Belgium's Colruyt Group has reduced water consumption at three sites in Halle by approximately 8,000 cubic metres with the help of a water treatment plant at its distribution centre in Dassenveld.
At the end of 2021, the retail group started using the water treatment plant, which purifies industrial and sanitary waste water for its distribution centre in Dassenveld, head office in Wilgenveld, and offices and warehouses at the Elbeek site in Belgium.
Designed with a production capacity of 11 cubic metres drinking water per hour, the installation can purify 90,000 cubic metres of waste water into 81,000 cubic metres of so called 'process water' annually.
This water must be remineralised for use as tap water, and is done by adding one-fifth of city water to it, the company noted.
The initiative has helped the retailer reduce its water footprint and also cut dependency on city water.
Colruyt teamed up with water technology company Waterleau for the project at Dassenveld.
Process and sales engineer Hannah Vandewiele said, "We designed the installation and via the digital platform Smartlab we can monitor both the system and the water quality via inline measurements. All data and dashboards are also available to Colruyt Group straight away.
"Colruyt Group thus also plays a pioneering role in the digital transformation of water purification and reuse. I expect that this project will greatly increase support for water reuse as drinking water among both companies and the general public."
In addition to water purification, the project also involves the construction of underground and overground double water pipes for waste water in one direction and purified drinking water in the other.
In the first phase, the retailer connected the head office in Wilgenveld to the plant and then to the Elbeek site.
In the future, the company plans to connect the distribution buildings of the facility in Hellebroek.
Last year, Colruyt also boosted its capacity to capture rain water at the distribution centre in Dassenveld by 5,400 cubic metres.
"Those buffers now have a total capacity of 9,500 cubic metres. The water is purified by, among others, a sand and UV filter and then used for the cooling systems and the sanitary facilities," said Peter Basteleus, project manager.