• The Water Research Commission is hunting for traces of the Covid-19-causing coronavirus in South Africa’s wastewater
  • Studies suggest that genetic material from the virus can remain in human faeces for a number of days and that it would be possible to track disease hotspots in communities’ sewage
  • The long-term goal is for this surveillance system – which when fully implemented could cost upward of R45-million – to monitor other diseases, such as measles, and the country’s dysfunctional wastewater treatment plants.

SA is looking for traces of the novel coronavirus in excrement. The Water Research Commission (WRC) on Wednesday launched a program to monitor the country’s sewerage system for remnants of the virus which have been flushed down infected people’s toilets. 

Wastewater-based epidemiology is not new and is a way to monitor the health of populations through biomarkers and chemicals in communities’ sewage. In previous efforts in South Africa, researchers have been looking for the residue of drugs in people’s flushed urine. 

This national surveillance program could assist health officials in tracking Covid-19 cases and mapping hotspot areas in communities, Nonhlanhla Kalebaila, a research manager at the WRC, said at the virtual launch. “We could provide a full spectrum of the diversity of virus strains in the community.” 

A major part of South Africa’s strategy to manage the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is to identify and isolate community outbreaks as quickly as possible. But it is limited by the availability of Covid-19 test kits, backlogs at its labs, and size of the country and population. 

“In light of the lack of capacity and human testing and training, it is important to explore all tools that could offer cost effective support to combat the spread of Covid-19,” said Prof Angela Mathee, head of the Medical Research Council’s environment and health unit. Wastewater-based epidemiology could “identify hotspots, direct our limited resources to where they would be most effective”. 

Studies have shown that genetic material from the virus remains in human stools for a number of days and that this can be identified in sewage. 

However, to date, most studies to search for Covid-19 in wastewater have been in developed countries with reticulated sewerage. “Working out how to track Covid-19 [in human waste] in informal and rural areas might break ground on how to deal with this in the developing world,” said WRC CEO Dhesigen Naidoo. “You don’t have the convenient sampling points you’d usually use.” 

WRC researchers are currently establishing a proof of concept, and aim to have pilot programmes underway within the month. They estimate that the pilot phase will cost about R1-million per province or epicentre, most of which will go towards laboratory costs. Rolling out a national waste-water surveillance system would have a price tag of about R5-million per province. 

“But the final budget will depend on several factors that also differ per province,” Stanley Liphadzi, WRC Group Executive: Research & Development, told Business Insider South Africa. “Those with sewer systems will have cheaper surveillance, while those with complex systems (sewer and non-sewer or open defecation) will have more costly programmes.”

However, while the Covid-19 pandemic creates an immediate need for the system, the plan is to use the national wastewater surveillance system to improve water quality in general, officials said. The country has almost 900 wastewater treatment facilities – although many of them are dysfunctional.  

“The real hope is this is a stimulus to heal a number of the other ills in the water and sanitation sector,” Naidoo said.

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Pricing on Tank Level Management

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PRICING

Utility Management

Always know what you’ll pay for accurate water meter readings

12 Months

R1100

PER METERING UNIT

Annual Meter Management

Unit Price

R900

What Is Included

1x Utility Metering Device
Daily Meter Readings
Live Access to property data
Integrated With all Councils
24h Utility support

Monthly

R100

PER METERING UNIT

Monthly Meter Management

Unit Price

R900

What Is Included

1x Utility Metering Device
Daily Meter Readings
Live Access to property data
Integrated With all Councils
24h Utility support

24 Months

R2100

PER METERING UNIT

Bi-annual Meter Management

Unit Price

R900

What Is Included

1x Utility Metering Device
Daily Meter Readings
Live Access to property data
Integrated With all Councils
24h Utility support

Learn more about our Cloud Metering

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

HOW CAN I JOIN URBAN UTILITIES?

You can join Urban Utilites and have your property utilities account managed by simply clicking on the Join Now button, by sellecting your option best suited.

WHAT COST ARE INVOLVED IN JOINING?

The cost structure are divided into 2 main sections:

Monthly Management Fees:
– Monthly fee per meter installed @ R100 p/m

 

Equipment Fees: (once off)
– Water Management Device @ R865 incl
– Electrical Management Device + electrical Kw/h meter @ R2315 incl

The above fees exclude installation fees

HOW WOULD MY METER READINGS BE TAKEN?

Urban Utilities would install a small device on either the (Water or Electrical) infrastructure that would allow us to capture all consumptions through our integrated cloud based network.

HOW DOES IT INTEGRATE WITH MY COUNCIL?

Urban Utilities developed a stable integrated process that integrates with each council, this allows for all the data as collected from the property on either (Water or Electricity) to be provided to the specific council. This all happens on a monthly basis and gets processed directly from the main Urban platform via a automated process.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE INSTALLED TO ALLOW FOR THE AUTOMATED READINGS?
To capture the actual consumption readings live from your property Urban Utilities would need to install a small device on either the (Water or Electrical) architecture that would allow for the actual meter data to be processed into the Urban network infrastructure.

The Urban IoT network is cloud based thus allowing for the installations to be done seamlessly and without any major changes on the property.
90% of the installation is a plug & Play and can be done by any property owner. The other 10% only comes into effect if changes on the property architecture is needed and this would need to be done by either a qualified “electrician or plumber”.

WHERE WOULD I BE ABLE TO VIEW MY PROPERTIES UTILITIES DATA?

Urban Utilities designed a state of the art “National Utilities Portal” that allows for direct interaction between the actual property data, the property owner and the the utilities provider.
This process allows for direct interaction between all parties, thus allow the flow of true and accurate information and utilities data to be processed 24/7 365 days of the year directly from the utilities portal.

Access to the “National Utilities Portal” can be obtained by registering on the national platform
Click here to register and Join Urban Utilities

Storage Tank Management

Storage tank level indication at your finger tips

12 Months

R1200

PER STORAGE TANK / ANNUALLY

Annual Storage Tank Management

Unit Price

R2 265.50 

What Is Included

1x Storage Tank Device
Real Time Storage Tank Levels
Live Access To Storage Tank Data
Integrated Stock Control Process
Full Reporting Platform
Real Time Level Wornings
24h support

Monthly

R100

PER STORAGE TANK / MONTHLY

Monthly Storage Tank Management

Unit Price

R2 265.50 

What Is Included

1x Storage Tank Device
Real Time Storage Tank Levels
Live Access To Storage Tank Data
Integrated Stock Control Process
Full Reporting Platform
Real Time Level Wornings
24h support

24 Months

R2400

PER STORAGE TANK / BI-ANNUALLY

Bi-annual Storage Tank Management

Unit Price

R2 265.50 

What Is Included

1x Storage Tank Device
Real Time Storage Tank Levels
Live Access To Storage Tank Data
Integrated Stock Control Process
Full Reporting Platform
Real Time Level Wornings
24h support

Learn more about our Storage Tank Management

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

HOW CAN I JOIN URBAN UTILITIES?

You can join Urban Utilites and have your tank level account managed by simply clicking on the Join Now button, by sellecting your option best suited.

WHAT COST ARE INVOLVED IN JOINING?

The cost structure are divided into 2 main sections:

Monthly Management Fees:
– Monthly fee per meter installed @ R100 p/m

 

Equipment Fees: (once off)
– Tank Level Management Device
@ R2265.50 incl

 

The above fees exclude installation fees

HOW WOULD MY TANK LEVELS BE MANAGED?

All tank levels are managed through our state of the art IoT “LSM” unit. The unit forms part of the smart level sensing network that transmit all the relevant data into the cloud in realtime, this allows for valuable insight into the current tank status with loads of extra functionalities available to the user.

Read more about this on our product page by clicking here

HOW DOES IT INTEGRATE ON THE NETWORK?

The “LSM” units communicate onto our secure Urban IoT network, this process takes place in realtime to provide accurate and realtime information to the client.

All “LSM” units are free of any wiring and do not need to have electricity to operate, thus they can be implemented completely independently, where ever you need them the most even if its in rural areas.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE INSTALLED TO ALLOW FOR THE AUTOMATED TANK LEVEL MANAGEMENT?

To capture the actual tank level information live from your storage tanks, Urban Utilities would need to install a small device on storage tanks that would allow for the actual data to be processed into the Urban network infrastructure.

The Urban IoT network is cloud based thus allowing for the installations to be done seamlessly and without any major changes in the infrastructure.

90% of the installation is a plug & Play and can be done by any property owner. The other 10% only comes into effect if changes on the architecture are needed and this would need to be done by either a qualified “installer”.

 

Read more about this on our product page by clicking here

WHERE WOULD I BE ABLE TO VIEW MY TANK LEVEL DATA?

Urban Utilities designed a state of the art “Tank Level Management System” that allows for direct interaction between the actual tank level data and the client, this all takes place through our Urban Tank Portal

This process allows for direct interaction between all parties, thus allowing the flow of true and accurate information and tank level data to be processed 24/7 365 days of the year directly from the interactive tank level portal

Access to the “NTank Level Portal” can be obtained by registering on the national platform
Click here to register and Join Urban Utilities

Geyser Burst Management

Detect geyser burst and prevent water damage

12 Months

R1200

PER GEYSER / ANNUALLY

Annual Geyser Management

Unit Price

R2 288.50

What Is Included

1x Geyser Device
Real Time Geyser Valve Control
Real Time Burst Wornings
(SMS, Email & Push Notifications)
Real Time Leak Detection
Full Reporting Platform
24h support

Monthly

R100

PER GEYSER / MONTHLY

Monthly Geyser Management

Unit Price

R2 288.50

What Is Included

1x Geyser Device
Real Time Geyser Valve Control
Real Time Burst Wornings
(SMS, Email & Push Notifications)
Real Time Leak Detection
Full Reporting Platform
24h support

24 Months

R2400

PER GEYSER / BI-ANNUALLY

Bi-annual Geyser Management

Unit Price

R2 288.50

What Is Included

1x Geyser Device
Real Time Geyser Valve Control
Real Time Burst Wornings
(SMS, Email & Push Notifications)
Real Time Leak Detection
Full Reporting Platform
24h support

Learn more about our Storage Tank Management

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

HOW CAN I JOIN URBAN UTILITIES?

You can join Urban Utilites and have your property geyser managed by simply clicking on the Join Now button, by sellecting your option best suited.

WHAT COST ARE INVOLVED IN JOINING?

The cost structure are divided into 2 main sections:

Monthly Management Fees:
– Monthly fee per meter installed @ R100 p/m

 

Equipment Fees: (once off)
– Geyser Management Device @ R2288.50 incl

The above fees exclude installation fees

HOW WOULD MY GEYSER BE MAMANGED?

The geyser management units are designed for control over the water management process that takes place on the geyser itself.

In the case of a geyser burst or leak the number one issue that comes into play would be the possibility of water damage caused by the leak or a burst geyser. The geyser units act as a water detection device that shuts off the water in the event that a burst or leak in the geyser is detected.

The Urban management system then controls that actions around the possible geyser burst and leak by processing early warning messages to the property owner of the event via (sms, email and push notifications) through the urban portal.

The Geyser unit also allows for integration to your insurance provider by allowing the data to be processed to them in the event of a geyser burst or leak that will assist with immediate repairs and claims in the process.

HOW DOES IT INTEGRATE WITH MY INSURANCE PROVIDER?

We have an integration process that takes place with the insurance providers in South Africa that allow for each geyser management device installed to be processed and linked on the policy of each client in accordance with the policy process in place.

This will allow for the data process to take place between the geyser management device and the insurance provider.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE INSTALLED TO ALLOW FOR MY GEYSER TO BE MANAGED?

To manage a geyser live from your property Urban Utilities would need to install a small device on the geyser architecture that would allow for the actual geyser to be managed and the data to be processed into the Urban network infrastructure.

The Urban IoT network is cloud based thus allowing for the installations to be done seamlessly and without any major changes in the properties geyser architecture.

90% of the installation is a plug & Play and can be done by any property owner. The other 10% only comes into effect if changes on the property architecture are needed and this would need to be done by a qualified plumber.

WHERE WOULD I BE ABLE TO VIEW MY PROPERTIES GEYSER DATA?

Urban Utilities designed a state of the art “National Utilities Portal” that allows for direct interaction between the actual property data that includes the geyser infrastructure, the property owner and the insurance providers.
This process allow the flow of true and accurate information and utilities / geayser data to be processed 24/7 365 days of the year directly from the Urban utilities portal.

Access to the “National Utilities Portal” can be obtained by registering on the national platform
Click here to register and Join Urban Utilities

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