The City of Harare has intensified rehabilitation and upgrading of waste water facilities to improve the treatment of the city’s grey water and augment the supply of potable water to residents.
Harare’s waste water treatment plants have a capacity of 220 mega litres a day but are currently producing only 132 mega litres per day.
The city is working flat out to ensure the treatment plants operate to full capacity by mid 2018.
With the growing demand for water in the capital, Harare cannot afford wasting wastewater and start exploiting it for the benefit of residents. There is a need to look for advanced and cheap methods to provide clean and safe water.
Even if the Kunzvi and Musami dam projects come to fruition, the reality is that water sources are going further away from the city hence becoming costly for the city to pump into the city.
After the Kunzwi and Musami projects, the next option will be Mupfure River nearly a hundred kilometres from the city hence the need for innovative ways of providing cheap drinking water to residents.
The Crowborough Sewage water treatment pilot project is expected to initiate treatment of waste water into potable water that can then be mixed with raw water for drinking.
The project waits funding to kick off.
Such a project has been successful in Namibia and Singapore, where the treated waste water is mixed with raw at certain percentage for human consumption.
If successful, the city will move to Firle Waste Water Treatment Plant which is a larger facility and expected to boost the city’s water supplies.
Over the years, the city’s waste water plants have been partially treating water and then using it to irrigate council farms before the water goes to water bodies through seepage.
The cycle includes cattle and some special grass planted at the farms to take up the nutrients in the waste water. The cattle’s role would be to eat the grass so that there is continuous demand for the nutrients.
The water would then find its way to Lake Chivero through seepage where it would be drawn back for treatment at Morton Jaffray’s Water Works.
The treatment at waste water is expected to reduce the cycle at the same time retaining the bulk of the water for consumption.
The World Economic Forum notes every drop of water will increasingly have to be used, re-used, and then re-used again to meet increasing demand.