Combating erosion of the Hartbeesspruit Waterway in Pretoria

27 January 2017
SMEC South Africa has carried out design and restoration works on the Hartbeesspruit Waterway for the University of Pretoria. The project will allow improved control of the river flow, as well as helping prevent future erosion.
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application/msword iconPress release: Combating erosion of the Hartbeesspruit Waterway in Pretoria28.5 KBDownload
PreviewA new 13-m-wide spillway was constructed at the original farm dam, where the previous spillway had been outflanked.316.74 KBDownload
PreviewAnother view of the new spillway, the design of which was based on hydraulic modelling.1.41 MBDownload
PreviewThe new debris grate has already withstood a major flood event, which debris was diverted up the grate away from the culvert2.35 MBDownload

The Hartbeesspruit Waterway runs through the Hillcrest Campus of the University of Pretoria, which is home to the LC de Villiers Sport Grounds and High Performance Centre (HPC), a major elite sports facility in South Africa.

Established in 2002, the HPC has become the preferred location for the predeparture camps of South African national sporting teams, in addition to being selected by several international federations as their preferred specialisation centre.

“Therefore it is imperative that the waterways in the vicinity of the training facilities are managed such that flood events do not damage them, or affect their use,” Shaun Chamberlain, Function Manager, Dams & Hydro, SMEC South Africa, comments.

The design work involved hydraulic modelling of the waterway, while the actual restoration work included construction of a new 13-m-wide spillway at the original farm dam, as the dam’s previous spillway had been outflanked, and re-shaping of the dam basin to encourage a diverse ecology.

While restoration of the farm dam was the main focus of the project, there were other existing erosion issues caused by the fast-flowing river. These included two scour holes, each about 1.5 m deep, which were repaired and filled with rip-rap to prevent further erosion, and to slow the flow downstream.

SMEC South Africa also designed and implemented repairs to the Loffelstein retaining walls alongside the river to prevent future erosion of the waterway, and a debris grate at the outlet of the river to collect litter, while maintaining security.

“The new debris grate has already withstood a major flood event, during which debris was diverted up the grate away from the culvert, allowing water to flow freely through the culvert, protecting the nearby boundary wall from the floodwaters,” Chamberlain adds.


Notes to the editor
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About SMEC South Africa
SMEC is a global consulting engineering firm providing high-quality, professional services on major infrastructure projects. SMEC has joined forces with Surbana Jurong, Asia’s consultancy powerhouse in the urban, infrastructure and management advisory sectors. This partnership provides a talent pool of 10 000 dedicated people working across a network of 100 offices in 40 countries throughout Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. SMEC’s strength in major infrastructure projects, coupled with Surbana Jurong’s expertise in urban planning, industrial development and management advisory services, enables us to provide critical value-chain services to clients around the world.

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