The province of Flemish Brabant uses purified waste water from the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven in full heat wave. The water is used in the recreation area of Kessel-Lo in Leuven. The city of Leuven also received recycled waste water earlier.
Ab Inbev purifies the water from the brewery process in its own water purification station. ‘This heat wave and the drought of April and May make everyone think about the preciousness of water. We recycle water from our production process, ‘says Alexander Soenen, brewery director in Leuven.
The province uses the water at the recreation area in Kessel-Lo, part of Leuven. ‘Until now, the water for the plants came largely from the ponds of our domain. But from the moment that a ban would be imposed on inflation, that type of watering is jeopardized, ‘said Deputy Ann Schevenels (Open VLD). “That is why we are happy that we can use the brewery water.”
The brewery has also been working with the city of Leuven since 2018. The urban green service visits an average of three times a day with 10,000-liter tankers. From June to early August, they already collected 1 million liters of water for trees and plants. The province has 5,000-liter tankers, which are also filled three times a day. This concerns a total of 45,000 liters per day.
Collection is also possible from the brewery in Hoegaarden. ‘We are finding more and more partners. Our water has the necessary certificates and is immediately available ‘, says Soenen.
Ab Inbev uses tap water and spring water to produce the beer, and recycles the waste water. Part of it is used for technical applications, another part goes into the Dyle. “We will continue to do so, so that the water level in the Dyle remains high enough,” says Laure Stuyck, spokesman for Ab Inbev. Now the water is therefore also made available free of charge to the city and the province.
Water for farmers
Farmers can also use Ab Inbev’s water. At the beginning of the summer, the brewery concluded a cooperation agreement with the Boerenbond. “The agricultural sector has already taken various initiatives to encourage economical water use, such as water buffering, drip irrigation and improving soil quality,” says Sonja De Becker, president of the Boerenbond.
“We are ready to provide the farmers with 20 million liters of water,” says Stuyck. “But not many farmers are using this yet.”