Water treatment reduces city water consumption

A brand-new water treatment plant has been in place at Colruyt Group's head office since 2022. The installation purifies the water from three sites, with a production capacity of 11 m³ of drinking water per hour.

Less city water

By purifying waste and rainwater, the group aims to reduce its city water demand on the three sites by 90%. Geert Van Liefferinge, project manager water treatment: “Before the plant was became operational, 15% of our drinking water came from processed waste water. With this plant, we can double this percentage." The new installation also purifies water from our brand-new crate washing system.

In 2001, the group already built a water treatment plant near Fine Food Meat, the meat-processing site. Since 2004, we have been upgrading the treated water to drinking water to be used again in a closed loop in production. Two years later, we added an installation to do the same with rainwater.

Lize Linclau, R&D project engineer
We learned quite a lot from this pioneering work in cooperation with De Watergroep. Back then, we had to challenge the market with our own ideas. And now again, for Dassenveld, the ideas came from Colruyt Group Technics.

It was important for the project team to find a good balance between technology, quality and efficiency. In the longer run, it is more interesting to concentrate the water treatment process on one site. The project involves more than merely purifying waste water. It is also about constructing underground and aboveground water pipes. The head office at Wilgenveld, which is about 1,200 m from the plant, will be connected to it. This means we have to install a double pipeline: waste water in one direction and purified drinking water in the other.

"We do not want to leave it at that," Lize explains. "Since our branch stores represent one third of our city water use, we want to limit that consumption too." That is however an entirely different story. The branch stores are spread all over the country. That is why we are exploring remote consumption monitoring, quality assurance and ways to optimise maintenance efficiency. "It is possible to purify any kind of water to any quality, but... it also has to be economically efficient. Yet another challenge to be tackled by our suppliers." 

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