Natuurlik is ons water nie 100% veilig om te gebruik as waargeneem word wat in riviere afspoel, op pad na die groter damme wat uiteindelik in die krane beland nadat dit “gesuiwer” is en die res op pad na die oseaan. Nie almal het die gerief van ‘n kraan nie en nog minder die finansies om gebottelde water aan te koop, wat ook nie eers altyd bewysbaar veilig blyk te wees nie. Kraanwater is nie noodwendig suiwer nie en diegene wat water direk uit riviere onttrek en gebruik, het nog ‘n groot lewensrisiko. Ons almal se gesondheidsprobleme en siektestoestande word teruggevoer na die korrupte kommunistiese regering en kommuniste soos George Soros wat alles befonds en beheer. Die pad vorentoe vir ons is om pad te gee uit kommunisme wat ons lewens en gesondheid verwoes. Ons kan beter, ons is dit verskuldig aan ons nageslag en kinders. Diegene wat so wil leef is meer as welkom om onder die kommunistiese reënboogland te leef. Ons het keuses van selfbeskikking. Elke volk het daardie keuse of hul hulself wil regeer of andersinds ondergaan met omstandighede soos hierdie waaronder die kommuniste verkies om te leef. Do you want to live like that any longer? We do not have a quality of life under this circumstances and communism – but we do have a choice of self-determination.
Heel eerste is die President van die land verantwoordelik vir die land se probleme, want hy laat dit toe. Ramaphosa laat al hierdie dinge onder hom gebeur sonder om ‘n oog te knip of die nodige stappe en maatreëls in plek te kry om dit te stop. Hy stel kabinetsministers aan wat nie verantwoordelikheid aan die dag lê om hul take uit te voer nie. Daar word duur konsultante en tenders uitgeplaas om dinge te verbeter, wat aan families toegeken word, maar die nodige word nie gedoen nie.
Dis al hierdie probleme , gesondheidsprobleme gesamentlik met al die moorde, martelings, misdaad en korrupsie wat ook onder hom val, waarom ons moet weg uit die stelsel en onsself regeer, ons eie skep. Ons lewens word op alle vlakke van die kommunistiese regeringstelsel bedreig maar ook veral ons gesondheid word op ‘n kommunistiese altaar geplaas. Dit word subtiel gedoen dat daar kwansuis nooit geld is nie, terwyl miljoene spandeer word in ‘n “vakuum van privaatbelange”.
Indien die President van die land asook al die betrokke Ministers (Finansies, Plaaslike owerhede, behuising en landelike omgewing, Gesondheid en Waterwese en Omgewingsake, Mineraal en Energie), munisipaliteite of waterrade wat verantwoordelik is vir die voorsiening van gesuidrinkwater, waarvoor ons duur betaal, dit nie korrek uitvoer nie, moet hierdie owerhede gesamentlik verantwoordelik wees vir 100% (privaat) getoetste gebottelde drinkwater aan daardie burgers, sowel alle mediese toestande en onkostes aangegaan wat mag voortvloei uit die gebruik van besoedelde drinkwater.
Plaaslike owerhede ontvang heelwat belastings uit ons dienste wat elke burger maandeliks betaal sowel as normale belastings aan die regering. Ministers moet ‘n slag verantwoordelikheid neem vir wat onder hulle aangaan. Daar word jaarlikse verslae ingedien oor al hierdie toestande, en al wat hulle doen, hulle neem kennis van wat hul onderdane uitvoer. Hoekom privaat ouditeure aangestel om al hierdie probleme uit te wys, maar niemand neem verantwoordelikheid daarvoor nie?
Dit is ‘n feit. Gesuiwerde water behoort nie enige chemiese of radioaktiewe bestanddele te bevat wat skadelik vir die gesondheid van enige lewe is nie. Dit behoort vry te wees van enige siektedraende organismes en stabiel te wees in terme van korrosie en toekalking. Besoedelde water is water wat onveilig is vir mense en diere om te drink of in te was. Besoedelde water is veral gevaarlik vir waterplante- en diere. Paddas word meestal geraak wat deel van die ekosisteem is en vrek maklik, net soos vis wat in riviere, damme en see voorkom. Besoedelde water is ook uiters gevaarlik vir mense wat hul water direk uit ‘n rivier of dam, verkry. In Suid-Afrika neem die skaars vars water se gehalte af as gevolg van verhoogde besoedeling en die vernietiging van opvanggebiede wat veroorsaak word deur verstedeliking, ontbossing, opdamming van riviere, vernietiging van vleilande, nywerhede, myne, landbou, energieverbruik en toevallige waterbesoedeling. Namate die menslike bevolking groei, verhoog die besoedeling en die vernietiging van die opvanggebiede. Die invloei van miljoene immigrante wat geen geriewe het nie, moet in die eerste plek nooit toegelaat word nie. Hoeveel miljoene immigrante plak op ou landbouplase rondom ons stede – hierdie gebiede het een voedsel produseer, maar nou het dit ‘n informele plakkersnes geword so ver as wat die oog kan sien.
Water ken geen grense nie en soos dit voortvloei, bind dit gemeenskappe deur die vele gebruike van hierdie hulpbron. Die kwaliteit van ‘n stroom of rivier is dikwels ‘n goeie aanduiding van die lewenswyse van die gemeenskap waardeur dit vloei. Dit gee ‘n aanduiding van die sosio-ekonomiese omstandighede en omgewingsbewustheid en ingesteldheid van die gebruikers. Alles wat in ‘n opvanggebied gebeur, word in die water wat daardeur vloei, gereflekteer, aangesien die resultate van menslike aktiwiteite en leefstyle uiteindelik in die vorm van afloopwater, in riviere beland.
Gesonde strome, vleilande en riviere onderhou ‘n wye verskeidenheid waterlewe. Reënwater en tuimelende bergstrome bevat hoë vlakke suurstof. Baie van ons suurstof kom van die atmosfeer deur reën, tuimelende water in vinnigvloeiende strome en fotosintese. Voedingstowwe, wat belangrike groeimiddels (bv. nitrate) en voedselbronne (bv. verrotte plante), bevat, word in die stelsel ingespoel. Waterplante fotosinteer op hul beurt en verskaf lewensdraende suurstof en ander kosbronne vir waterorganismes wat interafhanklik is in die komplekse web van lewe.
Alle waterlewe is afhanklik van die interaksie tussen die rivier self en die omliggende opvanggebied. Hierdie prosesse kan óf ‘n gesonde ekosisteem onderhou, óf die ekologiese prosesse onderbreek en die watervoorraad degradeer. Riviere en strome is afhanklik van die aard van die opvanggebied en die verhouding tussen reënval en verdamping. Riviere is oop stelsels waar uitruilings tussen materie en energie binne die omgewing, deurentyd plaasvind. Dis moeilik om riviere as ekostisteme te behandel, aangesien hulle belangrike skakels is vir die vloei van energie en die sirkulering van voedingstowwe oor die grense van habitatte heen.
Wat hou dit in vir ons en die toekoms as volk? Ons sit op ‘n tydbom wat gaan ontplof. Misdaadgewys, korrupsiegewys en gesondheidsbewys (water en besoedeling, energie en ander sake van belang).
As hierdie die huidige toestand van water is, wat van die toekoms? Suid-Afrika kan meer damme en waterskemas bou; seewater ontsout, water van buurlande, soos die Zambezi-rivier in Zambië aankoop; rioolwater hergeruik; of afvalwater van myne herwin. Al hierdie oplossings is egter duur en die land kan dit nie bekostig nie. Wat die watergehalte betref, kan ons riviere skoonmaak en stewige boetes oplê op die persone/maatskappye wat dit besoedel. Hierdie oplossings spreek egter slegs die simptome van die probleem aan.
Ons moet eerder die oorsaak van die probleem, te wete ons HOUDING jeens water, aanspreek. Ongelukkig werk die owerhede wat genoem is nie saam om alles stop te sit nie. Verantwoordelike beamptes word nie aangestel om hierdie probleme stop te sit nie. Dit help nie om vandag een rivier skoon te maak, net om die volgende dag daar op te daag dan is dit maar weer dieselfde storie van voor af. Dit help ook nie mens bou ekstra damme en seewater ontsoutingsaanlegte as die besoedeling van water voortduur nie. DAN betaal ons as belastingbetalers nog meer as wat ons tans doen. HAAL DIE VROT AARTAPPEL UIT DIE SAK UIT, DIT MAAK DIE RES VROT.
Hierdie betrokke owerhede (wat die president insluit) wat besoedeling toelaat moet verantwoordelik gehou te word vir die aanstelling van persone wat nie die werk kan doen nie. Die onderdane wat so besoedel (hetsy industrieë of rioolplase wat nie werkend is nie), die miljoene immigrante moet op grense gestop word, alles bydraende faktore.
Hoe meer die informele sektor groei , hoe groter word ons probleem. En dan wil hul almal deel in die grondonteiening wat onder wetgewing gaan plaasvind – hulle word deur Soros betaal om hier te wees. Juis met ‘n doel om alles nog meer te versleg. Terloops hoeveel immigrante werk reeds hier en hoeveel is onwettig in die land, wat almal aanspraak maak op grond?
Dit word so voorgeskryf aan die wat omgee gestel op die webtuiste – maar nie aan diegene wat geen internet het nie, wie net inkom as “gas van Soros” wat inkom om verder te besoedel of misdaad te pleeg::::
Die toekoms van Suid-Afrika is in ONS hande. Regtig?
Dit moet by die president en ministers van die land begin, en dit moet aan plaaslike owerhede oorgedra word. Help veel ons op grondvlak probeer alles, maar die verantwoordelike president en sy kabinet doen weinig behalwe om geld te steel, want triljoene word gesteel en dan sit ons nog in donker en sonder internet – hoe gerieflik om internet stil te maak? As die krag af is, is die internet ook af.
Ons moet bloot die wateromgewing – en hoe mense daarby inpas – verstaan. Ons moet almal “Water Wys” word! Maar wat beteken dit om “Water Wys” te wees?
Om “Water Wys” te wees, beteken ‘n mens sal:
- water en alle lewe RESPEKTEER;
- water oordeelkundig gebruik en dit nie MORS nie;
- nie rivier met vloeibare en vaste afval, BESOEDEL nie;
- vir waterdienste BETAAL;
- OPTREE om waterkrisisse op te los;
- water SPAAR en sodoende die natuurlike omgewing BEWAAR.
Wat waar is – Suid-Afrika besit oor die algemeen oor ‘n beperkte watervoorraad. Die kwalitiet van hierdie water word deur besoedeling en die vernietiging van die riviere se opvanggebiede, bedreig. Water is ‘n lewensbelangrike hulpbron en dit is die verantwoordelikheid van ALLE Suid-Afrikaners om verantwoordelik op te tree in hul alledaagse lewens en na ons beskikbare waterbronne om te sien. Sodoende kan ons verseker dat hierdie beperkte hulpbron vir alle lewe op aarde bruikbaar bly. Dit is uiters belangrik dat almal “Water Wys” word.
START AT THE TOP – PRESIDENT
Water quality is defined as water which is safe, drinkable and appealing to all life on earth. It should contain no chemical or radioactive substance that is harmful to the health of any life. It should be free of disease-causing organisms and stable in terms of corrosion or scaling. Polluted water is water that is not safe and not healthy for people and animals to drink or to wash in.
Polluted water is particularly dangerous to water plants and animals. Polluted water is also particularly dangerous to people who get their water directly from a river or dam. In South Africa the scarce fresh water is decreasing in quality because of an increase in pollution and the destruction of river catchments, caused by urbanisation, deforestation, damming of rivers, destruction of wetlands, industry, mining, agriculture, energy use, and accidental water pollution. As the human population increases, there is an increase in pollution and catchment destruction.
Water knows no boundaries and as it flows it links communities together through their many uses of this resource. The quality of a stream or river is often a good indication of the way of life within a community through which is flows. It is an indicator of the socio-economic conditions and environmental awareness and attitude of its users. Everything that happens in a catchment area is reflected in the quality of the water that flows through it, because the results of human activity and lifestyle ultimately end up in rivers, through runoff.
If this is the water situation at present, what of the future? South Africa can build more dams and water transfer schemes; desalinate sea water; source water from neighbouring countries, such as the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe; reusing effluent water; or treating mine wastewater. But all of these solutions are expensive and not affordable for the country. In terms of water quality, South Africans can clean up rivers and impose fines on those people/companies that pollute rivers. But these solutions address the symptoms of the problem. We should be addressing the cause of the problem, i.e. our attitude towards water.
The future of South Africa lies in our hands. We can make a difference. We just need to understand the water environment and how we humans fit into it. We all need to become “Water Wise”! But what does it mean to be “Water Wise”?
No start at the TOP
The President of any country with his cabinet and members in parliament are responsible for what is going on here in South Africa. There are various ministers as well as municipalities, all have chief executive officers, mayors and councillors in the same bed and do not take responsibility for their “actions” regarding pollution of our water?
To be “Water Wise” means that a person will:
- have the utmost RESPECT for water and all life;
- use water carefully and not WASTE it;
- not POLLUTE rivers with liquid and solid waste;
- PAY for water services;
- take ACTION to solve any water problems;
- CONSERVE water, and thereby CONSERVE the natural environment.
South Africa has, in general, a limited supply of water and the quality of this water is being threatened by pollution and the destruction of river catchments. Water is a vital resource and it is up to ALL South Africans to act responsibly in their daily lives and look after the available water resources to ensure that this limited supply is usable by all life on earth. It is very important that everyone becomes “Water Wise”.
As human populations increase, more energy is required for human activities such as cooking, lighting, etc. The majority of our energy in South Africa comes from the burning of coal at power stations and results in greatly increased emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. These gases are the main cause of acid rain. Also the release of carbon dioxide, from the burning of coal, increases global warming.
Namate meer en meer mense na dorpe en stede beweeg, dra ‘n aantal faktore tot besoedeling by:
Namate die menslike bevolking toeneem, word meer energie benodig vir menslike aktiwiteite soos kosmaak, beligting, ens. Die meerderheid van die energie in Suid-Afrika kom van steenkool by kragstasies en het tot gevolg dat massiewe hoeveelhede swael en natriumoksiede in die atmosfeer vrygestel word. Hierdie gasse is die hoofoorsaak van suurreën. Daarbenewens is die vrystelling van koolstofdioksied van die brandende steenkool, ‘n verdere bydraer tot aardverwarming.
Toevallige waterbesoedeling kan op baie maniere geskied (soos gebarste pype en tenks, groot lekke, vure en olie-stortings) en kan verskeie grade van skade veroorsaak afhangende van die hoeveelheid, giftigheid en werkingsduur van die besoedeling, asook die grootte en aanpasbaarheid van die waterbron.
- die fisiese versteuring van die grond as gevolg van die bou van huise, industrieë, paaie, ens.;
- chemiese besoedeling van nywerhede, myne, ens.;
- onvoldoende rioolopvanging en behandeling;
- toename in kunsmis om meer voedsel te groei. Dit lei tot ‘n toename in voedingstowwe (nitrate en fosfate) in die water wat verhoogde plantegroei (alge-bloeisels) tot gevolg het. Wanneer hierdie plantmateriaal sterf en verrot, gebruik die baterieë die suurstof in die water. Die laer suurstofvlakke lei tot sterftes van ander waterlewe wat suurstof nodig het vir oorlewing, soos visse, ens. Hierdie proses word eutrofikasie, genoem;
- rommel, wat siektes veroorsaak en ‘n negatiewe visuele impak het.
Die skoonmaak van grond vir landbou en stedelike groei, lei dikwels tot besoedeling. Wanneer grond van sy beskermende vegetasie ontneem word, raak dit vatbaar vir gronderosie. Dit lei tot ‘n toename in vertroebeling van water, wat tot die volgende kan lei:
- Dit kan die kieue van visse blokkeer;
- Bodemplante kan nie fotosinteer nie, aangesien die son se strale hulle nie bereik nie; en
- Daar is ‘n verhoging in siektes omdat bakterieë en virusse die gronddeeltjies as vervoermiddel, gebruik.
Opdamming van riviere het op die volgende wyse ‘n impak op water:
- Water wat uit damme vloei:
- het minder onderliggende materiaal, aangesien groot hoeveelhede na die bodem van die dam sak;
- is ontneem van voedingstowwe; en
- is dikwels meer sout.
- wat nadelige gevolge het op landbou en visserye stroom af.
- Verhoogde eutrofikasie kan geskied omdat die water vir langer tye in die dam bly.
- Daar vind ook verhoogde verdamping in damme plaas, veral damme wat ‘n groot oppervlak beslaan, soos die Vaaldam
Vleilande is die natuur se manier om water te suiwer en om water op te dam (hulle hou water terug tydens die somer en laat dit gedurende die winter vry).
Die vernietiging van vleilande:
- Vernietig die habitat van baie voëls en visse;
- Verwyder die natuurlike filters wat besoedelende stowwe, soos fosfor en swaar metale, opgaar en afbeek;
- Vernietig natuurlike damme en veroorsaak vloede verder stroom af.
Nywerhede vervaardig afval wat die volgende kan beïnvloed:
- pH van die water (hetsy dit suur, neutraal of alkalies is);
- kleur van die water;
- hoeveelheid voedingstowwe (verhoogde voedingstowwe kan lei tot eutrofikasie);
- temperatuur (verhoogde of verlaagde temperatuur kan ‘n impak hê op temperatuur-sensitiewe organismes in die water);
- die hoeveelheid minerale en soute (te veel kan gesondheidsprobleme veroorsaak);
- troebelheid van die water (kan visse se kieue blokkeer, bodemplante kan nie fotosinteer nie, omdat sonstrale hulle nie bereik nie; meer siektes aangesien bakterieë en virusse die gronddeeltjies as vervoermiddel gebruik).
Myne produseer afval wat:
- die hoeveelheid minerale en soute in die water kan verhoog (te veel kan gesondheidsprobleme veroorsaak);
- die pH van die water kan beïnvloed (hetsy suur, neutraal of alkalies);
- kan die troebelheid van die water verhoog
- Verhoog gronderosie as gevolg van die fisiese versteuring van die grond en plante as gevolg van ploeëry, oorbeweiding, houtkappery en padbouery. Dit affekteer die troebelheid en die hoeveelheid minerale en soute in die water;
- Verhoog voedingstowwe as gevolg van bemesting en kunsmis, wat kommerwekkende hoeveelhede nitrate en fosfate tot waterbronne bydra (wat tot eutrofikasie kan lei).
- Verhoogde gebruik van plaagbeheer.
READ A FEW ARTICLES ABOUT POLLUTION AND WATER
Consistent patterns of debris on South African beaches indicate that industrial pellets and other mesoplastic items mostly derive from local sources. We sampled mesodebris (∼2–25 mm) at 82 South African beaches in 1994, 2005 and 2015. Plastic items comprised 99% by number and 95% by mass of litter items. Industrial pellets were the most abundant plastic items, but fragments of rigid plastic items comprised most of the mass of debris. Strong correlations between industrial pellets and other plastic items indicate that common factors influence the distribution of both pellets and secondary mesoplastics. The abundance of mesodebris at beaches also was correlated in successive surveys, suggesting that beach-specific factors (e.g. aspect, slope, local currents, etc.) influence the amounts of debris on each beach.
Another – Small plastic pollution on SA beaches
27 February 2018
A study of the small plastic fragments on South Africa’s beaches repeated every 10 years since the mid-1990s has found that most plastic pollution derives from local sources. This first-of-its-kind study was conducted by the University of Cape Town’s FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology and Marine Research Institute.
This finding is important because it means that distant nations with much larger plastic industries cannot be blamed for the poor state of many beaches and adjacent coastal waters.
At sea, the small fragments of plastic are eaten by birds, turtles, fish and other marine organisms, resulting in the transfer of toxic compounds as well as blocking and injuring their digestive tracts, and reducing food intake.
Professor Peter Ryan, the study’s lead author, elaborated: “Most recent research has focused on the distribution of microplastics – items less than 1 mm across. A 2017 study found little difference in the density of these items – dominated by fibres – around the South African coast.
“Our study paints a very different picture about the meso-plastic size fraction. Identifying key source areas is critical in designing and implementing effective mitigation measures to reduce the amounts of plastic entering marine and freshwater systems.”
Debris was sampled at 82 sandy beaches along the South African coast in 1994, 2005 and 2015. Man-made items collected from the sieved material included wood, wax, glass, metal, cigarette butts, rubber, metal and paper, but plastic items were by far the most abundant, comprising 99% of litter items.
Several beaches consistently had thousands of plastic items per metre of beach.
The highest concentrations occurred at beaches in the four main urban centres: Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban. Together, these cities account for 63% of the roughly 15 million people who live in coastal municipalities, and are home to virtually all the plastic manufacturers, converters and recyclers situated along the coast.
Smaller concentrations of litter occurred on beaches around Mossel Bay and the mouth of the Breede River, which drains the Worcester–Robertson area.
“Marine litter is a wholly avoidable problem, and our study shows that it is one that largely rests within our own control.”
Inadequate solid waste management
Industrial pellets (or ‘nurdles’) were the most abundant items, but their importance decreased over the study period. Many of the pellets have probably been on our beaches for many years – dating back to a period before plastics manufacturers had strict measures in place to limit losses into the environment.
Fragments of manufactured items, broken down by sunlight and physical abrasion, are now the main pollutants, emphasising the importance of general pollution, rather than pollution from plastic manufacturers, in terms of recent inputs.
Ryan said, “We need a complete overhaul of solid waste management in South Africa, from government to grass-roots levels. All available evidence indicates that the amount of litter entering the system continues to grow.
“Probably the biggest failing occurs at municipal level, where there is inadequate waste management – more than half of the solid waste in South Africa is mismanaged, compared to 12% in Brazil and 2% in the USA.”
Central government also has a key role to play through setting policies to reduce plastics in the packaging stream, and by requiring producers to take responsibility for plastic products and packaging beyond the point of sale (so-called Extended Producer Responsibility).
Consumers can demand better-packaged items and appropriate mechanisms to recycle or reuse their packaging. The major food retailers have a strong role to play as a choke-point in the supply chain and could effect wide-ranging changes.
Ultimately, however, it comes down to individuals – most plastic pollution derives from people littering on land.
“We need to change attitudes and behaviour; marine litter is a wholly avoidable problem, and our study shows that it is one that largely rests within our own control,” Ryan added.
December 2018 Vaalriver – not very good news if you find millions people and animals are living here.
“The situation has reached crisis point at the Vaal with negative impacts on the economy and job creation”, according to Save the Vaal Environment (Save), a local NGO that works to protect the blighted river, and a team of water researchers at a recent meeting. “The poorest communities are the most vulnerable, especially in regard to health risks”.
Further court action would now be launched against Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane and other responsible ministers and departments next year, said Save.
“The minister of water and sanitation needs to accept responsibility and accountability for water quality in the Vaal River system and ensure her department does its job in ensuring that polluters who contravene legislation are punished.
“The minister alss needs to urgently find the funds to resolve the issue of sewage pollution by going ahead with her 2015 plan of the Sedibeng regional sewage system, which has not gone beyond the drawing board.”
For the past 20 years, Save had worked to pressurise local councils and the department to prevent pollution, said its chairperson, Malcolm Plant. “Our interaction has included 55 successful court orders against the Emfuleni local council and one court order against the Ngwathe local council to prevent sewage pollution from their wastewater systems.
“This pressure has resulted in a few projects to alleviate the situation. However, the steps taken by the authorities are inadequate and the Vaal River system is in crisis. “Structural work needs to start immediately “if we are to save the Vaal River from complete degradation” and knock-on effects on health and the local economy.
“The next step must be a legal strategy to compel the authorities to take accountability and responsibility to protect this important raw water source.” The impact of a polluted Vaal River was widespread, said Mariette Liefferink, of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment. “The Vaal River system supplies water to 60% of the economy and 45% of South Africa’s population.”
The main causes of pollution are the neutralised but highly saline acid mine drainage effluent being pumped into the river and raw or partially treated sewage “from the often non-compliant wastewater treatment systems of local municipalities”, she said. Compliance monitoring and enforcement are minimal, said Save. “Little action is taken against non-compliant local councils. Raw or partially treated sewage is a major pollutant which creates serious health risks.
“E-coli counts are an indicator of sewage. Symptoms of contact with e-coli-polluted water include skin irritations, infections and intestinal disorders. E-coli counts of 200 – 400 per 100ml of water represent a significant risk for gastrointestinal disorders. E-coli counts more than 400 per 100 ml represent a high risk for gastrointestinal disorders.
“Rand Water’s analysis results confirm unacceptable levels of e-coli. In Vereeniging where the Klip River joins the Vaal, E.coli counts of 6 570 per 100 ml were measured on November 1, declining to 411 counts on November 8. “At the sampling site where the Rietspruit joins Loch Vaal, 57 940 counts per 100 ml were recorded on November 1. This reduce o 241 900 counts per 100 ml on November 8. These are two major pollution hot spots.”
Stanley Gaba, of the Emfuleni local municipality, acknowledges the “challenges it has with sewer spillages onto the Vaal River:
THIS IS THE REALITY IN SOUTH AFRICA
For the past few years, we have been led to believe that South Africa’s water is amongst the finest in the world, but judging by the facts, South Africa’s water quality and sewage treatment facilities are in a hot mess. Yes, millions of South Africans have reached a “tipping point” in terms of sewage treatment, polluted drinking water, or lack thereof. If you’re a bit behind on the facts, then here is what you need know.
1 ONLY 7% of Municipalities Have Green Flag Status
In 2010, it was reported that only 3, 8 % of South Africa’s sewage treatment systems were up to international standards, its 2016 and not much has changed. Not only are 40% of all our waste water treatment plants in a critical state in terms of infrastructure, only 7% are complying with international standards, which means in the space of six years, not much improvement has been made. It was also estimated in 2010 that more than R100-billion was required to tackle challenges such as upgrading equipment, refurbishing infrastructure and hiring skilled staff, today, that figure has climbed to a whopping R293-billion.
2 Millions of South Africans Don’t Have Access to Water
For millions it’s really easy. You need water, you turn your tap. For others, it’s not so easy because either the water is brown and contaminated, or there is no water at all. Mostly affecting rural stand-alone communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West provinces, currently more than 2.7 million households are experiencing water shortages, and although our constitution guarantees every South African the right to water, tomorrow, millions of South Africans will wake up to no water, just the like they did today, yesterday, and the month before. Although lack of rainfall in these areas are exacerbating the situation – as long as sewage treatment facilities continue to remain negligent and incompetent and as long as water resources continue to diminish, the Water Resources Group has calculated that by the year 2030, the demand for water will exceed supply by 17%.
3 Municipalities Are Dumping Sewage into the Vaal Dam and Ocean
While 90% of wastewater in developing countries gets dumped into rivers and dams – although not a developing country – South Africa seems to be doing just the same. It was only until recently that it was discovered that 50 million litres of raw sewage is dumped off the coast of Cape Town, every day. But hold your breath because Gauteng is no better. Last year in 2015, a municipality was caught red handed on video pumping millions of litres of untreated sewage into the Vaal River and Vaal Dam which has significantly contaminated the water for 10-million people. That’s right! A source of cholera and enteric viruses – hundreds of millions of litres of sewage is illegally discharged into rivers, dams, streams and oceans each day throughout South Africa by our municipalities.
4 37% Of Our Drinkable Water is Lost Through Broken Equipment
Did you know that South Africa is losing the equivalent of 4.3 million swimming pools of water a year due to leaking pipes, dripping taps, infrastructure failures and theft? In fact, according to a study conducted by the Water Research Commission, each year we’re losing around 1.58 billion kilolitres of water. What’s even more shocking to learn is that this water loss is costing tax payers around R7.2bn a year.
Considering that water is a constitutional right, one can only but wonder how South Africa, one of the greatest and most mineral rich countries in the world, got into this mess. As South Africans struggle to deal with our current crisis, many industries, homes, private organisations and communities have had to turn to Bio Sewage Systems for sewage treatment. Recognising national sewage and wastewater conditions, we’re proud to be a key player in the South African waste water management sector. A company proudly established in provinces throughout South Africa, built by Africans for African conditions, we offer economical and environmentally friendly sewage treatment products that not only support ethical environmental standards, but also give unlimited access to clean water that can be used for irrigation, watering holes, washing, bathing, and drinking and more.
If you’re currently considering upgrading or installing a sewage treatment system for your commercial, industrial or private property or land, spend just a few minutes browsing our site and we can point out some of the many benefits of our true biological sewage treatment solution. By using our 5 SHIN® technology our reactors make use of nature’s own methods – including anoxic, aerobic and anaerobic systems, effectively breaking down the suspended and dissolved solids in both grey and black water, and working continuously to create clear, clean, odourless and reusable water.
By recycling water you’ve already paid for, our biological sewage treatment can enable you to make substantial savings on both energy and water over the lifecycle of the equipment, and the water produced by our reactors can be used for a wide range of applications around your property. Unlike existing soak-aways or septic tanks that merely store or dispose of your waste water, our system returns much of the water you’ve paid for and allows to you reuse it as required. Our biological sewage treatment installations are self-contained and won’t fail or flood during periods of heavy rain, and you won’t suffer from obnoxious odours during the warmer weather either – allowing you to position our treatment plants in almost any location on your premises.
With very low energy use required for normal operation, our Four Stage system begins with the collection of waste water and sewage from your property, as well as processing solids to create sludge that is more easily digested by the bio-reactor tanks. As reduction takes place and any residual organics are broken down, the product of this stage moves forward for clarification, separating sludge for reprocessing and clear water that undergoes sterilisation to remove any residual pathogens, giving you recycled water for irrigation, game waterholes, etc.
Designing an Efficient Yet Affordable Sewage Treatment Process for All
When taking a look at the marvels of the modern technological age, it may be surprising for some to learn how many of these apparently complex human achievements have their roots in some relatively simple mechanism first developed by Mother Nature and exploited rather than devised by man. Among the more obvious examples of this is the echo-location technique by which bats can navigate accurately at high speed, even in the dark. The same principle was eventually adapted to develop the sonar technology that has become a vital aid to anti-submarine warfare. Also, without the knowledge gained from studying the way in which plant burrs attach themselves so effectively to our clothing, we would be living in a world without the benefits of Velcro.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, when looking for ways in which to improve the sewage treatment process, the logical step for many researchers has been to study the way in which nature has been tackling this task since life on earth began. Since that time, life has been sustained as the result of a balance between three groups in which plants are the primary producers, animals the main consumers and microorganisms act as a type of middleman responsible for balancing the actions of the other two. Bacteria of various kinds obtain their nutrition from the waste products of both plants and animals. In each case, their food supply includes the remains of dead specimens while, in the case of animals, this also includes their liquid and solid bodily waste products.
Over the years, man has gained sufficient insight into the water cycle to leverage some of its more basic principles for use in waste water purification plants. However, such plants have relied more upon physical actions such as sedimentation and filtration, assisted by various chemical processes, such as the use of coagulants to facilitate sedimentation where needed, and dosing with chlorine compounds to kill residual bacteria. More recently, however, interest has centred on the more extensive use of biological methods for use in the sewage treatment process.
In a conventional plant, processing takes place in four main stages and begins with screening, in which large items such as disposable nappies, cotton buds, tissues, and similar detritus that might later cause obstruction, are removed. Stage 2 involves a primary treatment, in which the solids are allowed to settle and form a dense sludge at the bottom of the tank, which is removed by mechanical scrapers and pumped away for further processing. The remaining water is transferred to a new tank for secondary processing in Stage 3. Here, aeration occurs to assist the bacteria to break down any remaining suspended and dissolved organic material. Finally, after a further period of sedimentation, the remaining water is essentially free of harmful contaminants and after filtration through sand, can be safely released back into the water table for nature to complete the task.
Conventional plants tend to rely quite heavily on the use of pumps and mechanical scrapers and stirrers. Their use results in considerable consumption of electrical power and, in turn, adds significantly to the overall cost of grey and black water processing. During what is predominately a biological sewage treatment process, not only is there far less need for the use of electrical power, but the clear and odourless effluent produced by these systems can, if required, be used for selected purposes without the need for any further processing.
The biological units described are ideal for use in a variety of locations and can offer a means to reuse water that has already been paid for, providing the owners of these installations with a way to reduce their monthly bills, as well as helping to ease the burden on the nation’s limited water reserves. In South Africa, and in Mozambique, Bio Sewage Systems is widely known for its innovative products that are to be found on mines, in shopping centres, sports facilities, and nature resorts, as well as on farms and residential sites.
In addition to a wide range of standard processing capacities of up to half a million litres per day, we undertake installation and maintenance as well as the design of tailored installation to the client’s requirements. Let us show you how our efficient yet affordable biological sewage treatment process could work for you.
September 2018 – another stinky business and unhealthy situation to live with – this is not only in this area – it is also in various parts of the country
Raw sewerage continues to flow into the Vaal River, despite pleas from environmentalists and concerned citizens. Millions of people are living in this area.
Pollution of the Vaal River is at critical levels. The Vaal, which is the largest tributary of the great Orange River, has been used as a dumping site for toxic material, including raw sewerage. Major media outlets in South Africa have documented the rapid decline in water quality, which now threatens human health and safety as well as nearby ecosystems.
Vaal River pollution threatens health and well being
Save the Vaal Environment (Save) is an environmental rights organisation which has been tracking and studying the disastrous impact dumping has had on the Vaal. Thanks to the organisation’s efforts, government and the Emfuleni Municipality will now have to appear before the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to explain their inability to preserve the vital water source.
The commission has already conducted numerous site visits, while the actual inquiry is set to begin on Tuesday.
According to a report by Sowetan Live, Save is now calling for the arrest and prosecution of those involved in polluting the river. For the last ten years, the organisation has pressured the local government to take action against the municipality which has allowed sewerage to seep into the Vaal. Yet, Emfuleni municipality has managed to circumvent responsibility, by stating that it’s funding doesn’t allow for the repair of broken sewage pipes.
Vaal River: Government needs to be held accountable
According to Malcolm Plant, chairperson of Save, this excuse simply isn’t good enough. Plant argued that parties involved in the destruction of the Vaal River need to be held responsible before a court of law, saying:
“Our recommendation is that the necessary authorities must take full responsibilities for the sewerage, get the necessary funding from Treasury to stop the pollution and the breakdown of the Vaal River system. The best way to resolve the ongoing sins is to hold people accountable … take them to court and put them in jail for what has happened to the people of Vaal and the people using the river for their lives.”
Plant said that Vereeniging, Sebokeng, Boipatong and Sharpeville all relied heavily on the Vaal River and that pollution was having a negative impact on the communities’ way of life.
This is the Vaaldam in 2017
South Africa’s municipal sewage system has largely collapsed. Of the 824 treatment plants, MAYBE only 60 release clean water.
Raw or partially treated sewage flows into rivers throughout the country, turning dams green and killing people who drink the polluted water. From big metros such as Johannesburg to towns like Villiers in the Free State, what is flushed down the toilet either escapes out of broken pipes or from the plants meant to treat it back to safe quality.
At best, the high levels of coliform bacteria such as E coli from human faeces – dangerous pollutants – choke the natural life in dams and rivers.
At worst, people die. Sometimes this makes headlines, as happened when three babies died in 2014 after drinking polluted water in the North West town of Bloemhof. Most of the time, it does not.
In the past six years, the Mail & Guardian has visited 36 wastewater treatment plants around the country. Few worked properly.
At one plant, in northern Limpopo, operators used a handbook with a third of its pages missing to calculate how much chlorine and lime to add to their treatment process. The ratio, meant to be informed by sampling and laboratory results, was done by guesswork. An operator said they got the job because they knew the plant’s manager. “The person doing this before quit and that other guy [his colleague] said: ‘We just use the manual.’ ” He was not trained.
Similar cases are captured in the annual Green Drop Report produced by the national water and sanitation department as a way to try to keep track of what is happening at plants. Because the plants are run by municipalities, the national department has little jurisdiction over what they do, so it uses the reports to shame them into action. These reports are no longer released to the public.
The M&G has previously reported that the Green Drop documents contained such damaging evidence it would enable people to sue the government.
The 2013 report noted that less than 10% of the country’s 824 plants were releasing clean water. The rest were breaking the law, with a third rated as “critical” and in need of urgent repair.
This equates to 50 000 litres of untreated sewage released every second.
This state of affairs is caused by a lack of maintenance. Global best practice is for a municipality to spend 15% of the value of a plant on its maintenance each year. But maintenance budgets are often where corruption hits hardest. Delmas in Mpumalanga, where raw sewage from two wastewater treatment plants is making people down river ill, is a good example.
The treasury says half of the municipality’s spending is “fruitless and wasteful”. Only 1% is spent on maintenance.
The consequences are devastating. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) calculates that 60% of the country’s water bodies are eutrophic, which means that the water is so rich in nutrients from sewage that it is green and hyacinths cover the surface. It isn’t only a rural problem; Hartbeespoort and Bronkhorstspruit dams in Gauteng are also green.
In 2009, a special edition of the South African Medical Journal noted that 85% of the country’s sewage infrastructure is “dilapidated”. This state of affairs would lead to an “epidemiological nightmare”. South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of mortality for children under the age of five. About 10% of those deaths are from diarrhoea. Critically, the journal warned of the effects of E coli and other sewage-related pollutants in a population with a high prevalence of HIV.
There are other, hidden, costs. The M&G has visited plants that are not listed as “critical”, because they dump untreated waste in the veld. This sewage seeps into groundwater. Farmers along the Apies River, flowing north from Tshwane, have found E coli in 100m-deep boreholes.
Yet there is little censure for the polluting municipalities. In Delmas, the sanitation department issued two compliance notices, in 2001 and 2004 – the strongest administrative action one government department can take against another.
It followed these up by giving the municipality R750 000 in 2007 to improve the “management capacity” of the sewage plant. Then, R65-million was given to the same municipality to build a new treatment plant. It broke down. Now R54-million is being spent to fix the plant. The 2013 Green Drop Report noted that: “Staff attitude [at the plant] is apathetic and unresponsive. Poor management practice is evident.”
That unnecessarily high level of spending has become the norm. The water and sanitation department handles it under “emergency interventions”. In one such intervention, in Deneysville in the Free State, R15-million was budgeted just to make an emergency repair to a plant that was releasing untreated sewage into the Vaal Dam. A further R142-million is being spent on a new sewage plant.
A Blue Scorpion investigator, from the unit at the sanitation department, says municipalities have found a way to do no maintenance and get free money to fix the problems this causes.
In areas where the ruling ANC is unpopular, and before elections, this means the minister responsible wants a quick fix, they say. “Municipalities know all of this so continue stealing maintenance money and wait for us to jump in to their rescue when things break.”
The investigator adds: “When a plant breaks and people get sick, you [the press] blame us.”
A 2013 probe by the South African Human Rights Commission found that “officials were accused of corruption as tenders were often awarded to family members or friends who were unable to complete the job promptly or adequately”.
Two engineers who make a living from these emergency interventions say there are at least 24 a year. One says: “There was a case [in 2014] when the minister [of water and sanitation] called me on a Saturday [after protests had turned violent] and told me to be on site on the Monday. That costs.”
These teams treat the solid excrement, which would otherwise resist even the attentions of a jackhammer, and remove it so the sewage works can be fixed.
In response to questions on these interventions, the department sent a list from May 2016. The 16 interventions listed tally up to nearly R200-million.
The M&G has seen a recent list for Mpumalanga, the Free State and Mpumalanga, which shows that R360-million was spent on 24 plants. Other numbers are difficult to find.
In 2015, the department said it needed R293-billion to fix and upgrade all the water and sewage infrastructure in the country.
An official in its planning department says it is hard to give an exact cost for sewage alone, because plants breakdown unpredictably. “Instead of the small cost of regular maintenance, we keep having these expensive, emergency interventions.” This ranges from R2.4-million spent in the Free State town of Parys to the R46-million spent on the Ermelo plant in Mpumalanga.
The official says a rule of thumb is R10-million a plant. With some 750 plants needing repair and upgrade, that works out to R7.5-billion.
“That’s a once-off cost, which you could almost accept if it was the end of it,” the official says. “But we know each plant will be back to the same place in a decade, so you have this deep, dark hole that you’re just throwing money into.”
Talking about this frustrates the officials, because it is unnecessary expenditure.
And it is not a new problem. In its 2006 State of Municipal Infrastructure report, the CSIR found that plants were “producing effluent that is little distinguishable from the raw sewage going into the works”.
It blamed this on “gross under-budgeting by the municipality” and “managers who have insufficient understanding of the technology of wastewater treatment”.
It concluded that it was “illogical to build more wastewater and sewage infrastructure without addressing the underlying factors that lead to the failure of this infrastructure”.
Waarvoor word amptenare nog aangestel as hulle nie die werk kan doen nie?
7 Desember 2018 THE CAPE
An “apocalyptic” problem is developing along False Bay, which has affected marine life and may put beachgoers at risk because of mismanaged effluent from the Zandvlei Wastewater Treatment Works.
UCT deputy director of environmental humanities Professor Lesley Green said millions of litres of raw sewage had been dumped into Kuils River, entered Macassar beach and affected the neighbouring coast.
Green, who worked with UWC’s senior chemistry Professor Leslie Petrik, and UCT anthropology lecturer Nikiwe Solomon, conducted tests on the Kuils River and coastal areas, and said contaminants were found on False Bay beaches.
“When the report came out, I was so shocked. I contacted (ward councillor) Ganief Hendricks, who arranged for us to visit. We did water samples and took it to the SAB (South African Bureau of Standards) and the results were shocking,” said Green.
“It’s a terrible issue, False Bay is nearby, and it’s going to affect the health of people more broadly. The ecology of False Bay is fragile; we cannot keep pumping effluent out like that.
Green said people close to the river were already experiencing chronic illnesses.
Petrik said the population had affected the Peninsula as beaches alongside the river were heavily contaminated with microbes.
“Everyone playing in the sand will pick up infections. E coli is one of them. There are many reports of E coli infections. I’m not a micro (biology) specialist, but I can read the data, and the data I’ve seen is very concerning.
“If it continues to infect the water, the wave water will spread microbes all along the beaches. I would be thinking twice about swimming in the beach and putting my child on the sand to play because pollution is really rife,” said Petrik, adding that fish caught in the False Bay area were also studied and found to contain high levels of chemicals such as painkillers, pesticides and antibiotics found in sewage.
The researchers contacted the City and the Department of Health for intervention, and are working on a way to address the situation.
Leader of the Al Jama-ah political party, and Hendricks said the party had made a presentation to Mayor Dan Plato with the researchers, and it was agreed that urgent action would be taken.
“We made two recommendations: one to alert the public of the danger in the ocean, and one to alert the industry that fish are being poisoned. He will look into allegations made by the professors.
“False Bay beaches are unsafe for recreational activities and swimming, and seafood products are unsafe for human consumption. Hundreds of residents close to harmful rivers are ill, and some have died. The party is assisting them with a possible class action,” said Hendricks.
Mayoral committee member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy Xanthea Limberg said the matter pertained to algae blooms in False Bay, a common occurrence off the coastline with no known toxins.
She said the city had the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the country, and welcomed engagements by the researchers, and looked forward to seeing their findings.