Water Care Unit

Pretoria, South Africa

Water Care Unit

Pretoria, South Africa

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Teklehaimanot G.Z.,Water Care Unit | Genthe B.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Kamika I.,Water Care Unit | Momba M.N.B.,Water Care Unit
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

The failure of wastewater treatment plants to produce effluents of a high microbiological quality is a matter of great concern in terms of water resource pollution. A more serious concern is that this water source is used by communities in developing countries for multiple purposes, which include drinking, recreation and agriculture. The current study investigated the prevalence and potential health risks of enteropathogenic bacteria (Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella dysenteriae and Vibrio cholerae) in the treated effluents of three selected South African Wastewater Treatment Works as well as their receiving water bodies. Culture-based and polymerase chain reaction techniques were used to detect and identify the pathogenic bacteria. The conventional methods revealed that of the 272 water samples collected, 236 samples (86.8%) tested presumptively positive for Salmonella spp., 220 samples (80.9%) for Shigella spp. and 253 samples (93.0%) for V. cholerae. Molecular test results indicated that out of the randomly selected presumptive positive samples (145), zero to 60% of samples were positive for S. typhimurium and S. dysenteriae and 20% to 60% for V. cholerae. For the health risk assessment, the daily combined risk of S. typhimurium, S. dysenteriae and V. cholerae infection was above the lowest acceptable risk limit of 10-4 as estimated by the World Health Organization for drinking water. This study showed that the target treated wastewater effluents and their receiving water bodies could pose a potential health risk to the surrounding communities. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Water Care Unit and South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2015

The failure of wastewater treatment plants to produce effluents of a high microbiological quality is a matter of great concern in terms of water resource pollution. A more serious concern is that this water source is used by communities in developing countries for multiple purposes, which include drinking, recreation and agriculture. The current study investigated the prevalence and potential health risks of enteropathogenic bacteria (Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella dysenteriae and Vibrio cholerae) in the treated effluents of three selected South African Wastewater Treatment Works as well as their receiving water bodies. Culture-based and polymerase chain reaction techniques were used to detect and identify the pathogenic bacteria. The conventional methods revealed that of the 272 water samples collected, 236 samples (86.8%) tested presumptively positive for Salmonella spp., 220 samples (80.9%) for Shigella spp. and 253 samples (93.0%) for V. cholerae. Molecular test results indicated that out of the randomly selected presumptive positive samples (145), zero to 60% of samples were positive for S. typhimurium and S. dysenteriae and 20% to 60% for V. cholerae. For the health risk assessment, the daily combined risk of S. typhimurium, S. dysenteriae and V. cholerae infection was above the lowest acceptable risk limit of 10(-4) as estimated by the World Health Organization for drinking water. This study showed that the target treated wastewater effluents and their receiving water bodies could pose a potential health risk to the surrounding communities.


Teklehaimanot G.Z.,Water Care Unit | Kamika I.,Water Care Unit | Coetzee M.A.A.,Water Care Unit | Momba M.N.B.,Water Care Unit
Environmental Management | Year: 2015

This study investigated the effects of population growth on the performance of the targeted wastewater treatment plants in Sedibeng District and Soshanguve peri-urban area, South Africa. The impact of population growth was assessed in terms of plant design, operational capacity (flow rate) and other treatment process constraints. Between 2001 and 2007, the number of households connected to the public sewerage service increased by 15.5, 17.2 and 37.8 % in Emfuleni, Lesedi and Midvaal Local Municipalities, respectively. Soshanguve revealed a 50 % increment in the number of households connected to the sewerage system between 1996 and 2001. Except for Sandspruit (−393.8 %), the rate of influent flows received by Meyerton increased by 6.8 ML/day (67.8 %) and 4.7 ML/day (46.8 %) during the dry and wet seasons, respectively. The flow rate appeared to increase during the wet season by 6.8 ML/day (19.1 %) in Leeuwkuil and during the dry season by 0.8 ML/day (3.9 %) in Rietgat. Underperformance of the existing wastewater treatment plants suggests that the rapid population growth in urban and peri-urban areas (hydraulic overloading of the wastewater treatment plants) and operational constraints (overflow rate, retention time, oxygen supply capacity of the plants and chlorine contact time) resulted in the production of poor quality effluents in both selected areas. This investigation showed that the inefficiency of Meyerton Wastewater Treatment Plant was attributed to the population growth (higher volumes of wastewater generated) and operational constraints, while the cause of underperformance in the other three treatment plants was clearly technical (operational). © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Teklehaimanot G.Z.,Water Care Unit | Coetzee M.A.A.,Water Care Unit | Momba M.N.B.,Water Care Unit
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2014

The discharge of untreated or inadequately treated effluents has been identified among the activities responsible for the spread of a wide range of potentially infectious agents. The aim of this study was to determine whether inadequate treatment of wastewater and the faecal pollution load of effluents and receiving water bodies in Sedibeng District and Soshanguve peri-urban area of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality could be a potential threat to the health of the surrounding communities. Variations in the counts of faecal indicator bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms and compliance of the effluents and receiving water bodies with South African and World Health Organization standards were assessed between August 2011 and May 2012 using culture-based methods and molecular techniques. The overall quality of effluents did not comply with the South African special standard of no risk for unrestricted irrigation (zero Escherichia coli/100 ml). The quality of the receiving water bodies did not comply with South African regulatory limits set for domestic purposes (zero E. coli/100 ml, <30 faecal enterococci/100 ml and <1 somatic coliphages/100 ml), for full contact recreation (<20 somatic coliphages/100 ml) and aquaculture (<10 E. coli/100 ml) and WHO standards for full and intermediate contact recreational use (<1 E. coli/100 ml and <40 faecal enterococci/100 ml, respectively). The PCR results revealed the prevalence of pathogenic microorganisms; between 0 and 60 % of samples tested positive for Salmonella Typhimurium and Shigella dysenteriae, and between 20 and 60 % of samples tested positive for Vibrio cholerae. These findings demonstrated that potential health risks might be associated with the use of the target river waters for domestic, recreational and irrigation purposes. This study calls for a prompt intervention to improve wastewater management. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Sekar S.,Water Care Unit | Zintchem A.A.E.A.,Water Care Unit | Keshri J.,Water Care Unit | Kamika I.,Water Care Unit | Momba M.N.B.,Water Care Unit
FEMS Microbiology Letters | Year: 2014

A metagenomic approach was applied using 454-pyrosequencing data analysis for the profiling of bacterial communities in the brine samples of the water reclamation plant. Some physicochemical characteristics of brine samples were also determined using standard methods. Samples ranged from being lightly alkaline to highly alkaline (pH 7.40-10.91) throughout the various treatment stages, with the salinity ranging from 1.62 to 4.53 g L-1 and dissolved oxygen concentrations ranging from 7.47 to 9.12 mg L-1. Phenotypic switching was found to occur due to these physicochemical parameters. Microbial diversities increased from those present in Stage I reactor (six taxonomic groups) to those in Reverse Osmosis (RO) stage I (17 taxonomic groups), whereas in the second phase of the treatment, it increased in Stage II clarifier (14 taxonomic groups) followed by a decrease in RO stage II (seven taxonomic groups). Overall, seven phyla were detected, apart from many bacterial sequences that were unclassified at the phylum level. The most dominant phylum found was Proteobacteria accounting for 59% of the total sequences. A BLASTN sequence similarity search showed that the majority of the sequences (56%) were homologous to the uncultured bacterial species, underlining the vast untapped bacterial diversity. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.


Teklehaimanot G.Z.,Water Care Unit | Kamika I.,Water Care Unit | Coetzee M.A.A.,Water Care Unit | Momba M.N.B.,Water Care Unit
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2015

The discharge of inadequately treated wastewater effluent presents a major threat to the aquatic environment and public health worldwide. As a water-scarce country, South Africa is facing an alarming situation since most of its wastewater discharges are not meeting the permissible limit. The aim of this study was to assess the physicochemical quality of treated wastewater effluents and their impact on receiving water bodies. During the study period, pH, temperature, free chlorine residue (Cl−), dissolved oxygen (DO), nitrate (NO3 −1), orthophosphate (PO4 −3) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were measured in order to ascertain whether the selected wastewater systems in Sedibeng and Soshanguve complied with the South African and World Health Organization standards during wet and dry seasons. These parameters were analysed for samples collected from raw wastewater influent, treated wastewater effluent and receiving water bodies. The study was carried out between August 2011 and May 2012, and samples were collected on a weekly basis during both seasons. The physicochemical quality of effluents did not comply with the regulatory limits set by South Africa in terms of pH in Meyerton, Rietgat and Sandspruit (pH 7.6 to 8.1); free chlorine in Sandspruit (0.27 ± 0.05 mg/L); nitrate in Leeuwkuil and Rietgat (2.1 and 3.8 mg/L, respectively) during the wet season; orthophosphate in Meyerton during the wet season and in Sandspruit during the dry season (1.3 mg PO4 −3 as P/L and 1.1 mg PO4 −3 as P/L, respectively); and chemical oxygen demand in Rietgat during the dry season and in Sandspruit during the wet season (75.5 and 35 mg/L, respectively). Furthermore, the quality of the receiving water bodies did not comply with the South African standards recommended for pH, chemical oxygen demand and orthophosphate and DO (5 mg/L) in Rietgat during the wet season. The geometric mean of the water quality index values ranged between 32.4 and 36.9 for the effluent samples and between 38.1 and 65.7 for the receiving water bodies. These findings revealed that the receiving water bodies were classified as having “poor” quality status, except Leeuwkuil receiving water body (Vaal River) and Sandspruit upstream (Sandspruit stream). The dry season showed a relatively lower water quality index. This situation might be attributed to the higher amount of organic matter and lower microbial activities in the receiving water bodies. This study suggests that wastewater effluents and receiving water systems should be monitored regularly to ensure best practices with regard to nutrient treatment and discharge of wastewater. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


PubMed | Water Care Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental management | Year: 2015

This study investigated the effects of population growth on the performance of the targeted wastewater treatment plants in Sedibeng District and Soshanguve peri-urban area, South Africa. The impact of population growth was assessed in terms of plant design, operational capacity (flow rate) and other treatment process constraints. Between 2001 and 2007, the number of households connected to the public sewerage service increased by 15.5, 17.2 and 37.8% in Emfuleni, Lesedi and Midvaal Local Municipalities, respectively. Soshanguve revealed a 50% increment in the number of households connected to the sewerage system between 1996 and 2001. Except for Sandspruit (-393.8%), the rate of influent flows received by Meyerton increased by 6.8 ML/day (67.8%) and 4.7 ML/day (46.8%) during the dry and wet seasons, respectively. The flow rate appeared to increase during the wet season by 6.8 ML/day (19.1%) in Leeuwkuil and during the dry season by 0.8 ML/day (3.9%) in Rietgat. Underperformance of the existing wastewater treatment plants suggests that the rapid population growth in urban and peri-urban areas (hydraulic overloading of the wastewater treatment plants) and operational constraints (overflow rate, retention time, oxygen supply capacity of the plants and chlorine contact time) resulted in the production of poor quality effluents in both selected areas. This investigation showed that the inefficiency of Meyerton Wastewater Treatment Plant was attributed to the population growth (higher volumes of wastewater generated) and operational constraints, while the cause of underperformance in the other three treatment plants was clearly technical (operational).


PubMed | Water Care Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: FEMS microbiology letters | Year: 2014

A metagenomic approach was applied using 454-pyrosequencing data analysis for the profiling of bacterial communities in the brine samples of the water reclamation plant. Some physicochemical characteristics of brine samples were also determined using standard methods. Samples ranged from being lightly alkaline to highly alkaline (pH 7.40-10.91) throughout the various treatment stages, with the salinity ranging from 1.62 to 4.53 g L(-1) and dissolved oxygen concentrations ranging from 7.47 to 9.12 mg L(-1). Phenotypic switching was found to occur due to these physicochemical parameters. Microbial diversities increased from those present in Stage I reactor (six taxonomic groups) to those in Reverse Osmosis (RO) stage I (17 taxonomic groups), whereas in the second phase of the treatment, it increased in Stage II clarifier (14 taxonomic groups) followed by a decrease in RO stage II (seven taxonomic groups). Overall, seven phyla were detected, apart from many bacterial sequences that were unclassified at the phylum level. The most dominant phylum found was Proteobacteria accounting for 59% of the total sequences. A blastn sequence similarity search showed that the majority of the sequences (56%) were homologous to the uncultured bacterial species, underlining the vast untapped bacterial diversity.


PubMed | Water Care Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental monitoring and assessment | Year: 2015

The discharge of inadequately treated wastewater effluent presents a major threat to the aquatic environment and public health worldwide. As a water-scarce country, South Africa is facing an alarming situation since most of its wastewater discharges are not meeting the permissible limit. The aim of this study was to assess the physicochemical quality of treated wastewater effluents and their impact on receiving water bodies. During the study period, pH, temperature, free chlorine residue (Cl(-)), dissolved oxygen (DO), nitrate (NO3 (-1)), orthophosphate (PO4 (-3)) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were measured in order to ascertain whether the selected wastewater systems in Sedibeng and Soshanguve complied with the South African and World Health Organization standards during wet and dry seasons. These parameters were analysed for samples collected from raw wastewater influent, treated wastewater effluent and receiving water bodies. The study was carried out between August 2011 and May 2012, and samples were collected on a weekly basis during both seasons. The physicochemical quality of effluents did not comply with the regulatory limits set by South Africa in terms of pH in Meyerton, Rietgat and Sandspruit (pH 7.6 to 8.1); free chlorine in Sandspruit (0.270.05 mg/L); nitrate in Leeuwkuil and Rietgat (2.1 and 3.8 mg/L, respectively) during the wet season; orthophosphate in Meyerton during the wet season and in Sandspruit during the dry season (1.3 mg PO4 (-3) as P/L and 1.1 mg PO4 (-3) as P/L, respectively); and chemical oxygen demand in Rietgat during the dry season and in Sandspruit during the wet season (75.5 and 35 mg/L, respectively). Furthermore, the quality of the receiving water bodies did not comply with the South African standards recommended for pH, chemical oxygen demand and orthophosphate and DO (5 mg/L) in Rietgat during the wet season. The geometric mean of the water quality index values ranged between 32.4 and 36.9 for the effluent samples and between 38.1 and 65.7 for the receiving water bodies. These findings revealed that the receiving water bodies were classified as having poor quality status, except Leeuwkuil receiving water body (Vaal River) and Sandspruit upstream (Sandspruit stream). The dry season showed a relatively lower water quality index. This situation might be attributed to the higher amount of organic matter and lower microbial activities in the receiving water bodies. This study suggests that wastewater effluents and receiving water systems should be monitored regularly to ensure best practices with regard to nutrient treatment and discharge of wastewater.

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