The Kruger National Park (KNP) gets some of its drinking water from the six major rivers that flow through the park, namely the Crocodile, Sabie, Sand, Olifants, Letaba and Shingwedzi Rivers. Before the water can be drunk, it must be treated and purified. |
In this process a flocculant is added. A flocculant is a chemical that causes all the small suspended particles to join together so that they can easily be removed, making the water clearer. The bid document for the procurement of flocculant advertises that the chemicals will be tested “in” all the rivers, conjuring visions of flocculant being scattered into the water. Further investigation with Ben du Plessis, manager of water, mechanical services and waste in the KNP revealed that the testing will actually be a “jar test” performed in the laboratory.
“We are looking for a flocculant that will work at a low dosage on all the rivers at the best price.” Apparently, some flocculants do not work at the required low dosage in all the rivers, and so testing is necessary prior to procurement.