The effluent plant at Rust en Vrede is designed as a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) and was commissioned in 2007 as the first MBR treating winery effluent in South Africa.
The plant was originally designed to treat 18m3/day of effluent from the restaurant and winery and is currently treating up to 28 m3/day successfully. The organic load on the plant varies substantially from 12 to 80 kgCOD/day depending on the season.
A MBR is ideally suited to treating effluent with such extreme variations in loading and is much less susceptible to bulking problems associated with other activated sludge plants. The high quality effluent produced by an MBR plant can also be reused as wash water or for irrigation.
The Rust en Vrede plant is an internal/submerged design and membrane filtration is achieved under gravity through Kubota flat sheet membranes. The result is a very simple plant that is easy to maintain and operate. The membranes are robust and reliable and require cleaning in hypochlorite solution once every quarter to maintain their filtering capacity.