Aveng Water, Optimum Colliery and Mpumalanga's Hendrina municipality, are celebrating the municipality receiving the 2012 Department of Water Affairs Blue Drop award, a first for drinking-quality water that includes water reclaimed from acid mine drainage.
According to Business Day,
to receive a Blue Drop award, a water system must have scored 95% or higher on the Blue Drop requirements, which look at drinking-water quality compliance as well as at the overall management of the drinking-water system.
Jonathan Julyan, project manager for Aveng Water is understandably elated - "the guys (working on the water treatment plant) have worked very hard. We got it first time. It's brilliant!" he says. Aveng Water has been treating 15000m3
of mine water a day at the colliery since 2010. The water is treated using the company's own membrane technology, which provides drinking-quality water to the South African national standard. Julyan says Aveng technology can reclaim 98% of the polluted water.
Drinkable water is not a given in South Africa, Business Day
says. Acid mine drainage has already poisoned water courses in the old gold mining area of the West Rand and threatens the water sources of the Witwatersrand's central and eastern basins. Earlier this year, a crisis erupted in the Carolina area, not far from Hendrina, when 17000 people had to rely on water tanker deliveries for five months after acid mine water polluted the town's water supply.
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