Poo power plan solves two problems

New ways of dealing with South Africa’s sewage problem are neing xpimwnted on.

New ways of dealing with South Africa’s sewage problem are neing xpimwnted on.

Published Jan 10, 2023


Whatever the causes (a lack of maintenance, residual storm damage), the festive season sewerage crisis provided a stark reminder of the problem presented by the need to dispose of human waste.

Experts acknowledge that waterborne sewer systems are inefficient and a terrible waste of the precious resource that is water.

As uncomfortable to discuss as it could be for some, it is high time we engaged with the issue and came up with workable, efficient alternatives.

A possible solution is provided by the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, which kills two birds with one stone: it obviates the need to treat the waste, and at the same time uses the waste to generate another precious commodity in electricity.

Discussions about alternative power sources often centre on wind, wave and solar power, but from the material available, it appears there could be some merit in the concept of poo power.

The concept, which involves converting waste into methane gas, sounds promising, but it will take until the end of the year before it is implemented, and we will then have to wait further to gauge its success.

Kudos to the uMgungundlovu District Municipality for being brave enough to try, and for engaging with the private sector, which will roll out the initiative.

With no end in sight to Eskom’s woes, and the resultant load shedding, we can only wish them every success.

The Independent on Saturday