SANDF seeking water purification equipment


Armscor is looking to acquire water purification equipment for the South African Army to replenish depleted stock.

In a tender issued on 2 May and closing on 2 June, Armscor said a requirement has been received from the SA Army to procure and deliver water purification equipment to meet its force preparation requirement. “The existing stock has been depleted through frequent use and needs replenishment, as stock levels are insufficient to sustain training in the short term.”

The Armscor tender calls for 21 Yanmar centrifugal pumps, 108 Thomas tube filter bags, 19 powder feeders, 36 filters, 170 water test kits and 14 water purification dosage test kits.

A bidder’s conference was due for 23 May at 35 Engineer Support Regiment, Dunnottar Military Base.

Armscor has developed its own water provisioning system (WPS), which should begin production around September/October this year for the South Africa Army. According to Armscor this will detect, purify, store and package water. Plans are in place for the system to be further developed so it can be used to reticulate water on military bases and reclaim water from effluent.

The Armscor WPS uses groundwater or water sourced from watercourses such as rivers and streams which is fed into a mobile purification system. Once cleaned it is stored, also in a mobile system, before being packaged in either bottles or sachets, again using a system that can be moved to where needed.

Using a small pump, the WPS can deliver up to 15 000 litres an hour of ground or river water using a diesel engine

Once in service, with current capabilities, with the Engineer Formation of the landward arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), the WPS should ensure there is no recurrence of an incident that saw South African Sappers sent home from a continental peace support deployment some years ago because their water purifying equipment did not meet UN standards.

To address water purification shortcomings, the South African National Defence Force’s Joint Operations (JOps) division last year took delivery of several water purification systems manufactured by ELW Global and is using them in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of South Africa’s contribution to the United Nations mission there.

Four ELW Global ROWPU (Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit) 2K trailers were delivered to Joint Operations in March 2016.

ELW’s flagship ROWPU 2K is a trailer mounted water purification system, which, when utilizing the reverse osmosis process, produces a minimum of 2 000 litres per hour of potable water and 5 000 litres per hour of World Health Organisation standard safe drinking water if reverse osmosis is not required. The system uses a 5 KVA generator, it is independent of the grid and suitable for remote operations.

ELW has previously sold desalination units to the South African Air Force, which bought eight vehicle-mounted units a couple of years ago for border patrol duties. These can desalinate 600 litres of water an hour. It is believed they are deployed on the border with Botswana, where the water is very brackish.