After the German colleagues had the opportunity to visit Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) in May, we are pleased that our South African partners were able to travel to us in June so that we can create a mutual understanding of the systems in both countries.
During the visit in Germany, the partners from BCMM, Wupperverband and OOWV visited the drinking water dam “Kleine Kinzig” of the “Zweckverband Wasserversorgung Kleine Kinzig” in Baden Wurttemberg.
It sometimes takes the operator of BCMM's treatment plant hours to respond appropriately to dips in water quality following a water withdrawal from the Buffalo River. The drinking water dam "Kleine Kinzig", on the other hand, has a water intake tower located in the dam. Several superimposed inlets in the tower allow water to be drawn from different water depths to ensure consistent water quality by means of appropriate mixing. This makes the operation of the subsequent water treatment for human use more efficient and easier.
Already seeing the water quality at the intake of the tower, Luyolo Ndenze, operator of a water treatment plant at BCMM, was impressed by the little turbidity. In East London water is released from the Bridle Drift dam into Buffalo river, where the water intake for the treatment plant is located. The water runs for a couple of kilometres through Buffalo River, which increases the load of suspended solids in the water due to the turbulence in the river.
During his stay in Germany he had the opportunity to not only visit the dam of Kleine Kinzig but also the Eibsee in Bavaria which are both located within water protection zones – which is common for water reservoirs in Germany. In Germany the drinking water reservoirs are protected by the Water Resources Act. This law protects the water resource from contamination by specific bans and restrictions within certain areas. Not only the protection zones around the water resource but also the treatment of water is very controlled and all treatment processes are undertaking indoors – unlike the current treatment at BCMM.
This is one of the topics the utility partnership is discussing within the project and we are all looking forward to the months to come!