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Set up to assist with Sewerage Service Delivery

With local government elections having taken place in early November, “service delivery” is a phrase on many South Africans’ lips as new municipal leaders step into office. Sebastian Werner, Managing Director at Werner Pumps, says the company is poised to assist with service delivery solutions for waste water and sewerage system maintenance and repairs.

Werner Pumps has been supplying high-pressure jetting equipment for more than three decades. It manufactures all its units in South Africa, meaning equipment can be customised for local conditions and specific customer requirements. Many of the Werner Pumps customers are municipalities or the contractors who service them and Werner says the company is able to assist these organisations with advice and products that will enable them to improve their service delivery to communities, as well as managing their costs, optimising their operations and getting the most out of their equipment.

For example, Werner Pumps stocks a wide range of specialised hose nozzles designed to help unblock clogged sewerage lines. “We partner with Enz Technik AG to supply Swiss-manufactured nozzle solutions, including The Enz Golden Jet rotating nozzle (called the Rotopuls nozzle),” explains Werner. “One of the biggest problems that local municipalities have when it comes to their water and sewerage lines is that they get blocked by tree roots, rocks, and even cement. The Rotopuls nozzle has an eccentrically supported rotor, which produces very fast vibrations and pulsating jets. The resulting pulsations are strong enough to disintegrate deposits up to 10cm thick. By using the Rotopuls nozzle, contractors can often unblock lines without having to do more expensive, unsafe and labour-intensive work with cutting tools.”

For applications where even the Rotopuls is not strong enough, Werner Pumps recommends a chain flail head. These nozzles are used to clear calcareous layers, concrete residues and larger roots.

“The other big development we think can help to improve the water management aspect of service delivery in South Africa is the introduction of water recycling jetting and vacuuming units,” says Werner. “We added these to our range in 2019 and while the uptake has been a bit slow because the price tag is higher than a conventional unit, I firmly believe these are the future as they have so many benefits, including a cost saving over the long term.”

Whereas traditional truck-mounted jetting and vacuuming units need to travel to a site filled with clean (potable) water, the water recycling units can arrive empty, vacuum up the contaminated water and separate out the solids, recycling the remaining water to be able to keep pumping and / or jetting. The traditional trucks, on the other hand, need to be emptied, refilled and then to start over again.

“What this means is that once the truck has reached its capacity, the operators need to offload the contaminated water before continuing with the job. Often, we find they dump it illegally to save time and fuel travelling to and from the site, which is a health and safety hazard,” says Werner. “The job also takes much longer to complete. The recycling unit can use the same water over and over, saving on time and travel, which if you think about it also saves on fuel and therefore carbon emissions, as well as potable water usage. With South Africa being a water scarce country and with carbon tax becoming a reality for many larger organisations, I foresee these recycling units will eventually become the norm.”

He says that because the units can vacuum and jet at one time, in many repair situations, the operator can vacuum from a blocked manhole, run the water through the truck and deposit the water with the solids removed into the next manhole, clearing lines more safely and efficiently.

“Instead of sending guys into the lines to manually clear them, which is hazardous to their health and unsafe, the machine can do the hard work, meaning a quicker fix, less risk and fewer man hours wasted for operators, all of which improves service delivery,” he says.

Werner Pumps has been supplying high-pressure jetting equipment for more than three decades.

This article was featured in Engineering Africa, click here to read the article.