The recent water crises around the country should make all South Africans consider not only how we desperately need to protect our sources of fresh water, but how we treat wastewater and reintroduce it to the environment.

South Africa’s wastewater treatment systems are failing, with many in such a dire state that the Human Rights Council called for government to declare the situation a “national disaster”. Earlier this year, the Green Drop report stated that over 39% of wastewater treatment works – 334 from 955 – are classified as being critical.

“Water and sanitation are intrinsically linked,” said Grant Neser, CEO of JoJo Tanks. “Without proper wastewater management the quality of water drops to levels across the water cycle, polluting it and making it unfit to be used for drinking and growing the food we eat.

“It’s not just about the water that comes from your tap, but how the water you have used is reintroduced into the water cycle that affects so many others. Just this year, the department of water put out a statement that one of the main sources of domestic and river pollution stemmed from municipal wastewater treatment works, sewer blockages, poor operations and maintenance as well as pollution from mining operations.

Grant Neser, CEO of JoJo Tanks.

The solution is to ensure   the water you put back in a municipal system, for example, is of the highest standard. That is why, JoJo, as part of its evolution to a complete water solutions company, acquired Calcamite, who provide practical, fit-for-purpose onsite wastewater and sanitation solutions.

“With government struggling to build and maintain wastewater treatment plants to cope with the increase in the construction of housing and business estates, many companies and home owners are opting for onsite sanitation and domestic wastewater treatment,” said Neser. “Like with water harvesting and solar, we believe the demand for onsite sanitation and domestic wastewater treatment will continue to increase as users opt to take greater control of their own services.

“Because wastewater management is pretty much invisible as it is out of sight after it goes down the drain it is also out of mind. We want to change that mindset.”

Calcamite supply a range of onsite wastewater and sanitation solutions – wastewater treatment plants, septic tanks, conservancy tanks, greywater solutions, sand, oil and grease traps and sophisticated sewage reticulation systems. Their competitively priced products are targeted at individual households and the lower end of commercial, industrial and agricultural industries.

“If you look at a septic tank, which is a simple wastewater management solution. It needs suitable ground conditions for the soakaway to allow the partially treated water to seep into the soil for further processing in this environment. Many places do not have these ground conditions and as the septic tank only does anaerobic processing, you run the very real danger of polluting the ground water aquifers, such as the massive aquifers that run across Gauteng, that supply much of our municipal water.

“Our Bio-mite products are often compared to the price of a septic tank, but they are much more, they include a septic tank, a bioreactor, settlement chamber and disinfection tank. The Bio-mite range consists of wastewater treatment plants that process wastewater, which includes black and greywater, to a specified quality, typically to reuse for irrigation and other non-potable applications.”

Calcamite products are quick to install and commission, and can be done within a few days. They can be configured to produce effluent of specified quality, are easy to operate and maintain. They are durable, with a design lifespan of around 30 years, and can accommodate from four to 500 people. Because Calcamite products are primarily constructed from polymer, they are water tight, robust and cost-effective

“Calcamite’s mantra is that they ‘provide solutions that protect a precious, life-giving resource and further advance water security in order to help safeguard the wellbeing of individuals, their communities and the environment’,’ said Neser. “Our country’s wastewater treatment works are not going to improve dramatically any time soon. Each of us has a duty to take control of how we manage wastewater.”

Calcamite is a South African leader in on-site sanitation and wastewater solutions since 1967. Calcamite provides solutions that protect a precious, life-giving resource and further advance water security in order to help safeguard the wellbeing of individuals, their communities and the environment. See for more.