Sustainable wastewater treatment plant

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Water Board Veluwe and engineering consultancy DHV have signed a Design & Build contract with a value of approximately 15 million euro for the replacement of the existing wastewater treatment plant at Epe with a new plant utilising DHV's Nereda technology.

The new treatment plant will be exceptionally sustainable and cost-effective. DHV intends to replace the existing system with a Nereda plant, which will treat all wastewater produced in and around the town of Epe (in the east of the Netherlands). This will result in a doubling of the plant's treatment capacity without increasing its footprint. The new plant will be oeprational mid-2011.

The added value of the Nereda technology lies in special microorganisms which do not grow in ‘floc structures' (as they usually do), but in concentrated, compact granules. 'This allows for more effective and efficient wastewater treatment, significantly reducing the consumption of energy and chemicals as well as the plant's footprint', says Douwe-Jan Tilkema. Tilkema is head of the water treatment department at Water Board Veluwe, and was one of the initiators of the technology's practical implementation. 'The quality of the treated wastewater was another reason for us to choose this new treatment technology.'

The basic concepts underlying the Nereda technology were first developed in the 1990s by researchers working at Delft University of Technology. Their work was continued under the auspices of the National Nereda Research Program, a joint venture of the Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA), Delft University of Technology, DHV, and six water control boards. The program ensured that the technology was quickly developed over the past few years, with experience gained through pilot projects and demonstration plants in the Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal. Financial support was provided by several Dutch and European subsidy programs.

The planned construction of the Nereda plant in Epe is considered being a milestone in wastewater treatment. International interest in the technology is on the rise, with many experts viewing Nereda as a major breakthrough in wastewater treatment. The technology is suitable for newly build as well as retrofit projects and for both domestic and industrial wastewater treatment systems; it achieved several national and international awards.

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