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Press Release 
Dr Valerie Naidoo  

Moving towards the improvement of small wastewater treatment works

Wastewater experts will hold a conference on 23-25 November in East London, at the Regent Hotel, under the theme ‘Strengthening our Community of Practice’; with the emphasis on sharing the best practices for wastewater treatment works.

According to Dr Valerie Naidoo, Research Manager for Water Use and Waste Management at the Water Research Commission, various themes addressing the green drop, social and institutional challenges, packaged plants and sustainability and wastewater treatment works will be covered. During the conference WISA and the Dutch Embassy will be launching the water portal .The Dutch Embassy and the WISA Young Water Professionals will also be launching the Dutch-SA Water Competition for students and SMMEs (Small Medium and Micro Enterprises).

“South African Water Services Authorities (WSAs) have a pool of information available at their disposal to use as a way of putting their wastewater treatment works in order” says Naidoo. 

Small wastewater treatment works can be defined as small domestic wastewater works that operate at least three of the four ‘process’ phases of wastewater treatment (i.e. a preliminary, primary, secondary and/or tertiary phase), and that have a system that is able to comply with the legislative requirements. 

The National Water Act (Act No. 36 of 1998) (NWA) states that, as a public trustee of the nation’s water resources, the National Government, acting through the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, must ensure that water is protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable and equitable manner, for the benefit of all persons and in accordance with its constitutional mandate. Wastewater treatment works (WWTW) are therefore just one of many water users of these resources. Accordingly the Water Services Authority responsible for the collection, treatment and discharge of wastewater is required to ensure that the set criteria are met in each wastewater services system.

As a way of ensuring compliance by the WWTWs, Process Controllers are required to be registered according to the relevant legislation (Revised Regulation 17 of the Water Services Act (No. 108 of 1997) / Regulation 2834 under the Water Act of 1956; 1985 Requirements) and the Process Controllers must be licensed according to the class of wastewater treatment works. “The wastewater treatment works must have a site-specific Operator’s Manual to guide Process Controllers.

Dr Naidoo further says “The Water Research Commission has thus far produced various simplified reports to serve as guidelines for the inspection of wastewater treatment works”. Process Controllers and Inspectors benefit from using these resources as their reference.

“Water Services Authorities needing the improvement of wastewater treatment techniques could  use the  WRC’s reports on  nanotechnology, packaged plants, guidelines for inspection and the use of chemicals for water and wastewater treatment.” Dr Naidoo concludes.

Contact: Dr Valerie Naidoo,

Research Manager: Water Use and Waste Management

Tel: 012 330 9038

Cell: 083 290 7241



Dr Valerie Naidoo, Research Manager for Water Use and Waste Management at the Water Research Commission during the opening session


Mr Leonardo Manus , Director Regulation, Department of Water Affairs

Conference delegates –Small wastewater treatment works at  The Regent Hotel ,East London .
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