NAVIGATING THE GWAING WASTEWATER TREATMENT WORKS: AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIE

28th June 2024

In our exclusive interview, we explore the intricacies of the Gwaing Wastewater Treatment Works. Danie, a seasoned civil engineer with over two decades of experience, sheds light on this critical project and some insights from his dynamic career. We begin the conversation with a light-hearted pronunciation lesson on the name “Gwaing”. In response to my curiosity, our engineer provides a brief introduction on who he is.

Meet Danie

Danie is a professional civil engineer with over two decades of experience in the field, who has dedicated his career to solving complex engineering challenges. While his primary strength lies in the civil engineering discipline, his expertise spans various disciplines, including structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering. His role as a project manager has exposed him to various projects that keep him engaged. He appreciates the opportunity presented by each project to continue to grow, conquer new challenges and broaden his capacity. His motivation is simple: challenges and problem-solving is why we’re here! Danie relocated to George from our Gqeberha office at the end of 2023.

The Project Overview and Timelines

The Gwaing Wastewater Treatment Works is an existing facility in George, South Africa. Along with the Outeniqua Wastewater Treatment Works, it plays a critical role in managing wastewater for the region. Currently, it has a capacity of 11 megalitres per day, recently upgraded under phase 1. The team has been tasked with phase 2, whose primary objective is to increase capacity to 22 megalitres per day. The master plan envisions a treatment works with the capacity to handle 50 megalitres per day over the long term. The project is undertaken in a phased approach.

We were appointed for this project in February 2023. Currently, the team is at the concept design stage for phase 2, sub phase A and B. The submission deadline is set for this month and is on track. Once approved, detailed design work will proceed. Both phases (A and B) are planned for concurrent implementation, with phase A estimated to take approximately 18 months for construction and Phase B will extend over 36 months, ensuring seamless capacity expansion.

Stakeholders and Economic Impact

Securing funding for this project is most crucial. The project is a multi-million rand undertaking. Thus, enlisting the services of has been paramount for conducting a cost-benefit analysis study and explore various options. It will be essential for successful implementation. This is done with various stakeholders in mind: the residents of George; George Municipality; private developers etc.

The Professional Team

This project is developed in collaboration with other specialists. The Lukhozi team is offering process specialist, structural, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as project management and architectural services. Reflekt Water, process specialists, is contributing to the specialised components and planning. Lukhozi and Reflekt Water are jointly covering the civil engineering aspects. Architecturally, Imbono FJA Architects focuses on the building aspects of the projects. Other specialist consultants, such as geotechnical experts Terra Geotechnical and environmental practitioners Sharples Environmental Services (SES), are pivotal in the process. The health and safety agent, EQProject Managers & Safety Solutions, has been appointed by the municipality to ensure compliance with safety standards.

To ensure efficient communication and project management, the team is jointly utilising Autodesk Construction Cloud Collaboration Pro. This cloud-based design collaboration and management software caters to architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) teams. Known for its capability in efficiently managing civil engineering, building design, and multidiscipline data using project-based workflows, this centralised source has facilitated sharing project details across internal and external teams using bridge technology.

From the site topographical surveys to 3D models and information sharing methods, it is clear that streamlined collaboration is essential for delivering a successful wastewater treatment works. Part of the project priority included a steep embankment rehabilitation, where an embankment eroded due to stormwater erosion; this provided some unanticipated complexities, but with great input from the team, an effective solution has been developed to resolve this. As the team continues their work, they remain committed to sustainability, environmental stewardship, and meeting the needs of the community. The thrill of problem-solving that propels their momentum.

This project epitomises the intersection of engineering, innovation and community welfare. The team’s dedication will ensure that George’s wastewater management remains efficient, reliable, and future-ready.

Every drop treated today bestows a cleaner tomorrow!

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