VIVAQUA collects ground and surface water, which then has to undergo an appropriate treatment.
VIVAQUA has 26 catchment sites in Belgium, located in 5 provinces and 6 aquifers. Most of the water produced by VIVAQUA is obtained in the Walloon Region but VIVAQUA also has catchment points in the forest (Forêt de Soignes) that lies across the south-eastern part of Brussels, in the Bois de la Cambre (a public park in Brussels, and Zaventem (a municipality on the periphery of Brussels).
Roughly 70% of the water VIVAQUA collects is ground water, which, because of its generally pure nature, requires little or no treatment. VIVAQUA is responsible for the protection of its ground water sources.
Roughly 30% of the water VIVAQUA collects is surface water (Meuse). Meuse river water undergoes a comprehensive treatment process to make it drinkable and ensure it has the same quality as ground water.
The VIVAQUA laboratory is in charge of certifying the quality of the water provided and checking the water distributed is safe to drink. It also seeks to develop new analytical techniques in line with the changing standards and takes part in treatment modernisation studies.
GROUND WATER COLLECTION
- Brussels sands (Brussels Region and Walloon Brabant)
In the southern part of Brussels (Bois de la Cambre, Forêt de Soignes, Braine-l’Alleud, Plancenoit, Vieux-Genappe and Waterloo), 30 or so collection systems (wells, galleries,…) provide 45,000 m³ of water abstracted from the Brussels sands.
- Bocq basin (Namur province)
VIVAQUA operates several catchment points in the Bocq (tributary of the Meuse) valley, Spontin, Crupet, Durnal and Lienne. These catchment points supply 34,000 to 55,000 m³ of water every day, depending upon how abundant the aqueous layer is, which is, in turn, dependent upon the weather conditions in recent years
- Hoyoux basin (Liège and Namur provinces)
In Modave, Havelange and Marchin, VIVAQUA uses sources from the Hoyoux, a tributary of the river Meuse.
Commissioned in1922, the Modave catchment point is the main ground water catchment point in Belgium, supplying between 53,000 and 80,000 m³ of water a day, according to how abundant the aqueous layer is.
In order to protect the water in this key catchment point, VIVAQUA has created a 450-ha protection area as a result of gradually acquiring the surrounding land. This land is home to an outstanding 13th century castle, open to the public, a nature reserve run by Natagora, and a Regional Environment Initiation Centre (CRIE).
- Vedrin mine (Namur province)
In Vedrin-Saint-Marc, 5 km to the north of Namur, VIVAQUA obtains water from a former pyrite (iron ore) mine, which started operating in the 17th century but had to be abandoned owing to water infiltration.
The naturally iron-rich water collected in the mine is treated using the procedure VIVAQUA developed to guarantee optimum quality. The Vedrin water collection and treatment plant provides 30,000 m³ of drinking water a day on average.
- Mons region
The Mons region has 19 catchment points, in Ghlin (5 wells ), Nimy (9 wells ) and Havré (5 wells), providing 50,000 m³ of drinking water a day on average– increasing to 105,000 m³ in the case of a heavy demand. The water is treated in the Ecaussinnes "nitrifiltration" plant. It supplies the Roeulx reservoirs (40,000 m³).
- Quarries (Hainaut and Namur provinces)
In Ecaussinnes, Ligny and Saint-Martin, the accumulation of natural water inflows in the disused quarries provides VIVAQUA with significant reserves that can be rapidly brought into use during periods of heavy consumption.
ABSTRACTION OF SURFACE WATER
- Tailfer plant (Lustin – Namur province)
The Tailfer plant converts untreated water from the river Meuse into safe drinking water. It can supply 180,000 m³ of drinking water a day (240,000 at peak performance). It accounts for 30% of VIVAQUA's total production. The water collected from the Meuse has to go through several filtration, treatment and control stages before being channelled into the supply and distribution systems.