Best Co-creation Practice: Nereda Wastewater Treatment Technology

In the run up to the international African Utility Week and WISA conference, we zoom in on some great #cocreateSA examples, operating on the nexus of Water-Energy-Food. Poor operation and maintenance of wastewater and sewage treatment infrastructure is a cause for concern in South Africa. Many water quality studies conducted in South Africa revealed that this problem contributes to the pollution of water resources upon which most rural communities depend for all their domestic and other purposes. Pollution as a result of poor wastewater and sewage treatment infrastructure has a direct impact on human health and the environment.

Project: Nereda Wastewater Treatment Technology
Partners: Royal HaskoningDHV (NL) and WEC Projects (SA)
Location: Wemmershoek, South Africa

A collaborative research programme in the Netherlands led to the development of the full -scale Nereda aerobic granular sludge system “Nereda”. Nereda is the wastewater treatment technology that purifies water using the unique features of aerobic granular biomass and was first applied in 2006 at a cheese factory in the Netherlands.

Nereda is sustainable and cost-effective: it requires a quarter of the area of conventional activated sludge installations and the process can reduce up to 50% on energy-costs. The award-winning technology was invented by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and developed in a unique public-private partnership between the University, the Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA), the Dutch Water Authorities and Royal HaskoningDHV.

The existing Wemmershoek wastewater treatment plant, about 6km outside of Franschhoek in the Western Cape, South Africa, is undergoing a massive ramp-up in capacity. The 0,6 megalitre per day plant is being upgraded to treat an additional 5 Ml/d of effluent from Franschhoek. The Nereda plant makes use of natural micro-organisms to do the majority of the treatment work. Having already won a number of international awards, the system has been hailed as a breakthrough in wastewater treatment.

For more information on the project, click here.

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