It became a crisis in late 2017 when the Emfuleni waste treatment system (comprising 2,000km of pipes, 44 pump stations and three wastewater treatment plants) collapsed. As the breakdown of the area’s pipes, pumps and wastewater treatment plants causes sewage to overflow into one of South Africa’s largest rivers, the Vaal Dam. The Vaal river rehabilitation project began in 2018 after raw sewage flowed into the river from pump stations in the Emfuleni municipality on the northern bank of the river, posing environmental and health risks. An assessment by the government’s intervention team in October 2018 indicated that in order for the treatment plan to be fully operational, a number of tasks would need to be performed, including unblocking sewer lines and manholes.
The invention has been ongoing and the progressive action of the teams working on the pipeline and manholes have brought relief to residents and reduce the associated health risks. The project was undertaken in the region by the Titanium Project Team and various other contractors under the strict guidance of Erwat which ultimately contributed to the alleviation of the crisis addressed by the governmental projects and the department of water and sanitation at the time.