Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Panama project now complete

LWI BioKube for residential areas and real estate development

This video shows a BioKube wastewater system installed at new real estate development project of 600 houses in Panama. The size of the BioKube system is only 9 x 17 meter. The cost of the system was a little over 300 USD per house

Harare Office Now Open

Our Harare Office is now fully operational.

Our details are as follows:

Civil and Structural Consulting Engineering

140 Nelson Mandela Avenue

Box Address:
P.O. Box 5947

Telephone: (04) 

Commencement of the Borrowdale Brooke golf estate Biokube wastewater treatment plant

LWI has commenced the construction of a Biokube wastewater treatment plant at the Borrowdale Brooke golf estate in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The effluent wastewater will be used for greening the golf course.

More to follow...

Saturday, 13 May 2017

It’s time for SA to seriously consider recycled wastewater

If 300,000 Namibians use recycled sewage water for drinking, why should South Africans pooh-pooh the idea

Owing to SA’s dwindling water resources, South Africans must seriously consider using recycled water for basic needs. The reality is that water stressed-countries have long resorted to using grey water for drinking, cooking and washing.
If 300,000 Namibians can use recycled sewage water for drinking, what reason do South Africans have to pooh-pooh the idea. After all, we are rated by the World Bank as among 30 dry countries in the world that will become a desert in 30 years unless we start saving water now.
According to Josef Menge, author of Treatment of Wastewater for Re-use in the Drinking Water System of Windhoek, while certain people are of the opinion that re-used water is of a better quality than the water reticulated to millions of consumers, the principle is still rejected by many the world over. Why is it, then, that Windhoek, for the past 35 years, is still the only city in the world directly reclaiming treated wastewater effluent for drinking water?
Situated in the centre of one of the most arid countries in Africa, Windhoek, with perennial rivers either 500km to the north or south, mainly depends on water supply from boreholes and three surface dams in ephemeral rivers some 60km to 200km away. To supply water from further away through the north-eastern water carrier is not economically feasible.
High population growth rates over the past 100 years have increased the demand for water. Supply authorities had to develop new resources as existing sources were depleted. Repeated periods of erratic rainfall ensured that direct reclamation (recycling) continued to play an important role in augmenting the Windhoek water supply.
The first reclamation plant started in 1968 with a capacity of 4,800m³ a day. Since then, the reclamation process has undergone various improvements.
In SA, the level of water consumption is skewed, depending on the nature of the business the water is used for. Agriculture, for instance, uses 62% of our resources to irrigate crops. In a country where drinking water is fast becoming a luxury, the consumption of such huge volumes of water by one industry is implausible.
Last month, SA hosted a historic three-day world summit in Durban. Attended by think-tanks in the water sector, including the president of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong-kim, the international summit brought to the fore the question of wastewater as an obvious alternative to the world’s water woes.
President Jacob Zuma set the scene for a vigorous debate during his opening address when he warned that the "bleak" 2017 UN World Water Development Report required world leaders to urgently prioritise the improvement of access to potable water and sanitation services. The report, he said, should draw attention to the dismal global status of water and sanitation and inspire commitment to action by world leaders to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
This raises the question as to what countries with myriad water challenges should do to deliver water to their citizens.
It’s about time that governments reprioritise water and puts it at the top of their budgetary systems. The current trend is to make water the last national priority and to relocate small budgets that have been allocated to the resource to other programmes.
It is for this reason the UN’s World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in SA in 2002, mandated countries to halve their socio-economic challenges by 2012 through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Indeed, all countries pledged themselves to deliver to their citizens basic services, such as water, sanitation, health, housing, education, etc.
However, at the Durban summit, the question of resorting to wastewater, could not be skirted. Zuma observed, however, that a mere 147 countries have met the MDGs’ drinking water targets; 95 countries have met the sanitation target; and only 77have met both.
Why are governments, despite repeated warnings by experts, putting water at the bottom of their priorities, seemingly as an insignificant part of socio-economic development?
It is incongruous for any government to try and address socio-economic issues without due regard to the importance of the role played by water. Water is life and it is central to development. No country can justly claim success in their development without prioritising water.
It is for this reason that at the Durban summit, the African Ministers Council on Water, a conglomeration of African ministers in charge of water on the continent, signed a declaration that commits them to the prioritisation of water.
According to Loddon Shire Council, a local government area in Victoria, Australia, "on-site wastewater management issues are exacerbated in unsewered towns and those areas serviced by reticulated water supplies or a licence to extract water from waterways. Provision of reticulated water reduces the imperative to conserve water, compared to rainwater-only supply. This tends to result in greater household water use, leading to larger volumes of wastewater being discharged, beyond the intended capacity of the system and disposal area".
"The visible impact of poor on-site wastewater management has been masked in recent years due to the dry conditions. However, in average and higher rainfall years, the impacts of poor wastewater management can be seen in street drains and runoff into neighbouring properties."
Although SA is a relatively young democracy, in less than two decades the country has passed progressive water laws that have enhanced the right of all its citizens for access to potable water. Water is now a constitutional matter that guarantees every citizen the right of unhindered access to water and decent sanitation.
Through the National Water Act of 1998, the Department of Water and Sanitation seeks to address the deficiencies of the past on all matters related to water. The apartheid government excluded black rural communities the right of access to water and decent sanitation. Consequently, the post-1994 government inherited a legacy of between 12-million to 14-million South Africans, particularly in rural areas, who were deprived of their right of access to drinking water and decent sanitation.
The hapless communities in 14,000 villages around the country watched helplessly as water was reticulated to white farmers for agricultural purposes while they (blacks) contended with sharing untreated water with animals. Given our achievement as a young democracy, it’s about time that we disabuse ourselves of the archetypal ego that makes us look down on treated wastewater effluent for drinking.
• Khumalo is a content producer in the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Endeavor Excelerator welcomes Tawanda Water Initiative to the family

Tawanda Water Initiative, headed by Trevor Gopo is one of two Endeavor Excelerator companies that joined the Endeavor Excelerator family. We are proud to welcome such an amazing entrepreneur. Keep reading to find out what makes his business so important to South Africa and South Africans alike.
1. How long has LWI been in business?
LWI has been in business for the past 17 years.
2. Can you explain your unique water purification process to us?
Wastewater (Sewer) plants are conventionally built with reinforced concrete. This means an average plant will take up to 3 years to build. We came up with an innovative way of building these plants with “Zincrolyte” (steel Tanks) in 2005. While this construction platform is much cheaper than concrete, it is also more robust, more flexible and more sustainable. Providing a 20 year warranty as opposed to the 1 year warranty concrete offers.
3. Is the process sustainable?
Our solution meets all 3 legs of sustainability i.e. It is economically, financially and socially sustainable.
4. What has your entrepreneurial journey been like?
The journey has been long, arduous, emotionally and financially draining but very fulfilling and satisfying. Having managed to break into an industry that we were never predisposed to belong to. We have changed the way the game is played and are excited to see a long term vision come to fruition.
5. What are some of the challenges you have faced?
The biggest challenge has been staying afloat after we ploughed all our savings and cash flows into the demo plant in Phalaborwa 10 years ago. The SLA and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract with the municipality did not go as expected, with the municipality failing to pay the fees for over 3 years! We were unable to sustain some of the HR we had invested so much in (training abroad, etc.) and had to realise our vision with a skeletal staff compliment.
6. What has been the biggest reward for you since starting TWI?
When we started out, we knew, with success, we were going to do to this industry what the internet did to the postman! It was a far-fetched dream at that point and so many stars needed to align to make the dream a reality. To see this dream come true is unbelievably rewarding.
7. What is the funniest thing you have endured since starting your entrepreneurial venture?
Right at the beginning, in 2005 I was part of a DTI trade mission to Europe. It was to be my first time on an aeroplane so you can imagine my excitement. Unfortunately, I found out during boarding time (11 pm) that I had no transit visa and was booted off in front of my delegation. Embarrassed, I made my way out but as I was walking out I noticed there was a KLM flight headed directly to Amsterdam (our final destination) which was about to board. I begged them to issue me a ticket, which they did, and used all my subsistence money for the ticket. Suffice it to say, it was on this mission that I met my partners and raised the funds for the ground-breaking demo plant. A relationship that survived all these years.
8. How do you give back to the communities in which you operate?
We train local people on the importance of basic sanitation, water re-usage and harnessing. We also support the local schools with greening projects, donate trees annually and offer tanks for harnessing of rainwater. We have also recently offered a local school a subsidised wastewater plant for harnessing the wastewater and greening their sports field. We intend to expand these programmes in future.
9. Where do you see TWI in the next five years?
We see ourselves being the market leader in pre-fab and onsite wastewater treatment. We would like to be the champions in wastewater reuse at all levels, from the common household, to industrial and municipal wastewater.
10. Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to penetrate your market?
Yes, this industry is no quick fix. It’s an industry where the wheels turn very slowly and the long term strategic goals must be very well thought out. You will also need a steady “cash flow” to keep the wheel turning in the interim.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Zambia Mining Copperbelt 2017

LWI will be participating and exhibiting at Zambia Copperbelt, Mining,Agricultural and Commercial exhibition (CAMINEX) 2017 from the 06th to the 08th of June 2017
Please make sure you visit our stand.
You can read more about this exhibition from their website - Read more

Friday, 20 January 2017

New Approved SA Sanitation Policy

New Approved SA Sanitation Policy
On the 7th of December 2016, the Department of Water and Sanitation approved the new Sanitation Policy. This policy represents a convergence between our vision and the trajectory of the SA Government’s strategic outlook.
The following extract from the new Sanitation Policy represent that convergence

1. Sanitation at Public and Private Institutions
Problem Statement
The previous policy did not address sanitation in privately owned institutions like churches, and creches;or public institutional sanitation
Policy Outcome
  • All public and private institutions are responsible to provide sanitation services including hand washing facilities and hygiene education
  • All public and private institutions are responsible for the operation, maintenance and refurbishment of sanitation systems

2. Appropriate Sanitation Technologies
Problem Statement
Sanitation improvement options are currently limited to a few Technologies
Policy outcome
  • The criteria for appropriate technologies will be developed and covered by norms and standards
  • the implementation of appropriate technology will be within social, environmental and economic constraints.

3. Greywater Management in Sanitation Service Provision
Problem statement
Incorrect storage, use and disposal of grey water are leading to a variety of health concerns, including mosquito breeding, (from ponding of grey water); contamination of drinking water supplies and doors from stagnant water.
Policy outcome
  • The management of grey water is encompassed in sanitation service provision
  • Hygiene education must include the management of grey water
  • The minister will provide norms and standards for grey water management

4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover and Reclamation in the Sanitation Sector
Problem Statement
The concepts of reduction, reuse and recovery in the sanitation sector are not entirely addressed
Policy outcome
  • Sanitation provision must emphasise the conservation of water resources and the use of appropriate technologies which are environmentally sustainable
  • Sanitation services provision must minimise the overuse, and impacts on natural resources
  • where economically viable, and sustainable, the liquid solid and gaseous constituents of wastewater and excreta and products should be used, reused and recycled for further environmental benefits.

Panama project now complete

LWI BioKube for residential areas and real estate development This video shows a BioKube wastewater system installed at new real estat...