Case study: Aquifer recharge, Veurne Region

Description of the application

The Intermunicipal Water Company of the Veurne region (IWVA) reuses wastewater effluent for groundwater recharge of an unconfined dune aquifer since July 2002. The ‘Torreele’ reuse plant has a production capacity of 2,500,000 m3/y. Due to the sensitive environmental nature of the dune area, the quality of the infiltration water is subject to stringent standards. The combination of membrane filtration techniques proved capable of producing this quality and enabled a sustainable groundwater management of both dune water catchments owned by the IWVA.

Lessons learned

Groundwater recharge, reusing wastewater effluent, enabled a substantial reduction of the natural groundwater extraction in the dune aquifers of the Flemish coastal plain at a reasonable cost. The higher groundwater levels and ecological management enabled valuable species to return. Reuse of wastewater combined to groundwater recharge opens opportunities in many regions. It could be a solution for inadequate water supply and for deteriorating water quality, but it could also be used for ecological development of certain areas.

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Last modified: Sept. 12, 2016, 7:07 a.m.