Field Sites

The WASH R&D Centre (through eThekwini Water and Sanitation) has access to a number of field sites for conducting research projects.

Newlands-Mashu Research Site

Located in the Newlands East area of Durban, these facilities are used to conduct research experiments and test the applicability of models in the field. The main activity at this site is the evaluation of a Decentralised Waste Water Treatment System (DEWATS) and the use of treated sanitation waste by-products in agriculture. Trials at Newlands are part of the eThekwini Municipality’s long term strategy relative to sanitation systems for both existing and new housing projects. The envisaged application for the DEWATS system in Durban is to provide wastewater treatment to dense informal settlements, development and transport nodes, schools and clinics with relatively high population densities which are beyond the sewer network of the city.

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Community Sites

From 2017, the WASH R&D Centre, together with eThekwini Water and Sanitation, have been testing various sanitation technology prototypes in communities and households. These projects have been carried out in conjunction with the community and household members, resulting in the co-generation of knowledge on the functionality of the systems. All data that is generated is provided to the prototype developers in order to improve the design and operation of the technologies, with the long term aim of full-scale development and implementation.

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Historical Field Sites

Isipingo Wastewater Treatment Works

Isipingo WWTW was used as the site for the establishment of a pilot Black Soldier Fly Larvae processing plant for the treatment of faecal sludge from urine diversion toilets. The WASH R&D Centre (as the PRG) was part of a project consortium, and were responsible for monitoring of the results. This project is now complete. The site was being used to test a solar sludge drying system, and a weather station. The weather station has since been moved to Newlands Mashu.

Amanzimtoti Wastewater Treatment Works

Situated in Isipingo in Durban, this site served as a collaborative research project on the co-digestion of industrial effluents with sewage sludge. In this project, small scale experiments conducted in the WASH R&D laboratory were used to develop models on co-digestion that could then applied to the bigger anaerobic tank onsite.

Tongaat Wastewater Treatment Works

The Tongaat WWTW is home to the Latrine Dehydration and Pasteurisation (LaDePa) machine to process sludge from Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines (VIPs) to produce pellets. The machine was developed by eThekwini Water and Sanitation in conjunction with their technology partner Particle Separation Systems (PSS). The machine won the IWA development award in 2011. Small scale LaDePa machines were manufactured for use in the WASH R&D laboratory where experiments were conducted to obtain detailed data on the operation and efficiency. The full-scale plant no longer operational, but experiments in the laboratory are on-going.