Overstrand Municipality in the Western Cape, which stretches from Buffeljagsbaai in the east to Rooi-Els in the west with Hermanus in the centre, has awarded Veolia Water Technologies South Africa the contract to carry out operations and maintenance on its bulk water services infrastructure.
The population growth in the Overstrand area has been one of the fastest in the country. In order to meet the demands and service levels of a growing population, the Overstrand municipality embarked on the expansion of their major bulk water and waste water infrastructure. The municipality implemented newer technologies in the process, e.g. reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, Nerda and biofiltration of ground water. In order to sustain their high levels of service as well as to meet the skills required to manage the newer technologies, the municipality decided to outsource the operation and maintenance of its bulk water and waste water infrastructure to an experienced contractor.
Veolia was awarded a new 15-year operations and maintenance contract in December 2018. This contract is the largest of its kind in South Africa in terms of equipment and the number of facilities to be maintained, which consist of 5 surface water sources, 1 river abstraction plant, 17 boreholes and 3 springs; its bulk water infrastructure made up of 9 water treatment plants, 19 pump stations, 44 reservoirs and 78 km of bulk pipelines; and its bulk wastewater infrastructure comprising 45 km of bulk pipelines, 36 pump stations and 6 waste water treatment plants. The total water treatment capacity is 59 ML per day, and the total wastewater treatment capacity is 18 ML a day. Veolia will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the water and sewage treatment plants. The municipality retains all responsibility for its reticulation infrastructure.
Veolia’s expertise ensures that the maintenance and replacement of spares and consumables are carried out efficiently and on schedule. This helps to prevent unscheduled interruptions and ensure water quality in accordance with local legislation. Veolia is also responsible for supplying all water treatment chemicals and a comprehensive laboratory facility which is used to control water quality and support the operational team.
Veolia is committed to playing a positive role in the lives of its employees, the surrounding communities and the environment. In the process, Veolia will employ about 30 skilled artisans and engineers while aiming to uplift the NQF qualification of the existing operational teams, who have been transferred in accordance with the Labour Relations Act, section 197. In addition, the contract will not only benefit various smaller enterprises and companies in the area but it will also reach out to local communities on a regular basis.
Plant ownership remains in the hands of the Overstrand municipality and the main advantages of the contract for them include long-term asset preservation, local skills development, availability of full-time technical expertise, and optimisation of treatment and maintenance processes.