Beneficial refurbishment of a potable water treatment plant in Zambia

Project Details

Name of ProjectKafue Iolanda Water Treatment Plant Rehabilitation Project
Start DateDecember 2016
Completion DateOctober 2018
LocationKafue, Zambia
IndustryDenys NV*
Project TypeMunicipal

Background on the project

The Iolanda water treatment plant was constructed some 30 years ago to supplement the water supply to the City of Lusaka as the city could no longer rely on groundwater sources alone. Due to this increased demand for water and lack of maintenance on the plant, the rehabilitation of both the water treatment plant and the pump station located in the river commenced in 2016. The rehabilitation will improve the operational efficiency of the water intake and increase the plant’s capacity to 110 million litres of water per day.


Client challenges

The client required refurbishment, replacement, and installation of mechanical equipment for the main water treatment plant. WEC projects was asked to refurbish the mechanical equipment on the intake pump station built in the Kafue River and the equipment on the main water treatment plant.

The refurbishment of the intake pump station required a diving team, RS Africa Diving, to isolate the pump station with isolation plates designed by WEC Projects. This was the most challenging due to tight deadlines and limited water supply to nearby cities due to shutdowns.

Installation and refurbishment of equipment on the main water treatment plant included replacement of pumps, mixers, launders, valves, piping, lifting equipment and general water treatment equipment.

WEC Projects assisted with in-house designing, draughting, surveying of pipelines, structures and equipment manufacturing. Click here to see the solutions we can offer you.

Solution for the water treatment plant

We solved these problems by isolating the intake pump station situated inside the river. An inspection dive was done by RS Africa Diving to inspect and measure the existing structure.

WEC Projects and RS Africa Diving came up with a solution to isolate the structure safely under water. Our team then designed the isolation plate and RS Africa Diving isolated the intake with the next shutdown.

Water inside the pump station was pumped out so equipment could be installed inside the pump station and refurbishment could be carried out. Once the work inside was completed, RS Africa Diving removed the isolation plates so our team could continue with the work on the intake.

The main water treatment plant was refurbished, with the plant still producing potable water. Pumps, valves and pipes were replaced with minimal changes and interruptions. 

Mentionable features of the solution

  • Operation and capacity improvement for a plant that has been operating for many years and will be able to operate for many more years to come.
  • Efficient plant operations and maintenance – thanks to repaired equipment that was previously damaged.
  • Better operation of the turbine pumps installed – due to the improvement of the intake structure and new equipment installed.
  • Improved water treatment – due to the new dosing systems that will help improve disinfection and flocculation.
  • Local labour was employed – to help complete the plant refurbishment.

Benefits after project completion

Here are the benefits that the client was able to achieve after the project was successfully completed:

  • Achievement of higher flowrates from the intake to produce more potable water.
  • Maintenance of previously inaccessible equipment that is  used in the plant.
  • Screening of water before entering the intake pump station.
  • Higher plant capacity – this long-term benefit will provide more water for the community.

Due to the success of the project, as well as the benefits, the client was fully satisfied with the solution.

However, our team does not stop once the project is completed. We also have a WEC Assist team on standby for operation, maintenance, consulting, training, supply of spares and any other service requirements.

* Denys N.V. is a multidisciplinary, international civil engineering company providing a vast range of services including design, construction, and installation of various infrastructure projects, including water networks, as well as offering renovation and restoration services.

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