Kouga has shocking national score for wastewater treatment – DWS says

The 2022 Green Report 2022, just released this year on the SA government website, has revealed that Kouga is one of 10 municipalities out of all municipalities countrywide that have high Cumulative Risk Ratios (CRR) positions.
Some or all of the risk indicators for these 10 municipalities and their associated wastewater treatment plants are in a precarious state for operational flow, technical capacity and effluent quality and are not following SA governmental rules and regulations relating to water and sanitation for municipalities coutrywide.
The Report states this “poses a serious risk to public health and the environment,” and the offending municipalities will be required to assess their risk contributors and develop corrective measures to mitigate these risks cumulative risk ratios (CRR).
The Green Drop Report found that Kouga LM has an 80.5% 2021 Average CRR/CRR max % deviation in Hankey Humansdorp, Kruisfontein, Loerie, St Francis and Thornhill (Jeffreys Bay is excluded).
In 2013, with the previous municipal government, the Green Drop score for Kouga was 53%. Last year, in 2021, with the new, current municipality the Green Drop Report score for Kouga is only 19%. The DWS’ Green Drop Report states that – 0-<31% is a “Critical state”.
According to B Jo Burges (Water Research Commission of South Africa) “Municipalities in South Africa face many challenges in providing effective water services to consumers, especially with regard to the management of wastewater treatment plants(WWTPs). Any WWTP not operating properly discharges effluent which damages the receiving water resource.
“The Green Drop certification programme was designed to serve as a stimulus for change; a catalyst to establish motivation and leadership in the water sector regarding the management of wastewater services. “The aim of the Green Drop programme is to create a paradigm shift by which wastewater operations, management and regulation is approached.
“It promotes incentive-based regulation; establishing excellence as the benchmark for wastewater services. The criteria focus on the effective management of wastewater services instead of the continuation of end-point monitoring and subsequent
reactive operations.”
Here is the list of the 10 municipalities and their scores, copied from the 2022 Green Drop Report which anyone in the public can read by going to the DWWS website of googling it…
SA Name 2021 Municipal GD Score WWTWs (Wast Water Treatments) with <31% score
Chris Hani DM 44%, Dordrect, Lady Frere, OR Tambo DM 41%, Tsolo, Port St Johns,
Alfred Nzo DM 35%, Cedarville, Kouga LM 19% All 7 plants, Blue Crane LM 19% All 3 plants, Ndlambe LM 17% All 6 plants, Dr Beyers Naude 16% All 8 plants, Makana LM 9% All 3 plants, Koukamma LM 1% All 12 plants, Sundays River Valley LM 0% All 4 plan
The Cumulative Risk Log expresses the level of risk that a municipality poses in respect of its wastewater treatment facility. It is based
on the individual Cumulative Risk Ratios. A Figure 27 presents the cumulative risks in ascending order – with the low-risk municipalities
on the left and critical risk municipalities to the far right. All the wastewater systems are in high-risk and critical risk positions – with the
exception of Buffalo City, Nelson Mandela Bay and Amathole which are in the medium-risk positions. Kouga has a high-risk figure of 78%.
Also in the Summary of the maintenance capacity and no. of qualified and shortfall of Engineering, Technical and Scientific staff, the Report says Kouga has had 7 staff who have had no Green Drop Training in two years.
The Report states that Treatment Capacity Aim is as follows: A capable treatment plant requires adequate design capacity and functional equipment to operate optimally. If the plant capacity is exceeded by way of inflow volume or strength, the plant will not be capable to achieve its compliance standards.
Capacity is typically exceeded when the demand exceeds the installed design capacity, or when processes or equipment is not
operational or dysfunctional, or when the electrical supply cannot support the treatment infrastructure.
This diagnostic assesses the status of plant capacity and operational flows to the plants.
Findings: Analysis of the hydraulic capacities and operational flows indicate a total design capacity of 540 Ml/d for the province,
with a total inflow of 323 Ml/day (considering that 41 systems are not measuring their inflows). Theoretically, this implies that
approximately 60% of the design capacity is used with 40% available to meet additional demand.
However, the full 540 Ml/d day is not fully available as some infrastructure is dysfunctional, leaving 531 Ml/d available. Furthermore, the operational flow excludes data from 41 WWTWs that are not measuring flow, which would take up a significant portion of the installed capacity.
Most plants in the Eastern Cape are operating within their design capacities, except for Joe Gqabi and Makana with capacity
exceedance of 110% and 117% respectively. Alfred Nzo, Chris Hani, Kouga, Ndlambe, Dr Beyers Naude, Koukamma and Amathole
report a low usage of their capacity (<50%). Treatment systems with low use may have been affected by the breakdown in sewer
networks or pump stations whereby all sewage is not reaching the WWTW and/or are not measuring the inflow into some of their
systems and therefore producing skewed results.
The Green Drop audit requires a wastewater flow balance to identify and quantify possible losses in the network and/or ingress into the sewers. It was noted that the majority of municipalities do not have flow balances to track the wastewater pathway from consumer to treatment plant.
out of the 10 municipalities a summary was given (table 37) of the five sectors: wastewater treatments, design and available capacities, inflows, % use design capacities, and inflows measured per WWTW . The folowing is kouga’s score: Kouga: Kouga 7 16.6 16.6 6.3 10.4 38% 4
Nelson Mandela Bay is commended for maintaining all its treatment facilities in low and moderate risk positions –
The DWS says there is to be ‘Regulatory Enforcement. Wastewater systems that failed to achieve the minimum Green Drop target of 31%, are placed under regulatory focus. The Regulator requires these municipalities to submit a detailed corrective action plan within 60 days from publishing of this report.
Ten (10) municipalities and 48 wastewater systems that received Green Drop scores below 31%, are to be placed under regulatory
surveillance, in accordance with the Water Services Act (108 0f 1997).
In addition, these municipalities will be compelled to ring-fence water services grant allocation to rectify/restore wastewater collection and treatment shortcomings identified in this report.
Commenting the DWS Minister, Senzo Mchunu, says: “It remains unacceptable that sewage spillages and failing wastewater treatment works are detrimentally impacting our environment as well as the livelihood and health of many of our communities on a daily basis in the year 2022. It is of great concern that there are so many systems with scores below 31%, indicating a dismal state of wastewater management, posing a risk to both environment and public health. We are therefore making the call to political, public and private leadership to declare their commitment to use this report as the turning point towards sustainable improvement because everyone can make a difference within their sphere of influence.
“I need to make it clear that action will be taken against those municipalities that flagrantly put the lives of our people and environment at risk. As Minister of Water and Sanitation, I am engaging the Minister of Cooperative Governance to ensure that as National Government we take drastic intervention measures towards the improvement of water services.”

Read the full Green Report 2022 here: