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Ebrahim Sartarien

Ebrahim Sartarien

This is Ebrahim Sartarien – long time water treatment plant operator at Klawer Valley, the restricted military area above Simonstown.  Ebrahim made an interesting observation.  Wearing a jersey in mid-November, he explained that the water treatment process has become far trickier now than in previous times.  Why might this be?  Water quality, he went on to say, was far more regular in the old days.

In the Cape, mountain water tends to be slightly acidic and has a distinctive discolouration.  Because the colour in the mountain water is insoluble, it won’t be removed by simple filtration.  For example and in a similar fashion, tea won’t revert to clear tap water by pumping it through a pool filter.  Treatment of this type of water is most effective by using a flocculation method.  One thing all operators know is that the flocculation dosage rate is a finicky measurement.  Too little and there is no reaction, too much and there is no reaction.  The dose rate has to be very accurate to get best results.

In the old days, variation in mountain water quality used to be distinctly seasonal.  Once a day Ebrahim would do a flocculation test to determine the best chemical dose rate.  The following day the dose rate would be checked again and there was not much change.

These days Ebrahim has to check the dose rate 3 or 4 times a day.  We all know that the weather is changing and this story is Ebrahim’s observation.

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