Howden Provides Aeration Solution to Athlone Wastewater Treatment Facility

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Howden secures a contract to supply high-speed blowers and a control system to the Athlone Wastewater Treatment Works in Cape Town, South Africa.

The UK-based engineering firm Howden has obtained a contract to provide four high-speed, single-stage, integrally geared blowers and a proprietary control system for the Athlone Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) in Cape Town, South Africa.

Driven by rapid urban expansion and increased population inflow, the City of Cape Town has recognized the necessity for enhancements to the Athlone WWTW. The facility, operational since the early 1920s, plays a vital role in maintaining environmental health by adhering to strict health and safety standards. These standards ensure the treated wastewater is safe for discharge, thereby preserving the biodiversity of the region's water streams.


The SG blowers and Bio-Active Response System (BARS) from Howden are set for installation in 2024. These solutions aim to increase the plant's efficiency by precisely regulating the level of dissolved oxygen in the treatment process, resulting in decreased electrical consumption and subsequent energy savings. Howden's combined vane control systems, incorporating the inlet guide vane and variable vane diffuser, will align with a specific Howden algorithm to deliver the required efficient air over a considerable turndown range (100-45%).

Eric Vemer, President and General Manager of Africa & Middle East at Howden, stated: "Howden has supported the City of Cape Town over the past ten years. We have worked together to optimise their Fine Bubble Diffuser Aeration systems which consume around 30-50% of the energy requirements for a Wastewater Treatment Plant. We designed a customised solution that met the client’s stringent specifications to optimise energy consumption. This goes over and beyond the requirements of an OEM. We work hand in hand with our clients to solve real-world problems."