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Facilitating Wastewater Risk Abatement Plan development and implementation in KwaZulu Natal

The publication of the Department of Water’s (DWA) Green Drop Certification (GDC) results highlighted that wastewater treatment remains a challenge for many Water Services Institutions (WSI). A critical part of the GDC process is the need to develop and implement Waste Water Risk Abatement Plans (W2RAPs). The W2RAP builds on existing good practice in outlining a systematic and transparent approach to ensure consistent compliance and good practice to rendering wastewater services. It focuses on public health and natural resource protection and balances all hazards and risks that may apply along the full value chain.

Emanti was recently appointed to co-ordinate the drafting of W2RAPs for (1) City of uMhlathuze and (2) Newcastle Municipality in KwaZulu Natal. As the W2RAP is based on the principles of the WHO’s Water Safety Plans (WSP) a similar integrated approach was adopted with regular interactions with the technical and management official from both the WSIs (and where applicable) the Water Service Providers.

Site inspections with the WSIs and Water Service Providers were undertaken for each system that was captured on the Green Drop System (GDS) of the Department of Water Affairs (DWA).

The preliminary risk assessment and prioritization was guided by the Water Research Commission and DWA– “Wastewater Risk Abatement Plan: A Guideline to plan and manage towards safe and compliant wastewater collection and treatment in South Africa, August 2010.” This process was also supported by the research that Emanti and the WRC are conducting in relation to WSPs and W2RAP.

Special consideration was given to the calculation of the Cumulative Risk Rating (CRR) as well as the wastewater value chain. Workshops were conducted with the required technical and management officials to ensure that all applicable risks were captured and that Control Measure Validation was undertaken.

Assistance with supporting and monitoring programmes was also provided with special consideration to Incident Management Protocols.

Although drafting of W2RAPs is relatively early in its development, tools and mechanisms are constantly being developed and updated to ensure that the WSI is in a position to draft a functional W2RAP. Emanti remains committed to assisting WSIs in this process.

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