Speech

Opening of Meulwater Treatment Works

26 July 2012

Geagte Burgemeester,
Raadslede,
Senior Bestuurders van die Drakenstein Munisipaliteit,
Professionele diensverskaffers tot die projek,
Dames en here.

Ons is vandag hier saam om 'n wonderlike mylpaal saam met die Drakenstein munisipaliteit te deel.

The Meulwater water treatment works is an example of a project that has been conceived and developed to blend in completely with the natural environment that we are all so proud of and seek to protect.

The recently opened Kogelberg nature reserve by CapeNature, which I opened earlier this year, is an example of what we all want to achieve in terms of protecting our very precious natural environment and at the same time developing a project that is totally in sync with the natural environment.

In this regard I want to express my thanks and appreciation towards everyone that has been involved with the special planning, design and, importantly, the construction methods utilised in this project.

Drakenstein munisipaliteit is 'n munisipaliteit wat van meet af die leiding geneem het met hul fokus op die "groen" ekonomie en die projek is weereens duidelike bewys daarvan.

Daar is geen twyfel dat hierdie projek vir ander munisipaliteite dwarsoor ons land, 'n projek gaan word, om na te volg.

Ek het al by verskeie geleenthede genoem hoe belangrik ons waterbronne vorentoe gaan word en die wyse waarop Drakenstein munisipaliteit die ontginning van hierdie natuurlike hulpbron aangepak het verdien groot lof.

Recently, the annual Blue Drop Awards were announced and Drakenstein Municipality was one of our municipalities that achieved a score above 90%.

This is very significant as these awards are acknowledgement of excellent drinking water quality management, which surpasses the requirements of national norms and standards.

Die nasionale norme en standaarde is baie belangrik, want die Meulwaterprojek is nie net daarop gerig om die kwaliteit van die water te beheer nie, maar om ook op die lang duur 'n kostebesparing vir die eindverbruiker te bewerkstellig.

Paarl Mountain has always been an important water source for the Drakenstein Municipality. The various streams around the mountain have been used by farmers and residents from the early settlement of the valley as it provided a pristine source of water which could be channeled to any required application.

However, as the water requirements of the Paarl area increased more demand was placed on the mountain waters, particularly in the summer months and as a result, Nantes and Bethel dams were built in order to provide capacity to store water through the year for the needs of the town.

Die motivering agter die konstruksie van die Meulwatersuiweringsaanleg is gedeeltelik as gevolg van die langtermyn besparing wat deur die Munisipaliteit verkry word in teenstelling met die alternatief om water vanaf 'n ander waterbron aan te koop of om 'n nuwe waterbron te ontwikkel.

The design team had to overcome significant challenges in providing a solution for the water needs of the Drakenstein Municipality in an extremely sensitive environmental area.

The water treatment works treats water from the Nantes and Bethel Dams which are sited on the mountain, and located on the boundary of the beautiful Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve.

The municipality launched an Environmental Impact Assessment in order to address concerns of interested and affected parties. Out of this consultation came a number of proposals which were presented to the Department of Environmental Affairs for consideration.

The Department of Environmental Affairs agreed with the municipality that the best position for the proposed treatment works would be a disused picnic site above the existing Meulwater Reservoir which allows optimum incorporation of the works into an existing distribution infrastructure.

'n Aantal vereistes is deur die departement uiteengesit met die goedkeuring, insluitende die hoogte beperking en die voetspoor van die struktuur sowel as die insmelt van die struktuur by die natuurlike omgewing.

As gevolg van die sensitiewe ligging is die watersuiweringsaanleg met versigtige aandag ontwerp om te verseker dat dit toepaslik in hierdie omgewing inpas, terwyl dit die erfenis van watervoorraad en behandeling op Paarl Berg voortsit.

Die betrokkenheid van professionele persone, soos 'n erfenis-spesialis, botanis, landskapsargitek en geboue-argitek het tot die behandelingspesialis- en ingenieursvernuf bygedra en het uitgeloop op 'n unieke produk wat sekerlik sal bydra tot 'n erfenis vir die gemeenskap wat deur die Drakenstein Munisipaliteit gedien word.

Design and construction methods and materials used to blend the structure in with the natural environment included the following:

  • The structure's floor level is up to 5.5 metres below ground level in places to limit visual impact.
  • Extensive use was made of granite (harvested from the area) for the purpose of cladding structures and buildings creating a natural look and blending in with its surroundings.
  • Various sections of the structure were staggered to lessen visible impact.
  • Sections of the structure are built entirely beneath the ground.
  • Exposed roofs are covered with natural vegetation.
  • Trees were strategically placed to hide certain elements of the structure and where possible berms have been placed to make the structure less imposing.
  • The site was re-vegetated with indigenous seeds and plants carefully collected from the mountain reserve under the supervision of the Parks Department.
  • The water treatment process was optimised to minimise the plant footprint by the use of direct filtration.
  • The filters are designed to be upgradeable via air flotation/filtration units by the incorporation of relatively minor equipment.

This may be necessary in the event of changes in raw water quality due to a potential future water supplement scheme, which would allow water from the Berg River to be stored in the Nantes Dam and treated as and when required.

  • The filters are equipped with a dual-parallel lateral under-drainage system, which is currently the trend in South Africa. This system has been incorporated as part of an overall design to enhance the filter performance through the incorporation of optimised collapse/pulsing backwashing.

Clearly, what we have here is a project that will enhance the area and have a positive impact on the communities in future.

Om mee af te sluit deel ek graag 'n paar opwindende feite oor hierdie projek.

Die watersuiweringsaanleg het 'n grootte van agt Megaliter per dag wat tot 15 Megaliter per dag opgegradeer kan word.

Die suiweringsaanleg het 'n 200 kilowatt noodkragopwekkingstelsel om te verseker dat die aanleg aaneenlopende krag het.

In addition, all the controls and surveillance of the whole plant is directly connected with the municipal engineers in town by the use of telemetry.

The cost of this project amounts to R38.2 million of which R29.8 million was funded by the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and the municipality financed the remaining R8.4 million.

This project is an excellent example where a careful planning, design and construction method has overcome significant challenges in providing a solution for the construction of a water treatment plant in an extremely sensitive environmental area.

Dankie vir die vriendelike uitnodiging om die onthulling van hierdie besondere projek met u mee te maak en ek wens u voorspoed toe met die verdere innoverende dienslewering aan die inwoners van die Drakenstein Munisipaliteit.