Article Delegates learn about Dams problems (Kormorant 29 May 2008) by monkey6


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									Hartbeespoort Dam News

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Hartbeespoort's First Online Newspaper Home This Weeks News Editorial Letters Services Contacts 29 May 2008

Delegates learn about Dam’s problems
Several delegates and guests who attended the Water Institute of South Africa (WISA’s) conference, held in the Pilansberg last week stopped in Hartbeespoort on their way back home to attend a technical session. During the session presented at the Dam wall delegates could learn more about the Hartbees-poort Dam Integrated Biological Remediation Programme, also referred to as Harties, Metsi a Me, which has been unfolding for some time now. The Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) was formed in 1987 when the Southern African branch of the Institute of Water Pollution Control (formerly the institute of Sewage Purification), was disbanded after being in existence for 50 years. The Institute keeps its members abreast of the latest develop-ments in water technology and research through its national and international liaison, links and affiliations. Currently the Institute has approxi-mately 1800 members and is growing steadily. The Institute follows a multidisciplinary approach and members are drawn from all spheres of employment and varying disciplinary backgrounds. Mr Petrus Venter, Acting Director, Water Regulation introduced the remediation programme (Metsi A Me - My Water) that is aimed at improving the quality of water in the Dam. He discussed the food chain and mecocosms (floating islands) and also stressed that the processes introduced to address the problems are long term that would continue well into the future. Guests split up in two groups after Mr Venter’s presentation and while one group strolled down to the historical hydro electrical station at the bottom of the dam wall, others seized the opportunity to meet and learn more from the leaders of other projects presently under way. These included an exhibition session of the composting of the algae with earthworms, manufacturing of a mesocosm and dissecting of the most prominent fish species. According to Louis Crouwkamp of Eco Waste Management the earthworms are used in the production of organic compost. The African night crawlers (earthworms) mostly used, feed on the algae and hyacinths


Hartbeespoort Dam News removed from the Dam. Visitors also had the opportunity to learn more of the fishery project launched in January this year. A crucial element of the programme is to restore the nutrient balance in the dam. The food web plays an important role in this and can only be achieved if the trophic status in Hartbeespoort Dam has been restored. At present the dam is dominated by the coarse species, namely catfish, carp and canary kurper. The sun, which is an important source of energy, stimulates the nutrients in the water and causes the algae and hyacinths to proliferate. As they die, some of them sink and the bottom feeders, namely the catfish and the carp, feed on the dead material in the sediment. The result of their actions stirs up the sediment which causes the cycle of nutrient enrichment to repeat itself. Through the removal of the catfish and carp the food web can be restored. The controlling and removal of algae are continuing and will continue well into the future. More information regarding the remediation programme can be obtained from Rachelle Seymore at Zitholele Consulting at 011 254 4804, or e-mail to RachelleS
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