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Local water supply projects draw on different skills

Home Infrastructure Construction & Civils Local water supply projects draw on different skills

PROVIDING clean and safe drinking water is a priority for many municipalities. Zimile Consulting Engineers has completed two dissimilar water projects requiring different skillsets – one rural and the other in urban Gauteng.

“We are glad to be playing our part by offering comprehensive and reliable water infrastructure solutions to public sector clients,” says a senior technician at Zimile Consulting Engineers, Vuyokazi Radebe.

The rural project was the water supply to Masamini Mbuzweni Villages Intervention Schemes in the uMzimkhulu Local Municipality. The scope of the project was extensive and involved a large-scale water supply scheme covering seven villages in a remote area, where the only access to potable water were springs located several kilometres away from the villages and water harvesting efforts by the community.

The scope of work was extensive from borehole drilling; to network refurbishment; electrical work; design and construction of rising mains and water storage solutions. The objective of this project was to support rural communities with clean and safe, drinkable water, and to cater for additional families coming into the areas.

Radebe says: “The project was multifaceted, involving several sites – each with its own unique requirements and challenges which put our skills to the test. Out-of-the-box thinking was needed for this undertaking, to ensure the right solution was matched to each village’s water system.”

Radebe added, “Many of the sites were in a poor condition, there were illegal connections, and had insufficient water treatment processes, deeming the water potentially unsafe.”
Across the seven villages, Zimile supervised the drilling of four new boreholes, refurbished one, and refurbished two springs. In addition, three new water reticulation systems were designed and executed, with the refurbishment of another three.

A total of three new water storage tanks were added. The team at Zimile ensured that each site was equipped with the appropriate control and monitoring technology, and repairs and replacements were made to the pipe reticulation to ensure the longevity of the new water infrastructure.

Improvements were made to the water infrastructure of nearly the whole scheme as most of the pipeline was refurbished, with two sites being fitted with chlorine dosing plants to ensure that the borehole water met the required standards of portability. “

Water technologist and project manager at Zimile Consulting Engineers, Nomfundo Maphanga, explained the multi-disciplinary nature of the professional team involved in this project including a water engineer, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer, and project manager. A major challenge was the discovery of numerous unknown underground services on the site, which necessitated the relocation of the water town to a new position. “This involved extensive redesign and geo-tech investigations, adding to the original contract duration and an increase in the scope,” she explained.

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