April 2009

April 2009

While 'recharging batteries', one thing hits home now more than ever before,

What a wonderful world.

I just can't seem to imagine earth without water, despite being reminded every single day.

Do we know what earth looks like without water?

Yip.  Look at the moon.         Scary!

As we only really appreciate things when they have gone, the Wastewater Watch  has added another feature to the newsletter and website, which will remind us in the years to come, of what we had. (see Water - Time Capsules)

 Report Back

Within a week of the publishing of the March WwW, in which we included a report on the Clear Edge clinic system, that supplier had revamped his website, with all new content.  The offensive system was not only removed from site, but was quickly removed from cyberspace.  The website now offers referrals and testimonials from clients and owners.  We will follow up on these, and report back.

Mark Ross and Neville Nixon, from Lilliput, have suggested that their systems failed after we have visited them, and suppose this is acceptable comment from these two individuals.  We will, therefore, also be blamed for the failure in Mali, a huge project on a gold mine in the desert, initiated and condoned by professional consultant, Gary Brown (Dikubu Environmental).  We have never been to Mali.

We will also be blamed for the failure of a system on a diamond mine in Messina, also initiated and condoned by Gary Brown.  We have only been there once, and long before the plant was even installed.

We know we are unique, even considered super heros by at least one reader, but we are simply not that good. Should the Lilliput team need to blame someone, maybe they should point a finger at Gary Brown, either for making Lilliput look bad, or possibly Lilliput making Gary Brown look good.

Either way, Gary has the right colour.Ed

 Water Elections

As this is the last newsletter before the SA elections, the voting public have mentioned water more often than anything else, except crime, on their wish list.

Very rarely is water related story not included in a news bulletin, or programs Fokus/ 50-50 / and Carte Blanche.  Why is there so much attention on water, despite the Water minister claiming there is "no crisis".

Is it because water is now scarce? (clean water - that is - we have more than enough of the polluted stuff).

On the subject of elections, we predict a water related party will win the election - see tail piece. Ed

 Water Penalties (or Penal Ties?)

We thank Debbie, from George, for this report. 

"Professor Faizal Bux commended the Ethekwini municipality for imposing strong penalties on industrial companies that discharged effluent into the natural water resources".

We contacted Chris Fennemore  BSc(Hons), Pri Sci Nat, FWISA

Manager: Pollution & Environment Branch (Durban Metro) for answers.

We asked,

"Please advise which companies have been penalised and what products / by-products were they discharging into the water course."

Chris said that there were "ramifications" in giving this info, but would see what he could do.  He also asked for our (my) credentials.  - Wednesday, March 25, 2009 2:42 PM

"Once again you have not shown your credentials." - Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:29 PM

"You are splitting hairs.  Credentials include experience (Achievements) and professional qualifications/ education.

I see that we cannot even begin to start a dialogue since you evade even the  simplest question.  I think three times of asking is enough.  Please don't waste my time any further". - Friday, March 27, 2009 12:02 PM

I was under the impression one does not need to be a professor to ask questions, and if this was a plan to discredit the Wastewater Watch, it clearly failed. Chris - we do not need to have credentials to ask you anything and we are under no obligation to offer you any info.  However, as a public servant (a servant of the public) you are obliged to give us the info we request.  If you do not have the answers, just say so! 

Oh, and as you are employed by the ratepayers, you were not wasting your time, but ours.  On the subject of credentials, has anyone asked what qualifications are needed to be head of state.  

Looks like none - see tail piece

Durban Metro is fast becoming the last resting place for bum engineers, managers, mayors, technicians, and bus companies.  However, when retirement becomes reality, there is one special place in which all Metro staff will find quite comfortable in their "sunset years". Ed


Ground Water

The western Cape, and in particular the garden route, has seen some devastating dry conditions for several years now. Boreholes, dams and other water sources have all but dried up. What little water that is still available is either polluted or threatened.  Much of the area is still on septic tanks and soak aways.

We would like to appeal to the public. Firstly, please do not discharge your waste into a soak away - there is a possibility that this wastewater will end up in someone's icecubes. Secondly, please support the groundwater associations - there is a probability that you will need their future support.  These dedicated professionals and volunteers have been gathering information which will keep us alive. Our local Groundwater Association (click here) will give you details of a local branch near you. 

 Kearsney College Tank Failures

We featured Kearsney College's Lilliput system last month in which several tanks had failed. As JoJo are the largest supplier of tanks in the country, and supply several package plant manufacturers, we asked them for their opinion.


JoJo's response :

"Dear Steve

Your mail dated 31 ultimo refers.

Regrettably the photo's do not show all the details that I need to establish the specific cause for failure, but the following however is very clear 

1.   All the cracks on the tanks begin at all the spots where the tanks were welded;

2.   The welded joints are so close together that the movement of the one pipe straight ahead and the other sideward pipe puts enormous stress on the tank;

3.   The coupling members between tanks are not supposed to be linked in the way depicted on the photo's, meaning directly (straight) from the one tank into the other.  The tanks stretch and shrink all the time due to heat and cold, and also because of the product that is pumped into and from the tank.  Tanks should be linked with a manifold system.

4.   A tank's natural movement should not be restricted in order to allow the tank to "live" and such limitation is the main reason why tanks crack.

I trust that the above answers your questions.  Should you have further enquiries, you are welcome to contact me in order to assist you."

We are unaware of any tank failures on either Clear Edge or Scarab systems.  It must then be assumed that Lilliput's engineering design is/was flawed.  If this has not been corrected, there are a large number of systems in the field that would need to be recalled. 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

Try Plaxo. This software allows you to change your contact details, address or occupation without losing touch.

It's brilliant and it's free. Link below. 


And No.  We do not get commissions. Ed

 New products - Enchantrix

"Our products have been made with love and respect for our fragile planet and her inhabitants. They have been formulated to be effective and safe for you, your family and the environment," from their website.

Please visit their website  www.enchantrix.co.za and feedback would be much appreciated. Ed

Water - Time Capsules

During our travels, we have collected important water related photo evidence of what our world looks like right now. Each photo was taken with a simple digital 'instamatic' and the only real skill required was to care.

The Sundays River, Eastern Cape.

(the photo was taken on a Sunday which is coincidental . . .) 

The (d) rooling Party

In a couple of weeks, South Africans will go to the polls to elect a new government, and it appears water will  play a major role.

The Shower Party


Steve - Wastewater Watch