Water, Sewage & Effluent May-June 2017 - Page 31

New type of submersible pump launched While the demand for groundwater is anticipated to grow significantly, a limited understanding of this resource and its optimal use remains one of the biggest hurdles to the sustainable implementation of many groundwater projects in the country. In-depth knowledge is needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of groundwater projects that rely on political endorsement, as well as a technical and scientific approach to the implementation thereof. A successful groundwater project transcends the yield of a drilled well; it also has far- reaching direct and indirect positive impacts on the surrounding communities. This holistic perspective has always been a signature trait of groundwater projects undertaken by JG Afrika and one of the reasons for the company being appointed by Ramgoolam as the professional geohydrologist for a large water and sanitation schools project in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The project, which is being driven by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works on behalf of the province’s Department of Education, is the forerunner of a host of other similar interventions that will significantly improve water and sanitation conditions for pupils in remote areas of KwaZulu-Natal. It also draws on the in-depth knowledge of two acclaimed experts in the field: Mark Schapers, a technical director with JG Afrika and the firm’s Durban branch manager, and Regan Rose, founder of Geowater IQ, which was recently acquired by JG Afrika. Right from the outset, the team of geohydrologists working on the project focused on ensuring buy-in from surrounding communities. The team continues to consult with relevant councillors, indunas, and headmasters, forming the basis of ongoing communication channels during and after the project’s implementation cycle. “Groundwater remains a hidden and unnoticed resource that does not get implemented according to guidelines and legislated criteria. I would describe it as very much in no-man’s-land, leaving projects open to incorrect interpretation and, more often than not, reliant on limited skills and inadequate capabilities to implement them,” says Schapers. There have been many challenges on this project. JG Afrika’s teams have had to plan and work around poor recharge associated with schools located on high ground elevations. Over and above limitations to the drilling environment, the geohydrologists have had to ensure utmost care to protect the resource from on-site contamination, considering the project’s large sanitation component. The project will significantly improve water and sanitation conditions for pupils in remote areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The KSB UPAchrom 100 series is designed for water supply and irrigation applications. Mark Schapers, technical director in charge of JG Afrika’s groundwater projects. The KSB UPAchrom 100 series is designed for water supply and irrigation applications, as well as for use in small systems for drawdown of groundwater levels. It covers discharge heads of up to 550m and flow rates of up to 21 500ℓ/hr. The efficiencies of the hydraulic systems satisfy the demanding requirements of the applicable ErP regulations — all MEI values are above 0.40. Certified for drinking water to French (ACS) and US (NSF) standards, the pump can safely be used for drinking water applications. All pump components are made of stainless steel. The pump sets are of a very robust design and capable of handling water with a solids content of 50g/m 3 . An integrated, hydraulically optimised check valve prevents the discharge line from emptying when the pump set is stopped. This reduces any damage that could be caused by reverse rotation of the pump. The pumps are driven by water-filled canned motors with a rating of up to 7.5kW, or by rewindable submersible motors with ratings of up to 18.5kW for very high heads. All pump sets are completely maintenance free with self-adjusting thrust bearings and pressure balancing diaphragms. Generously dimensioned intermediate bearings at each pump stage prevent potential shaft misalignment. Water Sewage & Effluent May/June 2017 29 Bringing SA’s precious hidden water resource to surface