Grahamstown East, and 53 standpipes brought water closer to people’s homes.
The first water treatment plant for Grahamstown was installed in 1914. The water came in from Jameson and Milner dams.
In 1936 the first water borne Sewage Treatment works was opened. Neglect of the sewage system caused by lack of an engineer’s assistant to oversee the treatment plant, eventually resulted in a total blockage in 1943.
PRESENT WATER SUPPLY AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT
There are currently two water treatment works in Grahamstown: at Glen Melville and at Waainek. Treated water from the Glen Melville works, with a capacity to produce 10 megalitres per day, is fed to the Botha’s Hill, Mayfield and Tantyi reservoirs. Treated water from the Waainek works with a capacity to produce 9 megalitres per day is fed into the Waainek reservoir and the remaining three reservoirs situated in the vicinity of the town’s filters (Makana 2008).
Due to the local topography, Grahamstown is divided into a northern drainage area and a southern drainage area served by the Mayfield wastewater treatment works and the Belmont Valley wastewater treatment works, respectively. The Municipality upgraded the Mayfield wastewater treatment works from an aerated lagoon and oxidation pond system to an activated sludge system. The Belmont Valley wastewater treatment works uses biological filtration to purify wastewater.
According to Makana Municipality (2004), 96 per cent of the households in Grahamstown has access to water from an improved source, and about 36 per cent of the households has access to adequate sanitation.
Not all parts of Grahamstown had equal supply of water. The eastern part of the city, a settlement mainly for the black population, had inadequate water supplies and sanitation services. In 1938 a new water supply line was laid for
Makana Municipality has developed a water master plan to be put in place at a cost of USD 22 million. The plan outlines proposed water and wastewater projects such as the construction of a 4-megalitre reservoir at Botha’s Hill; the upgrade of the Alicedale Water Treatment Plant; conversion from ventilation improved pit toilets to waterborne sanitation at Extension 6 and lower Makana; upgrade of the Belmont Valley wastewater works; and, the construction of bulk water supply at James Kleynhans water treatment works.