Dutch open World's largest backwash plant

A water plant in the Netherlands has introduced technology it claims will save millions of litres every year.

The Spannenburg groundwater drinking water facility uses sand filters to purify the water before it is pumped into people's homes.

Up to 5% of the water produced by the plant is used to rinse, or 'backwash' these filters.

Until recently, that was wasted water with up to 1.25 million cubic metres disappearing down the drain.

Now, plant operators have decided to tackle the issue opting for UV water purification and disinfection systems from Netherlands-based supplier Berson.

It allows the backwash water to be reused thereby cutting costs and boosting environmental benefits.

Peter Sjoerdsma, a Vitens process engineer, said: "A year since it was commissioned the Berson UV systems are working very well and are completely reliable.

"The reused backwash water is completely biologically reliable and we are totally confident to use it as drinking water.

"We opted for UV as it is a clean technology that does not require the use of chemicals. Berson's UV technology is already widely used by Vitens so we have good experience of their systems."

The facility 35 kilometres south of Leeuwarden in the north of the country is run by Vitens, the Netherlands' largest water utility.

It supplies drinking water to more than 300,000 people in a mainly rural area.

The success of the scheme has prompted the utility company to commissioned more UV systems from Berson.

David Gibbs



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