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11 July 2019

Sanitation for breakfast: A paradigm-changing seminar in South Africa explores waste as a resource

Panellists Dave Wilson (eThekwini Municipality), Marc Lewis (The BioCycle), Mluleki Mnguni (Umgeni Water) and Carley Truyens (BORDA South Africa) answering questions from participants during the Q&A session

Shifting to Resource-Oriented Sanitation

On 24 July 2019, the BORDA South Africa team in partnership with the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) KZN Branch, WISA Anaerobic Sludge Processes Division and the Pollution Research Group (PRG) hosted an innovative and informative breakfast seminar centred on ‘Resource-Oriented Sanitation.’ With its focus on exploring concrete opportunities to manage wastewater as a valuable source of energy, nutrients and freshwater, the seminar aimed to change the sanitation paradigm from waste disposal to resource creation.

Over breakfast, participants discovered possible resource-oriented sanitation approaches, current research and ways to bring these concepts to scale – all in support of wastewater as resource & opportunity. Participants included stakeholders from the Durban metro area (eThekwini municipality) water and sanitation cluster, water service authorities (Umgeni Water), engineering consulting firms, university students and lecturers, and housing authorities (KZN Department of Human Settlements).

Innovative Science & Practice

Presentations from a variety of experts highlighted concrete and sometimes surprising ways that wastewater not only can be, but already is, transformed into valuable resources:

  • using the black soldier fly in the beneficiation of primary, secondary, and faecal sludges (Mr. Marc Lewis from The BioCycle)
  • resource-oriented wastewater treatment at Darvill Wastewater Works (Mr. Mluleki Mnguni from Umgeni Water)
  • "liquid gold" - growing bio-bricks from urine (Dyllon Randall from the University of Cape Town)
  • localised reuse opportunities for DEWATS-derived resources in eThekwini municipality (Ms. Carley Truyens from BORDA South Africa)

A panel discussion and Q&A session, moderated by Professor Chris Buckley from the Pollution Research Group, brought presenters together for a joint consideration of wastewater as a resource, and enabled a rich exchange between attendees and presenters.

Building on the momentum that BORDA South Africa and its partners have generated, we plan to strategically host another breakfast seminar in line with topics affecting the water and sanitation sector in Africa.

Download seminar presentations:

Carley Truyens, BORDA South Africa: Localised reuse opportunities for DEWATS-derived resources (2 MB PDF)

Marc Lewis, The BioCycle: Black Soldier Fly beneficiation of primary, secondary, and faecal sludges (1 MB PDF)

Mluleki Mnguni, Umgeni Water: Resources oriented wastewater treatment: Darvill case (0.5 MB PDF)

Additional information:

The BioCycle: Nutrient upcycling using the Black Soldier Fly

University of Cape Town: Questions on bio-bricks grown from urine answered

Previous Sanitation Breakfast

Non-Sewered Sanitation (13 November 2018)

At a ‘Resource-Oriented Sanitation’ breakfast seminar on 24 July 2019, BORDA with the Water Institute of Southern Africa and the Pollution Research Group served up wastewater as opportunity

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