Drinking water Ostend-Middelkerke now coming from the Ostend-Bruges Canal

Posted on 23 Jun 2020

Drinking water intermunicipal Farys has commissioned an innovative water treatment system along the Ostend-Bruges Canal. Every day, this Water Production Centre can produce 12 million litres of drinking water from brackish canal water. Farys is investigating an additional installation in Ghent.

Desalination system

Until recently, drinking water from the taps in Ostend came from... the Ardennes. Because of the expensive transport costs and the increasing consumption of drinking water - among other things during the tourist season - Farys went looking for a local solution for drinking water in Ostend and Middelkerke. Drinking water from seawater is not only an expensive investment, the ecological footprint is also very high. However, it is cheaper to desalinate the brackish water from the Ostend-Bruges Canal and mineralize it into drinking water. Brackish water is a mixture of fresh and salt water.


In order to convert brackish water into drinking water, it is first and foremost necessary to purify the coarse dirt from the brackish canal water. The Water Production Centre then pushes this water through tubes with microfilters to remove all smaller particles. Ultraviolet light and activated carbon are used to obtain pure but dead water. Finally, minerals are added and drinking water is obtained.

Temporary scarcity

The commissioning of this Water Production Centre is very important for several reasons. The local production of drinking water in Ostend not only saves on expensive transport costs, but also ensures that the Flemish drinking water capacity, which is scarce, does not have to be called upon. Farys is going to improve the technology in Ostend in order to increase the capacity of 12 million litres per day. Meanwhile, there are plans on the table to build a second, similar water treatment system at the Scheldt basin in Ghent. And perhaps, in case of a temporary shortage, the Ostend unit will be able to produce drinking water for the inland.




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