Drinking water storage heads underground in East Flanders

The city of Oudenaarde in East Flanders will receive underground storage for drinking water, where excess water can be stored more than a hundred metres deep in winter and pumped up again during a dry summer period.

Above-ground water storage is becoming increasingly difficult in densely populated areas such as Flanders, leading to the current endeavour of building up additional drinking water supplies to avoid problems in dry summers.

As it is only possible to place storage in certain places, tests are currently underway to determine how much drinking water can be stored at a depth of 108 metres. Waterunie, a subsidiary of water companies Farys and De Watergroep, are doing tests at an old jam factory in Oudenaarde. Previous tests in Diksmuide showed that underground storage was not feasible.

The underground storage in Oudenaarde is estimated to be good for 175 million litres of drinking water, meaning an additional six-month buffer for approximately 5,000 families. Waterunie expects the water repository should be operational within two to three years.

In Aalst, work is underway on the subterranean water unit at a more than 200 metres depth. The intention is to store 100 million litres of drinking water and potentially purified wastewater there.

The drinking water companies receive support for the projects from the Flemish government. This is done through the Blue Deal, a plan to tackle water scarcity and drought.

#FlandersNewsService |©Photo IMAGO

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