Government has endorsed Harare City Council move to use alternative water treatment chemicals that will reduce the number from nine to at least four.
The reduced number of chemicals will have a corresponding knockout effect on cost of water purification.
Council is sitting on a monthly bill of ZWL45 million towards water chemicals.
Government confirmed that the source of Harare’s water Lake Chivero was heavily polluted and the State in the short term has to look at Kunzvi Dam, Muda and other dams so that the new dams can augment the sources of water that are needed for Harare.
Speaking at his assessment tour of Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Works last Friday Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo said Chemplex Corporation had been designated the sole water chemicals’ provider for all local authorities so as to promote import substitution.
Council used to get lime from Chemplex but later stopped after the quality standards had gone down and began to import from Zambia.
He said council should use at least three or four chemicals.
Council and three companies Vistma Technology, Kemira and Nanotech have been carrying out tests to gauge the best alternative.
Nanotech Water Solutions, a South Africa based company conducted on-site laboratory trials and demonstrated that the use of Chlorine dioxide would be the appropriate chemical to use at pre-chlorination as it kills algae.
Minister Moyo said in the immediate past there have been having problems with water chemicals and Government had to take some steps to solve the issue of chemicals.
“You are using nine chemicals but we want to reduce them to three or four and we noted that you were ordering from everyone (chemicals) and we have said in the past Government has invested in Chemplex and it has been tasked with the responsibility to have import substitution on chemicals”
“We have said only Chemplex will order from Zambia for every local authority and Chemplex should give us a programme where they can now go and mine quality lime so that we do not have to continue importing,” he said.
He said Harare and neighbouring local authorities have expanded increasing water demand.
Minister Moyo said there was also need to attend to the city’s 5000 kilometers piping system.
“We want experts to work with engineers so that they can trace the whole system to see what is not working and we can see what investment is needed.