Working together on sustainable water (re)use: that's our thing!

We're good at using water in a smarter way! That's why our collaboration with the Suikerpark in Veurne was a no-brainer.

Sustainable development

The Suikerpark project area is located right next to the centre of Veurne. The 49 hectare area was used to produce sugar up until the early 20th century. The entire area will be redeveloped soon, with room for a new city district, a new industrial estate and a nature zone. The nature reserve is teeming with biodiversity, but is also very dry. That's why the participants are researching how they can handle the water consumption on the site as sustainably as possible.

Collecting and reusing rainwater

The Colruyt and Dreamland stores in Veurne are right next to the project area. Project engineer Iris Deseau: “Colruyt Group's shops have a large roof area that allows us to capture rainwater. The water is stored in a buffer under our car park and a small part is used for our toilets. When the buffer is full, the rainwater is diverted to the canal. We're now looking into a more useful utilisation of the surplus. Of all the rainwater we collect on our roofs, it is estimated about 2,500 m³ can be diverted annually.” When we add the water that’s collected from the parking lot, that volume will increase.

“In this project, the initiators want to work on a better water management in Suikerpark. For instance, rainwater will be collected and diverted to the water basins in the nature reserve. In this way, they will ensure that the basins remain full enough during the dry months. The construction of the flats will also increase the demand for city water. By offering this rainwater on the one hand and purifying household wastewater on the other, the project developer also wants to provide an answer to this.”

Protecting biodiversity

“The protection of the nature reserve is our absolute top priority. It's an important breeding and nesting area for various European protected bird species. An additional advantage is that we can reduce the demand for mains water.” For the ornithologists: the reed warbler, bluethroat and Western marsh harrier feel very much at home here.

Iris: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to gain experience in these kinds of projects. Thanks to the cooperation between companies and authorities with the same vision, we're also able to build a valuable network. Many of the partners in this project are also active in the rest of Belgium. After validation, this pilot project may therefore be applied to other sites of the group.”

Our objective: by 2025, 50% of our water consumption will come from rainwater and waste water

Iris: The sustainable use of water: this is an objective that is included in all of our projects. Last year we built a new water treatment plant at our head office in Halle and we're now looking into how we can also treat water on a smaller scale. These projects fit perfectly into our objective of deriving 50% of our total water consumption from rainwater and wastewater by 2025". However, with this project we are taking it a step further and also ensuring that society makes more use of alternative sources.

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