STATEMENT: Potable water production increases at Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant

STATEMENT: Potable water production increases at Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant

STATEMENT: Potable water production increases at Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant

Saturday, 16 April 2022

In the past 24 hours, there has been a significant improvement in Hazelmere Dam’s water quality, allowing Umgeni Water to increase potable water production at the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant. At midday today (Saturday, 16 April 2022), potable water production reached 30 megalitres in a strategy of steadily increasing output as raw water quality improved and treatment processes performed effectively.

The plant produces, on average, 70 megalitres (million) per day. At this stage, 40 megalitres are arriving for treatment and 30 megalitres are being supplied as potable water due to backwashing. The objective is to steadily increase production.

Due to increasing production, Umgeni Water has been able to transfer potable water to storage reservoirs within the service area of the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant on a rotational basis. These reservoirs are filling at a steady pace. As production increases overnight, as anticipated, the levels of these reservoirs will further improve. However, numerous variables will determine whether production will increase or not; they include improving raw water quality and effectively functioning treatment processes.

The plant is based in the north of Durban and it supplies eThekwini Metro, iLembe District Municipality and Siza Water for distribution to consumers in Verulam, La Mercy, Sea Tides, Ndwedwe, Waterloo, Groutville and Ballito.

The improvement in output was made possible through steadily improving raw water quality over the past 36 hours. Three days ago turbidity levels were high due to strong inflows into the dam that brought with it very high sediment load and foreign material from catchment run-off. The plant is not designed to cope with this high-suspended solids that are 20 times greater than its design capacity. At that time, production at the plant had to be temporarily halted due to a large increase in suspended solids/sediments from the dam. Operating the plant in these conditions would have resulted in poor water quality that would not have been compliant with SANS 241: 2025 (South African National Standards) for drinking water quality.

The water currently being supplied from the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant is compliant with SANS 241:2015 for drinking water quality. Umgeni Water is monitoring water quality twice a day, including at reservoirs.

Issued by the Corporate Stakeholder Management Unit, Office of the Chief Executive Umgeni Water