Africa: Upgrading of the Quinera (Gonubie) Wastewater Treatment Works

The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) in East London, SA, faces strong demand for residential development in the Quinera area south of the N2 highway. This area, together with the Beacon Bay and Gonubie areas, is served by the Quinera (Gonubie) Wastewater Treatment Works. Aware that the works was nearing the limit of its installed capacity (both in terms of effluent treatment and sludge management) and concerned about its possible overloading, the BCMM placed a moratorium on any new developments until the capacity of the works could be determined and increased.

BCMM appointed SRK to investigate and report on the capacity of the works and to estimate the future loading. The findings of the report were published in September 2005, with a recommendation to upgrade the works’ capacity from 6 to 18 Ml/d. It was estimated that this increase in the volumetric and organic loading of the works would meet the requirements of future developments in the Quinera and Gonubie areas for the next 15 years.

SRK was appointed as the principal consultant for the project design and implementation, including civil and structural design, process design, tender documentation, construction monitoring, and administration. SRK appointed a specialist sub-consultant to help with the project’s electrical and mechanical design. The final phase of the project was completed in September 2014.

The existing works had to remain fully operational while the upgrades were taking place. This was also the first plant in the Eastern Cape that used fine bubble aeriation as opposed to surface aeration. Fine bubble aeration is significantly more energy efficient and requires a smaller footprint than conventional surface aeration.


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