DuPont funds groundwater treatment solution or rural South African community

A multi-technology solution supported by DuPont Water Solutions will provide a source of safe drinking water for 500 households.

In celebration of World Water Day, DuPont announced a partnership with Kusini Water, the City of Mbombela Municipality and the US Embassy on a new project that will leverage solar power to extract and purify groundwater in the rural community of Cairn site farm in South Africa. The new multi-technology water treatment plant, leveraging DuPont-donated technology and funded in part by a DuPont global community impact grant, will supply safe and clean drinking water for 500 households that currently lack access to adequate water supply.

Thembi Thulare, business development manager for DuPont Water Solutions, commented: “This year, World Water Day is focused on the power of groundwater and how this precious resource can be a lifeline for communities across the world.

“Now, through our partnership with Kusini Water, the community of Cairn in Mbombela will be able to harness local groundwater supplies, to provide a reliable and sustainable supply of clean and healthy water for residents and businesses.”

Cairn, a rapidly-expanding community on the outskirts of Mbombela, is currently reliant on waiting for rainwater or water deliveries by tanker every few weeks — both of which are insufficient to meet their needs.

Wendy Tshawe, general manager of water and sanitation for the City of Mbombela, elaborated: “Such a partnership with DuPont Water Solutions has contributed immensely to the city’s mandate to ensure the provision of water to all its communities in a sustainable manner; in line with the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy to supply the entire region with potable water at an industry-accepted standard in fulfilling the constitutional obligation.”

The solar-powered solution will extract groundwater from a borehole for treatment, providing a sustainable source of water for the community. The accompanying Kusini Water Box and kiosk will use ultrafiltration membranes from DuPont and a UV light system to remove contaminants from the groundwater, ensuring a supply of up to 10,000 litres per hour of clean and healthy water. The DuPont ultrafiltration membrane is a barrier to suspended particles including bacteria, viruses and colloids. Ultrafiltration also ensures “affordable, reliable and safe” drinking water, DuPont added.

Delivered in partnership with Kusini Water, and the City of Mbombela Municipality, this introduction of a sustainable source of clean water will provide further indirect benefits to the local economy, including supporting the creation of two new jobs to operate the system.

Murendeni Mafumo, CEO of Kusini Water, concluded: “This year, we have an aim to expand our water supply to five million people by 2025. Our partnership with DuPont is our most important partnership and the community of Cairn is so close to our hearts as further increase our impact.”