Aquifer Resources in Wallonia

Every year almost 420 million cubic metres of water are collected in Wallonia with almost 80% coming from the underground water table - the aquifers.

These have been well charted, and it is possible to estimate their total reserves with reasonable accuracy. They are, however, unevenly distributed below Wallonia.

Finding Water

Water is a natural gift from the clouds. It accumulates naturally in two ways, surface water and underground water.

Protecting Water

All human activity impacts on, and pollutes the environment. Water resources are more and more affected.

In line with the decisions of the Walloon Region, the water operators have taken a number of concrete steps to protect water collection sites: hydro-geological studies, establishing protective zones, purchasing land around collection points, development and careful management of green zones, strict and regular controls.

Protecting Water Resources involves their long-term management.

Water Treatment

Water, wherever it comes from, can only very rarely be allowed into the supply system without undergoing treatment. The underground water, which accounts for 80% of water collected in Wallonia must generally be aerated. In addition it is generally disinfected using a chlorine treatment for the bacteriological safety of the consumer. In some cases water has to undergo additional treatment to filter out particles of naturally-occurring elements such as iron and manganese. Nitrates are dealt with through special processes.

Surface water is more exposed to pollution and accordingly requires more elaborate purification. This takes place in several stages: passage through mesh filters, additive treatments, oxygenation, decantation, filtration and sterilisation.

Monitoring the Water Supply

Right from the collection points, strict controls exist at every stage of water production and supply.

Samples are sent for laboratory testing where they are registered and meticulously analysed. The laboratory equipment is at the leading edge of its technology. This allows the samples to be controlled to higher standards than those required by legislation. The slightest risk is instantly identified - allowing the competent services to act immediately.

Storing Supply Water

The demand for water varies during the day. In order to respond to consumer demand, treated water is stored in reservoirs and water towers. In addition to their reliability and security, these are now also planned to blend in with their surrounding landscape. In addition to their function of guaranteeing constant supply, these installations also provide the water pressure necessary for optimal consumer service.