Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg has reinvented the treatment of wastewater. This can now be done cheaper, more efficiently, more flexibly and more sustainably using Verdygo design and construction technology. The ‘world premiere’ of Verdygo took place at the sewage treatment plants in Simpelveld and Roermond when, on 19 December 2016, the first Verdygo plant was officially put into use.
Changing world, changing needs
The world of wastewater treatment is currently evolving at a great pace. There is much innovation going on in the water chain. It is increasingly important to be able to respond to demographic and climatic trends, while demands in terms of the quality of treated wastewater and sustainability are only increasing.
“We have developed Verdygo to respond with real vigour to these developments, and to ensure we can continue to deliver sustainable constructions and operations at the lowest possible cost to society,” explains Guus Pelzer, Director of Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg. “People in the province of Limburg pay the least tax for their water treatment anywhere in the Netherlands, and we aim it keep it that way.”
Modular and flexible
Sewage water is traditionally purified by letting it run through a set number of processes in various fixed tanks permanently set in the ground. With a Verdygo treatment plant, standard modules are constructed above ground. These are fairly easy to disassemble and move. Verdygo is also modular, which means all the components can be connected to each other. As Ger Driessen, Chairman of Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg, points out, “This creates an enormous capacity for innovation, as we can respond flexibly to climate change, the latest advances in treatment technology and changing market demand.”
At Simpelveld, the Verdygo manner of organic treatment and sludge thickening are being put into practice for the first time. At the sewage treatment plant in Roermond the technology is used in the installations that control the flow of sewage. Simpelveld is also a lab for testing techniques. For example, the four large tanks have been made from different materials: concrete, stainless steel, wood and coated steel. In the concrete tank a test is being carried out in collaboration with TU Delft (Delft Technical University) with self-healing concrete.
Verdygo is not only flexible and durable, it also has major cost benefits. “The above-ground, modular, standardized construction delivers substantial cost savings of 20% compared to traditional construction methods,” explains Guus Pelzer. “What’s more, the construction period is shortened by a third. And annual savings in maintenance costs can also be as much as 20%.”
There’s been a great deal of international interest in Verdygo, particularly in the Middle East, where water scarcity is an important issue. Whereas in the Netherlands, treated wastewater is released back into the river, in the Middle East it is further processed to become water for irrigation or industrial applications (or even drinking water).