As I was receiving mixed messages about the state of the RO Plant, I asked Redmond to arrange a visit for me. This was of special interest, as I had been on the Albany Water Board with Johan de Wet and Ron Ball, until it was taken over by Amatola in about 2009.
I had heard that the RO Plant was poorly maintained, with numerous LEAKS, lots of RUST and ELECTRIC CABLES lying in water.
• I found only 3 leaks – In a plant which I estimate has well in excess of 500 pipe joins, this didn’t seem too bad.
None of them were more than dripping, all from worn O-rings. 1 was in a section which is about to be replaced entirely and thus not worth fixing. The other 2 O-rings are to be replaced as soon as the plant is turned off.
• I found rust on some of the flanges in the section about to be replaced and at the bottom of some of the stands in the rest of the plant.
The stands were supplied during the refurbishment in 2009. As stainless steel was beyond the budget at the time, galvanized stands were ordered. George from Amatola, has since found that we were swindled, as there is no galvanizing under the paint. These are to be replaced by stainless steel stands soon.
• I could find no electrical cables lying in water.
What impressed me were 2 things:
- The large number of improvements and innovations which had been implemented since the Albany Water Board was replaced in 2009.
- The fact that George knew every bolt, pump and pipe in the plant and was brimming with enthusiasm. To lose him – or even demotivate him – would be a disaster for the whole area.
One must not forget that the RO Plant operates in highly corrosive conditions. Sea water…………
In my opinion, the production seems to be consistent. The problem appears to lie somewhere in the consumption, which, surely, is more Ndlambe’s rather than Amatola’s concern.
George Poole, KOSRA Chair
KOSRA WORKING FOR YOU!