Kwanobuhle Waste Water Treatment Works


Kwanobuhle,a large township on the outskirts of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, had a wastewatertreatment works that was long overdue for refurbishment. Projects of this natureare often overlooked, however, given the magnitude of the impact of these workson the community, the decision was taken to refurbish the WWTW. Access to clean water is after all, a basic human need.

Wastewater treatment is aprocess used to remove contaminants and convert it into an effluent, which can bereturned to the water cycle with minimum impact on the environment. In municipalities, this process takes place in water treatment plants, where pollutants are removed and broken down. This recycling plays a vital role in
the use and sustainability of scarce resources.

Ibhayi Contracting tookon the responsibility of rehabilitating the Kwanobuhle Wastewater treatment plant. The project began in January 2019 and is expected to be completed 18 months later in July 2020.

The rehabilitation process which ordinarily is no easy task, was made simpler using Sika products. The concrete spall repairs on the plant were conducted using two products: SikaTop® Armatec®-110 EpoCem® reinforcing protective coating and the Sika® Monotop®-615HB high build repair mortar. The latter being a repair and reprofiling mortar for structural concrete. The aerators and digesters were also lined with Sika® Monotop®-612 by trowel application, to reprofile the concrete
surfaces. Sikagard®-720 EpoCem®, a protective coating, was subsequently
applied as a 2mm thick layer to the Sika® MonoTop®-612. Sikagard® 720
Epocem® is a thin film sealer, made from epoxy and cement-based fillers, used
on vertical and horizontal surfaces. It is a unique product that provides concrete
protection and acts as a moisture barrier to allow for the rapid application of
an epoxy coating onto surfaces with high moisture contents.

Sikagard®-63 N epoxy, a high chemical-resistant coating, with a long track record in wastewater treatment plants, was applied to complete the buildup. Finally, all joints in the structures were sealed with Sikaflex® Pro 3i and Sikadur- Combiflex®.

Given the state of disrepair of the WWTW, it was achieving nowhere near
full capacity. Project challenges were inevitable expectations and most, such
as labour disputes, were dealt with readily. However, once the digesters and
aerators are complete, all would have been achieved to ensure project success.

The community of Kwanobuhle can look forward to this redevelopment as it is surely one that will stand the test of time; and is certainly…not a waste.