May 2009

May 2009

The SA elections were held on the same day as Earth Day, and suggest there is some hidden meaning. Despite the showering and the AIDS, SA population is expanding faster than infrastructure, electricity and water supplies can be provided. Already the world's resources are in "deficit".

The world bank says:

The world’s population is growing by 200,000 people a day.

In the next 35 years, 2.5 billion people will be added to the current population of 6 billion.

Where are we going to put all these people?

In the next edition of the Wastewater Watch, we will devote most of the space to the importance of package plants, because they will play a vital role in our survival.

 Report Back

Clear Edge promotes their product by listing a number of owners as references.  One reference was Cyril Cain at Engen   (031 250 2929).  We contacted Cyril who said he did not know too much about it, and put us on to Barry Sitheram. Barry was previously employed by Shell to do the same job, and has since been nominated by us, for the Polluter of the Year award, for his approval of the two new system now installed on the N3 Engen 1Stops near Ladysmith.  Barry's response to our questions were,

    "No Comment " 

He referred us to Samantha, from a Capetown based PR company.  She offered us an avenue to put our case to Engen, and we have done so.

During our follow-up on all traceable references given by the Clear Edge website, all the relevant details were suddenly removed. Fortunately, we had a copy, and once we have completed our investigations, we will submit our results.

Some interesting stuff. 

JoJo have contacted us in reference to the failed Kearsney tanks.  The letter below refers:

Date : 20 April 2009

Attention : Wastewater Watch

Fax / e-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re : Wastewater Watch

Your "Wastewater Watch" April 2009 has reference:

I must say that I have really enjoyed the articles, specifically at to your line of thinking and shared concerns.

As to the Kearsney College installation, I have sent someone out to inspect the site and confirm the opinion expressed in my original letter referred to in your article.

We are currently communicating with Lilliput and will assist them as far as possible.

Kind regards

Pieter du Plessis

Sales Director

Thanks Pieter. Considering plastic tanks have become the most cost effective method of holding water, it is great to have a supplier that takes serious interest in the water industries that use their products.Ed

(see Tweni Mews) 

 Water Specialists

We have referred to Dr Anthony Turton several times in our newsletters.  Dr Turton is indeed an accomplished person, who has published many water (and other related) articles, the list being a chapter on it's own.  A gem.

Please visit Anthony Turton's website to see his true depth

Dumped from the government (CSIR) for speaking out about the water crisis, we finally managed to track Dr. Turton down, and sent him our latest newsletter.

Dr. Turton replied,

"When I was at the CSIR I drove a project called  "Science in the Service of Society",

the object being exactly what you are trying to achieve here. I believe that for science to be relevant it must also be accessible and thus understood by ordinary people. Science can and should help us to deepen our democracy by empowering people to engage with their elected officials over issues that affect their daily lives. But this is "messy" and so most scientists avoid it.

In any event I have lost my official platform now so I have been effectively silenced in that sense of the word.

Your work is thus credible and laudable.

Best wishes,


It can be said that the government did us all a favour by releasing Dr Turton from his duties. 

We did not know much of him, or the very serious problems South Africa is facing until that point.  No, Sir, you have not been silenced, not by a long shot.Ed

 Tweni Mews - KZN South Coast

We were asked to investigate a leak on a package plant, at Tweni Mews, on the KZN South Coast.

The plant was a Lilliput system, and the tank had sprung a leak on the weld.  The one rib had also showed a sign of fracture.

We wrote to Lilliput, as below:

Dear Mark / Neville,

We were asked to advise on the leak on a Lilliput system, installed about two years ago at Tweni Mews - South Coast .

We found the airsock pipe was leaking from the weld, and that the tank had fractured at that point.  We also found that the rib, just above the leak is also fractured. 

Based on our investigations into the Kearsney plant, this tank could rupture at any moment.  This would cause untreated sewage to spill into the environment until such time as a suitable replacement is found.

We believe this is a design fault in the Lilliput system and feel that the biotower needs to be replaced under the Lilliput "lifetime" warranty. It is also understood that the clarifier collapsed and was replaced, which is not an isolated case. 

We have contacted the agents for Tweni Mews, and they are awaiting your proposal.  We must stress the urgency in this matter.


Steve - Wastewater Watch

Thursday, April 16, 2009 9:53 PM

Within a week, which included a public holiday, the plant had been inspected, emptied, tank welded, and was ready for refilling. JoJo also went to site and inspected the tanks.

Miemie, the South Coast agent wrote to us, as below:

Hi Steve,

Another thousand thank you's for your help and support. After I spoke to you this morning Mark Ross (Lilliput) came to see the tank for himself.

If it wasn't for you I would've been so uninformed. Ryan tried to put the blame on some one else, like the tank was bumped etc.

Mark undertook to replace the whole tank if it starting to leak again. The tank is bulging and definitely leaning to the one side. He saw that and admit that it is bulging. The Jo Jo tank guy was also at Tweni this morning. 

I forward your newsletter to the trustees.



Thanks Miemie.  Again, these comments give us clear indication that we are heading in the right direction.  But, we have always felt that we need to have balanced reporting, and that when we have been critical of a product, person or project, we must also be prepared to acknowledge when 'wrongs' are 'righted'.  In this case, Lilliput knew what was expected of them, and they performed.

To the Lilliput team  - Mark and Neville. Thanks. Ed 

  Septic systems

Our authorities continue to promote the use of septic system which include soakaways and long drops (VIP's) because they are better than nothing. Durban metro have gone away from VIP's for "environmental" reasons.

Then this report, from the mother of all polluters, the USA, under the new administration of Obama.

The funding announced today will be allocated to 193 projects and create or save an estimated 12,385 jobs. They are the first of many projects that will receive Recovery Act funds to improve rural water and waste disposal systems. For example, the Yuma County Improvement District in Arizona has been selected to receive $14.6 million to connect approximately 1,000 homes to a municipal treatment system. The project will reduce groundwater contamination from failing septic systems and improve the water quality of the Colorado River.

Courtesy of

There is a difference between politicians 'talking sh*t' ,and producing 'verbal diarrhoea'.

Maybe Obama knows the difference and is acting on it. Ed 

 Racist Water Pollution

We received a comment from a company, within the water treatment industry, that a government department would not deal with them because they are white. This deserves some reaction from us.

Pollution is a national problem, a crisis.  It affects each and everyone of us, black and white.  However, the massive pollution we now see is a direct result of the government we now have.  A government which feels that submarines, soccer stadiums and high speed trainsets are more important than what comes out the tap, is in serious trouble.  When someone comes knocking saying they can help, the last thing that should be asked is what race they are.

Pollution is racist.  One only needs to look at all those sick people in cholera ridden Zimbabwe, and who overflowed into South Africa - they were all black people.  And those that can afford to drink bottled (purified) water are not township dwellers, but  people in high positions who's policies exclude white help.

Sewage is also racist!

We have grey water and black water. Nothing white.

  Germ Killers

Oxymorons (or simply morons)

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 is a view from Interlaken Guest House, which overlooks Island Lake in Wilderness, Western Cape.

All Flushed Away

Now the elections are over, and our predictions were correct, we could not let this one pass.  

Courtesy - Brandon


Steve - Wastewater Watch