Belgium faced periods of prolonged drought and accompanying water shortages in recent years. The use of alternative water sources is more important than ever. When the Bellewaerdehoeve was recently converted into a small campsite, ways were therefore sought to reduce water consumption and minimise the ecological footprint.
Rietland, which specialises in building reed beds for wastewater treatment, installed a Phytoparking on the site through this project. This is a space-saving water treatment concept that combines wastewater treatment with parking space. Thus, Rietland installed an aerated hybrid treatment field on the campsite under the bicycle parking in an open shed, which treats all wastewater, including toilet water (black water).
The Phytoparking consists of 2 treatment sections; one for grey (wastewater from kitchen, shower, washing machine) and one for black water. The treated water is pumped to 2 buffer tanks. The treated wastewater from the Phytoparking is reused for toilet flushing. In exceptional situations of high occupancy and hot weather, it is also possible to upgrade the grey waste water to drinking water thanks to an off-grid drinking water plant of De Watergroep.
Other high-value uses for the treated wastewater, such as irrigation water for agriculture or infiltration to maintain groundwater tables, are still being investigated.
Partners Cofrax, Universiteit Gent, Vlakwa, Vlario, camping ‘t Hof Bellewaerde
Until 2024, the water quality of the Phytoparking will be monitored through the European Multisource project. This will provide more insights on less obvious parameters such as heavy metals, microplastics and micropollutants.
With the newly gathered data from Multisource, Rietland can enter into discussions with VMM to create a clear monitoring procedure for treated wastewater for infiltration or irrigation.
Rietland also wants to use this opportunity to realise several projects in the tourism sector. The project in camping 't Hof Bellewaerde is a great example that can motivate architects and other players in the construction sector to include Phytoparking in their design, thus helping to make the construction sector more sustainable.
Watch another short video about our project here!