V&A Waterfront desalination plant owner ends contract with City of Cape Town, plans to sue

surface

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https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/va-waterfront-desalination-plant-owner-ends-contract-with-city-of-cape-town-plans-to-sue-20190515

"Quality Filtration Systems (QFS), the V&A Waterfront desalination plant owner, has terminated its water supply contract with the City of Cape Town and will pursue legal action. The City was notified of this decision on May 7, GroundUp reports.

"The City is disappointed with this unilateral decision and is now considering the legal ramifications," the city said in a media statement on May 9.

The R60m plant has been dormant since February, due to concerns about dirty sea water.

After conducting its own report on the quality of the water, QFS noticed that its results did not match the feed water specifications provided in the City’s tender. QFS claims this discrepancy has forced it to spend more capital than expected to treat the water and desalinate it."
 

surface

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Chris_the_Brit

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I'm sure there are many Day Zero skeletons still to be exposed.
I do wonder what the CoCT is doing with all the extra revenue from the water tariffs. I guess they are supposedly make Cape Town more water resilient, but I'd like to see the plan. Cape Flats aquifers?
 

daveza

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I do wonder what the CoCT is doing with all the extra revenue from the water tariffs. I guess they are supposedly make Cape Town more water resilient, but I'd like to see the plan. Cape Flats aquifers?
https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/city-of-cape-town-slammed-for-neglecting-cape-flats-aquifer-20490448

Opposition parties have slammed the City of Cape Town for not properly investing in the Cape Flats Aquifer.
The City said in a new report released at the beginning of this year that the aquifer water from the Cape Flats Aquifer, which is located in the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA), “is not suitable for immediate human consumption and must be treated to potable standards before it enters the reticulation system”.


“The issue that we have raised with the City regarding the aquifers is that if you extract water then you must be able to maintain the water and it’s clear that the City has no clear plan in place,” said Delmaine Cottee, ANC councillor and member of the City’s water and sanitation portfolio committee.

According to the City’s report, it was hoped that potable water could be pumped out of the aquifer by last September, but this was reassessed after good autumn rainfall and estimates of the cost of treating the water before piping it into the drinking water system. The boreholes producing the highest yields are the most polluted.

To date, no water from the aquifer has been used to augment the supply of drinking water.
 

Gordon_R

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FYI, I did post the same link in the water sub-forum, but the politicians can take over this one...
 

Fulcrum29

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Well... going back to 2018, an article already discussed on Mybroadband,

https://mg.co.za/article/2018-01-18-00-sea-water-is-a-health-risk-say-profs

Researchers warn 'purified' Cape Town sea water will be contaminated
After the City of Cape Town spends at least half a billion rands to build desalination plants, the “purified” seawater these produce will have been cleared of little more than floating nappies and junk before it is declared safe to drink — despite the presence of organisms such as E. coli — South African researchers have warned.

“Almost no treatment, other than screening for large objects like nappies, is done on the sewage being released into the ocean hourly in large volumes all along our coastline. Moreover … many inland sewerage facilities are not working properly and the effluent released from these poor facilities are highly contaminated and polluting our rivers and dams,” University of Western Cape chemistry professor Leslie Petrik told the Mail & Guardian this week.

“This effluent is also being transported to the ocean.
Any water intake from river, dam or ocean will be contaminated,” Petrik said.

Last year, Petrik and other researchers from three South African universities published an article in the South African Journal of Science on the probable public health risk posed by the planned desalination plants in Cape Town.

Asked how the city plans to protect its citizens from being exposed to the pollutants in desalinated seawater, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said the water would meet the specifications of the country’s national water safety standards. “All plants will comply with national legislation, which also provides for some fast-track measures for disaster relief projects such as the city’s emergency projects,” De Lille told the M&G.

But the safety standards set by the national water department do not require testing for harmful organisms in the desalinated sea water, which means the presence of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus is technically lawful.


E. coli is known to cause food poisoning, and staph infections can lead to boils and oozing blisters.

“The biggest problem is that our national water guidelines do not require statutory testing for persistent pollutants,” Petrik said.

“So the city can claim the water is within specifications but would not have proved the water is adequately purified from persistent chemical compounds if they did not test for … pharmaceuticals, pesticides and disinfectants that are being dumped into the ocean with the sewerage released through the marine outfalls.”

De Lille acknowledged this, and said the city had appointed an emergency water augmentation environmental monitoring committee, which includes national, provincial and local government officials, to monitor the health risk.

“There will be minimal risks to public health and safety, and work will comply with the applicable national health and safety regulations. The city will monitor the site and regularly test the drinking water that is produced,” De Lille said.

Petrik believes treatment options such as ultraviolet light and ozone to break down residual contaminants are essential for ensuring the safety of the desalinated water.

“This combination is relatively expensive
and not super-effective, but does partially degrade organic compounds. However, there are other, more efficient, advanced oxidation systems that are cheaper to implement,” she said.

The researcher found that the seawater that is being earmarked for desalination is polluted after analysing samples collected by long-distance swimmers, kayakers and the Clifton Ratepayers Association.

These pollutants pose a more serious threat than the plastic in the world’s oceans does, Petrik contended, because “the compounds go right into the cells of all living organisms and disrupt the endocrine function”.

“[This] causes sterility or feminisation, cancer or deformities. There are thousands of manmade chemical compounds that are being released by the tonne into the environment because of our daily habits such as washing, cleaning and disinfecting,” Petrik explained.

The plan to remove the salt from seawater to make it drinkable was described as a last resort by the water department’s national water research commission in 2012. Because of the amount of electricity used in the desalination process, the technology is extremely expensive and would significantly increase the price at which the water would have to be sold.

At its most conservative estimate, the price of one kilolitre of water would be about R5.80, an official from the water department, who was not authorised to speak to the media and therefore requested anonymity, confirmed to the M&G.

But the City of Cape Town appears to have run out of options, and water supply is expected to reach critical levels by April, when the taps may have to be turned off and residents will have to queue at one of the 200 collection points set up around the city.

The city council has commissioned the construction of three desalination plants at Monwabisi, Strandfontein and the V&A Waterfront, where it will be located in “an open-air parking lot”, De Lille said.

...

The city did not give the cost of the tender for the V&A Waterfront plant, where construction started this week, but said it would start producing desalinated water in March.

...
So...

https://www.groundup.org.za/article/desalination-plant-terminates-contract-city-cape-town/

“The City is disappointed with this unilateral decision and is now considering the legal ramifications,” according to a 9 May media statement from the City.

The R60 million plant has been sitting dormant since February, due to concerns about dirty sea water. After conducting its own report on the quality of the water, QFS noticed that its results did not match the feed water specifications provided in the City’s tender. QFS claims this discrepancy has forced it to spend more capital than expected to treat the water and desalinate it.
was QFS aware that the national water department did limited testing or was this hidden in the agreement? I wonder whether the CoCT stopped their obligation to the contract when the report broke? I mean 1,7m paid, 20m still outstanding...
 

Wasabee!

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Lekker DA.
Don't you want to wait for the outcome of the legal action before you take sides?

Or do you just trust the media like vote for the ANC due to their promises like how many houses they built and white capital is to blame for everything?

If it's the CoCT fault sure give them kak, but not sure what's all the hating on the DA when only one side of the story is exposed. A media statement from the city might not reveal all the details.
 

Fulcrum29

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I would like to know what happened to the emergency water augmentation environmental monitoring committee? They would be able to shed light on the matter.
 

Gaz{M}

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Charge too much for water = complain
Don't pay contractor for out of spec water = complain

Make up your mind, Kaappies...
 

Aqua_lung

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That plant is ruining the Waterfont, water was constantly leaking eroding the tarmac. They probably had complaints they had to address as well.
 

surface

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Like Tony Leon, the Executive Chairman of Resolve Communications, the company that profited from it?
I am not a DA supporter by any stretch of imagination but are you talking about that 650K story? What was found wrong in this? Are we saying that none of the ex-party members should get any contracts from government? They declared conflict of interest afaik.
 

konfab

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Well... going back to 2018, an article already discussed on Mybroadband,

https://mg.co.za/article/2018-01-18-00-sea-water-is-a-health-risk-say-profs
.
This doesn't make sense IMO.

The only way you can get salt out of water effectively is by reverse osmosis. From the wikipedia page:
Reverse osmosis differs from filtration in that the mechanism of fluid flow is by osmosis across a membrane. The predominant removal mechanism in membrane filtration is straining, or size exclusion, where the pores are 0.01 micrometers or larger, so the process can theoretically achieve perfect efficiency regardless of parameters such as the solution's pressure and concentration. Reverse osmosis instead involves solvent diffusion across a membrane that is either nonporous or uses nanofiltration with pores 0.001 micrometers in size.
The "experts"
But the safety standards set by the national water department do not require testing for harmful organisms in the desalinated sea water, which means the presence of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus is technically lawful.

E. coli is known to cause food poisoning, and staph infections can lead to boils and oozing blisters.
Lets look at the size of E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus
E. coli is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic (that makes ATP by aerobic respiration if oxygen is present, but is capable of switching to fermentation or anaerobic respiration if oxygen is absent) and nonsporulating bacterium.[18] Cells are typically rod-shaped, and are about 2.0 μm long and 0.25–1.0 μm in diameter, with a cell volume of 0.6–0.7 μm3.[19][20][21]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escherichia_coli#Type_and_morphology

S. aureus is an aggressive pathogen and one of the most important nosocomial bacteria causing antibiotic-resistant infections. Despite its clinical relevance, the small size of staphylococcal cells (with a ∼1 μm diameter, only four times larger than the diffraction-limited resolution of conventional light microscopy)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557339/


In other words, if you are filtering for salt molecules, you kinda don't have to worry about much else in the water.


The problem comes from after the water is filtered, and making sure it is sterile. In other words, it has nothing to do with the source of the water.

Where the quality of the water is a problem is how quickly it clogs the filters. I imagine that this is the reason why they are ending the contect.
 

Fulcrum29

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This doesn't make sense IMO.

The only way you can get salt out of water effectively is by reverse osmosis. From the wikipedia page:


The "experts"


Lets look at the size of E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escherichia_coli#Type_and_morphology


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557339/


In other words, if you are filtering for salt molecules, you kinda don't have to worry about much else in the water.


The problem comes from after the water is filtered, and making sure it is sterile. In other words, it has nothing to do with the source of the water.

Where the quality of the water is a problem is how quickly it clogs the filters. I imagine that this is the reason why they are ending the contect.
Here is the study of Desalination and seawater quality at Green Point, Cape Town: A study on the effects of marine sewage outfalls.

EDIT: Fixed link
 
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