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De Kruit(Water)Fabriek

Innovative water cycle at local level

The Kruitfabriek site in Vilvoorde will be turned into a residential complex which will also house leisure, sports and cultural facilities. Aquafin wants to join forces with Zenneveen, the city of Vilvoorde and NuReSys to develop an innovative water cycle on this site, where waste water will be treated and reused locally, and raw materials will be extracted from the water for reuse.

This will be made possible by separating waste water at source, with separate collection of grey water, urine and black water.

Grey water represents 84% of all the waste water produced by a household on a daily basis. It is a source of heat energy produced by showers, dishwashers, washing machines etc. Compared to black water from toilets, it contains relatively few nutrients, which makes it easier to recover for reuse.

Grey water will be treated through a reed bed or further upgraded through nano filtering. This project analyses up to which quality levels grey water can be treated and upgraded, and for which purposes it can be used, e.g. cleaning, leisure, irrigation for (urban) agriculture etc.

Black water is a source of chemical energy (from faeces) and nutrients (from urine). By collecting black water and/or urine separately, the recovery of these raw materials can be made more efficient.

Nitrogen and phosphorus, which form struvite crystals, are recovered from urine. The recovered struvite is reused locally for plant, vegetable and herb cultivation at Kruittuin. The location of Kruitfabriek, in the heart of an urban neighbourhood in full development, and its function as a social and cultural hotspot boost the visibility of this project and the involvement of visitors. The project involves research, demonstrations and information dissemination. Moreover, the sustainable and innovative water cycle that this project aims to create will be a source of inspiration for the development of the water management system in the neighbourhood, which is in full development.

Aquafin NV

Partners Zenneveen NV, Nutrient Recovery Systems – NuReSys bvba, Stad Vilvoorde