WIN-SA and WRC assist municipalities in applying the Wastewater Risk Abatement Plan
The Water Information Network of South Africa (WIN-SA), together with the Water Research Commission (WRC), has actively been involved for the past two years in showcasing good practice in wastewater management towards helping municipalities to achieve Green Drop status.
Current research is investigating good practices at smaller municipalities that have been specially selected for their results on the Green Drop audit. These practices are captured at the selected municipality, documented and then workshopped with surrounding municipalities, DWA regional officials and selected stakeholders. At these workshops, the municipality's wastewater management team shares critical success factors, good practices and challenges on the road to Green Drop status.
In 2011, the first two sponsored workshops were hosted at Bitou and Tlokwe Local Municipalities (LM). The Bitou workshop was held on the Gansvlei wastewater treatment plant and focused on practical learning activities for process controllers. The Tlokwe workshop, held in Potchefstroom, focused on best management practices. Both workshops were well attended and the participants gave very positive feedback.
The WISA conference held in Cape Town on 6-10 May 2012 gave the two municipalities further opportunity to share good practices with a wider audience. Their dedication and hard work were awarded when Tlokwe LM won the award for the top performer at the Green Drop Awards ceremony, with Bitou LM as second overall winner in South Africa.
The project was such a success that the sponsors decided to showcase more municipalities on their way to Green Drop status in 2012. This year, the focus is on the use of a risk abatement plan (also referred to as W2RAP) to identify and manage risks sucessfully on the road to Green Drop status.
Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (MM) from the Eastern Cape and Drakenstein LM in the Western Cape were put in the spotlight.
Drakenstein LM impressed the researchers with the way that they managed relationships at different levels – within their team, with Council, senior management, suppliers, consultants and waste dischargers. The Drakenstein workshop, held on 30 March 2012 at the Paarl wastewater treatment plant, therefore focussed on people as risk and resource. Participants came from as far as Knysna! In the afternoon, the participants split into two groups: one group participated in a plant walk-through with the focus on operational practice, whilst the other group received a demonstration of the mini-labs that Drakenstein uses to do on-site testing of phosphate, nitrate, pH and COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand).
Buffalo City has successfully applied a risk-based approach to secure ACIP (Accelerated Community Infrastructure Programme) funding from the Department of Water Affairs. The funding is used to upgrade the Eastern plant so that the municipality can meet Green Drop standards. The Buffalo City MM workshop was held on 19 April at the East London golf club, opposite the Eastern wastewater treatment plant. The golf club uses effluent from the plant for irrigation. The workshop was unique in the sense that it showcased an excellent working relationship between a municipality and DWA officials at regional and national level.
Building on the success of these workshops, South African Institute Civil Engineering (SAICE) will be sponsoring a W2RAP workshop in the Free State, which will be hosted by the Free State Regional DWA office. At this workshop, participating municipalities will be guided to develop their own in-house W2RAPs in preparation for the upcoming Green Drop assessments 2012/13.
For more information on this project download a copy of the report number TT 489/11.