Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

The CSIR research group for water and wastewater infrastructure focuses on RDI that will deliver solutions to the prevailing national challenges within the water and wastewater infrastructure space, while it collaborates with various tiers of government, higher education institutions, industries and other independent research institutions. The group is comprised of multifaceted team to deliver from applied research in sector water efficiency programme to implementable smart technologies in the domestic, mining, and industrial space. For streamlining and alignment, the group delivers on RDI, design and optimisation whereas construction and fabrication is primarily outsourced. The group provides a sound platform for testing and demonstrating water and wastewater infrastructure-related technologies.


Validation and verification of infrastructure assets

  • Infrastructure technical audit.
  • Infrastructure life cycle assessment.
  • Infrastructure mapping.
  • Blue Drop and Green Drop implementation.
  • Process and compliance audits.


Designing of smart water infrastructure

  • Improvement of the operation and maintenance of water infrastructure.
  • Deployment of Internet of Things and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies for water infrastructure.
  • Reduction of chemical and energy consumption in water treatment.


Designing fit-for-purpose infrastructure for access to non-conventional water resources

  • Spring water protection, access and treatment.
  • Low cost and viable acid mine water reclamation.
  • Energy efficient desalination processes.
  • Decentralised/packaged water and wastewater treatment infrastructure for micro-grids.


Resource recovery from waste

  • Valorisation of acid mine water.
  • Valorisation of domestic wastewater.
  • Domestic sludge beneficiation.



  • Process engineering and design.
  • Process modelling and simulations.
  • Smart process integration.
  • Water infrastructure mapping.
  • Bulk water and water distribution network assessment and design.
  • Hydraulic modelling of water networks.
  • Water balance modelling.
  • Process and compliance audits.
  • Water and wastewater quality management.
  • Blue Drop and Green Drop implementation.



Technology or infrastructure

Potential use or value

Domestic sludge beneficiation pilot plant (Biogas)  Beneficiation of domestic wastewater sludge for biogas production, struvite synthesis and potable water recovery.
Acid mine water treatment demonstration plant  Treatment of acid mine water.
Valorisation of acid mine water technology – MASRO  Reclamation of drinking water and production of valuable minerals that have a myriad of industrial applications.
Gypsum to sulphur and limestone (Gypslim) technology  Treatment of gypsum to recover sulphur and calcium carbonate.
Chemical-free and energy-conservative water purification technology  Purification system for the decentralised water treatment and supply of safe water in rural and peri-urban areas.
Corrective action request and response system  Incident management system for municipal services.
Dynamic Hydraulic Model technology  Smart water distribution networks design, with improved operation and maintenance and non-revenue water reduction.
Dissolved air flotation unit  Treatment of high-strength industrial wastewater.
Point of use water purification technology   Household-based water treatment and safe storage system.
Advanced oxidation processes  – photocatalysis and catalytic wet air oxidation  Treatment of refractory organic and inorganic compounds. Also, treatment of wastewater containing both organic compounds and heavy metals simultaneously, without the generation of sludge and toxic gaseous emissions.

Documents to download for more information:

Dr Ryneth Mbhele
+27 (12) 841 3953