The Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology encompasses a dynamic group of researchers and support personnel involved in innovative research. Emphasis is aimed towards developing and adapting technology for local application with the target recipients being industry, water utilities, local government and the local, national and international community.

The focus of research at IWWT is within the broad areas of water treatment, wastewater treatment and beneficiation, algal biotechnology and Biohydrogen Production.



Major projects include:

  • Water and wastewater treatment and beneficiation

Application of membrane systems for water treatment
Water quality analysis
Water quality modelling
Establishing a microbial database of functional groups in full scale wastewater treatment
Trouble- shooting in full scale wastewater treatment processes
Microbial contribution to Biological nutrient removal in activated sludge systems
Elucidation of filamentous bulking and remedial measures
Evaluation of constructed wetlands for wastewater and storm-water treatment
Microbial population dynamics in anaerobic processes treating wastewater
Waste water reuse


  • Algal Biotechnology

Utilization of wastewater for algal biomass
Cultivation of microalgae at demonstration scale (300 000 L) raceway pond
Study on stress factors associated with lipid production in microalgae
Bio-prospecting for high CO2 sequestering and lipid producing microalgae
Assessment of microalgae for high value products
Harvesting of microalgal biomass
Extraction and characterization of microalgal lipids
Conversion of lipids to biodiesel
Lipid extracted algae as animal and fish feed



SARChI Chairs’ Project Themes
Improving the understanding of microbial action in full-scale biological wastewater treatment facilities with the intention of optimization and troubleshooting
Developing and adapting low-cost alternative wastewater treatment technology for rural and peri-urban application
Utilization of lipid producing microalgae for the tertiary/polishing of final effluent from domestic wastewater
Catchment and technology- (toolbox) based integration of health, well-being and environment
Wastewater treatment and reuse for crop and energy production

Due to the nature of the research undertaken the IWWT has close links with a number of partners.

  • Local Government and municipalities
  • Water utilities throughout South Africa
  • Major industries both regionally and nationally
  • Local communities and NGOs