There are many opportunities for wastewater treatment in South Africa. However, they are yet to be. This is according to Carl Haycock, managing director of Talbot & Talbot. The company offers skill in the provision of water and wastewater solutions across Africa.
Wastewater includes domestic sewage, industrial waste and different types of run off. According to Haycock, some of these are treatable, some are not. However, for those that are there are good opportunities available.
However much Talbot & Talbot recover water in the beverages space for ten years, the client still refuses to put that treated water back into the product used for drinking. To this Haycock insists is as good as bottled water, and even the one from the city council.
Last year, KwaZulu-Natal was in a similar position with crippling water shortages. Wastewater treatment provided a good solution. People are now able to access water through an installed water treatment plant.
Water treatment does, however, come at a cost. Haycock said it requires funds to the tune of $760,000 for a small industrial plant and in excess of $38m in the municipal space. Inasmuch as there are opportunities for finance, it is not viewed as a profitable business.
Haycock commented that South Africa should first consider water recovery. The country’s water crisis, however, is opening up opportunities and the provinces’ infrastructure to deal with it does not support demand.
Haycock said humans consume two to four litres of water a day. The rest of water usage goes to wastewater, and much of it can be treated. Technology can as well be used to overcome the present challenges.