Veolia engineers four truck-mounted potable water treatment plants for the Kingdom of Lesotho

Veolia Water Technologies South Africa (Veolia) was contracted to design and build four generator-powered, potable water treatment plants (WTP) which were mounted on the back of 4x4 trucks, a first for Veolia South Africa. Each mobile WTP will have the capacity to treat 200 m³/day of river water to potable standards for distribution to communities in Lesotho, Southern Africa.

Veolia was awarded the contract by a Lesotho-based technology provider, Unique Trading (Pty) Ltd under the management of Philemon Phamotse, initially contracted by the Lesotho Ministry of Water. The project involved the design, manufacture, build and delivery of four mobile WTPs for use in the land-locked Kingdom of Lesotho. The mobile plants are mounted on four diesel-powered 4x4 trucks to treat river water destined for remote areas in rough terrain.

The river water is pumped into the mobile plants to undergo clarification, Ultra Filtration (UF) and disinfection. The plants contain ceramic UF membrane units designed for their ruggedness under rough conditions and their ability to accept varying water qualities without the need for excessive cleaning, when compared to conventional UF membranes. “This differs greatly from our conventional packaged water treatment plants, which normally consist of a clarifier, sand and activated carbon filtration as well as disinfection technologies,” points out Victoria Tutubala, Project Engineer, Veolia Water Technologies South Africa. These water treatment package plants are designed locally using technologies from Veolia’s sister companies, such as the membranes, which are sourced from Veolia in the USA and the housings from Veolia Germany.

“While these truck-mounted mobile WTPs are a first for Veolia in South Africa, the engineering of these units has allowed for ease of assembly because we used our expertise in package plants to modularise the system and reduce manufacturing time and costs,” Victoria explains. “Subsequent to equipment manufacture, our engineers built all the treatment process equipment onto a built-for-size frame, and the entire structure was then mounted on to the 4 x 4 truck load area.”

Process equipment for each plant consists of a raw water feed pump, basket strainer, clarifier, ceramic UF membrane unit, chemical dosing unit, compressor, backwash and air receiver tanks, and the entire WTP is generator-powered. Additionally, each mobile unit will have its own UF clean-in-place (CIP) skid for use when required.

From order to delivery took between 12 and 13 weeks, with all equipment design, manufacture, construction and mounting carried out at Veolia’s Sebenza facilities in Johannesburg East. “The factory acceptance testing (FAT) was also conducted in Sebenza,” Victoria concludes. “Our customer’s personnel training in Lesotho served as commissioning, as the plants are designed for ‘plug-and-play’.”