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The project, which included a purpose-built on-site water treatment plant, both reduced the high hardness of available water while also increasing the production capability of the cement factory.

“High hardness levels in available water sources, whether they are river or borehole, can significantly impact the ability to perform optimally,” says Chris Ashmore, General Manager for Watericon. “In this instance we had to account for both.”

Ashmore goes on to explain how the hardness of the water also caused scaling in the plant’s heat exchange units. This in turn impacted its condensers, coolers, cooling towers and boilers, reducing the work rate of the plant’s equipment and systems and impacted its on-site heat recovery system.

Watericon was previously engaged by the client to clean out the heat transfer system which used to scale up and block completely causing down time and production issues on the plant.

“At Watericon, we approach every project through the lens of our own best global practice while tapping into our young engineering talent,” continues Ashmore. “So for this project, we designed and built an on-site water treatment plant that included a chemical softening process, sand filtration, reverse osmosis and sludge handling where the resultant clarified water was sent back to the process and the sludge was removed and discarded.”

“In Phase Two of the project we implemented a brine recovery system to reduce the waste brine by 50% – another great result for the client and our team.”

“The result of this project was not only the softening of the water being supplied to the plant for various requirements such as the boilers and cooling towers, but the working capacity of all heat exchange units and the waste heat recovery system was increased with the power output increasing from 3MW to between 5.5 and 6MW,” concludes Ashmore.

Watericon is a South African-based water treatment company providing a full range of water treatment services for the industrial, municipal and residential sectors offering everything from emergency water supply and conventional water treatment processes to wastewater reuse systems.

Watericon is committed to solving Africa’s water and associated environmental challenges in a cost- effective