A Water Celebration in Windhoek
Oct 20 2014
WABAG (Austria) has completed another sophisticated water reclamation plant in Namibia’s capital. The facility in Ujams, an industrial area to the north of Windhoek, is treating the water from five different production plants using the very latest technologies, which includes WABAG’s in-house developed MICROPUR process. The water is cleaned to an extent that allows its reuse for irrigation or as process water for industry. The plant is the first for industrial reuse in Namibia and as scheduled the official opening was conducted by the mayor of Windhoek, Ms Agnes M. Kafula, on 7 October 2014. The city fathers and the companies involved also joined in the celebrations.
Every drop of water counts in Windhoek and the securing of the drinking water supply has long represented a major challenge. The solutions adopted are unconventional and unique and the city has carried out pioneering work in the area of water reclamation. For example, Goreangab, the world’s first directly potable water reclamation plant, was completed together with WABAG as partner in 2001.
Now an additional reclamation plant has become operational and the wastewater from the Ujams industrial park is being treated at a high level for reuse. The city benefits doubly from the simultaneous protection of natural resources and the provision of over five million litres of service water daily, which can be used for irrigation or as industrial water.
The existing wastewater treatment facility was increasingly overburdened and no longer fulfilled stricter discharge regulations. Therefore, the city decided to build a new and sustainable plant and in an innovative move put the contract out to tender as a BOOT model with the participation of private investors.
As the lead company in the new founded Ujams Wastewater Treatment Company (Pty) Limited (UWTC) joint venture together with Veolia Water, at the beginning of 2012 WABAG successfully obtained the contract for the plant in the face of international competition owing to the fact that it presented the best technical concept. The order from the Windhoek authorities include the financing, design and engineering, construction and commissioning of the plant, as well as its operational management for a period of 21 years. The transfer to the city is scheduled for 2035 and until then the plant will remain the property of UWTC.
Owing to the fact that they emanate from diverse production plants, the impurities in the wastewater are extremely inhomogeneous and the pollutant concentrations are subject to major fluctuations. It was this complex situation that demanded an innovative solution.
Therefore, WABAG’s experts turned to the very latest technologies for the technical process design of the plant. The WABAG MICROPUR process, which involves innovative fine sieving, is being used on industrial scale for the first time in Ujams and is followed downstream by a modern membrane bioreactor, a UV disinfection stage, sludge treatment and odour treatment. Prior to its full-scale installation, this new process concept was subjected to seven months of pilot testing. The completed plant is of twin line design and has a capacity of 5,175 m3/day.
Erik Göthlin, the VA TECH WABAG GmbH CEO: “The plant is exceptional in several ways and it was a great pleasure, as well as a challenge, to successfully complete this ambitious project in Windhoek. It has enabled us to confirm both our claim to international technology leadership and our reputation as an innovative and reliable partner.”
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