With this new sewer system, we do not only comply with all regulatory standards, but we also remain future proof.
Since September, a pressure sewer system has been in use in the north area of the airport. This allows the waste water and rainwater to be drained separately from the airport. This is one of the last areas of the airport grounds where the water is not drained off separately.
The rainwater goes directly to the holding tanks in the Cargo Zone, after passing through an oil separator. From there is goes to the Barebeek.
The waste water goes through the Aquafin sewage treatment plant at Boekt (in Steenokkerzeel), on the border with Perk.
More specifically, this infrastructural modification consists of the installation of a new pumping station, adjacent to building 133 (the garage for Vehicle Maintenance Services) and laying 1,165 metres of underground pipelines. The existing sewer pipes are at varying levels and this means that the water does not flow naturally or make use of gravitation to reach its destination. And that explains the introduction of a pumping station. Four pumps distributed over two wells propel the water in separate circuits.
"An additional advantage of this pumping station is that everything can be continuously monitored, each problem is immediately visible. We can also use a relatively smaller diameter of piping, which allows us to save space in the ground and requires us to remove less soil," explains Evren Ünlü, Project Manager Landside Works & Servitudes. "The pumping capacity for waste water is 5 litres per second, for rainwater 120 litres per second."
All the water in the north area used to be drained off together and untreated into the sewer system of Melsbroek.
"With this new sewer system, we do not only comply with all regulatory standards, but we also remain future proof," states Evren.
"Additional connections have also been provided for future companies."
This infrastructural modification clearly reflects the environmental and sustainability policy of the airport. Today we have a separate sewer system for virtually the entire airport. The sanitary waste water that is collected separately is directed to our own treatment plant or to an Aquafin water treatment facility.