Vitens - Water as a Source of The Circular Economy

At one time, the costs of disposing residual waste streams from the Vitens’ drinking water facilities amounted to approximately 1.8 million euros a year.

Consequently, Vitens came up with a new approach by process optimization and upcycling to reuse these materials productively that is not only worthwhile commercially, but environmentally too.

Vitens Spannenburg

Vitens' water purification installation

Reclaiming waste by-products

Detailed studies, in collaboration with the University of Wageningen, RoyalHaskoning DHV and others, showed that these by-products could be used effectively in other sectors and could be sold at a profit. Vitens developed a production method whereby its humic acid could be put to use as a high-quality soil improver.

This made Vitens one of the largest humic acid producers of Europe. In addition, applications have been developed for animal nutrition. As a result, Vitens now also produces for the agriculture and animal feed sector.

Win-win scenario

As these streams contribute to sustainable agriculture, the new valorisation approach also results in cleaner groundwater. Now that Vitens can produce such natural soil improvers as humic acid and chalk pellets, it is able to cooperate productively with farmers, with whom it shares the same catchment area. It’s a win-win for both: better crop yields and high quality groundwater.