AQS Beat Nov Dec 2015.pdf


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The AQS Beat

et’s face it, we can no longer rely on good old
precipitation to provide for us (contrary to what
they teach us in biology class). As a growing
species we are demanding and wasteful, and this
planet’s natural resources are clearly not as prolific,
forgiving or responsive
to divine intervention
as we have been telling
ourselves. However, the
bright side to our continual industrial advancement is
that technologies have improved and been developed
to combat the issues caused by this very growth. Here
is a glimpse into such an endeavor and the people
behind it.
Waste water from mines is listed as one of
the major sources of water wastage (especially in
South Africa with an economy that is so driven by
the mining sector). The water that is disposed of after
mining operations, or that seeps out from disused
mines, is highly acidic and contains a large amount
of heavy metals. This “poisonous cocktail” pollutes
the surrounding environment, often irreparably.
According to the Environmental Forum of Africa
(IFAT) a range of solutions are being supplied by
international environmental technology companies
to treat mine water in South Africa. These methods,
such as ventilation, ion-exchange processes, reverseosmosis and nano filtration, generally aim to neutralize
the pH values and remove metals from the water, still
leaving behind the salts. There are only a few “flagship
projects” which are succeeding in making this water
truly potable, and thus playing a potentially vital part
in alleviating the country’s water shortage. Watercare
Mining, an AQS client, is one of these pioneers.
Watercare Mining runs a plant operations and
maintenance division that is geared towards recycling
mine’s waste water and then selling this water back
to the mines as a potable resource. AQS recently
supplied 13 pumps with their control systems (VSD’s)
for a plant which was commissioned at a mine in
Westonaria. This is the first such plant in the country to
use Crystalactor technology (the license of which was
acquired from a company in Holland, after several years
of negotiation). What makes this so impressive (apart
from the name)? The technology is superior in that
it performs selective removal of compounds through
crystalisation within the reactor of the fluidized-bed
(i.e. pellet reactor), all without a footprint. Yes, this is
a patented zero-waste water treatment technology.
As
the
fifth mine water
recycling
plant
to be developed,
commissioned and maintained by Watercare Mining,
and the first to use the new technology as well as AQS

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Nov/Dec 2015 - 28th Edition

The AQS Beat

pumps, the plant is operating at 100% and meeting
all expectations of efficiency. The mine is happily
benefiting from the cost saving of purchasing the
recycled water as opposed to the municipal supply, all
the while reducing its environmental discharge.


Peter Marks, project engineer,
explains that he chose
to switch from other
pump suppliers to
AQS foremostly for
cost-saving
purposes
and
also for
the level of
service. Our
vertical multistage
(DL’s) and end
suction pumps (DZA’s)
are used for a variety of
purposes on the plant;
from pumping the
decarbonated water into
the lime slurry maker,
to transferring the
water between stages
and then feeding it
back into the main
line at high
pressures.
A few plans had to be
made to accommodate stock
restrictions and deadlines,
but Peter did not hesitate in his
affirmative response to using AQS,
and Leon Fourie, for future projects;
“Absolutely. Every relationship gets
bumpy at times, but I am a loyal person and we
have a good thing going.”
Leon describes this project as; “A real
challenge. It was the first time we used our new model
of variable speed drives to monitor and control the
pump’s flow output, instead of the more conventional
monitoring of pressure. And we got it right!”.
This is where we applaud a job well done
and then rally
forces for the
next onslaught
against the war
on drought, because “caring” is no longer a luxury, it
is a prerequisite for our survival.

our pumps in action

our pumps in action

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Nov/Dec 2015 - 28th Edition

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