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Palapye multi-million water plant nears completion

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
Water Treatment System
PALAPYE: Construction of Water Utilities Corporation’s (WUC) new independent 40 million litres per day water treatment plant designed to service Palapye and Serowe is halfway complete.

The treatment plant will expand the current facility that produces a capacity of 18 million litres per day to 58 million litres per day to meet the ever-growing demand of water in the greater Palapye region.

Addressing stakeholders recently at the construction site, WUC project engineer, Bernard Brown said the water demand for Palapye and Serowe and surrounding areas has increased drastically over the years.

He said every 20 years the project overview expires and thus the facility that was built over two decades ago was struggling to meet the demands of the rapidly developing greater Palapye area. Thus, he said, there was a compelling need to build a water treatment plant robust enough to handle high water flows and equivalent pressures at Palapye treatment works. “This was to improve the reliability of clean water supply to meet the rapidly growing demand in Palapye, Serowe and to also supply other surrounding areas that are off the grid. It’s a project expected to service the area at least for the next 20 years,” Brown said.

The 30-month project resumed work in June 2019 and was expected to be completed December 2021. The project experienced delays owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Hence it was extended by three weeks and it is expected to be finished in February 2022.

Although the project was behind schedule, Brown said they were playing

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catch up after improving from a 4 percent deficit last month to 1.7 percent in October. 

“Because of a pressing need to conclude this project and supply Batswana with water, we ensured during SoE (State of Emergency) we continued construction on essential service measures, so that we don’t lose too much ground amidst other challenges brought about by the pandemic era such as supply and hiking prices,” he said. Brown revealed that other projects in the village that included the storm water drainage and the wastewater reticulation infrastructures were lined up for the next financial year. “We are working on a project memorandum for network extension of water infrastructures in Palapye for NDP (National Development Plan) 12.”

He was responding to a question posed by Khurumela ward Councillor George Makhura who had wanted to know when WUC was planning to improve and increase the drainage systems that has been a nagging challenge in Palapye.

Still on the project, the WUC lead engineer production and distribution, Thuso Modise said the corporation was also planning to embark on a water infrastructure rehabilitation arrangement in the village.

“The Palapye water lines have surpassed design life and are causing supply disruptions. They are too old and need to be replaced,” Modise said.

The construction of the Palapye water treatment works expansion is done by Steffanutti Stocks and Heinsite Construction joint venture.



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