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AQUIRIS and the environment

AQUIRIS offers important solutions for the environmental challenges facing our society. Respect
for the environment is a key priority in all operations in the plant, from wastewater treatment processes to services. Day in and day out, AQUIRIS, an expert in the treatment of wastewater, contributes to restoring and maintaining the ecosystem of the Senne.


In protecting our water resources, it is imperative to fight pollution of waterways and of underground water-bearing beds. Wastewater treatment is an essential step in maintaining the quality of our waterways, which are essential to our environment and to many water-based activities.

Before starting construction of its plant, AQUIRIS needed to decontaminate the polluted soil at the site in order to regenerate the local ecosystem of the Senne and to redevelop the area.

Energy generation

When in use, the plant generates 18% of its own electricity requirements. It generates 32 MWh a day and consumes 182 MWh a day.

Part of the energy is produced through a turbine which recuperates the energy released by the water during the treatment process, and the rest is obtained through recovery of biogas produced in the sludge digestion phase. This biogas is burnt in a co-generation installation which generates 25 MWh of electricity a day and 25 MWh of heat a day.

The volume of biogas produced, 6.65 million m³, could heat about 12,500 households in Brussels every year.

Zero nuisance goal

The aim of the plant is to discharge water of comparable quality into the Senne in order to give the sub products of the treated sludge a new lease of life and not to impact local residents with any unpleasant odours. Consequently, AQUIRIS has adopted a zero tolerance policy concerning the design of its plant and in the treatment of the various elements, i.e., water, sludge and air and any impact this may have on the environment.

Water - Water treatment and re-use:

The plant uses a biological treatment process for the efficient elimination of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon-containing pollution.

For the internal operations at its plant, AQUIRIS only uses water treated on the site. This makes sure that the plant is entirely self-sufficient for its water consumption.

Sludge - Drastic reduction of sludge volume:

The sludge produced during the water treatment process is treated at the plant. Thanks to the wet air oxidation process, the sludge volume is reduced by more than 99% through the elimination of water and organic matter. This process renders traditional incineration techniques unnecessary and considerably lowers the environmental impact.

In the treatment of the 275 million litres of wastewater that enter the plant daily, 60 tonnes of dry solids are produced. This volume is reduced to 15 tonnes of technosand upon exiting the plant. This substance is ready for use in various industries (e.g. for the production of bricks).

Air - Air purification:

As the wastewater treatment plant is located in an urban environment, the foul air produced in the various processes is treated so as not to cause any nuisance to the local residents. The installations are entirely covered and deodorised, chemically or biologically.


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Green energy for blue water

Visit the plant

Guided tours of the Brussels-North wasterwater treatment plant are organised upon reservation.