SCIENTIFIC AQUATIC SERVICES

AQUATIC BIOMONITORING & TOXICOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS:

Known nationally and internationally as an industry leader, SAS has vast experience in conducting aquatic ecological assessments in all freshwater environments, including wetlands and estuarine systems.

Sectoral coverage

SAS has undertaken freshwater studies since 2003, refining techniques and presentation of data over time to ensure improved integration in the EIA process, enabling efficient decision-making by all stakeholders.

In addition to conducting freshwater studies, SAS facilitates ongoing aquatic biomonitoring programmes in over 30 project localities throughout South Africa.

The following sectors are highlighted with examples of prominent clients and listed companies.

  • Commercial and residential development (Attacq, Advtech, Century Development, Cosmopolitan Developments, Central Development, and M&T Development).
  • Linear developments such as pipe (Drakenstein Municipality and SASOL) and powerlines (Private developers, mining, IPP’s and Eskom), roads (CSIR, SANRAL, ACSA 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 American, Northam Platinum, African Rainbow Minerals, Assore, Glencore, Pan African resources, Petra Diamonds, Wescoal, Canyon Coal).
  • Industrial developments and facilities including the paper and pulp industry (Enstra Papers), chemical manufacturers (NCP Chlorchem, AEL) and cement production (Dangote).
Reporting

Studies focus 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. 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 and classification and quantification of toxicological data.

Watercourse Management Services:

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

Sectoral coverage

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.

    VISUAL IMPACT ASSESSMENTS:

    STS have developed specialised VIA techniques which combine high-resolution field data with expert GIS analysis, utilising the latest software and technology, to provide accurate and scientifically sound deliverables, which comply with all relevant national, provincial and local legal requirements.

    Sectoral coverage

    STS has undertaken numerous VIA’s and has developed unique technique and presentation methods 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. The following assessment spheres are highlighted with examples of clients:

    • Sustainable energy developments such as Wind Energy Facilities and Solar Energy Facilities (Private developers and IPP’s).
    • Linear developments such as powerlines (Private developers, mining, IPP’s and Eskom).
    • 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.
    • Landfill facilities, waste facilities and waste treatment facilities (local government and private institutions).
      Reporting

      SAS has undertaken numerous VIA’s and has developed unique techniques and presentation methods to the best transfer of information using graphic media including, Global Mapper and ArcMap 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

      Aquatic ecological assessments and Water Quality Studies

      • Habitat assessment indices (IHAS) (HCR) (IHIA) (RHAM)
      • Aquatic macro-Invertebrates (SASS5 and MIRAI)
      • Fish Assemblage Integrity Index (FRAI)
      • Fish Health assessments
      • Riparian vegetation integrity (VEGRAI)
      • Watercourse Geomorphology
      • Riverine rehabilitation plans
      • Diatom assessments and application of the SPI Index
      • Water quality monitoring
      • Annual water monitoring reports for DWA & DMR
      • Environmental Water Requirement Studies
      • Toxicological Analyses
      • Screening tests, Definitive and DEEEP analyses and calculation of dilution factors
      • Application of the PAI Model
      • Mass and Salt Balance studies

      Watercourse Management Services

      • Watercourse riparian zone delineations
      • Watercourse Eco services assessments
      • Watercourse rehabilitation & management plans
      • Watercourse Eco status determinations
      • Watercourse resource landscape maintenance, management and planting plans
      • Development of ecological design criteria and objectives and engineering design support
      • Watercourse resource management and monitoring
      • Watercourse Offsets
      • Hydropedological assessments
      • Wetland resource management and monitoring

      Visual Impact Assessmets

      • View shed analyses
      • Visual modelling
      • Visual baseline studies
      • Impact assessments
      • Landscaping and planting plans

      MEET OUR TEAM

      Stephen van Staden

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      SACNASP REG.NO: 400134/05
      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 mini dissertation in the field of aquatic resource management. Stephen began building a career at a firm specialising in town planning developments, after which he moved to a larger firm in late 2002 where he managed the monitoring division and acted as a specialist consultant on water resource management issues and other environmental processes and applications. In 2003, Stephen started consulting independently specialising in water resource management. In addition to aquatic ecological assessments, clients enquired about terrestrial ecological assessments and biodiversity assessments, which developed into a very significant part of the business. Stephen started working in the wetland consulting arena and has become recognised as a national expert in this regard combining science (ecology and hydrology), engineering principles and an in-depth understanding of the legislative framework to provide turnkey advisory services. Stephen has 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 aquatic biomonitoring specialist and is also registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP in the field of ecology. Stephen is also a member of the Gauteng Wetland Forum, the South African Soil Surveyors Organisation (SASSO) and IAIA.

      Dionne Crafford

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      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

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      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 the Advanced Diploma: Nature Conservation (also through UNISA) as well as 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.

      Sashin Pillay

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      Sashin obtained an undergraduate degree in Environmental and Life sciences in the year 2016 from the University of KwaZulu Natal. He then undertook his honours degree in Biological sciences in the year 2017, majoring in Aquatic health and ecology (of which was co-supervised by the Department of Environmental sciences). Prior to joining Scientific Aquatic Services in 2019, Sashin has undertaken and assisted in environmental consulting specializing in wetland assessments for an Environmental consultancy. He has also assisted in volunteer work within the Environmental sector ranging from the Duzi Umngeni Conservation trust (DUCT), Air quality research as well as Riparian sampling (Including fish and macro-invertebrates). Sashin joined the team at Scientific Aquatic Services in 2019 as a junior field ecologist with a particular focus on wetland and aquatic ecology. He further wishes to pursue his master’s degree within the Environmental Engineering discipline sometime in the near future.

      Leandra Jonker

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      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

      Sanja Erwee

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      Sanja Erwee 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 Scientific Aquatic Services in January 2014 as a junior field ecologist, specializing in GIS and being involved with Wetland Rehabilitation and Management Plans, as well as Faunal, Floral and Wetland Ecological Assessments. Over the course of her career, Sanja completed two Global Mapper courses and a SANBI BGIS Course, enabling her to improve her GIS visual analyses. During her time at SAS, Sanja became a GIS technician as well as a Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) Specialist and was involved with various GIS visual analyses, VIAs and Rehabilitation Landscaping Plans for various sectors, such as mining, wind farms, urban development and waste water treatment facilities.

      Martie Rossouw

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      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.

      Elmercia Baartman

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      Elmercia is the administrative assistant and also attends to reception

      Trudy Ngwenya

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      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

      Lucas Lesailana

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