CESA Aon Engineering Excellence WINNER

CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards (Projects Under R50 Million Award) – WINNER

The Tongaat Water Treatment Works (TWTW) is situated in Tongaat on the North Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. At present, the Works provides potable water to the greater Tongaat area through the Belvedere, Emona, Hambanathi, Jan Roz, Tongaat South, Metcalfe and Mamba Ridge Reservoirs. The design capacity of the Works is 21 Mℓ/day, with a current operating capacity of 19 Mℓ/day.

On the 11th of April 2022 Kwa-Zulu Natal experienced unprecedented torrential rains which caused substantial damage to municipal and private infrastructure, consequential risk to life & property, interruption of essential services as well as severe access limitations to residents and businesses alike. The flood damage to the TWTW rendered it non-functional and prevented the supply of the piped potable water to the applicable reservoirs, in turn affecting approximately 90 000 residents in the greater Tongaat area from the 12th April 2022.

To restore functionality to the Works, in the shortest possible timeframe, Naidu Consulting (in joint venture with MSW) were appointed to provide professional services including identifying repairs, replacements and reinstatements on various civil, mechanical, process, control & instrumentation and electrical infrastructure. Notable impacts of the flooding at the Works included the flooding of the pump station with the submergence of the Motor Control Center (MCC) panel, all pumps & motors (20 no.), electrical & instrumentation equipment (including some 15 km of cabling); as well as substantial structural damage to existing buildings and compromised process equipment. Considering the urgency of water supply to the greater Tongaat area the project was classified as an emergency, with the 21Ml/day capacity Treatment Works to be recommissioned within 105-days.

Naidu Consulting has always strived to provide innovative and sustainable solutions throughout any project life cycle. This philosophy, combined with a highly skilled and experienced professional team enabled Naidu Consulting to ensure each element of the project was assessed based on risk, timeframes, applicability and innovation in order to meet the 105-day mandate. This project deviated significantly from industry norms, relating to the implementation of a project, and required the multi-disciplinary team to prepare and implement solutions incessantly, which would culminate in the delivery of solutions unique to the project.

Naidu Consulting, in collaboration with eThekwini Municipality, implemented complete transparency to all stakeholders, including local leadership, to ensure the project received community support and met CPG and local labour targets, whilst also achieving skills transfer/upliftment to Local Emerging Contractors. Through continuous and dedicated collaboration between the Client, Contractor, and Engineer, the Professional team ensured that delays and risks were minimized, resulting in optimal and innovative engineering solutions.

Naidu Consulting were actively involved in the commissioning activities of all pumping systems and aided EWS throughout the process of the pumping system restoration including situational assessments and identification of bursts for EWS Operations to resolve. The project successfully provided potable water to the community within the near impossible 105-day period with the Treatment Works restored to an optimised operating condition.

Kwa-Zulu Natal had not experienced damage to critical water infrastructure of this magnitude previously. Naidu Consulting and eThekwini’s approach on this unique Contract exemplifies achieving the near impossible through innovation, collaboration, and community engagement. The project team for this project compromised of eThekwini Municipality (Employer), Naidu Consulting (Consulting Engineers) and ICON (Contractor).

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