Contact: Sam Geerts, Aquafin,

Aquafin (Belgium)

Aquafin is since 1990 the contract holder for the sewage treatment infrastructure in Flanders (5,9 million inhabitants). As a utility company Aquafin’s primary task is the accelerated realisation and operation of the sewage treatment infrastructure in Flanders. For this purpose, Aquafin owns and operates 281 waste water plants, varying in size and composition.

In this way, each novel technology in the R3Water project can be demonstrated in an appropriate setup, either at full scale on one of its 281 waste water treatment plants, or in their test facility (“pilot hall”). The R&D department hosts 30 full time equivalents. Apart from training and demonstration, the team members perform basic, but mostly applied research and development. The pilot hall serves both as a benchmarking field as well as a demonstration facility and is therefore a typical step-up towards application at full scale. At the same time, the pilot hall serves as a hub for critical discussion of test results among people from different divisions within Aquafin and with people from external companies.

More details on the demonstration sites in Belgium are available here.


The objective is to demonstrate innovative solutions for Reuse of water, Recovery of valuable substances and Resource efficiency as full scale applications on waste water treatment plants in Belgium. The specific objectives are:
– monitoring of reference situations
– installation of different technologies, to be demonstrated either at Aquafin’s pilot hall or at one of Aquafin’s full scale installations
– operation and monitoring of the new technologies
– evaluation of the technologies and dissemination of the study results.


Conceptually, all demonstrations will follow a logical order of site selection and preparation, installation, operation and evaluation. The objective is to demonstrate 7 cases on Belgian WWTP’s.
– Reducing aeration energy by fluidic oscillation technology
– Increasing methane content in biogas from anaerobic digestion by fluidic oscillation technology and improved control
– HTC processing of Aquafin sludges
– Resource recovery from mono-incinerated ashes
– Demonstration of an Anammox control system
– Whole plant modeling for energy reduction
– Demonstration of OptimEDAR, an affordable online aeration management scheme

Pictures: Aquafin