Twelve boreholes will be dug in areas worst affected by the drought in a pilot project by eThekwini Municipality, reports the Berea Mail.
Head of Water and Sanitation Ednick Msweli recently presented a report outlining the project and the cost implications to the executive committee.
This pilot project was submitted to the executive committee as one of the drought mitigation initiatives. Msweli said the drought situation was still dire, with major dams still sitting below 50%.
“We are still in the grips of the drought. Only Hazelmere Dam is performing well presently. However, its capacity cannot exceed 70%, as a section of the dam wall is being repaired,” Msweli said.
He said the boreholes would cost R450 000 each. The cost to council would be R5.4 million for 12 containerised plants with an additional R600 000 for drilling of the boreholes.
However, Msweli said the cost of a litre of water produced from the boreholes would be considerably less than what eThekwini Municipality presently paid Umgeni Water. In the first year, an estimated 43 800 000 litres of water will be produced at a cost of R0.14 per litre from the project. In five years, 219 000 000 litres will be produced, with the cost per litre R0.03. In 10 years, 438 000 000 litres of water will be produced at a cost of R0.01.
He said the stations are designed, produced and patented in South Africa.
“There are key benefits which include the quick turnaround time to secure safe water in communities, from project inception to the first cup of water. Also, it can easily be deployed in communities where needed and has a tamper proof station design. There is also one integrated solution which is connection, pump, sterilisation and tap,” Msweli said.
Msweli said the stations required yearly servicing which members of the community could be trained to do. And once a station was installed, the community had access to safe potable water, up to 10 000 litres per day.
“The sites for the stations have been considered mainly near schools and clinics in areas severely impacted by the drought. If the pilot project is successful, it could be rolled out in other areas,” Msweli said.
– Caxton News Service