Research Outputs (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Permanent URI for this collection

Information regarding content on this collection please contact : Salome Potgieter by email : or Tel : 011 717 1961


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 13 of 13
  • Item
    Public remotely sensed data raise concerns about history of failed Jagersfontein dam
    (Springer Nature, 2023-04-05) Torres-Cruz, L.A.; O'Donovan, C.
    A mine waste deposit known as a tailings dam recently failed in the town of Jagersfontein, South Africa. The failure occurred amidst global concern about the safety record of these structures. Herein we use public remotely sensed data to gain insights into the construction history of the dam. The data suggest a construction sequence that is inconsistent with sound tailings management practices: asymmetric deposition, erosion gullies, large ponds and absence of beaches. These observations highlight the criticality of adhering to good construction practices and the potential of public data to monitor such adherence. Additionally, we present commercially available very high resolution satellite images to illustrate some of the immediate consequences of the failure.
  • Item
    Generalized storage-yield-reliability relationships for analysing shopping centre rainwater harvesting systems.
    (MDPI, 2017-10-10) Ndiritu, John; Moodley, Yashiren; Guliwe, Mondli
    The objective of this study was to develop guidelines for analysing rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems of shopping centres in South Africa. A model consisting of three dimensionless relationships relating rainwater supply and demand to storage capacity, yield and reliability was formulated. Data from daily simulation of potential RWHsystems of 19 shopping were used to obtain the relationships. The simulations revealed within-year storage behaviour with considerable variation of annual yield. By applying the Weibull plotting position formula, yield-reliability relationships were derived. The aim to maximize yield and reliability whilst minimizing storage identified Pareto-optimal combinations of the three variables and these combinations were used to develop two dimensionless relationships. An additional relationship based on the dependence of the slope of the yield-reliability plots on yield was formulated to enable analysis of hydrologically non-optimal systems. Verification tests using four RWH systems obtained results that matched those from simulation and the model could therefore be applied for RWH feasibility analysis and preliminary design. This study highlights the need to incorporate inter-annual variability in RWH analysis and shows how reliability can be used to quantify this. This study further demonstrates how reliability can be fully integrated into regression relationships for generalized RWH analysis.
  • Item
    Treated wastewater reuse in South Africa: Overview, potential and challenges.
    (Elsevier, 2010) Adewumi, J.R.; Ilemobade, A.A.; Van Zyl, J.E.
    Many communities in South Africa struggle to access reliable and adequate quantities of potable water for diverse water requirements. This is against the backdrop of decreasing freshwater availability and increasing water demands. Currently, interest in the reuse of wastewater for non-drinking water requirements is increasing. This paper therefore provides an overview of the South African water resources situation and wastewater 1 generation in order to put the need for wastewater reuse into perspective. Potential for broader implementation and parameters influencing wastewater reuse based on local attitudes and experience were discussed with recommendations to facilitate broader implementation of wastewater reuse. This paper concludes that significant potential exists for implementing wastewater reuse for large non-drinking applications (e.g. landscape irrigation and industrial processes) in arid areas of South Africa especially Western Cape Province. Parameters highlighted from local attitudes and experience to influence broader implementation in addition to aridity include distance from source, retrofitting versus new installations, quantity of reuse, tariffs, source quality, public health, willingness, public trust and knowledge, and regulations and guidelines for reuse. Prior to implementation, it is recommended that these parameters be addressed.
  • Item
    Undergraduate engineering training through institutional collaboration in the Southern African region.
    (Higher Education South Africa (HESA)., 2005) Ilemobade, A.A.; Ballim, Y.
    The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and The University of Namibia (UNAM) signed an Agreement of Co-operation (AOC) in 2000. This agreement, which formalised an existing informal collaboration, was primarily targeted at facilitating the transfer of potential Unam undergraduate engineering students to pursue engineering studies at the WITS Faculty of Engineering as well as improving staff collaboration in research and teaching. Students from UNAM's pre-engineering programme and science departments have been beneficiaries of this agreement. Four years later, an evaluation of the collaboration reveals critical issues vis-à-vis decreasing student enrolments, unimpressive student graduation rates, and financial and operational complexities affecting student mobility - all of which have institutional as well as regional implications. This paper presents highlights and pertinent lessons of the collaboration, and recommendations for similar collaboration in the Southern African region both at an institutional and regional level. As a whole, the paper uses the Wits experience to extrapolate principles and strategic issues facing institutions involved in academic collaboration and cross-border movement of students within the Southern Africa region.
  • Item
    Waste to wealth: A case study of the ondo state integrated wastes recycling and treatment project, Nigeria.
    (EuroJournals, Inc., 2009) Olanrewaju, O.O.; Ilemobade, A.A.
    The Ondo State Integrated Waste Recycling and Treatment Project, came into existence in June 2006 with the commissioning of the project office complex along Igbatoro Road, Akure by the Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The Project started operation in December 2006 with the aim of minimising solid waste in Akure and its environs. Since its inception, OSIWRTP has recorded huge successes in transforming the waste generated in Ondo State to wealth by the development of various valuable products using the basic concepts of sustainability: social progression, technical and technological improvements, environmental protection and economic development. Such waste is been generated from agricultural waste, nylon and plastic waste and foundry (metal) waste. Several techniques have been used to transform the waste into profitable products e.g. using anaerobic digestion (biogas) to produce energy and fertilizer; composting for soil conditioner; scrap iron for foundry products and other recycling techniques for solid wastes. The main output of OSIWRTP as at today are fertiliser, foundry materials and other recycled materials depending on the availability of wastes, and according to demands and need.
  • Item
    Application of a constrained non-linear hydraulic gradient design tool to water reticulation network upgrade.
    (Tayylor & Francis., 2006) Ilemobade, A.A.; Stephenson, D.
    Southern Africa has embarked on substantial expansion of its water supply network in order to ensure safe, reliable, convenient and sufficient water for everyone. To achieve this, new systems are being built and many existing systems are being upgraded. The upgrade of many existing systems is required for two reasons: some currently functional systems may run dry if subjected to additional demands as these systems were not initially designed to cater for such demand, and some systems are currently non- or sub-functional as they were ill-designed and/or ill-implemented from inception. Many of the systems that require upgrade are underdesigned due to a lack of skill, tools and/or knowledge of designers, or from other extraneous factors (e.g., illegal connections and sabotage). It is hardly surprising therefore that the failures of water projects in developing countries are recorded to be as high as 80%. Ill-designed systems increase operation and maintenance costs significantly. In especially Southern Africa, designers require simple, yet rigorously tested tools to facilitate sustainable, yet cost-effective network designs. Presented in this paper is a simple, yet robust constrained non-linear hydraulic gradient network reticulation design tool. The design tool is calibrated using the New York City water supply problem that has served as a benchmark problem for other models and then applied to the Selebi – Phikwe (SP) water reticulation network (WRN) in Botswana, which was designed based on engineering judgement. The optimization algorithm employed in the design tool is based on the concept that a hypothetical hydraulic gradient for a hydraulically balanced WRN exists that, when achieved iteratively, produces optimal pipe sizes and an optimal flow relation between each pipe. The unique problems and challenges of the SP WRN (pressure deficiencies in sections of the existing network and the proposed addition of three new residential developments) required determining the most appropriate peak and night flow operating scenarios, and optimal pipe sizes for the proposed expansion of the network. Optimization by trial and error had been previously employed in the design of the SP WRN—a common practice amongst water system designers, and the results are compared with those generated with the design tool. The design tool achieved a 62% reduction in total pipe cost from that obtained by trial and error for the SP WRN problem. At the same time, the design tool gives comparable pipe costs to those published in literature for the New York City water supply tunnels problem.
  • Item
    Water use efficiency of Manihot Esculenta Crantz under drip irrigation system in South Western Nigeria.
    (EuroJournals, Inc., 2009) Olanrewaju, O.O.; Olufayo, A.A.; Oguntunde, P.G.; Ilemobade, A.A.
    Field experiments was conducted at Teaching and Research Farm, Federal University of Technology, Akure between November 2006 and November 2007 to find out the water use efficiency under drip irrigation system and effect on the growth and yield of Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). A popular hybrid of cassava TMS 30572 was tried as a test crop. The soil of the experimental site was moderately drained, loamy sand. The experiments were laid out in a 4 × 4 × 2 randomised complete block design (RCBD) consisting of 4 treatments, 4 replicates and 2 varieties using a spacing of (1m × 0.8m) for mechanical harvesting. The results indicated that the highest moisture content was recorded at depth of 40cm during the late stage of tuber development and the highest biomass yield was recorded under full irrigation treatment than in other treatments. The yield of cassava ranged from 21.87 to 14.13 t ha-1 in all the treatments except for the control that has 8.45 t ha-1 while the water use efficiency ranged from 19.18 to 23.63 kg ha-1mm. Irrigation through full treatment registered the highest mean tuber yield of 21.87 t ha-1 while the least tuber yield was associated with the control treatment. The height and stem diameter of cassava also responded higher under full treatment of available water. This study demonstrated that medium irrigation (60% AW) could be best option in terms of water efficiency.
  • Item
    Modeling the cooling of concrete by piped water.
    (American Society of Civil Engineers., 2009) Myers, T.G.; Fowkes, N.D.; Ballim, Y.
    Piped water is used to remove hydration heat from concrete blocks during construction. In this paper we develop an approximate model for this process. The problem reduces to solving a one-dimensional heat equation in the concrete, coupled with a first order differential equation for the water temperature. Numerical results are presented and the effect of varying model parameters shown. An analytical solution is also provided for a steady-state constant heat generation model. This helps highlight the dependence on certain parameters and can therefore provide an aid in the design of cooling systems.
  • Item
    A maturity approach to the rate of heat evolution in concrete.
    (ICE Publishing, 2003) Ballim, Y.; Graham, P.C.
    This paper discusses the use of the concept of maturity as a means of combining the effects of time and temperature in describing the rate of heat evolution from hydrating cement in concrete. The proposed maturity approach allows the rate of heat evolution determined from an adiabatic test to be expressed in a form which is independent of the starting temperature of the test. This relationship can then be directly used in a time-temperature prediction model that requires a solution of the Fourier equation for heat flow. The results of an experimental study aimed at assessing the suitability of both the Arrhenius and Nurse-Saul maturity relationships is also presented. Three adiabatic calorimeter tests were conducted on each of two concrete mixtures but starting at different temperatures. The results confirm the suitability of this approach and indicate that, of the two maturity relationships assessed, the Arrhenius maturity relationship is the more suitable in this application.
  • Item
    Early-age heat evolution of clinker cements in relation to microstructure and composition: Implications for temperature development in large concrete elements.
    (Elsevier, 2004) Ballim, Y.; Graham, P.C.
    This paper presents an assessment of the range and extent of variation of heat evolution of nominally similar cement clinkers from a range of cement production facilities in South Africa. Clinker samples were collected at nine cement plants and cements were prepared by grinding each clinker with a uniform quality of gypsum. X-ray fluorescence and optical microscope techniques were then used to characterise each clinker and cement in terms of chemical composition and cement compound morphology. Concretes were then prepared with the laboratory-manufactured cements and these were tested in an adiabatic calorimeter in order to determine the rate of heat evolution from each of the clinker samples. The results of these tests were related to the chemical and morphological characteristics of the corresponding cement clinkers. The results indicate a clear differentiation of clinker cements into low, medium and high heat cements. The relationships between this classification of the heat performance of the cements and the chemistry and morphology of the clinker is not clear at this stage. However, using a finite difference heat model, the paper presents an indication of the implications of the measured heat characteristics of the cement for early-age temperature distributions in large concrete elements.
  • Item
    The effects of supplementary cementing materials in modifying the heat of hydration of concrete.
    (Springer, 2009) Ballim, Y.; Graham, P.C.
    This paper is intended to provide guidance on the form and extent to which supplementary cementing materials, in combination with Portland cement, modifies the rate of heat evolution during the early stages of hydration in concrete. In this investigation, concretes were prepared with fly ash, condensed silica fume and ground granulated blastfurnace slag, blended with Portland cement in proportions ranging from 5% to 80%. These concretes were subjected to heat of hydration tests under adiabatic conditions and the results were used to assess and quantify the effects of the supplementary cementing materials in altering the heat rate profiles of concrete. The paper also proposes a simplified mathematical form of the heat rate curve for blended cement binders in concrete to allow a design stage assessment of the likely early-age time–temperature profiles in large concrete structures. Such an assessment would be essential in the case of concrete structures where the potential for thermally induced cracking is of concern.
  • Item
    Effectiveness of the fineness of two South African Portland cements for controlling early-age temperature development in concrete.
    (The South African Institution Of Civil Engineering., 2011) Graham, P.C.; Ballim, Y.; Kazirukanyo, J.B.
    Temperature gradients due to heat of hydration of cement can cause cracking and present serious structural and serviceability concerns in concrete structures. Engineers use a wide range of strategies to limit the potential for such cracking, mainly by minimising the maximum temperature in the concrete. This paper considers the possibility of using more coarsely ground cement as one of the strategies for reducing the maximum concrete temperature. Two cement clinkers were used to produce cements with five different levels of fineness. These ten cements were then used to make concretes which were tested in an adiabatic calorimeter to determine the heat evolution characteristics. The measured results were then used in a computational model to calculate the temperature profiles likely to occur in two types of concrete elements. The results indicate that the effect of increasing fineness on the total amount of heat released during hydration is dependent on the mineralogy and crystal composition of the cement clinker. Also, the use of coarse-ground cement as a means of reducing the maximum temperature in concrete is more effective in the case of concrete elements with high cement content but of moderate dimensions. In sections of larger dimension, coarse-ground cements show lower levels of temperature reduction but also lower thermal gradients.
  • Item
    Reflections on future needs in concrete durability research and development.
    (CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2008) Ballim, Y.; Alexander, M.G.; Beushausen, H.D.; Moyo, P.
    There is no doubt that, over the past two decades, we have made enormous advances in the understanding and practice of concrete durability. Spurred by the often experienced early deterioration of reinforced concrete structures, with high capital investment for repair and rehabilitation, conceptions of design for durability have gained an increasingly higher level of importance in recent years. Durability design is beginning to be considered of equal importance as design for safety and serviceability. Nevertheless, durability concerns remain and early deterioration still attracts much expenditure. This paper is aimed at identifying important developments made in the field of concrete durability during the past two decades. Based on current design practice and current knowledge, future research and development needs are discussed, focusing on the influences of constituent materials, deterioration prevention methods, service life modelling of reinforced concrete structures, and performance-based test methods.