Surface Water Treatment Plant

Veolia Water Technologies South Africa supplies the complete range of services to design, supply, maintain and upgrade surface water treatment plants for settlements, towns and cities. 

We improve the performance and safety of drinking water treatment facilities by using proven, efficient and reliable treatment technologies and water disinfection additives to remove bacteria, micro-organisms, salts, pesticides, chemicals and other micropollutants from rivers, dams, lakes and the ocean.

Find out more about our surface water treatment plants below!

Drinking Water Production: How and why, at a glance

Veolia is an expert in surface water treatment. In this video, we look at the water treatment process, from abstraction of raw water, to water storage!

Veolia Is A Global Water Treatment Expert, With Over 160 Years’ Experience And A Portfolio Of 350+ Proprietary Technologies.

What are your requirements?

Depending on the amount of potable water you need to supply, a surface water treatment plant can either be in the form of a conventional, permanent in-ground plant, or it can be supplied as a pre-fabricated package plant.

In-ground water treatment plant:

From Veolia’s Johannesburg headquarters, Veolia supplies turnkey in-ground water treatment plants for municipalities across Southern Africa. These plants, consisting of numerous civil structures, are the most efficient way to supply large-scale bulk water to communities, towns and cities.

Our mobile plants can be rapidly deployed to treat surface
water providing potable water for urgent requirements.

Package plant:

Small-scale, temporary or urgent surface water treatment requirements are ideal applications for a package plant. These plants combine all the necessary mechanical water treatment processes into a single sturdy, non-permanent steel container. A single plant can supply a treated flowrate of 5 to 100 m3/hour.

Prefabricated at our Engineered Systems Division in Johannesburg as part of our Standard Products offerings, these plants provide a plug-and-play surface water treatment solution for isolated communities, camps or locations, treated to SANS241 and WHO standards.

Our Standard Products for surface water treatment include:

  • PWTP™ (Packaged Water Treatment Plants) – Large range of containerised and skid mounted systems for surface water treatment and potable water production.
  • MWTP™ (Mobile Water Treatment Plants) – A complete 4x4-mounted mobile and autonomous water treatment facility used for urgent potable water production.
  • RO Mega – Reverse osmosis systems produce high purity permeate water while removing up to 99% of dissolved inorganics, organics, colloids and solid particles. These plants can be used for seawater or brackish water desalination.

Speak To Our Technical Team About Your Surface Water Treatment Requirements. Click Here To Send Us Your Enquiry!

Surface water treatment process: an overview

Surface water plants need to ensure all the chemical
and biological contaminants are removed from the feed supply.


Following pre-screening, clarification is the first treatment phase of surface water. Its purpose is to remove suspended solids (sand, silt and organic matter), colloidal matter (dust, bacteria), as well as some of the dissolved matter.

Coagulants are added to the water to alter the electrical properties of specific particles in the water, gathering these pollutants into larger particles (flocs). In the next phase (flocculation), the water is agitated to encourage even larger clumps to form by increasing the occurrence of flocs bumping into each other. Veolia’s Hydrex™ 3000 chemicals (flocculants and polymers) are specially formulated for potable water clarification.

Following coagulation and flocculation, water is directed to a settling tank system for sedimentation, which allows the heavier flocs to settle at the bottom of the tanks from where they are more easily removed. (Air flotation is also used for low density particles.)

Key technologies include:

Filtration / polishing

The next phase of the treatment cycle is filtration and polishing, which removes organic matters and various micropollutants through a sand filter. Adsorbent media (activated carbon) can also be used to remove chemical contaminants, while ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes are used to remove of bacteria and viruses from the feed water.

Key technologies include:

Disinfection and storage:

Both non-turbid and turbid water require a final disinfection treatment. Viruses, bacteria, parasites and various other organisms are removed by a combination of disinfectant agents (chlorine and chloramines), ozone and UV water treatment. Water is then stored in tanks and piped to a water reservoir. It is now safe and ready to drink!

Our Hydrex™ 8000 chemicals provide the sanitising chemicals and disinfectants required for treating surface water.



The Mossel Bay RO water treatment plant can abstract 15
ML/day of water from the ocean.

With all the desalination technology required to build state-of-the-art desalination plants in-house, Veolia has been responsible for supplying seven of South Africa’s desalination plants, including its largest: the 15 Ml/day desalination plant at Mossel Bay.

In addition to seawater, Veolia has also installed brackish water desalination plants for customers in arid, inland locations, requiring less than half the energy requirements – a very viable option for arid areas. Veolia has extensive work in brackish water desalination for industrial clients including SASOL and Eskom, where reverse osmosis is used in combination with Multiflo, softening, ultrafiltration and, demineralisation and general purification.

Read more about our desalination technology here.

Let’s spec a surface water treatment plant to your requirements!

Whatever your surface water treatment requirements, Veolia Water Technologies will ensure you have access to clean, safe, reliable and cost-effective drink water with a plant that’s equipped with world-leading, efficient low-footprint technologies.

Our Design and Build Division supplies complete treatment plant services:

  • design, installation and commissioning of custom-engineered treatment plants
  • full complement of project managers, process, mechanical and ECI engineers;
  • manages quality, safety, health and environmental issues during the design and execution of projects; and
  • conducts feasibility and pilot studies during the development phase of a project

Operations & maintenance

We are experts in ensuring correct water disinfection treatment and management of surface water quality. With a customised water treatment plan to take care of your plant, you’re assured not only of a reliable, safe potable water supply; it can lower your plant’s operating costs.

With our O&M team constantly looking for ways to optimise the efficiency of your water treatment systems, we can analyse and identify improvements in your plant systems across its lifecycle. This can translate to reduced energy consumption and decreased chemical consumption.

Find out more about our O&M services here.

Speak To Our Water Specialists About A Surface Water Treatment Plant For Your Needs:

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