Major KZN Water Transfer System in trial phase

11 April 2016
A Water Transfer System (WTS) Project that forms part of the Mooi-Mgeni Transfer Scheme - Phase 2 (MMTS-2) was completed and commissioned on 19 February 2016. The system is currently in the trial phase.
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application/msword iconMajor KZN water transfer system in trial phase33.5 KBDownload
PreviewA new 1 600 mm nominal diameter welded steel raw water rising main extends 6.5 km from Spring Grove Dam to the Gowrie break pres4.78 MBDownload
PreviewAECOM designed and monitored the construction of a Water Transfer System for the Mooi-Mgeni Transfer Scheme Phase 2.5.26 MBDownload
PreviewThe MMTS-2 WTS includes a 5.8 MW pump station taking water from Spring Grove Dam.3.7 MBDownload

AECOM was responsible for the design of the WTS, as well as monitoring the construction for the State-owned Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA). The project team comprised the Department of Water Sanitation (DWS) as the project developer and ultimate owner, with TCTA as the implementing agent and Umgeni Water (UW) as the operator.

AECOM was the lead consultant on the project, with sub-consultants including ILISO (environmental aspects), Nomad Consulting (social aspects), Pipeline Performance Technologies (corrosion protection specialist) and Pipetech (third-party inspectorate). WBHO Construction was the lead contractor on the project.

“The timely completion of the project has allowed the DWS more flexibility in managing its resources and supplying much needed water into the Umgeni River system in order to alleviate the water shortages due to the current drought,” J. Nyakale, Project Manager, TCTA, comments.

The Mgeni Water System in KwaZulu-Natal supplies water to about five million people, as well as the industrial sectors in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg regions, the economic hubs of the province. The growth in water demand and intermittent drought periods since 2003 necessitated the implementation of MMTS-2 as an emergency project to address the need for augmentation of the supplies to these downstream areas.

The Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry at the time directed the TCTA to fund and implement MMTS-2. The project comprised construction of a 37.7 m high dam on the Mooi River next to Rosetta, known as the Spring Grove Dam, with a storage capacity of 139.5 m3, and augmentation of the existing WTS through the construction of a pump station and pipeline.

The project increased the current yield of the Mooi-Mgeni System by 60 million m3/annum to 394 million m3/annum. Ultimately it has boosted the available water resources in this area of supply, which comprises the six municipalities of eThekwini Metropolitan, uMgungundlovu District Municipality and the local municipalities of Msunduzi, Ugu and Ilembe.

Impoundment of the dam began on 26 March 2013, with permission to fully impound given on 13 June 2013. Following the summer rains of 2014/15, the dam spilled for the first time on 12 March 2015, thus ensuring that the system was at full capacity at the commencement of the current drought. The dam was commissioned and handed over to DWS for operation and maintenance on 3 March 2014.

Construction of the MMTS-2 WTS commenced officially after the successful completion of the Spring Grove Dam. Its main components are:

  •  A 5.8 MW pump station taking water from Spring Grove Dam, delivering a maximum 4.5 m3/s.
  • A new 1 600 mm nominal diameter welded steel raw water rising main from Spring Grove Dam to the Gowrie break pressure tank at Nottingham Road, over 6.5 km.
  • A new 1 400 mm/900 mm nominal diameter welded steel raw water gravity main from the Gowrie break pressure tank to the Mpofana River outfall works, over 8.2 km.
  • A new 650 mm nominal diameter welded steel potable water pipeline for Umgeni Water, constructed in parallel with the 1 600 mm nominal diameter raw water rising main, and beyond, over 8.3 km.

The project had to address a complicated pipe-jacking underneath the R103 and the main railway between Johannesburg and Durban, without disrupting either service.

To affect cost-savings and minimise disruptions to nearby landowners, the TCTA and UW agreed to implement an extension to the UW pipeline distribution system as part of the WBHO contract. Strict socio-economic performance targets were included in the contract with the contractor, which were met successfully, including enterprise development and employment creation.

Other significant challenges posed by the project included the pipeline traversing the Gowrie estate and golf course, major construction within a residential village and work in close proximity to a local school.

Careful attention was given to all social and environmental aspects by TCTA, AECOM and WBHO, with the committed proactive approach by the entire project team contributing to the overall success of the project.



Notes to the editor
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AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical services firm. It designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets around the world for public- and private-sector clients. In Africa, AECOM has offices in over 20 countries, including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. With top-level professionals in multiple locations, AECOM understands Africa’s specific infrastructure needs, together with the inherent challenges of working on the continent. Its multi-disciplinary teams of award-winning engineers, planners, architects, environmental specialists, economists, scientists, consultants, cost, project and programme managers are committed to delivering projects that improve the quality of life of communities throughout Africa.

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