Transporting and treating waste water

If large quantities of untreated waste water enter watercourses, sooner or later the ecosystem will collapse. That’s why the waste water Aquafin treats has to comply with the standards set for 5 parameters: BOD (biochemical oxygen demand), COD (chemical oxygen demand), suspended solids, nitrogen and phosphorus.

Transporting and treating waste water

Our waste water treatment plants met all standards in 2019

These standards set the upper limit for the concentration of the parameters in the treated waste water as well as a removal percentage for these pollutants in the treatment process. The water which Aquafin discharges into the watercourses poses no threat to fish. This is clear from the outlets of the treatment plants, where large schools of fish often seek the water rich in oxygen. But is this quality also high enough for other aquatic life? Delicate aquatic plants can tolerate less phosphorus and nitrogen than what is discharged with the treated waste water, in total compliance with the standards. If the treated waste water makes a significant contribution to an excessive phosphorus concentration that threatens delicate vegetation, the Flemish Environment Agency may impose differentiated standards on Aquafin. We also investigate to what extent the treated waste water contributes to the presence of other pollutants in the surface water. Many residues of drugs for instance enter the treatment plants via domestic waste water and are not currently removed. Aquafin is involved at international level in research into optimising techniques for removing this type of micropollutant and making them more affordable.

What can you flush?

Urine and faeces, dry toilet paper, food wastes that can pass through a sink strainer and non-corrosive cleaning agents can go into the sewer. Everything else should go in the bin or recycling containers.