Test with small-scale and sustainable on-site water purification

You can find a bright orange ‘BluElephant’ on the site of the Sumpel treatment plant in Almelo. It is orange instead of blue because blue plastic granules were not available at the time. The mini purification plant is being tested now so that more can be produced eventually. These units can be used to purify wastewater on-site; in residential areas, on business estates or at festivals, for example. Wastewater from users that are not connected to the sewer is now usually discharged into surface water such as ditches, streams and canals. This water has only been purified for 30 per cent.

In short:

  • Various parties work together at Sumpel water purification in Almelo. They are doing research into small-scale water purification that can sustainably and effectively clean and reuse wastewater on location.
  • The Vechtstromen water board provides the test location for the BluElephant, as the mini water purification plant is called. The water board contributes 250,000 euros to the test site from its innovation fund.

Global Goal

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Interesting alternative

“The BluElephant can, in time, be an interesting alternative to the large, expensive installations that the water board currently manages, so we think that is important to further develop the concept in practice”, says Erik Lievers, member of the executive board of Vechtstromen. “That is why the Vechtstromen Innovation Fund is contributing 250,000 euros to the BluElephant. The BluElephant will soon make it possible for residential areas, business parks, recreational facilities, outlying areas and other users to clean and reuse their wastewater on-site, in a sustainable and effective way. The BluElephant can thus make an important contribution to the quality of our ground and surface water, and also play a role in combating the drying out of elevated sandy soils, and even in restoring them.”

Innovation and employment

The innovative BluElephant pilot shows how Vechtstromen wants to, in close cooperation with the business community and knowledge institutions, invest in new knowledge and techniques that contribute to water quality, climate adaptation and global sustainability. The partners involved – Jotem Waterbehandeling, Rob van Opdorp Product-Designs, World Waternet, Saxion University of Applied Sciences (International Water Technology department) and the Royal Netherlands Army – will be able to set up a test location and build several prototypes with the promised contribution. The intention is to introduce the innovative, compact purification unit to the market in a relatively short period, thereby also making a further contribution to the regional economy and employment in the region.

World Waternet also wants to deploy the unit in the Palestinian Territories as part of the water board’s Blue Deal programme and has already ordered a number of them.

Date: 21 March 2022 |

Source of tekst: Vechtstromen water board |

Author: Maaike Thüss

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