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Don’t take good-quality drinking water for granted’t take good-quality drinking water for grantedGideon Wolfaardt and Marlene de Witt<p>Sunday (22 March) was World Water Day. In an opinion piece for <em>News24</em>, Gideon Wolfaardt and Marlene de Witt of the Stellenbosch University Water Institute call on all South Africans not to take good-quality drinking water for granted.</p><ul><li>Read the article below or click <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">here</strong></a> for the piece as published.</li></ul><p><strong>Don't take good-quality drinking water for granted</strong></p><p><strong>Gideon Wolfaardt & Marlene de Witt*</strong></p><p>The drought that we experienced in the Western Cape and other parts of the country has entrenched an awareness of water availability in our minds, with most of us unlikely to return to the “old normal" of water use in the coming years. It took a severe crisis to get us to the point where we think differently about something that we have accepted as a given for most of our lives. </p><p>As people across the globe celebrate World Water Day on 22 March, it is important to reflect on the fact that there is another side to water availability, which many of us have not yet been compelled to think about, which we take for granted every time we open our taps: access to good-quality drinking water that matches global standards. Ironically, we drive past polluted rivers every day without even noticing their poor health any more. Even when we are disgusted by the sight and smell, or saddened by the fact that we cannot use many of our streams and rivers for recreational activities, we're not driven to action and change, because the state of those streams and rivers do not directly impact on our lives; it's not what comes out of our taps. <br></p><p>Water quality has a much more direct and far-reaching impact on our everyday lives than what we realise. Most notably, it impacts on water quantity as it reduces the amount of water available for consumption without extensive and costly treatment, a problem exacerbated during drought. Producers relying on river water for irrigation increasingly face pushback from the export market, or the additional costs of treatment before irrigation. Routine maintenance and upgrades to treatment plants and direct discharge as surface runoff becomes a challenge to an increasing number of financially-constrained municipalities, leading to a growing concern that micro-pollutants such as endocrine disruptors, and micro-organisms pass through poorly-maintained treatment facilities. And with water from the polluted stream or river we drive past every day seeping into the ground, these pollutants are transferred to the groundwater, which supplies our boreholes and increasingly also our bulk water resources for drinking water. Of course our rural and poorer communities are probably most affected by these problems. <br></p><p>Deteriorating water quality has become a major issue and necessitates actions such as identifying sources of pollution, behavioural changes to stop the pollution, innovative technologies that may include nature-based solutions to rectify the situation, with increasing emphasis on socially acceptable approaches. We recognise the value of international experience, technology and management skills in our efforts to address the complex challenges associated with providing water of sufficient quantity and quality. <br></p><p>However, we are also aware of the wealth of traditional and cutting-edge technologies amongst South Africans that can make a contribution in this regard. We need to embrace opportunities to forge partnerships that combine local and international expertise. This should help reduce the instances where efforts to apply international technological advances fail under local conditions, whether it is due to not being appropriate for local conditions, shortage for replacement parts, or due to a lack of local skills for routine maintenance. Co-designing of interventions also helps to overcome social barriers to uptake of new technologies and to mitigate conflict. <br></p><p>Universities, in particular, are spaces where partnerships need to be forged to find optimal and lasting solutions for complex water-related challenges. It was with this in mind that Stellenbosch University (SU) formed a partnership with Germany's Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, one of Europe's leading applied research organisations, to establish the Fraunhofer Innovation Platform in Stellenbosch. The Engineering, Sciences and AgriSciences faculties at SU and four institutes that are part of the Fraunhofer Water Systems Alliance (SysWasser), in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance, will work together in the fields of water and energy to develop and implement technologies that are appropriate to Southern Africa. Through the Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI), which acts as the local coordinator of this platform, this network will be extended to other disciplines such as community health and social sciences.  <br></p><p>This newly-established Innovation Platform is the result of previous projects on water quality and energy between SU and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. One such project, SafeWaterAfrica, is a good example of how local and international technology and expertise can be combined into workable solutions. It led to the development of a decentralised water treatment system for rural and peri-urban areas. A modular water system was developed in collaboration with two local companies, Virtual Consulting Engineers and Advance Call, for pre-treatment of polluted water before final treatment with a carbon-based electrochemical oxidation technology developed by our Fraunhofer partners. Ekurhuleni Water Care Company (ERWAT) provided the site for a demonstration unit, which is now used for further development towards water-reuse, with the potential to be also utilized as a facility to train technical staff. <br></p><p>While we continue to look for innovative solutions through partnerships between universities, research institutes and companies, it is essential that public perception over water quality changes. We need to increase awareness to stop the “day zero" of water quality creeping closer. This requires significant education efforts in all our communities and the best place to start urgently is in our homes. <br></p><p><strong><em>* Gideon Wolfaardt and Marlene de Witt are affiliated with the Stellenbosch University Water Institute.</em></strong></p><p><strong><em> ​</em></strong></p><p><br></p>
Grade 7 learner wins new high school uniform in recyclable waste challenge 7 learner wins new high school uniform in recyclable waste challengeWiida Fourie-Basson<p>A Grade 7 learner from Kayamandi Primary School has earned himself a brand new high school uniform from De Jagers in Stellenbosch after he won a recyclable waste collection challenge in Enkanini.<br></p><p>Liyahluma Peteni (15) is one of 11 learners who participated in the challenge as part of an environmental education project called Iqhawe Yemvelo (Nature Hero). The project equips learners from informal settlements to deal with water and waste challenges in their immediate environment. It forms the educational arm of the Amanzi Yimpilo (Water is Health) project, a collaborative effort between the Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI) and Stellenbosch Municipality to improve municipal water, waste and sanitation services in Enkanini. </p><p>Dr Leanne Seeliger, senior researcher at SUWI and project leader, says they would like to see the uniform for waste programme become adopted by individual schools in Kayamandi: “We want to encourage more sponsors to come on board so that recyclables become a commodity that families can use to buy school uniforms. Not only will this assist the parents, but it will also help to clean up the streets and the rivers in the area."</p><p>Depending on how much recyclables they collected, the other learners received items such as a pair of school shoes, school shirts and pants, also sponsored by De Jagers.</p><p>Mr Devon Strauss, manager of De Jagers' Stellenbosch branch, says they are more than happy to kick-start such a worthy initiative in this way: "Liyahluma Peteni and his friends have instantly improved their community through their actions and they can be very proud of what they have done. We are honoured to contribute to such and exciting project." ​<br></p><p>The young learner's mother, Mrs Ntombesizwe Peteni, says she is very proud of her son, as he even went to the river and the bushes to collect more waste in order to win.<br></p><p>Mr Saliem Haider, manager of the solid waste division at Stellenbosch Municipality, congratulated the learners and thanked De Jagers for their generous contribution.</p><p>Mr Lwando Bottomane, a waste entrepreneur from Kayamandi and part of the Amanzi Yimpilo team, says more waste can be collected if they had access to appropriate containers at the local schools. </p><p>For more information, or to become involved in the waste initiative, contact Mr Bottomane at 060 407 9676 or <a href=""></a></p><p><strong>On the photo: </strong>Liyahluma Peteni (15), a Grade 7 learner from Kayamandi Primary School, collected his high school uniform from De Jagers in Stellenbosch this week, after winning the waste collection challenge in Enkanini. On the photo, from left to right, Mrs Ntombesizwe Peteni and her son, Liyahluma Peteni, with Dr Leanne Seeliger (SUWI). At the back, Mr Lwando Bottomane and Ms Nasiphi Mgqwetno (Amanzi Yimpile), Mr Saliem Haider (Stellenbosch Municipality) and Mr Divan Strauss (De Jagers). <em>Photo: Wiida Basson</em></p><p><br></p>
Major skills boost for TVET Colleges skills boost for TVET CollegesMedia & Communication, Faculty of Science<p>​Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges in South Africa received a major boost with the launch of an international partnership to strengthen skills development and job creation in critically important fields such as agriculture and water governance.<br></p><p>The Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI) and Maastricht School of Management (MSM) will manage the three year <a href="">Orange Knowledge</a> project “Strengthening Skills of TVET Staff and Students for Optimizing Water Usage and Climate Smart Agriculture in South Africa". The R27 million project is funded by the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC), through the Dutch Ministery of Foreign Affairs. The six TVET colleges involved are <a href="">Vhembe College</a> in Limpopo, <a href="">Motheo College</a> in the Free State, <a href="">Nkangala College</a> in Mpumalanga, <a href="">Northern Cape Rural College</a> in Upington, <a href="">Boland College</a> in the Western Cape, and <a href="">Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute.</a> Other partners include <a href="">AgriColleges International</a> (ACI), the <a href="">Academy of Environmental Leadership,</a> the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the Department of Water and Sanitation.</p><p>During the launch at Stellenbosch University on 27 September 2019, Prof Dipiloane Phutsisi, principal of Motheo TVET, said in her address that TVET Colleges play a key-role in solving South Africa's unemployment problem: “Our mandate is to deliver a skilled and capable workforce, but we grapple with various challenges. Today is a step in the right direction. We need strong partnerships to change this landscape, and to ensure the employability of our graduates."</p><p>In his welcome address, Prof Leopold van Huysteen from SU emphasised the global importance of sustainable environmental management: “If we don't resolve our water governance issues, then we're in serious trouble," he said.</p><p>He also thanked the TVET Colleges present for coming on board: “In a partnership one learns from your partner, but also from the beneficiaries. TVET Colleges know what they are doing and they know their market. We urgently need skills in the control and management of water, soil and agriculture in a water scarce country such as ours."</p><p>In conclusion, Mr Hans Nijhoff, project manager from MSM, said their role is to link the TVET Colleges to sectoral growth by optimising water usage and climate smart agricultural practices. This will be done in collaboration with SU as a key knowledge partner</p><p>“Together we hope to create jobs and ensure sustainable growth," he concluded.</p><p>For more information about the project, contact Mr Manuel Jackson, project manager at the Stellenbosch University Water Institute, at 021 808 9561.<br></p><p><em>On the photo: A high-level delegation from six of South Africa's TVET Colleges attended the launch of a three year project to boost skills development in the agricultural and water governance sectors, in partnership with Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SU) and the Maastricht School of Management (MSM). Attending the launch on 27 September 2019 was, at the back, from the left, Thato Ramaphakela (Nkangala College), Cyril Mazibuku (Nkangala College), TE Ntsieng (Motheo College), Boesman Makae (Motheo College), Manuel Jackson (SU), Clifford Riddles (Northern Cape Rural College), Cain Maimela (Nkangala College),  Patrick Malima (Vhembe College), Johan Klinck (Motheo College), Nico Elema (SU), Joanna Fatch (SU), Sofoyiya Nokulunga (DHET), and Prof Leopold van Huysteen (SU). In front, Kentse Mathiba (DWS), Prof Dipiloane Phutsisi (Motheo College), Nigel Olin (Motheo College), Ernst Moller (Elsenburg), dr. Charon Buchner-Marais (SU), Laurika du Bois (ACI), Prof Peliwe Lolwana (WITS) and Hans Nijhoff (MSM). </em></p><p><em></em><em>Photo: Wiida Fourie-Basson</em></p>
Innovative educational project provides life skills to Enkanini learners educational project provides life skills to Enkanini learnersWiida Fourie-Basson<p style="text-align:justify;">How to handle water and waste in your household when you live in an informal settlement such as Enkanini, are some of the life skills that learners will acquire after completing a unique course, developed as part of a collaboration between Stellenbosch Municipality and the Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI).<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Iqhawe Lemvelo (Nature Hero) educational project is unique as it addresses issues that children living in informal settlements have to deal with on a daily basis. It forms the educational arm of the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5992">Amanzi Yimpilo </a>(Water is Health) project, a collaborative effort between Stellenbosch University (SU) and Stellenbosch Municipality to improve municipal water, waste and sanitation services in Enkanini.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Advocate Gesie van Deventer, says the project is the result of committed “town and gown" cooperation to uplift especially disadvantaged communities: “Through education we are empowering our young people to better assist local government in dealing with water and waste challenges." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Leanne Seeliger, a senior researcher from SUWI, says learners from informal settlements are often disadvantaged by a school system that do not cater for their specific needs: “The children do not have the social networks that children living in formal housing do. We follow a place-based approach that enables them to learn from their own lived experience," she explains.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Seeliger developed the approach with Prof Chris Reddy from SU's Faculty of Education, while working in the Enkanini Education Centre for the past seven years. The curriculum covers topics such as dealing with water and recycling waste in your household and community.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">A group of 60 Grade 6 to 9 learners from Ikaya Primary School, Kayamandi Primary School, Makapula High School and Kayamandi High School have been attending the programme since the beginning of the second term. After completion of the programme in November, each learner will receive a Nature Hero-certificate. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr Kamohelo Mculu, a project manager with Stellenbosch Municipality Infrastructure Services, says there is currently a major drive within the Municipality to provide improved water and sanitation services to Enkanini residents: “The municipality, the university and the community are working closely together to improve living conditions in Enkanini," he said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Iqhawe Yemvelo project is run by Paul Roviss Khambule, Meluxolo Mbali and Yondela Tyawa from Enkanini, in close collaboration with researchers from SUWI. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>More about the Amanzi Yimpilo project</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5992">Amanzi Yimpilo project</a> is an outflow of the <a href="">Rector and Executive Mayor's Forum</a>, a joint structure that facilitates collaboration between Stellenbosch University (SU) and Stellenbosch Municipality to the benefit of the entire town and community. The aim of the Amanzi Yimpilo project is to research the challenges around water, waste and sanitation services in the community, and how to improve it. While SU's Water Institute is responsible for the research and facilitation process, the project is funded and supported by the Stellenbosch Municipality's Infrastructure Services Department. The project involves workshops, a water ethics survey, the Nature Hero education project and a water monitoring application. The Amanzi Yimpilo team consists of individuals from Enkanini, trained as co-researchers by SU, and employed by the South African Government's <a href="">Extended Public Works Programme</a>.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Caption</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Iqhawe Yemvelo (Nature Hero) project equips learners from informal settlements to better deal with water and waste challenges in their communities. The project was developed by the Stellenbosch University Water Institute in collaboration with the community and Stellenbosch Municipality. On the photo, from left to right, Dr Leanne Seeliger (SUWI) and her international collaborator, Dr Raphael Robina Raminez from the University of Extremadura, Spain, Paul Roviss Khambule, Ayanda Matiwane and Fezeka Sombiki (trainers from Enkanini) and Kamohelo Mculu (Stellenbosch Municipality). In front, three of the learners on the Nature Hero project, Ongezwa Mashebeni and Kwakhanya Mgqibeliso from Khayamandi High School, and Asemahle Lirofana from Makapula High School.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Contact details</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Dr Leanne Seeliger</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University Water Institute</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Cell: 072 203 2113</p><p style="text-align:justify;">E-mail: <a href=""></a></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Mr Stuart Grobbelaar</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch Municipality </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Cell: 084 036 1395</p><p style="text-align:justify;">E-mail: <a href=""></a><br></p><p><br></p>
Paper microscope opens awesome world of the very small microscope opens awesome world of the very smallWiida Fourie-Basson<p>Grade 10 learners from Kayamandi High and Makupula Secondary Schools in Stellenbosch were introduced to the awesome world of the very small when each of them received a  <a href="">Foldscope kit</a> to “fold" their own paper microscopes and then looked at droplets from the local Krom River, as well as leaves, flower petals and even a cricket!</p><p>Called Foldscope, this paper microscope is based on the principles of paper origami, but with the optical quality similar to conventional research microscopes, i.e. magnification of 140X and 2 micron resolution. It was developed by <a href="">Prof Manu Prakash</a>, a biologist from Stanford University, as part of his efforts to produce low-cost scientific tools to globally expand access to science. At the cost of only R25 per Foldscope, having a microscope in your back pocket could become as ubiquitous as carrying a pencil around!</p><p>The workshop was organised by <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5146">Prof Lydia-Marie Joubert</a>, manager of the <a href="/english/faculty/science/CAF/units/electron-microscopy-(em)">Electron Microscopy Unit </a>at Stellenbosch University's Central Analytical Facilities, and took place on Friday 17 May 2019.</p><p>Prof Joubert says she supports the idea of “frugal science" and welcomes the opportunity to draw local learners into the thrill of microbiology through microscopy: “Once children has seen the invisible, they better understand daily challenges such as polluted water, or mouldy food. They also start to look out for beauty in the natural world around us."</p><p>The learners can now join the global community of “explorers" who post their images on the <a href="">Microcosmos website</a> and comment or ask questions from fellow Foldscopers, she adds.</p><p>To date, nearly half a million Foldscopes have been distributed worldwide, and the company aims to distribute one million Foldscopes by the end of 2019.</p><p>The learners were assisted by Grace Hu, a second year student from Stanford University currently on an exchange program in Cape Town, and Geevarghese Panicker from the University of Cape Town. Soon after they've folded their paper microscopes, there were several wow's as the learners first looked at a droplet of water sampled from the local Krom River. This work forms part of their curriculum, and is supported by the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6288">Kayamandi River Partnership</a>, an initiative of the Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI).</p><p>But it wasn't long before they started looking for other interesting objects to observe under the new microscopes – leaves, flower petals and even a cricket caught in the grass outside CAF house.</p><p>Each school also received a Foldscope educator's kit which includes an LED module for indoor and low light conditions, repair materials and extra materials to mount samples. A Foldscope can also be attached to a mobile phone with magnetic strips, to capture images, or to zoom in onto finer details.</p><p><img alt="1_Kayamandi High Foldscope workshop_resized.jpg" src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/1_Kayamandi%20High%20Foldscope%20workshop_resized.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br> </p><p>This group of Gr 10 learners from Kayamandi High School couldn't wait to start exploring the world of the invisible with their newly-folded paper microscopes, called Foldscopes, while attending a workshop at Stellenbosch University's Central Analytical Facilities. They are, from left to right, <span lang="EN-US" style="line-height:150%;font-family:calibri,sans-serif;font-size:11pt;">Chibanda Panashe, Esona Sogayise, Bulela Sonka, Lihle Plaatjie, Vuyiswa Mntumni, Clarence Ruwizhi, Siyaphiwa Ntsinde, Inganathi Zinqana, Memory Gadza, Linda Ntoyaphi, Athenkosi Mdashe and Sandisiwe Fudukile.</span> In the front are Geevarghese Panicker (UCT), Grace Hu (Stanford University) and Prof Lydia-Marie Joubert (Stellenbosch University). <em>Photo: Wiida Fourie-Basson</em> <br></p>
Kayamandi learners tackle pollution in the Krom River learners tackle pollution in the Krom RiverWiida Fourie-Basson<p>​​More than 100 learners and their teachers from four schools in Kayamandi will participate in a clean-up initiative of the Krom River in Stellenbosch ahead of National Water Week, as well as adopting and beautifying a spot next to the river for children to play.<br></p><p>This is one of the first public initiatives of the <a href="/si/en-za/Pages/initiative.aspx?iid=1045">Kayamandi River Partnership</a> – a collaboration between the <a href="/english/entities/SUWI/Pages/default.aspx">Stellenbosch University Water Institute</a> and external stakeholders such as the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6182">Stellenbosch River Collaborative</a>, the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation, the Stellenbosch Municipality's Department of Community Development and Security, and Kayamandi Schools. Other partners include SU's departments of Microbiology and Curriculum Studies. </p><p>Dr Leanne Seeliger, project leader based at SUWI, says previous attempts to address the pollution problems in the Krom and Plankenbrug rivers have been hampered by issues of sustainability and co-ordination among role players: “With this partnership, the aim is to develop a fund resourced by key stakeholders in water management in the area, to ensure continued water monitoring and water education."</p><p>The Plankenbrug river in Enkanini remains one of the most polluted rivers in Stellenbosch: “Initially we will focus on the Krom river as the initial site for awareness surveys and river clean ups, as the Plankenbrug river currently too polluted for learners to use," Seeliger explains.</p><p>With this initiative, the Kayamandi River Partnership hopes to build trust, restore community and rebuild civic responsibility through a shared understanding of ethics between the community and the municipality: “One of the greatest challenges facing most townships is water management. Many residents were previously excluded from crucial decision-making processes. If both the municipality and the community interrogate the principles at hand in water management in this area, then best practice, rather than minimal compliance could be achieved," she concludes.</p><p>Learners will also be monitoring the quality of the water, thereby contributing to their natural science's curriculum. Prof Chris Reddy from the Department of Curriculum Studies in the Faculty of Education will be showing the learners how to test the PH, nitrates and turbidity of the water using a toolkit from the <a href="">School Water Action Programme</a> (SWAP). Prof Wesaal Khan  from SU's Department of Microbiology will discuss the dangers of pollution.</p><p>The high point of the week is on Friday 15 March 2019, when learners will “adopt" and beautify a spot next to the Krom River.</p><p>The initiative has received generous sponsorship of refreshments for participating learners from local businesses, including Ten of Cups, Timberlea Farming Trust and Chill Beverages.</p><p>The initiative takes place ahead of <a href="">World Water Day</a> on 20 March, and South Africa's <a href="">National Water Week</a> from 18 to 24 March 2019.</p><p> <strong>Media enquiries</strong></p><p>Dr Leanne Seeliger</p><p>E-mail: <a href=""></a></p><p>Cell: 072 203 2113<br></p><p><em>On the photos above, Learners from Kayamandi Primary School are taking samples to test the water quality of the Krom River in Stellenbosch, under guidance of the Stellenbosch Water Institute and Prof Chris Reddy from SU's Faculty of Education. Photos: Leanne Seeliger</em><br></p>
Pneumonia-causing bacteria lurk in water heater bacteria lurk in water heaterCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>Bacteria that could cause severe pneumonia (Legionnaires' disease) may be lurking in your water heater or geyser, a new study at Stellenbosch University (SU) found.<br></p><p>“Our research highlights the connection between heating regimes (when and for how long a heater is switched on) and the increase in Legionella, specifically the pathogenic species L. pneumophila, in water heaters (called geysers in South Africa)," says Dr Wendy Stone from SU's Water Institute. She conducted the interdisciplinary study with colleagues from the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and two departments in the Faculty of Engineering at SU.</p><p>In the study, which was published recently in the academic journal <em>Energy for Sustainable Development</em>, the researchers set out to determine whether horizontal electric water heaters or geysers (common in most South African households) provide an environment that is conducive to the growth of Legionella, which thrive at temperatures from 37 to 42°C.</p><p>Stone says that in South Africa there is no information about the prevalence of <em>Legionella</em> in domestic water heaters, which normally heat water to 65°C. However, since temperatures as low as 40°C are considered sufficient for user satisfaction, many users who struggle financially choose to operate at a lower temperature or turn off their water heaters to save money.</p><p>To determine the presence of<em> Legionella</em>, the researchers cut open water heaters shortly after they had failed mechanically and collected samples and biofilm (i.e. established communities of bacterial microorganisms) scrapings from inside the heaters. They also separately used microbiological techniques to assess the presence of <em>Legionella</em><em> </em>at the point-of-use in the tap water from five active heaters, which they compared to cold water from the same source as a control.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Image%20A.jpg" alt="Image A.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:540px;height:410px;" /><br></p><p>According to Stone, the bacterial concentrations in the plumbing between the water heater and the taps were as much of a concern as those in the heater tank.<br></p><p>The researchers also developed a thermal model of a horizontal heater to simulate stratification of the warm water and to determine the velocity fields which influence the motion and growth of <em>Legionella</em>. Two flow conditions were simulated: (1) no flow into the heater, and (2) 5 L per min flow into (and out of) the heater.</p><p>“Our results show that the lower surfaces of the heater remaining at temperatures below 45°C create an ideal environment for <em>Legionella</em> growth," says Stone.</p><p>“The cold tap showed no <em>Legionella</em> during quantification, suggesting that the heater provides the temperatures necessary to stimulate growth, either within the heater or in the distribution system directly downstream of the heater.</p><p>“The heater and its hot water distribution system could be creating ideal temperatures for the growth of the <em>Legionella</em>."</p><p>Stone says the decreasing temperature in the pipes leading away from the heater will ensure the existence of a thermally optimal environment in which the bacteria can grow. She adds that these biofilms will periodically be exposed to high temperatures during usage events like taking a shower or bath or when washing hands, the face or dishes, which may lead to sterilization, if the outlet temperatures are high enough.<br></p><p>“The average outlet temperatures in schedule-controlled heaters are typically lower than those in heaters on thermostat control (when the geyser switches on to heat up as soon as it gets below a specific temperature) only. The short exposure times to higher temperatures during usage events may not be enough to prevent <em>Legionella</em> survival in the piping system.</p><p>“While the models and data from inside heaters provide information about this specific area, as well as relative <em>Legionella</em> presence within the heaters, the true epidemiological impact lies in the bacteria that reach household taps." </p><p>Stone points out that for healthy individuals, the risk of <em>Legionella</em> infection by the low bacterial concentrations found in taps is slim to none. However, the WHO identifies pulmonary illness and weak immune systems as important risk factors in contracting Legionellosis, she adds.</p><p>Stone says because the symptoms of Legionellosis can often be confused with more common forms of pneumonia, the extent of the disease may be significantly underreported  in South Africa since few people are aware of it, and it's likely hidden by TB and all the other medical crises associated with compromised immunity. The exact impact, especially on individuals with weak immune systems, is simply unknown.  <br></p><p>“Given that <em>Legionella</em> were detected in the water heaters, we plan to do more work to establish the health impact."  </p><p>According to Stone, the mode of infection is via water droplet inhalation, for example when taking a shower or a bath or washing the face at the sink, and not through ingestion. <br></p><p>“This research thus informs us that we can mitigate the risk by regulating our water heaters better, and indicates no risk of contracting Legionellosis from drinking tap water."<br></p><p>As to how the risk of infection can be reduced, she says water distribution system design, water heater temperature settings and switching habits play a critical role in minimizing the risk of <em>Legionella </em>growth.</p><p>“Building and testing models to understand and regulate the places where the bacteria grow can assist with the management of these burdens, through simple shifts in engineering and habits," she adds.<br></p><ul><li><strong>Source</strong>: Stone, W., <em>et al</em>. A potential source of undiagnosed Legionellosis: <em>Legionella </em>growth in domestic water heating systems in South Africa. <em>Energy for Sustainable Development</em> Vol 48 (2019): 130–138.<br></li></ul><p><strong>Main photo: </strong><em>Legionella </em>pneumophila species.<br></p><p><strong>Photo 1</strong>: Layers of sludge/biofilm persisting on the inside of the geyser, against the base where the element attaches.​</p><p><strong>​</strong></p><p><strong>FOR MEDIA EQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Wendy Stone</p><p>Water Institute</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 5805<br></p><p>E-mail: <strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;"></strong> </p><p><strong>           ISSUED BY</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Martin Viljoen<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Manager: Media</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Corporate Communication</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p style="text-align:justify;">E-mail: <a href=""><strong></strong></a> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p><br></p>
Development Rule of Law Program Rule of Law ProgramO Ruppel<p>​<a href="">​</a><br></p>
Capacity Building of Rural TVET College Lecturers from the Northern Cape Building of Rural TVET College Lecturers from the Northern CapeManuel Jackson - Project Manager SUWI<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">The Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI) presented a short course entitled 'Water quality management and risk assessment at water care works' at Northern Cape Rural </span><span style="text-align:justify;">Technical Vocational Education and Training</span><span style="text-align:justify;"> (TVET) College in Upington from 26 to 28 September 2018. </span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Lecturers from the Upington, Okiep and Kathu campuses of the Northern Cape Rural TVET College attended the course, alongside municipal officials from the Namakwa District Municipality, as well as the Dawid-Kruiper and Kai Garib Municipalities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Principal of Northern Cape Rural TVET, Mr. Percy Sago, welcomed all of the participants on the first day of the course by giving an overview of the College and highlighting the regional training requirements related to water and energy in the Northern Cape Region.  The short course consisted of classroom-based training as well as a visit to the Upington Water Treatment Works.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The purpose of the course is to capacitate the South African water sector to coordinate and execute risk-based water safety and operational activities within defined water services schemes.  The course intends to enable tutors and trainers, as well as engineers and officials from the three tiers of government to select, review or develop a wastewater risk abatement plan and water safety plan for a defined water services works.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Stellenbosch University-accredited short course forms part of an Energy and Water Services Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA) initiative to increase the training capacity of TVET college lecturers in the South African municipal environment.  This initiative is in accordance with the new National Water Resource Strategy II (NWRS2), which makes specific reference to establishing partnerships between training providers and the workplace. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The White Paper for Post School Education and Training (2014), recognizes the need for capacity building within colleges and the increased need for partnerships between universities, Sector Education Training Authorities (SETAs) and employers, as well as the expansion of workplace-based training.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">SUWI together with the principle of the College is currently formulating an MOU and further collaboration will be explored by district municipality of Namakwa. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">For more information about this short course initiative, kindly contact Ms. Tania Van der Merwe at 021 808 5845​<br></p>
AMANZI YIMPILO – WATER IS HEALTH - WATER IS GESONDHEID YIMPILO – WATER IS HEALTH - WATER IS GESONDHEIDDr. Leanne Seeliger<p>​<span lang="EN-US" style="color:#000000;font-size:11pt;line-height:15.693333625793457px;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">One of the greatest challenges facing most townships is water management. Many residents were previously excluded from crucial decision-making processes during apartheid and continue to be so, despite the advent of democracy. This research aims to address this by firstly gauging ethical approaches to water management in townships and secondly, by making this information available to municipalities so that they can engage more effectively with communities themselves.  The research team is of the understanding that if both the municipality and the community interrogate the principles at hand in water management in a geographical area, then best practice, rather than minimal compliance could be achieved. Currently, due to a lack of trust and unmet expectations, many municipal initiatives are vandalised or even destroyed. The research process is designed to be iterative and to later become part of the municipality’s functioning process within the community. The research process is focused on building trust, restoring community and rebuilding civic responsibility through a shared understanding of ethics between the community and municipality</span><span style="color:#000000;font-family:-webkit-standard;font-size:medium;"></span><br></p>