Water for the future
Mhlathuze Water is one of the leading water utilities in South Africa today, providing a world-class service to its customers. The organisation is committed to providing safe and dependable water services. Based in KwaZulu-Natal, its area of supply covers 37 000km² stretching from the from the uThukela River in the south and up the east coast to the Mozambique and Swaziland borders, around Vryheid and back to the uThukela River. Within this region, Mhlathuze Water has built and operates an inter- basin transfer, major water treatment plants, an offshore wastewater disposal pipeline and it operates and treatment and sewerage plants on an agency basis for local municipalities. The Nsezi Water Treatment plant is the company’s flagship installation. Situated on the banks of Lake Nsezi, the consumers of the Nsezi Water Treatment Plant are the city of uMhlathuze and Mondi Paper.
Mhlathuze Municipality covers Richards Bay, Empangeni and Foskor. Mondi Paper requires water of a superior quality to drinking water. The Nsezi Water Treatment Plant produces clarified water and Mondi Quality Water (superior to portable water). Two pumps pump water to the uMhlathuze Municipality
(27 000m³ per day) straight to a reservoir. There are smaller pumps for domestic use. Approximately 18mÂ³ (18 million litres) is pumped from the three megalitre reservoir to the town of Empangeni daily via a 12.1km pipeline. Each pump moves 1100mÂ³ of water per hour. At this stage, there is a re-dose of sodium hypochlorite as an extra precaution for the bacterial quality. The water tank is backwashed and the water returns into the system via the clarifier.
The Nsezi upgrade increased the treatment plant capacity from 84m³ per day to 205m³ per day. The upgrade was valued at approximately R210 million. The expansion is in line with the expected growth in demand for the upcoming years. Foskor will be expanding its production, leading to the doubling of water demands; a request for an additional allocation of water has been received and accepted by Mhlathuze Water to this affect. Mondi Paper will be doubling plant capacity, which will increase its water demand.
Also anticipated is the growth of water demands in Mhlathuze Municipality. The towns and cities within the Nsezi Water Treatment Plant area of supply are also expected to expand, resulting in an expected increase in total water demand. The plant supplies a backup to the city of uMhlathuze for the Richards Bay area, daily water supply for Empangeni and for Foskor, through the City of uMhlathuze System. Mondi paper draws up to 85mÂ³/day directly from the Nsezi Water Treatment Plant.
The new works comprises the following:
• Construction of a new pumpstation building of 750m² and 6m deep below existing ground level;
• Installation of new pumps capable of 757 litres per second supply of potable water to an existing 800mm diameter pipeline, including associated electrical and mechanical equipment within the new pump-station building;
• Installation of new 1200mm, 900mm, 800mm and 6000mm diameter pipelines totalling 50m in length to supply potable water from an existing 6000m³ reservoir to an existing 800mm diameter pipeline;
• Refurbishment of valve chambers along the existing 800mm diameter pipeline within existing pipeline servitude for maintenance purposes; and
• Installation of a 250mm diameter drainage pipe 300m in length to return ground water beneath the proposed building to an existing detention dam at the Nsezi Water Treatment Works.
The total cost of the new pump station is R97 million and has to date provided over 150 job opportunities. As part of developing SMMEs, Mhlathuze Water has endeavoured to engage small companies in the implementation of its projects.
Testing and Monitoring
The Scientific Services department has one of the top water laboratories in the country and is the only ISO 17025 accredited water laboratory in the region with a wide scope of analyses.
Sampling and analyses of water and wastewater are carried out daily, and a similar service is offered to local and international customers.
The modern laboratory facility has recently spent more than R1.5m acquiring new instrumentation to increase capacity and capability to ensure that it continues to provide a “world class” service to its customers.
Water Demand Management
The organisation is involved in catchment management services, water demand management and conservation, while playing a role in the Working for Water programme initiated by the Department of Water and Environment Affairs. Earlier this year the organization was awarded a further R3.8m for the period up to March 2010, in this job creation initiative by the Department to remove aliens in the Goedertrouw Dam area.
Microbial, chemical and euthophication water quality monitoring and water studies are also undertaken on behalf of various institutions and the Department.
Mhlathuze Water has achieved the ISO 14001 certification and continues upgrading and maintaining the system to retain this international standard. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are conducted for all relevant projects to ensure minimum impact on the environment during the development of water schemes and similar projects.
Scientific Services researches possible areas of improvement in the operations and regular analyses are carried out to identify potential environmental impacts.
The organisation participates in the regional forum for sustainable development and works in partnership with industry to create platforms to heighten awareness, particularly of learners, on a wide range of topics. Apart from job creation addressed to some extent in the alien plant removal programmes, Mhlathuze Water is sensitive to other major issues such as education, disability, and women empowerment. The organization also recognises its role in the challenges related to safe water provision and works with the communities to assist them to gain experience in managing supplies within their communities.
Training and Skills Development
Mhlathuze Water is registered with the ESETA (Energy SETA) to which it submits the workplace skills development plan. Competency profiling in the organisation has formed a data base of competencies which assist with job descriptions, recruitment and skills development. Training includes induction programmes and compliance training for employees for legislative requirements such as OHASA and environment and skills-based training.
The organisation has developed unique and significant partnerships with government and industry in northern KwaZulu-Natal and beyond to assist as implementing agent and water services provider on numerous community and commercial projects.
• A project to supply the drought stricken region partly bordering the world famous Hluhluwe / uMfolozi Game Park on behalf of the district municipality has commenced. Water from this project will be sourced from the Phongola Dam in northern KwaZulu-Natal adjacent to the border of Swaziland.
• Appointed the implementing agent with the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs on a bulk water supply programme north of the town of Jozini. A sum of R81 million was approved in March for this programme and a memorandum of understanding signed with the Department to roll out service provision to these local communities. A total of 40 boreholes will be constructed as a remedial water supply while this project is underway.
• A schools water and sanitation programme where 324 schools in the five districts in northern KwaZulu-Natal province will be supplied with either sanitation, water or both. This project initiated by the Departments of Education and Water and Environment Affairs, will be managed in two phases and is expected to be completed by December this year. Mhlathuze Water is handing over completed projects to the school governing bodies and principals, and is running hygiene programmes at the schools.
• A community water supply project is being developed close to the Mozambique border at a cost of R102 million. The complete date is 2012 and will provide 57 000 people with potable water.
• For 12 years the organisation has been constructing water supply systems in four phases in the Hluhluwe area. The project is due for completion in 2012 at a total cost of R290 million a n d will provide water to 150 000 people.
• A regional bulk water and wastewater master plan to provide a possible future bulk services for participating water service authorities in the organisations area of operation.
• The organisation is doubling up the supply of treated water to the town of Empangeni to provide water for the growth in that area.
• The organisation operates and manages water and wastewater installations on behalf of the water services authorities.
• Mhlathuze Water on behalf of the Department of Water and Environment Affairs operates and maintains the uThukela Transfer Scheme in the area west of Eshowe towards Kranskop. The scheme transfers 1200 litres of water per second at full capacity, from the uThukela River into the Goedertrouw Dam as part of the yield to the industries in Richards Bay. In addition, bulk raw water is also supplied to the communities where it is treated for domestic consumption.
Full Name of Company: Mhlathuze Water
Industry Sector: Utility
Nature of Business: Mhlathuze Water manages raw water sources, design, optimise, install, extend, operate, and maintain the required infrastructure to meet the bulk water services requirements and related services to customers.
• 18001 Occupational Health and Safety System
• 14001 Environmental Management System
• 9001 Quality Management System
• 17025 Laboratory Management Systems
B-BBEE Status: Level 2
To be the water service provider of choice for all stakeholders in the water value chain
To provide and expand affordable, sustainable, quality and reliable water services to stakeholders, to improve quality of life and to contribute to development
Chief Executive Officer: Mr Mthokozisi Duze
Physical Address: Corner South Central Arterial and Battery Bank, Alton Industrial Area. Richards Bay.
Postal Address: Private Bag X1047, Richards Bay,
Tel: +27 (0)35 902 1000
Fax: +27 (0)35 902 1111
Mhlathuze Water is one of the leading water utilities in South Africa today, providing a world-class service to its customers. The organisation is committed to providing safe and dependable water services