Sewerage plant a success story

ROB KNOWLES

THE new sewerage plant project to serve the greater Port Alfred area, commissioned by Ndlambe municipality in September last year, is running two weeks ahead of schedule.

BRAND NEW INFRASTRUCTURE: Work is progressing at a steady pace on the new sewerage plant to serve the greater Port Alfred area Picture: ROB KNOWLES

Leiton Chan, site agent for main civils contactor, PE-based construction company Ursa Civils, said he was delighted with what they had achieved over the past eight months of construction, and added everything was going fairly smoothly.

“We have employed many locals on the job,” said Chan. “Although the number fluctuates, at the moment we have 22 general labourers on site as well as another four who are being used as steel fixers.”

Municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa, who organised the site visit on Thursday morning last week, said the municipality was very happy with the progress being made.

Ward 10 councillor Ross Purdon told TotT that ensuring there were no more disastrous sewage leakages into the Kowie River was a top priority.

“If the river dies then the town dies along with it,” he said.

The sewage plant with effectively double the capacity of the existing pond system and is considerably more robust. The current sewage system is in desperate need of repair and was already over capacity several years ago, before the new Thornhill development took place, adding another 512 residences to the already overloaded system.

The plans also make provision for a second plant to be built on the site, ensuring the sewage requirements for the greater Port Alfred area are adequately serviced with waterborne main sewerage for the foreseeable future.

PROGRESS REPORT: Ursa Civils, the main contractor employed by Ndlambe municipality to undertake the civils work in constructing Port Alfred’s new sewage plant, gave a progress report on the project last Thursday. Site agent Leiton Chan (left) and safety manager for Ursa Civils, Lawrence Boucher, spoke with municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa and Ward 10 councillor Ross Purdon Picture: ROB KNOWLES

Ursa Civils is to complete the concrete work in July when the mechanical engineers will take over with the mechanical installation.

“The construction of new pump stations and internal piping is also progressing well,” said Mbolekwa.

The existing oxidisation ponds will be partially retained as a component of the treatment process and partially for the final disposal of sludge from the plant which may, in the future when dry, be used as fertiliser.

Work on the infrastructural buildings to house electrical control equipment and the chlorine dosing plant has also commenced and is progressing to schedule.

Due to stringent quality assurance at the site, the work done so far has been described as “excellent” by the project’s main contractor, Bigen Africa, the company also responsible for the Thornhill housing development.

On May 4 the supply and commissioning of the water treatment plant was awarded to Lektratek, and the company will begin work in the second week of June. The remaining mechanical and electrical work is expected to be complete between two and four weeks before the start of this year’s December holiday season.

“The municipality has shown its commitment to this project by allocating the entire Municipal Infrastructural Grant (MIG) budget for the year 1011/2012 to this project,” said Mbolekwa.

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