Innovative Solution for Blythedale Coastal Resort

 In General

Blythedale Coastal Resort is situated at a prime location along the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, just 25 minutes from the New King Shaka International Airport and only 20 minutes north of Ballito. The gradual migration of people to this region has necessitated the need for a lifestyle development.

Blythedale Coastal Resort has a demand for bulk electrical and water supply. With the ever increasing demand for electricity and water in the region, coupled with risks posed by climate change impacts, water scarcity and increased capital burden on bulk infrastructure, Blythedale Coastal Resort intends to take advantage of new technologies. We intend reducing all upfront infrastructure capital costs by reducing dependence on the regional electrical, and water network as well as the sanitation systems. To this end, Blythedale Development (Pty) Ltd, the developers of the Blythedale Coastal Resort have appointed Royal HaskoningDHV as advisor on the bulk service integration of water, sanitation and energy.

Water and Wastewater Systems

A feasibility study of Blythedale Coastal Resort was carried out which entailed identifying viable technologies in the market which takes advantages of reduced reliance on public utilities or services including Municipal water supply, energy supply via the National Grid and waste disposal to landfill. Different integrated concepts were analysed and developed; encompassing potable water systems, wastewater treatment, energy supply and waste management.

Multiple water saving options were identified, analysed and considered feasible to ensuring reduction in the ultimate consumption for the Blythedale Development. They include installation of water saving appliances such as low flow aerated taps, dual flush toilets, water efficient shower heads, water efficient washing machines & dishwashers, drip irrigation, smart metering and smart sprinkler systems. Good housekeeping was also identified as critical to fostering positive attitudinal change of water consumers. It is vital to consider the integration of designs based on sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) into the planning of the development. This is inclusive of systems like permeable pavements, swales, constructed wetlands, infiltration trenches, etc., which allows for water resources management, water quality improvement, storm water reuse, improved amenity and ecosystem preservation.

Considering that South Africa is a water- stressed country, technologies based on desalination from a techno-economic perspective for potable water production to reduce dependence on Municipal water supply have been analysed. Technical options based on water re-use for second quality water were also considered. They include rainwater harvesting, grey water systems and effluent from the wastewater treatment plant. A centralized activated sludge plant was found feasible upon analysis of various technological options for wastewater treatment.

Energy Supply

With respect to energy, the target is to ensure power supply at the Blythedale development at all times. This includes catering for the maximum load during off peak periods with minimal or zero reliance on the National Grid. Consideration was given to various forms of energy and power, with comparison against conventional/national grid system. Options considered are solar PV, natural gas (directly to the end-user and for peak-shaving purposes). A number of options based on energy mix and supply as well as reticulation to the end-user were also considered. Optimal economic benefits, security and sustainability of supply, flexibility, scalability and future outlook were primary consideration factors in evaluating options.

A step further was taken by investigating technologies that could result in the reduction of energy consumption at the Blythedale Development. Viable technologies recommended for adoption include CFL and LED lighting, installation of motion sensors and timers for heating & cooling, smart metering, gas reticulation to households and solar water heating.

 Waste Management

The waste management hierarchy has been considered as a framework which underpins integrated waste management at the Blythedale Development. Upon estimation of the waste generation potential of Blythedale, several waste management options aligned to the waste management hierarchy were considered, and their applicability to the Blythedale development ascertained.

They include source based separation, material recovery facility, composting, thermal treatment of waste and anaerobic digestion. Source-based separation, recovery of easily recyclable waste components and composting of green waste were found to be technical feasible and economically viable for the Blythedale development. Strategies for awareness raising with respect to waste minimisation and green waste management were also put forward.


A number of integration concepts have been assessed, recommended and compiled by the Royal HaskoningDHV team into a Blue Print for development of the Blythedale Coastal Resort. The Blue Print thus offers great potential for sustainable development as it relates to Bulk Service Infrastructure and Building Guidelines for houses and resorts going forward.

[Source: Royal Haskoning DHV]
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