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First commercial installation of NEWgenerator system in South Africa

WEC will continue to operate the system with the Water Research Commission until April 2024. (Image source: WEC Projects)

WEC Projects, an EPC water and wastewater treatment solutions provider, has completed the installation of a NEWgenerator at Khanyisani Primary School in Lubunde, South Africa, marking the first commercial installation of the system in the country 

Ntwanano Mandlazi, project manager at WEC Projects, commented, “The deployment of the NEWgenerator system, which connects the school’s toilet block to a water and waste treatment and recycling system, represents an important step forward for delivering proper sanitation to remote and underserved areas in the country. The region suffers from a serious water shortage due to its remote location and, as a result, a solution was required that drastically reduced water consumption.”

Developed by the University of South Florida (USF) and built under license in South Africa by WEC Projects, the NEWgenerator is a compact, off-grid, and modular sewage treatment solution that can be housed inside a refurbished shipping container. It incorporates an anaerobic bioreactor to treat biological matter and breakdown solids, ultrafiltration to remove solids, sequential nutrient capture tanks, and chlorine disinfection. Up to 98-99% of the water can be recycled for reuse in the system and the biogas produced can be captured and used for applications such as cooking and heating.

“We customised the system to include the waste from four unisex urinals which will be redirected back to the plant to supplement the liquid content of the wastewater for treatment and recycling. The treated water, which is not suitable for human consumption, is fed back to flush the toilets, resulting in a significant reduction in water consumption by the school, which relies mainly on rainwater for drinking water,” Mandlazi continued.

“NEWgenerator is an effective solution for replacing dangerous pit and chemical toilets, particularly in areas where water is scarce, making it ideal for deployment across Africa in a broad range of applications including the domestic and commercial sectors.”

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