WATER PROJECT KICKS IN
The project to utilise the water from the Hartebeeskuil Dam near Hartenbos started delivering the first water from the dam into the municipal water supply network earlier this week. The project will add three megalitres of water a day to the Mossel Bay Municipality’s water supply to help it maintain the supply of water to residents should the Wolwedans Dam run empty.
The water from the Hartebeeskuil Dam was previously considered too brackish to justify it being pumped to the Municipality’s water treatment plant and purify it to an acceptable quality for human consumption. The present drought situation, however, justified this option.
The project, which was financed and managed by PetroSA, entails the release of water from the dam into the Hartenbos River. The water is collected behind a small weir, which was constructed with sandbags, and pumped from there through a newly constructed pipeline, which is connected to the municipal water supply network.
This is the third emergency water project to come into production.
The waste water reclamation project at Hartenbos was commissioned at the end of June 2010, and supplies up to five megalitres a day to PetroSA in exchange for an equal portion of the company’s quota from the Wolwedans Dam so that the water in the dam can be available for municipal use.
Two boreholes that were drilled as part of the emergency borehole project have already been commissioned, while the commissioning of two more boreholes is imminent. More boreholes are being drilled and it is expected to get three megalitres of water a day from boreholes.
The seawater desalination plant is already under construction in Voorbaai, and is expected to supply five megalitres a day to PetroSA from December 2010 onwards and ten megalitres a day to the Municipality from early February 2011 onwards.
Because of the high cost of desalinating seawater this plant will be mothballed if the drought is broken and only used in future during shortages of surface water or when more water than can be supplied from other sources is required during peak periods.