2012

Time: 9:00 to 16:00

Venue:  Pretoria, CSIR Knowledge Commons

Keynote Speakers:  

Mr Derek Hanekom,Deputy Minister ,Department of Science and Technology

Mr Roeland van de Geer, head of European Union


Many people in South Africa do not receive potable water via household connections. Some of them receive potable water via yard connections or community standpipes while other do not receive a supply of treated water at all. While several point of use water system (or offgrid) solutions have been developed over the years, numerous implementation challenges remain. These relate largely to uncertainty about who should pay for these technologies and the nature in which these technologies are implemented or introduced to communities.

To date, two main types of point of use (POU) water treatment devices exist. The first type is intended for use by those with household connections, who want such devices either because they do not trust their water supply, or they don’t like the taste, or as a status symbol. These devices are required only to improve the aesthetics of the water. The second type is intended for use by people who do not receive a supply of treated potable water and in a perfect world would take variable quality river / spring water and provide SANS241:2011 compliant treated water. The section of the population which doesn’t already receive a supply of potable water consists of people who are the most difficult to supply due to practicality issues (topography, isolation, scattered communities, prohibitively expensive). Some of them will be connected to supplies while others may never be. The importance of POU technologies for improving access to clean drinking water cannot be underestimated. They are usually simple, inexpensive technologies which positively affect the health of rural households by reducing the prevalence of water borne diseases. Despite this these technologies are often underutilize.

This dialogue will provide an overview of technologies which have been developed and the challenges of implementing/upscaling or replicating these technologies. It will profile work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Water Research Commission (WRC) both of which have conducted research testing these technologies. The WRC has conducted research on POU devices, specifically related to the claims made by manufacturers of POU devices, and the output water quality as measured against SANS241:2011, in order to enable informed decisions around which types of urban POU devices can be relied on. Additionally, the WRC has strived to develop a rural POU device which is acceptable to users and which provides safe (SANS241 compliant) drinking water. The CSIR’s Accelerated Sustainable Water Service Delivery (ASWSD) looked at the provision of reliable safe drinking water (potable water) to unserved communities living in remote rural areas through the application of science and technology. The goal of the project in the Eastern Cape (ASWSD 1) was to provide reliable safe drinking water to unserved populations at six sites in the Amathole and the OR Tambo District Municipalities, rather than to replace mainstream delivery. A number of technologies were explored, and Phase Two of the research will take the learning’s from Phase One in an effort to find sustainable ways of providing potable water to outlying rural communities.

Several solutions will be displayed and discussed at this workshop, in an attempt to understand the best ways in which they can be used and best practice of rolling out POU systems to optimize uptake.

Send your RSVP to Dr Inga Jacobs (Water Research Commission)

Click here for a Registration Form and  detailed programme.

 Email: ingaj@wrc.org.za

Tel: +27 12 330 9014

Cell: +27 83 401 7625


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