How poo helps keep the lights on

Next time someone nags you about hogging the loo, just tell them you’re helping to keep the national power grid stable.

This is because at least two power stations in the country are using treated effluent for cooling.

This emerged after a written parliamentary question to Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane from DA MP Nosimo Balindlela.

The Pretoria Power Station in Baviaanspoort and the Rooiwal Power Station are using the effluent generated by Tshwane residents for cooling and for processing water.

As one of six metropolitan municipalities treating effluent, Tshwane also supplies treated waste for agricultural irrigation in the area.

It has to be treated to a certain standard before it can be used.

The treated effluent from Zeekoegat is also being used by the Dry Beans Test Centre and the Agricultural Research Council.

Mokonyane said her department encouraged recycling effluent, especially in water stressed areas of the country.

Recently, the Lephalale local municipality signed a contract with Resource Generation, which planned to open the Boikarabelo Mine in Limpopo.

Under the terms of the agreement, Resource Generation would build, operate and maintain a wastewater treatment facility at Marapong for the Boikarabelo mine site.

The treated water would be pumped to the firm’s planned Boikarabelo mine site through a new pipeline.

Resource Generation would pay for the Marapong wastewater treatment plant upgrade works and expansion works to extend capacity to four million litres a day, increasing to a daily 16 million litres by January 2017.

The department has said this would help minimise extraction of water from a natural source and protect aquatic systems.


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How poo helps keep the lights on