Water News

New treatment plant opened as acid water pours

Written by  Saturday, 15 March 2014 02:38
Rate this item
(0 votes)

As Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa unveiled a new multi-million rand acid mine drainage treatment plant yesterday, a few kilometres away of a torrent of untreated toxic water was gushing uncontrollably into an already blighted river system.


Two weeks of heavy rainfall has caused 30-million litres of drainage to once again decant from the flooded Western mining  basin in Krugersdorp and pour into the Tweelopiespruit.
And this is just as signs of life, including invertebrates and insects, had started to return to the battered river system, which has been poisoned by over a decade of mining pollution.
“It’s a disaster”, said Mariette liefferink, the chief executive of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment.  “This flood of untreated water reverts the river system back to the unfavourable situation it was in before the government established the new treatment plant.”
The problem is the highly toxic and potentially radioactive water leaching from the underground voids of abandoned and closed mines on the Witwatersrand.  As gold mines have ceased their operations, the water table has returned to pre-mining levels, bringing with it rising water with a low pH tainted by salts and elevated heavy metals, including uranium.
Since August 2012, the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, for the Department of Water Affairs, has upgraded the existing Krugersdorp treatment plant with a target treatment of 35 million litres per day for the Western Basin.
But excessive rainfall in the past week has meant that 26 million litres of drainage has “escaped” the treatment process, said Richard Holden, business analyst at the authority.
Yesterday Molewa presided over the installation of pumps at the new Central Mining Basin treatment plant, which would ensure drainage would remain below the environmental critical level.    The Central Basin extends from Germiston to Roodepoort.

MINING

It’s all about the money

The hazardous mining by-product raises two questions – who’s to blame and who should pay. The acid mine drainage crisis is going to cost someone a lot of money, but probably not the people who caused it. The “polluter pays” principle was next to impossible to apply to the acid mine drainage problem in a retrospective way, said Marius Keet, chief director for mine water management at the department of water and sanitation.

Down in the dumps, there's hope

"WHERE there's waste, there's opportunity," said mining hydrologist Kym Morton, ...

Fokus reports on Coal Mine east of Springs

SABC's Fokus of 23 July 2017 addresses the planned Palmietkuilen coal mine east ...

SA NEWS

Addressing waste and pollution of the past

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment is proud to announce the launch of the booklet titled “Rehabilitation of Mine Contaminated Eco-Systems. A Contribution to a Just Transition to a Low Carbon Economy to Combat Unemployment and Climate Change” by Mariette Liefferink of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE). The booklet was commissioned by the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) in collaboration with the Friedrick Ebert Stiftung.

Nuwe myn ‘sal duisende hul huise kos’

Byna 10 000 mense sal verskuif moet word as Anglo Operations Ltd en Canyon Coal hul sin kry om ’n massiewe oopgroefsteenkoolmyn oos van Springs te begin.

SA coal mines leave legacy of ruin

Johannesburg - A 19-month data investigation of mine closures indicates that since at least 2011 no large coal mines operating in South Africa have been granted closure.

Besoedelingklagte: Mynbase daag nie by hof op

Drie direkteure van die Blyvooruitzicht- en Village Main Reef-goudmyn buite ­Carletonville kan ’n boete van tot R10 miljoen of tien jaar tronkstraf opgelê word weens die beweerde besoedeling en agteruitgang van die omgewing.

WATER

Coalition defending Mpumalanga water source area

Last week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations that has been resisting the proposed coal mine inside a protected area and strategic water source area in Mpumalanga launched further proceedings in the Pretoria High Court.

Project to heal polluted river . System will·create stream·of jobs

THE POTENTIAL to create 100 climate jobs and to help : bring a "dead river syste...

'Mine Water can be treated, safe'

SOUTH Africans have to "change their mindsets" that they can't drink acid mine d...