Developers and construction firms have been challenged to adopt newer and more durable technologies in an effort to cut long term costs.
Megapipes Solutions Country Director Simon Thomas says that the ever changing landscape is making it difficult for developers to conduct perennial maintenance of their sewer and water supply systems.
He says this has exposed Kenyans to contaminated water considering the Kenya Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene Policy 2016-2030 shows only five per cent of the collected sewage is ever treated.
Many Kenyan buildings, particularly apartment blocks have mushroomed in estates that were previously single-family homes, and have tended to overwhelm the existing sewer systems, forcing the developers to install septic tanks to handle waste.
This together with the high cost of costs of maintaining a sewer connection has seen many households avoid linking to sewer lines or making illegal connections.
To remedy this Simon says they have been testing a new technology- the Weholite systems beyond households with traders and big institutions benefitting from the technology.
The technology involves using waste water treatment plants that are manufactured using Weholite technology, and can serve between 25 and 1,000 users with a lifespan of over 100 years.
“This technology compared with traditional materials such as concrete is that it is significantly lighter than other materials, providing benefits to the water company in terms of time and cost savings,” says Simon.
The Nairobi based plastic pipes manufacturer is targeting high density users in both commercial and residential properties with this new venture.
According to Megapipes the new waste water treatment plants are expected to address the issues surrounding waste water management in Nairobi and its suburbs.
“One of the advantages of Weholite technology over traditional materials is the ease of installation with minimal disruption to communities. With a service life of 100 years without any detrimental effect on its integrity compared to concrete, which has a shelf life of about 20 to 40 years,” he added.
He said on average, engineers install about 100 meters of High-density polyethylene (HDPE) sewer pipes per day which is twice as fast as concrete pipes that have been in use before.
“Due to the ease of construction, there is a reduction in installation time which translates to low costs. Besides, there is a substantial further reduction in carbon emissions,” Thomas said.
Already the firm was among those contracted for the Nairobi Rivers Sewerage Improvement Project Phase 2 investment programme.
He points out that the Weholite HDPE Structured Wall Systems will improve the quality of water in the river by stopping spillage and ensuring the safe flow and treatment of sewer and wastewater for surrounding communities.
“By working in partnership with water companies such as Athi Water Works Development Agency, we aim to provide durable and sustainable solutions to water infrastructure issues across Kenya,”
Already the company was contracted for a multi-million shilling project at Donholm, the first scheme – delivered by Shaanxi Water and Hydropower on behalf of Athi Water Works Development Agency.
It involves the use of Weholite HDPE Structured Wall Systems, manufactured locally.
For this specific project, it was estimated that the volume of trucks required to deliver and off-load the materials would be reduced from 40 to 13 by using Weholite.
Disturbance to the community was significantly reduced meeting one of the main goals of the project.