Creating solutions in collaboration Annual report 2013

First results of TKI Water Technology  

Effluent reuse in horticulture and industry

12 December 2013Research

How does one organise the water cycle as optimally as possible? Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg (WBL) asks KWR, within the framework of TKI Water Technology, to study how the WBL-developed modular wastewater treatment technology can be smartly implemented. The research results in a small number of promising business cases for the supply of effluent to horticulture and industry.

Effluent from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Limburg is currently discharged into surface waters and then flows out of the region. In the future, however, WBL wants to find high value-added, local uses for the effluent, for example, in horticulture and industry, and thus contribute to sustainable water management. This was one of WBL’s objectives in developing modular, sustainable WWTPs (MDRs) – subsequently baptized “Verdygo”. One of the MDR’s important features is its industrial, modular construction. WBL’s Programme Manager Twan Houtappels explains that “this form of construction enables a quick and simple adaptation – enlarging or downsizing – of a wastewater treatment plant to adjust, for instance, to the growth or aging of the area’s population.

Insight into an MDR’s costs and benefits

The collaborative research conducted by KWR and WBL consists in the development of a method for the calculation of the costs associated with the local implementation of the MDR technology. The calculation method is being used to determine the possibilities of matching water demand and supply in two case-study areas in Limburg. The results demonstrate that an MDR saves costs and energy when a WWTP needs large-scale renovation or replacement, or when a new plant is to be built. “By supplying effluent from the Verdygo to local horticulture and industry, the water cycle is effectively closed,” says Houtappels.

An illustration of an MDR, source: WML

An illustration of an MDR, source: WML


© 2017 KWR Watercycle Research Institute

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