Keiberg Vossem - Rainwater recovery project.

11/01/2024

The future of water management. 

 

The demand for freshwater supply has been steadily rising. Changing weather patterns, including prolonged droughts and intense rainfall have disrupted the water cycle, making water management more challenging.

Because of its geographical location and dense population, Flanders is one of the regions in Europe that has the least available drinking water per inhabitant. Therefore innovative circular initiatives are becoming more necessary.

A sustainable business park.

The Keiberg Vossem project is a paragon of what the future of water management could look like. The sustainable business park, created by the city of Tervuren and Interleuven, pays special attention to local energy production, biodiversity and sustainable water management. The site is also an approved testing ground for drought. This means that the project is considered valuable by the government and receives financial support from the Flemish government via the Blue Deal.

Rainwater recovery installation.

In this pilot project on behalf of Azulatis and De Watergroep, rainwater from the site is collected in a basin. This stored rainwater is then treated in a Nuoro installation inside a technical building located next to the basin. Afterwards the treated water will be returned to the business park via a second water network. The businesses will use this water for various purposes and applications, which makes it crucial that the water is microbiologically safe, and thus sufficiently disinfected.

The Nuoro installation uses Ultrafiltration (UF) for the removal of particulate matter and microorganisms. Activated Carbon Filtration (ACF) is used as a polishing step to remove dissolved organic matter like PFAS and others, and to eliminate color and odor. The ACF in this plant is dimensioned for a thorough polishing, with a bed contact time of several minutes.

Water supply on demand.

The benefits of this kind of collective recovery system makes circular water use more achievable. A collective system is also more robust in comparison with individual collecting systems. The chance that this system will run dry is less possible as there is a better redistribution of volume.

Although combined forces make rainwater recovery financially more feasible, the actual cost of treated water is more expensive than tap water. A hard fact that may be one of the biggest challenges to overcome.

Using the aquifer storage and recovery technique, the excess of the treated rainwater is infiltrated into the groundwater layer, storing it for moments of drought and making an overflow to the sewer system unnecessary. ASR helps in balancing water supply and demand but also poses challenges and considerations, such as ensuring the injected water’s quality. As the excess water is injected into the water table, and drinking water is extracted in the nearby area, it is utmost important that micro-pollutants are thoroughly removed.

Keiberg Vossem is a project that aligns perfectly with Nuoro’s vision of building innovative and progressive solutions for present and future challenges.

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