October - November 2009

October - November 2009

James Bond, in QUANTUM OF SOLACE, was not risking his life and country to chase after secret documents, galactic nuclear weapons, or voluptuous long legged Russian spies (ok - exclude that). The story was all about water - clean water. 

Public meetings, conferences, workshops and discussions have been designed to get enough concerned people together to change unlawful laws and filthy habits, related to water. And after every meeting we see little change.  Lot-sa talk (and carbon emissions), but not much else. 

We started our last newsletter with comment on global warming, and that each and every 6 billion of us creates body heat. Jim wrote to us, saying that each of us also creates carbon dioxide (a green house gas) like no other single earthly item. He went on to say that the South African government now wanted to tax it's citizens (motorists?) for "carbon emissions".

Is this a "breathing" tax? Ed 

 Report Back


We again attempted to make contact with Sandra Redlinghuys, Engen's enviro manager, but she has not responded.  In fact, no-one from the petro giant is offering any comment, for obvious reasons.  Our next step is to tackle Wimpy, who contribute to the pollution at Engen's 1Stop. 

Does the hamburger outlet want to become associated with a sewer outlet? A hum - bugger, perhaps? 


Allan Batchelor,  has again not responded, as promised, to the Biobox / Clear Edge similarity issues we raised in our July & August/September edition of the Wastewater Watch, and we suggest we won't hear from him. Allan has not been as transparent as we would have hoped.  You see, his independent consultancy company 'Wetland Consulting Services', is linked to Biobox as Allan owns a large portion of both companies.

As transparent as Durban's seawater. Ed

  Lilliput / SABS - update

Our newsletter reached the legal department of the SABS, and we suggest the Lilliput - SABS issue has been resolved. 

On 16 October 2009, SABS wrote to Tres Grandes Velas Hotel as follows:

Your ref : Irr Ref: Lilliput Product

Our ref : Ms. Ambition Manabile

Fax No. : 012 428 - 6291

Telephone 012 428 - 6828

Date : 16 October 2009



P O BOX 72891



Dear Sir/ Madam

1. The above matter refers.

2. The letter dated 14 October 2009, addressed to Lililput we wish to inform you that kindly ignore the content thereof. (Huh?)

3. We have recently come across your website under your complex topic, where you refer to the SABS approval while you are not a registered SABS valid Mark holder.

4. We wish to record that your action is in violation of our intellectual Property and is misleading to the public. In this regard we reserve the right to claim damages against yourselves.

5. We therefore advise your company to refrain from using the SABS name and to urgently contact the SABS Legal Department on receipt of this letter. Failure to do so will leave the SABS with no alternative but to take legal action without any further notice to yourself.

6. Further take note that the SABS shall not be held liable for any such commodity manufactured and for which your company creates the false impression that it has been SABS certified.

7. We further demand the following fourteen (14) days: (Huh?)

a) Immediately remove all reference from all advertising material making reference to the SABS Name;

b) To immediately cease using the SABS Name;

c) A letter from your company indemnifying the SABS from any product resulting in any harm, injury or death of a person using the product;

d) A full account of the total revenue earned by you over the period of in which the infringement has occurred in order for us to quantify damages, to determine a reasonable royalty for your unauthorised use of the SABS Name;

e) To publish a public apology (press release) and retraction in all the areas you have supplied the products, such public apology to be sent to our offices for approval before releasing it.

8. Hope you find this in order.

Yours Faithfully





This threat has opened a whole new phase. 

Nev(er) Nixon, Lilliput MD wrote to Tres Grandes,

"It has been brought to our attention that your website for Tres Grandes Velas Hotel states that the Lilliput Sewage treatment plant is SABS approved.  Kindly note that this is not correct. There are presently no sewage treatment plants which are SABS approved as there are no SABS standard for sewage treatment plants."

The owners of the Tres Grandes Velas Hotel did not imagine this product had SABS approval, and we strongly suggest is was strongly suggested. This is not the first time the Lilliput product has been advertised as SABS approved.  The Lilliput team have been so convincing that the offensive website still claims SABS approval for Lilliput systems, as of 1st December 2009. 

Let this be a lesson to all those that offer false information and/or promises to solicit business.

What else is promised that is simply not true? Ed

 eThekwini and Sewage

We have long suggested that Durban's watercare department is in serious trouble.  Neil McLeod, Durban's water boss, is quick to paint a rosy picture, and says that all is well here. Neil proudly claimed to have achieved 11 "Green Drop" awards, a major achievement in itself, as the awards have not been awarded yet.  And then, one asks, what will these awards be worth?

Denzil Bazley, a Durban metro (independent) consulting engineer for 11 years, said that there are no longer any full time (water?) engineers employed by the metro.  He also said that the once functional and effective department is reduced to a third world standard.  (It should also be noted that eThekwini does not have any electrical engineers permanently employed either, the last opted for 'early retirement' in April, this year.)

The water quality standards, particularly at the beaches, are considered safe by the metro water department, and that the council's tests show good results.  This information is available on the 6 million rand Durban Metro website. Yet the Blue Flag authority is not allowed to verify these results.

As transparent as the seawater. Ed

(see Blue Flags - below)

 Blue Flags for Durban

Our minister of tourism, Martinus van Sckalwyk, has suggested the controversial ANC led eThekwini council apply for Blue Flag status on all it's beaches, as it is good for tourism.  Mad Mike (M&M) Sutcliffe, the metro manager, has scoffed at the idea. M&M says that the beaches already achieve water quality higher than the Blue Flag requirement, and asks "what's the issue?". All water tests are done by Mike's in-house  laboratory.

He even asked Shawn Thomson, SA champion surfer about Blue Flag beaches, and the famous surfer did not know what a "blue flag" was.

Sutcliffe and the Blue Flag organization have never agreed on much. Blue Flag needs to independently verify water test results, which Sutcliffe feels is unnecessary, as he should be considered trustworthy. Trust is earned, and so are Blue Flags. And there is very little Mike and his merry men should be trusted with.

As transparent as Durban's seawater. Ed.

Water in Africa

Botswana, a very dry country of which 70% is dictated to by the Kalahari Desert, is a thriving and stable country. The few mineral resources it has, contributes 40% to the country's revenue. The balance is made up from tourism, mainly.  The currency, the Pula,  is rated at about 14% higher than Africa's power house, South Africa

The people of Botswana know the value of water, as it is so scarce. New laws are being enforced to ensure the water quality is maintained in a healthy state. We will suggest that, while corruption exists everywhere, we will also suggest this has not been allowed to affect the water quality standards in a very parched country. Water is simply too valuable to waste. 

When SA is just as dry, the people would need to look at their leader for showering tips. Ed

  Germ Killers

Oxymorons (or simply morons)

The list of germ killers below that claim to be safe for septic tanks.

1. Jik
Sodium, Hypochlorite,
Reckett, Benckiser
2. Harpic toilet cleaner
Benzalkonium, Chloride,
Reckett, Benckiser
3. Jeyes Bleach
Sodium, Hydroxide,
Adcock Ingram
4. Domestos
Sodium, Hypochlorite

  Water Time Capsules

This photo was taken of the Chobe river, in Botswana. The frequent cry of the fish eagle is proof of a healthy ecosystem.

  Waste Without Water

Gary sent us a note that claims that 61% of all water used in Cape Town is used to flush and carry sewage. We also see that waterless toilets have now become quite popular.

No-one has suggested how one washes their hands after the toilet job, without water.

Waterless water, perhaps. Ed  


Steve - Wastewater Watch