THE Bulawayo City Council has commissioned the $1,3 million Criterion Water Works filters with a capacity of treating 76 million litres of water per day.
The rehabilitation project carried out by World Vision, United Kingdom AID, the UK Department of International Development, Dabane Trust, and Medair began in January 2013 and was completed last month.
The rehabilitation included repairing filter slabs; flushing of old filter media with new ones; replacing old filter nozzles and four valves; repairing filter console multi-stage valves, pulsation system and chronocontacts, among other key areas.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony on Friday, World Vision acting country director Khumbulani Ndlovu said the treatment capacity of the plant had improved by over 84%.
“Plant 1 of the Criterion Water Plant has a design capacity of 90 million litres per day, but could only treat less than 45 million litres of water per day before the project. Today as a result of the project, Plant 1 can now treat 76 million litres of water per day. Treatment capacity of the plant has improved from below 50% to over 84% of design capacity,” Ndlovu said.
Bulawayo acting mayor James Sithole said the rehabilitation of the filters at the Criterion Works sought to improve the quality of water to meet the growing demand.
“Plant 1 which was constructed in 1973, had seen decline in output over the years. I am happy to say that with the rehabilitation, we have seen an increase in production from Plant 1 from 35 megalitres per day to 70 megalitres per day. It has also seen an increase in efficiency with back washing reduced and resultantly saving on energy,” Sithole said.
Council commissioned the de-sludging of Magwegwe ponds at a cost of $97 455. The ponds serve six suburbs with a design capacity of 3,5 megalitres per day.
These projects are part of Bulawayo’s 15-year master plan for rehabilitation, renewal and upgrading of water and wastewater infrastructure.