Wastewater treatment course completed in South Africa

World Water Academy newsletter item: Wastewater treatment course completed in South Africa

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End of October 2014, World Water Academy (WWA) together with World Waternet completed the ten-days ‘Course Wastewater Treatment for Process Controllers' in Durban (South Africa). The course was developed together with a team of three South African engineers of eThekwini Water & Sanitation (EWS). The final mission in October marked the last of a total of six missions over the past two-and-a-half years to develop the course and train the trainers of EWS.

The results are great! A ten-days course consisting of four modules, each with a dedicated programme, course book and examination. For the lessons, the course development team prepared PowerPoint presentations, teachers guides, written scenarios and excursions to several sewage treatment plants of the Durban municipality. The content and the course books of each module can be found at our website. During the project, a training of trainers program was provided to the EWS trainers, several presentations on water didactics were held and a Master Class was developed and provided to the EWS trainers and staff members.


The purpose of the project was to demonstrate the philosophy and methods of World Water Academy. Next steps will be the rollout of the course so that all 100 process controllers of eThekwini Water & Sanitation will be trained by internal EWS trainers. Other organizations in South Africa are interested to train their process controller making use of this course. And, last but not least, organizations are interested to use the training method not just for wastewater treatment, but also other areas in the sector, like drinking water production and non-revenue water.

Kees de Korte (World Waternet) and Johan Oost (World Water Academy) look back on an energetic and interesting project. Johan: ‘World Water Academy in The Netherlands already has loads of courses and materials. But you cannot translate and transfer them one to one. You need to tailor the material to the context and target group. Every country and organization is different. By cooperating with the EWS trainers, we succeeded to tailor it to their needs. And, for me the most valuable, every time we came back, my South African team mates of EWS made progress and gave a lot of energy back. Based on my feelings, but the evaluation as well, they really liked to do this project. They believed in our WWA philosophy and their confidence grew time by time. It was a pleasure to do this project.' Kees continues: ‘Key factor for the development of the course for process controllers is the combination of theoretical wastewater treatment knowledge and practical skills to be provided to them and the tailor made didactics and working methods of the course. This combination enables the process controllers to start improving with their current skills as a starting point. By better understanding of the complex treatment processes the process controllers will increasingly enjoy their role on tweaking the wastewater treatment plant. Finally this results in better compliance with the requirements and cost savings as well.'

This project is under the umbrella of the Centre of Expertise in Durban, a collaboration between Vitens Evides International (VEI) and EWS, funded by the Transition Facility. WWA is one of the founding fathers of the Centre of Expertise.

For more information: Johan Oost, johan.oost@wateropleidingen.nl
or +31 6 26 78 5402