NuWater’s portfolio of blue chip clients is testament to our seamless process, customer focus and smart water treatment solutions that consistently deliver the best results. Our solutions not only require less upfront capital, but also dramatically reduce operating and maintenance costs, delivering a quicker return on investment.
Agricultural Case Study
Hatching a smart plan
to save a chicken farming operation
When the best-laid plans don’t work out
Faced with ever tightening water restrictions at their chicken farms, a large national farming consortium installed boreholes and began drilling for a sustainable supply of water. While quantity was not a problem, the quality of the water did not comply with the required standards.
Livestock and livelihood threatened
Without a reliable source of high quality water, the egg laying facilities would not survive, putting the entire farm operation, including jobs and livelihoods at risk. As a national supplier, this would lead to chicken shortages, which in turn would drive prices upwards, impacting on a large proportion of the population
A cracking good solution
Mobile, adaptable and rapidly deployable, NuWater’s high performing water treatment plant was designed and built specifically for the farm’s unique environment and requirements.
With its remote location and very limited on-site support, the plant was engineered to have minimal operator involvement, and included multiple failsafe mechanisms that guaranteed a reliable on going supply of water.
Life saving, self-sustaining
To ensure the right quality of water, the plant incorporates a cutting edge combination of ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis technologies to guarantee the exact water quality required on an on going basis.
Mining Case Study
The power of re-sourcing wastewater
to prevent an environmental disaster
Keeping the lights on
Situated on the banks of the Vaal River, immediately south of Vereeniging in the Free State Province, is a colliery owned by a global mining corporation. The Colliery employs opencast strip mining to produce 18 million tons annually of low-grade coal, which is supplied exclusively to Eskom’s 3700 MW Lethabo Power Station adjacent to the mine.
As a net water positive mine, The Colliery deposited and stored mine wastewater from various pit watering operations, production process and rainfall runoffs into an 8200 million litre reservoir where it was left to evaporate.
Protecting a vital water source
With the reservoir fast approaching maximum capacity, the coal mining corporation urgently needed to implement a water treatment solution that would prevent wastewater contaminating the Vaal River, which is not only a vital source of water for industry and agriculture but supports 12 million consumers in and around Gauteng, South Africa’s economic heartland.
Deployed in record time
The initial phase of the project involved the design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning of the first 4 MLD of a total 20 MLD treatment capacity in an unprecedented time of 6 weeks – effectively addressing the rising reservoir levels and preventing an environmental disaster.
Mobile, modular and scalable, NuWater’s high performing wastewater treatment plant provided a smart solution capable of addressing The Colliery’s immediate and long term needs.
Building ongoing capacity
This was immediately followed by the addition of 4 MLD plant capacity every 4 weeks to achieve the contractual design treatment capacity of 15 MLD. The high-quality process water produced from the plant was pumped to Lethabo Power Station to reduce daily abstraction from the Vaal River.
Outperforming on quality and quantity
Despite being designed and manufactured to produce 15 MLD of high quality process water, smart process optimisation and utilisation of NuWater’s water treatment rental fleet enabled capacity adjustments from anywhere between 10 MLD to 20 MLD over the last 8 years.
NuWater’s wastewater treatment plant not only successfully dealt with extraordinarily dynamic deviations in the wastewater, but ever changing product qualities and quantities required to align to the fluctuating mining schedule and seasonal rainfall.
Solving a very specific problem
In addition to reconfiguring the plant into a partial two pass Reverse Osmosis system, Nuwater dealt with periodic spikes in the aluminum concentration through inline acid dosing to lower the pH pre-Ultra Filtration and adjusting Ultra Filtration operational parameters to effectively remove the precipitated aluminium, thereby avoiding further catastrophic aluminum fouling in downstream membrane processes.
Built, owned, operated and maintained by NuWater, the plant continues to treat wastewater with an EC far in excess of the contractual maximum and has produced in excess of 30 billion litres of water in 8 years of operation.
Industrial Case Study
A smart solution that saved a province
from socio economic meltdown
South African Aluminium Smelter
Located within the uMhlathuze Municipality in Richards Bay, Kwazulu Natal, an International Mining Giant’s aluminium smelter has a production capacity of 720 million tonnes annually, making it the largest producer of primary aluminium in the Southern Hemisphere.
Water restrictions threaten the country
In March 2016 the uMhalathuze Municipality instituted the highest level of water restrictions across the region in response to the persistent drought, failing water treatment infrastructure and increasing demand. Dependent on large quantities of high quality process water to run operations, the smelter needed to find a new source of water quickly or run the risk of closure.
As the smelter is South Africa’s biggest aluminium exporter responsible for 10% of the region’s GDP, the social-economic ramifications of the smelter closing down were massive and had to be avoided at all cost.
Tapping into an existing source
Given the smelter’s proximity to the Richards Bay Harbour and the existence of basic reticulation infrastructure to and from the harbour; a seawater desalination plant was identified as the best way to avert the impending crisis.
NuWater’s mobile, modular and scalable seawater desalination plant enabled rapid deployment and installation on site. The plant comprised screen filtration, lamella plate clarification, ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO), with a production capacity of 2 million litres a day. Purchased by the Municipality on a sale basis, NuWater remains responsible for the operation, maintenance and remote monitoring of the plant.
4 months from start to finish
From inception to completion - including civil engineering, design, manufacturing, delivery, installation and commissioning - NuWater’s desalination plant was operational within 28 weeks. This was achieved by leveraging NuWater’s manufacturing facilities in Cape Town and implementing an experienced project execution and operations team.
To date, the plant has successfully reclaimed and reused seawater with dynamically varying feed water quality from Richards Bay Harbour to produce high quality and quantities of industrial process water essential for the continued operation of the smelter.
Saving the economy billions
From a socio economic perspective, NuWater’s smart water treatment solution meant the smelter remained operational, preventing the loss of 20 000 jobs that would directly or indirectly affect 80 000 people. Furthermore, South Africa was saved from becoming a net-importer of aluminium, which would have cost the economy 4 billion rand annually.
With a sustainable re-source of water available, the aluminium smelter was no longer a burden on diminishing municipal water sources, enabling them to continue to meet the needs of residents and businesses across the region.
Municipal & Residential Case Study
water treatment solution
Municipality Water Treatment Plant
In South Africa, many Municipalities’ facilities are under severe strain as a result of massive population growth, insufficient capacity, limited budgets, lack of maintenance and, in the case of water and sanitation, severe water scarcity due to ongoing drought.
Overloaded and leaking millions
With demand far outstripping treatment capacity, limited financial resources and outdated infrastructure, one Municipality’s water treatment plant was wasting up to 20 million litres of water per day due to the constant need to backwash and rinse the filters.
Everything at risk
Not only was the quality of the water being distributed at risk of contamination by push-through from the overloaded treatment system but also the reduced volumes of water available for distribution resulted in worsening water scarcity.
Having less water to sell to customers resulted in a reduction of income for the Municipality, further reducing their ability to provide residents and business with water over long periods, which in turn has a massive knock on effect on everything from health and productivity to human rights.
Delivering a solution that works
Sustainable, affordable, mobile and rapidly deployable, NuWater’s high performing water treatment plant was designed to address the municipality’s water problems, quickly, easily and efficiently.
Fully automated, NuWater’s smart plant provides the additional capacity required to allow the existing water treatment plant to run at its design capacity; thereby ensuring volumes and quality standards are met.
No upfront capital required
The plant was financed through operational budgets as it generates additional income for the Municipality through having more water to sell. This, in turn, provides the income stream that can be used to pay for the additional water treatment facility.
Modular. Flexible. Adaptable.
NuWater’s innovative plant design makes it easy to upscale or downscale water capacity as required. Cutting edge technology and engineering excellence deliver a plant with a small footprint, making it easily transportable to other sites or closer to water sources should the need arise.
Power Case Study
Solar power plant
plugs into the power of wastewater
A solution that kept the power on
An International Power Generation Organisation operating a concentrated solar power plant in the Northern Cape needed a smart water treatment solution to reduce rising levels of wastewater in their evaporating ponds.
As a result of discharging higher levels of wastewater during start up of the solar power plant, combined with lower rates of evaporation in the ponds, the rising wastewater levels posed both environmental risks and the potential interruption of the power station’s operations. Both needed to be avoided at all costs.
Delivering on time, on budget
Smart, agile and affordable, NuWater’s wastewater treatment solution proposed reducing the level of pond wastewater over a period of 4 months, avoiding any interruption to operations. The solution was deployed in under a month and included a fixed volume and duration rental with the option to extend, eliminating the need for large capital outlay.
Exceeding expectations with exceptional results
As evaporation ponds reduce in volume the concentrations of the minerals within the pond increase making the water more and more difficult to treat.
NuWater completed the reduction of the pond volume in the required time frame and then continued to reduce the water volume until the concentration feeding to the NuWater system was more than 450% than the original proposal values.
Turning wastewater into a valuable re-source
The product water reclaimed from the ponds was as high quality process water, providing the Power saving with a sustainable resource, in turn reducing water usage and costs.