A multi-year project to double the current capacity of the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Plant located along Koeberg Road has been tabled for council approval to cater to Cape Town’s ever-expanding population numbers.

Over the next six years, the City hopes to expand the plant’s current wastewater treatment capacity of 47-million litres a day to a total 100-million litres per day.

The tender for the professional services for the engineering designs for the capacity upgrade, estimated at some R35 million, has already been awarded and is currently going through a public participation process as the project will extend over three financial years.

Further tenders to complete the major capital infrastructure projects will be issued in later years and will cost an estimated R800-million.

The project will expand the plant’s capacity to treat wastewater, and to disinfect and treat sludge.

This treatment plant, which is situated off Koeberg Road in the Milnerton area, is incredibly important as its western boundary borders Diep River into which treated effluent is discharged. The site is situated in the vicinity of the ecologically sensitive Rietvlei Nature Reserve and Milnerton Lagoon. It is therefore important to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to deal with urban expansion in an environmentally sustainable manner as a key component of this project.

With the emphasis on the diversification of the City’s water resources to cater for growing demand as well as to reduce reliance on rainwater, treated water will become increasingly important as the City moves toward becoming a more water-sensitive city.

Environmental authorisation has already been granted for this capacity upgrade which sets strict parameters that the City must adhere to. This will be the third capacity upgrade that the City has undertaken for this plant, with previous work having been done in 1997 and 2008.

‘This is an incredibly important project that will ensure that the quality of water flowing out of the plant and into the environment is not degraded as a result of the growing volumes it needs to process. Expanding this facility is necessary in the interest of safeguarding public health and the environment. As we also stated repeatedly while we were in the throes of the extreme drought, water reuse is a key component of our longer-term plans to enhance Cape Town’s water security as our population grows and as the demand for irrigation water increases. We cannot afford to waste our resources and must use such opportunities to build a resilient and water-sensitive future for Cape Town. Water reuse and investing in facilities such as the Potsdam plant is absolutely vital,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.


Picture: The City of Cape Town

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