Umgeni Water's current customers include the eThekwini Metropolitan
Municipality, the Ilembe, Sisonke, Umgungundlovu and Ugu district municipalities
and the uMsunduzi Metropolitan Municipality and Mngeni local municipalities, as well as numerous other
customers, accounting for a total bulk water sales volume of 374 million
kilolitres per annum. Umgeni Water serves the needs of 4.8 million people
(Census 2001) in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and their surrounds.
Bulkwater & Waterwaste Perfomance
Umgeni Water's operational area comprises six management systems that operate
effectively as management units, although the organisation maintains a regional
perspective for optimal operational value.
The six management systems include:
- Izintaba Umgungundlovu
- Izintaba Sisonke
- Ulwandle North Coast
- Ulwandle Central Coast Nagle-Durban Heights
- Ulwandle Central Coast Inanda-Wiggins-Shongweni
- Ulwandle South Coast
Treated Water Sales
A total of 374 million kilolitres of treated water was sold during 2006/2007. The
above figures represent the volume of water sold per Umgeni Water operational
area, and represent treated water sales as a percent to customers.
Treated Water Sales in Kilolitres
Treated Water Sales per Customer
Catchment Water Quality
The water quality of rivers and dams in the Umgeni Water operational area is
routinely assessed against Umgeni Water's, Water Quality Index, and the health
of rivers for aquatic life is assessed against the South African Scoring System
The quality of water in our rivers is satisfactory to good, with the
exception of the middle reaches of the uMsunduzi River near to and downstream of
Pietermaritzburg where poor water quality is evident due to the effects of
urbanisation, such as leaking sewers and illegal industrial discharges.
The water quality of the dams is satisfactory to good, except for the EJ
Smith Dam where water quality was unsatisfactory due to excessive algal counts
and high total organic carbon concentrations as a result of poorly maintained
sewerage in the Mzimayi Catchment.
The Biotic Index classifications for the rivers generally mirror those of the
chemical quality, with lower scores in the urban areas due to the effects of
Potable water compliance
The nationally regulated SANS 241: 2001 specifications for physical, chemical
and microbiological criteria for drinking water are used to assess the
compliance of water produced at Umgeni Water's 14 water works, 26 offsite
reservoirs and 25 reticulation sites.
The overall compliance for the bulk water works, based on tests conducted and
weighted according to volume produced, was 99.99 percent. The historical water
quality compliance measured against the SANS 241: 2001 specification for the
water works for the current and past four years is shown below.
Although the number of tests in each category decreased slightly due to
rationalisations, the high water quality with minimal numbers of non-compliant
results has been maintained. Of a total of 44 553 tests conducted on water works
finals, a mere seven results failed.
Historical Potable Water Quality Compliance with Statutory Standards
Wastewater Quality Compliance
Umgeni Water currently operates four wastewater works: Darvill, Ixopo, Howick
and Albert Falls South and audits their effluent compliance, as well as that of
the small Albert Falls North Works.
In July 2003, eThekwini Metropolitan assumed operation of the Hammarsdale
Wastewater Works, while in June 2003, Umgeni Water commenced operating the
Howick Wastewater Works under contract to the uMngeni Municipality. For effluent
compliance, the Darvill and Howick wastewater works are auditedagainst the
General standard and Special phosphate standard in conjunction with Exemption
permits 2045B and 1877B respectively. The Ixopo and Albert Falls North and South
works are audited against General Authorisation limits.
The combined waste water works effluent compliance for the current year and
for the past four reporting periods is shown below. It is noteworthy that
compliance improved from 89.0 percent in 2002/2003 to 92.9 percent this year and
that the overall trend shows improvement.
Historical Wastewater Quality Compliance with Standards
Wastewater Sludge Disposal
Disposal from the Ixopo and Howick wastewater works is evaluated to protect
the public from the harmful effects of sludge disposal. Each wastewater works
was scored on its planning, implementation and monitoring of a responsible
sludge disposal programme.
The Umgeni Water owned and operated plants at Darvill and Ixopo performed
well, indicating our commitment to the sustainable operation of our works.
Howick Wastewater Works experienced sludge related operational problems, which
affected environmental performance adversely. Significant improvements at Howick
Wastewater Works have been achieved in recent months, however.