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Scarab Blog - South African wastewater wizards

So, where does South Africa rank in the world of treated water quality?

Actually, we rank right there on top. I kid you not.

I have been in water all my life.  Sometimes just swimming, often drowning  -  and on a few occasions, in hot water. So, if my president Cyril feels I need to be boiled, it's too late! I'm already well done.

24 years ago, when I was looking at a new, better design of sewage treatment system, I needed to know a lot more. I visited sites where they had on-site systems, and sewage works, particularly in the Durban area. I sneaked onto properties, crawled under fences, and climbed over walls.  I waited for security access gates to open, then walked in with a clip board (very official looking). I took samples, took even more notes, and photos - a gazillion of them. And even homemade videos. With all this first hand experience, our product was planned.

 

I saw some great systems (although there weren't many) and some really awful designs which were doomed for instant failure. These noxious plants were just badly designed and installed, without any thought on maintenance, fit for purpose or even customer satisfaction. Package plants were there for one purpose - to treat sewage, and atrocious workmanship quality just offered the client a nasty experience. Treated water quality - Same sh!t, different day. The really sad thing is that professional engineers endorsed these products, and still stood by them afterwards.

 

World Water Standards

I also studied the world standards, for what was achievable, and, compared this with what were South African Department of Water Affairs (DWAF) requirements. I compared every country (that I could find) and found South Africa had the highest water quality standards. Yip, SA. I can't explain this, except, perhaps, the previous government had a very high regard for clean water. It was sacred.

The only country that ever came close, was . . . . . . Israel.

Over the years, I have been offered wastewater treatment package plants from Europe and Asia, to market here in SA.  Some products worked well in Europe, simply because their treated water quality standards were so much lower than ours.  Some didn't even have disinfection, (but I can have this if I really wanted, but not a normal supply item). Some of these products are now marketed in South Africa, simply because our DWAF does not exist anymore. So, who is keeping an eye on all these new products flooding into SA,  from St Elsewhere.

 

Dilution Factor

One such product, from the UK, was based on the dilution factor.  There was so much rain in that country, that foul water would have very little affect on the receiving water, like streams and rivers. The pollution is well hidden. Here in South Africa, and Israel, we dont have the dilution benefit, since we live in constant and seasonal droughts. Clean water means more to us - or it should do.

 

Onsite Research

I was stopped once, at Kearsney College, by a 'professional' water wizard (aka -Tonto), who asked, "Do signs mean nothing to you?". I suggested that if anyone tells me to "KEEP OUT", they hiding something.

I went back a week later to find out.

 

Scarab water quality

Umgeni Water tested our system, along with two other manufacturers, and only our plant achieved compliance, on the original DWAF standards. Easily. And with our very first plant. Furthermore, Talbot & Talbot and Durban Metro also tested our system, and found it compliant, consistently.

So, as South Africa are world class water wizards, are our Scarab systems ranked as No.1? If so, then then we have achieved our goal.

I haven't seen Tonto since, but understand he is now no longer working in the industry as a consultant, and been exported to Europe, or Asia, or Afghanistan.

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