hyacith infestation and mass fish deaths in Hartbeespoort Dam

Magalies Water said floating hyacinth and debris will be removed from the dam in September.

Following the serious hyacith infestation and mass fish deaths in Hartbeespoort Dam, Magalies Water was officially appointed by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in April this year to remove hyacinth on the Hartbeespoort Dam and improve raw water quality in the Crocodile West catchment upstream.
When it was announced, the department said the appointment would be for a 36-month period and Magalies Water was to undertake a review process and implement the Hartbeespoort Dam integrated biological remediation programme in addressing the current challenges.
Magalies Water spokesperson David Magae said at the time that the scope of the work would include removal of hyacinth, water quality monitoring and pollution tracking, implementation of hyacinth and algae remediation and viable treatment technologies.
Kormorant asked Magalies Water this week what is happening with the remediation project as no activities have been noticeable despite the fact that work was supposed to start in May.
“The work has started already. We have been on site since April 2023,” said Magae. “Background work on the water quality profiles and fingerprinting has been ongoing. The quest is to unpack the genesis of the problem and craft a problem-based solution that is tailored to redress the specific needs of the prevailing challenges. This activity has been concluded and we intend to deploy a team to remove the floating plants and debris before the end of September 2023. Concomitant to this, the implementation of novel technology for the remediation of the dam will also be enacted before the end of September 2023. This will restore the dam to its pristine condition and curtail any ecological disparity and stress,” he said.
According to Magae technology to suppress hyacinth growth will also be implemented. This will also be done before the end of September 2023. “We are very much advanced with the procurement process.” He said a dam and catchment plan had been developed.
Magalies Water did not elaborate on the “novel technology” to be implemented. Kormorant has requested more information about the technology.

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