|Council rehabilitates 60pc of sewage plant|
|Friday, 15 June 2012 12:00|
Harare City Council has rehabilitated 60 percent of the city’s biggest sewer treatment plant, Firle, and will from next week have capacity to treat 50 percent of the 144 million litres of sewer that go through the plant.
Ability to treat half the sewer means less raw sewage will be disposed into the Mukuvisi River and result in the usage of fewer water treatment chemicals.
Treating the sewer removes nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates that act as fertilisers to weeds such as hyacinth, which deplete water resources.
The city yesterday took journalists on a tour of its sewer plant to apprise them of the huge developments taking place since the city reclaimed water management from Zinwa.
The tour that was preceded by a training workshop was part of the campaign to conserve water following a realisation that the city’s growth both in terms of size and population had outstripped supply.
The city is mounting a huge campaign to encourage residents to use water sparingly targeting such issues as using buckets to bathe, bath water to flush toilets and to irrigate gardens and lawns and using buckets to clean vehicles.
It is also encouraging households to reduce the size of their toilets cisterns.
The majority of cisterns carry up to 10 litres of water.
Emphasis is also being put on replacing old water meters and the replacement of worn out water pipes.
The campaign is also targeting effective waste collection as one of the solutions to the city’s water problems.
Concern is very high that uncollected garbage that include human waste, pampers, condoms, sanitary pads, clothes, dumped babies, dead animals and kitchen utensils is finding its way into the water systems.
Harare wastewater manager, Eng Simon Muserere, said US$37 million was required to fully re-equip the sewer plant.
To date US$13 million has been invested implying that US$24 million is required between now and December when the plant is expected to be fully operational.
As of yesterday the city was able to treat 54 million litres and was putting final touches to one of its units that would be able to treat 36 million litres of sewer da- ily.
Once that unit is brought on line — the combined output would be 72 million litres.
The rest of the plant is expected to be operational by year end guaranteed that there is enough financial injection into the project.
Sidal Engineering director, Engineer Sydney Hambira, whose company was contracted to revamp the plant, gave assurance that the whole plant would be operational by December.
Engineer Hosea Chisango said while in the long term the city requires new water sources — it has been proven that conservation methods save water and allows the little available resource to be shared equitably.
He said in the next three to eight years Harare requires US$1.1 billion to develop new water sources that include Kunzvi, Musami and Mazowe Dams.
Harare Water director, Eng Christopher, Zvobgo said the rehabilitation of Firle included the introduction of a methane gas electricity plant that would be able to produce 2.5 megawatts.