AQUATIC BIOMONITORING AND TOXICOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS:

Assessment environments: SAS is nationally and internationally known as an industry leader in aquatic ecological assessments in all freshwater environments including both lotic and lentic systems. In addition, SAS has undertaken work on estuarine systems.

Assessment spheres:

SAS has undertaken numerous aquatic ecological assessments as far back as 2005 and over time has refined technique and presentation in such a way as to ensure the highest level of expertise which in turn leads to improved integration in the EIA process and easier decision making by both the proponent, the project professional team and the relevant decision making authorities with specific mention of the Department of Water and Sanitation. Additionally, SAS also facilitates aquatic biomonitoring programs with over 30 project locations being monitored on an ongoing basis. The following assessment spheres are highlighted with examples of prominent clients and clients listed on the JSE.

  • Commercial and residential development (Attacq Investment Services, Advtech, Holdings, Century Development and M&T Development).
  • Linear developments such as pipe (Drakenstein Municipality and Magalies Water) and powerlines (Private developers, mining, IPP’s and Eskom), roads (CSIR, SANRAL and Rustenburg Rapid Transport).
  • Infrastructure development, including transit (PRASA), and sanitation (WSSA);
  • Mining across all sub sectors and all regions of South Africa, Southern, East and West Africa from junior mining companies and small quarry operators to the largest diversified mining Companies (Anglo Platinum, Assore, Glencore Managed Operations, Pan African resources, Petra Diamonds, Wescoal, Keaton Energy).
  • Industrial developments and facilities including the paper and pulp industry (Enstra Papers), chemical manufacturers (NCP Chlorchem) and cement production (Dangote).


Reporting:
Aquatic biomonitoring reporting focuses on concisely presenting all data gathered by desktop methods, and databases along with the definition of the Present Ecological State (PES), Ecological Importance and Sensitivity (EIS), and other relevant aspects of aquatic resources using the most appropriate and industry recognised assessment tools as advocated by the DWS River Ecostatus Monitoring Program. SAS also undertakes Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) as well as the Direct Estimation of Ecological Effect Potential (DEEEP) assessments to assess the possible acute effects on aquatic biological assemblages. Monitoring reports focus on Ecostatus Definition, spatial and temporal analysis, compliance to resource quality objectives and target water quality guidelines as well as classification and quantification of toxicological data.

WETLAND AND RIPARIAN RESOURCE ASSESSMENTS:

Assessment environments: SAS is known as an industry leader in wetland and riparian resource mapping (delineation) and assessment across Africa.

Assessment spheres:

SAS has undertaken numerous wetland assessments as far back as 2005 and over time has refined technique and presentation in such a way as to ensure the highest level of expertise which in turn leads to improved integration in the EIA process and easier decision making by both the proponent, the project professional team and the relevant decision making authorities with specific mention of the Department of Water and Sanitation. The following assessment spheres are highlighted with examples of clients.

  • Commercial and residential development (M&T Development) (Val De Vie Estate).
  • Linear developments such as pipe (Drakenstein Municipality) and powerlines (Private developers, mining, IPP’s and Eskom), roads (SANRAL).
  • Mining across all sub sectors and all regions of South Africa, Southern, East and West Africa from junior mining companies and small quarry operators to the biggest diversified mining Companies.
  • Industrial developments and facilities including the paper and pulp industry (Enstra Papers), chemical manufacturers (AEL) and cement production (Dangote).
  • Wetland offsets for projects in the commercial property, mining (Canyon Coal) and industrial sector (ACSA).


Reporting:
Freshwater resource reporting focuses on concisely presenting all data gathered by desktop methods, and databases along with the definition of the PES, EIS, Ecoservices, and other relevant aspects of freshwater systems using the most appropriate and industry recognised assessment tools.

SOIL AND LAND SERVICES:

Assessment environments: SAS is well recognised for Soil, Land Use, and Land Capability assessment; as well as Soil Contamination assessments in the environmental consulting industry.

Assessment spheres:

1. Soil, Land Use, and Land Capability Assessment:

SAS has conducted numerous soil and land assessments involving soil classification surveys for Agricultural Land Capability assessments to the requirements of the relevant authorities.

  • Mining developments across the Southern Africa for various commodities including Coal (Anglo American Klein Kopje), Gold, Platinum (Pilanesberg Platinum), and Diamonds (De Beers Venetia).
  • Commercial and residential developments (Rabie Ridge), and (Nyoni Park).
  • Linear developments such as roads (Border Road), infrastructure development (Setlabotsha Conveyor alternatives), and infrastructure relocation (Landau Dragline Relocation).
  • Industrial developments and facilities (Postmasburg Landfill) (Cambrian Cemetery), and (Kromvlei Cemetery).


Reporting:
The Soil, Land Use, and Land Capability assessment reports place emphasis on the agricultural capabilities of the identified soils as a non-renewable resource, as well as the potential impacts of the proposed development activities. The assessment reports effectively integrate the constraints and opportunities to alleviate the potential impacts of the specific development on the specific soils where the development is proposed.

2. Soil Contamination Assessment:

 

SAS also offers Soil Contamination and Waste Classification assessments for remediation purposes and/or as part of the due diligence process to identify potential environmental liabilities prior to divestment or land ownership transfers. The SAS Contaminated Land team has extensive experience in hydrocarbon (petroleum and diesel) contaminated soil & groundwater investigations within the Oil & Gas sector, including multiple petroleum filling stations across South Africa, with the following recent project examples:

  • Unilever Factory – Baseline Soil Contamination Assessment
  • Wescoal Worcester – Baseline Soil Contamination Assessment
  • Pilanesberg & Sedibelo Platinum Mines – Biannual Soil Quality Monitoring
  • Wescoal Port Elizabeth – Baseline Soil Contamination Assessment
  • Bokoni Platinum – Annual Soil Quality Monitoring
  • Kangra Coal Mine – Soil quality Monitoring


Reporting:
The Soil Contamination assessment reports aim to identify contaminated areas of concern based on the analytical laboratory results relative to the guideline criteria from the Norms and Standards for the Remediation of Contaminated Land and Soil Quality. Critical emphasis is placed on the selection of sampling points of interest in proximity to the contamination sources at the investigated sites in order to inform the conceptual source-pathway-receptor linkages.

MEET OUR TEAM

Stephen van Staden

Stephen van Staden completed an undergraduate degree in Zoology, Geography and Environmental Management. He then undertook an honours course in Aquatic health. In 2002 he began a Master’s degree in environmental management, including his dissertation in aquatic resource management. Stephen built a career at a firm specialising in town planning development, after which he moved to a larger firm in late 2002 where he managed the monitoring division and acted as a specialist freshwater resource consultant and other environmental processes and applications. In 2003, Stephen started consulting independently specialising in water resource management. In addition to freshwater assessments, clients enquired about terrestrial ecological assessments. Stephen started working in the wetland consulting arena and has become recognised as a national expert combining science, engineering principles and an in-depth understanding of the legislative framework to provide turnkey advisory services. Stephen launched soil and land capability assessment and visual impact assessment services with other specifically qualified specialists. Stephen is registered by the SA RHP as an accredited biomonitoring specialist and is SACNASP registered in ecology. Stephen is a member of the Gauteng Wetland Forum, SASSO, LARSA and IAIA.

Dionne Crafford

Dionne Crafford completed an undergraduate BSc degree in Ecology in 1996, as well as an honours degree in Zoology in 1997. In 1999 he commenced with his MSc in Zoology on the use of fish health and parasite fauna as an indicator of water quality, and obtained the degree in 2000. From 2001 he was employed as a parasitologist (veterinary researcher and later specialist veterinary researcher) at an animal health company, after which he moved to an animal health contract research organisation (CRO) in 2006. Here he was employed as researcher and later study investigator. In 2009 he started his part-time Zoology  PhD studies on the monogenean parasite fauna of fishes in the Vaal Dam, which included description of a number of new species. He obtained the degree in 2013. From 2013 he started collaborating with SAS as scientific writer, and has since contributed to several reports pertaining to baseline aquatic assessments, biomonitoring and toxicity testing. Dionne is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP in the field of biological science.

Amanda Mileson

Amanda Mileson joined Scientific Aquatic Services as a Wetland Ecologist in 2013, whilst studying towards a National Diploma: Nature Conservation, obtained through the University of South Africa (UNISA). Prior to joining SAS, Amanda gained experience in wildlife rehabilitation, ex situ breeding programmes to boost wild populations of Wattled Crane, specialist faunal surveys specifically pertaining to the effects of wind farms on bats in South Africa and the provision of administrative support to a variety of conservation NGOs. Since joining SAS, Amanda has gained extensive experience in the delineation and assessment of wetlands and riparian systems and the compilation of freshwater system rehabilitation plans. In addition, she has successfully completed short courses in Wetland Rehabilitation (University of the Free State, 2015), Tools for Wetland Assessment (Rhodes University, 2017) and Wetland Management: Introduction and Delineation (University of the Free State, 2018). Amanda is a member of the South African Wetland Society and the Gauteng Wetland Forum.

Christel du Preez

Christel holds a Masters degree in Environmental Sciences with a focus on urban wetlands and ecological processes. During her employment at Scientific Aquatic Services since 2016, she has been involved in a variety of projects, primarily focussing on the assessment of freshwater systems (wetland and riparian) within South Africa. Additionally, Christel has also attended a variety of recognised  freshwater related training courses presented by a variety of universities in order to further her knowledge of current best practise as accepted by the relevant authorities. As a freshwater ecological consultant, she is involved in the compilation of ecological assessment studies, undertaking risk and impact assessments and mitigation measure development, client liaison and advising in terms of relevant legislation, and also contributes to GIS map development and analysis and the development of Landscape Plans.

Christel is based in the Scientific Aquatic Services Cape Town office but has undertaken freshwater ecological studies associated with a variety of assessment spheres, within a variety of provinces in South Africa.

Leandra Jonker

Leandra Jonker completed an undergraduate degree in Botany and Zoology at the North West University. This degree was completed in 2009. Leandra also completed her honours degree in Environmental Management at the University of South Africa with a mini thesis focussing on the eutrophication of the Vaal River. In 2011 Leandra undertook a master’s degree in Aquatic Health at the University of Johannesburg with a thesis focussing on the impact of small scale farming on the macro-invertebrate and diatom community structure of the Vhembe district, Limpopo.

As from 2012, Leandra has been employed by Scientific Aquatic Services as an Aquatic Ecologist. Leandra is registered by the SA RHP as an accredited aquatic biomonitoring specialist. Leandra has participated in a number of projects relating to aquatic biomonitoring and toxicity testing. Her experience gained from her own projects and experience in the field gives her an understanding of the complexity of river health and management.

Braveman Mzila

Braveman obtained an Honours Degree in Science (BSc Hons) in the field of Environmental Hydrology and a Bachelor of Science Degree in 2013 and 2012 respectively. His undergraduate studies took place in the Faculty of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, majoring in Soil Science and Environmental Hydrology. All degrees were obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Braveman specialises in the fields of Hydropedology, Soil, Land use and Land Capability Assessments, and Freshwater Assessments within the mining and industrial sector around South Africa. Braveman has done work in the nine (9) provinces of South Africa and has also been involved in African projects in countries such as Sierra Leonne.

Sanja Erwee

Sanja completed an undergraduate degree in Zoology (University of Pretoria, 2013). Sanja volunteered for three weeks at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park on behalf of Wildlife Act, contributing to the research on the wild dogs in the park (2013). Sanja joined the team in 2014 as a field ecologist, specialising in GIS and being involved with Wetland Rehabilitation and Management Plans and Faunal and Wetland Ecological Assessments.

Kelly Dyamond

Kelly Dyamond completed an undergraduate degree in Zoology and Environmental Management at the University of Johannesburg. This degree was completed in 2014. Kelly also completed her honours degree in Zoology at the University of Johannesburg with a mini thesis focusing on the intestinal nematodes of fishes in the Vaal River and Roodeplaat Dam. Her project placed within the top 3 of her class which qualified her for a week-long student exchange program in Hong Kong with the Hong Kong University. In 2015, Kelly undertook a master’s degree in Aquatic Health at the University of Johannesburg with a thesis focusing on the aquatic biodiversity of floodplain pans in the Makuleke Consession in the Pafuri region of northern Kruger National Park. This degree was awarded cum laude in 2017. As from August 2017, Kelly has been employed by Scientific Aquatic Services as a junior field biologist with particular focus on aquatic and wetland ecology and is registered by the SA RHP as an accredited aquatic biomonitoring specialist. Kelly has participated in several projects relating to aquatic biomonitoring, toxicity testing and wetland assessments. Her experience gained from her own projects and experience in the field gives her an understanding of the complexity of aquatic and wetland ecosystems as well as management thereof.

Lauren Robson

Lauren Robson completed an undergraduate degree in Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Johannesburg, from where she continued with her Honours degree focusing on Zoology. Thereafter Lauren completed a Master’s degree in Zoology, specialising in Aquatic Health. Prior to joining Scientific Aquatic Services (SAS) as a Junior Field Ecologist in 2018, Lauren began her career in environmental science as an environmental assessment practitioner for an environmental consulting firm. Since joining SAS she has been involved with various projects focussing mainly on the assessment of wetland and riparian systems within various provinces of South Africa. Lauren is registered as a Candidate Natural Scientist with SACNASP in the field of Aquatic Science, is a member of the Gauteng Wetland Forum.

Martie Rossouw

Martie Rossouw joined the company in 2010 and is the office and accounts manager responsible for the everyday administrative and financial functioning of the company.

Trudy Ngwenya

Trudy Ngwenya is the the Administrative Assistant responsible for assisting senior staff with quotes; assisting the office manager with finalising reports, updating information onto the project administrative system; aiding and guidance to project teams with administrative processes timeframes and task.

Elmercia Baartman

Elmercia is the administrative assistant and also attends to reception.

Lucas Lesailana

Lucas is a field technician at the company and also attends to the maintenance and upkeep of field equipment and general maintenance.