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Purified water from the food industry for agriculture

4 June, 2050

Purified water from the food industry for agriculture


Waste water source

Food processing industry Ardo treats and delivers the water. The company’s wastwater comes from the washing and blanching of vegetables and also the cleaning of the processing units.

Distribution System

An underground pipeline network of high pressure was constructed over the area of 500 hectares. The network covers 32 km and has 140 tapping points. This network is divided into 10 blocks so that there is possibility to irrigate simultaneously in the different blocks.

Farming system

The water is supplied to vegetable crops which are irrigated with sprinklers during the irrigation season.

Waste water treatment description

Nutrient removal : Nitrogen removal is performed by nitrification-oxidation followed by denitrification followed by the final decantation. From the final sludge and digestate, an organic fertiliser and soil improver are extracted, which can be applied on the farmland.
Pesticide removal : none
Disinfection : none
Suspended solids removal : Anaerobic digestion used for biogas removes the organic material from the wastewater.

Other :


The reclaimed water is stored in a buffer basin of 150,000 m³ until the crops are in need for water. There is possibility to recharge at a rate of 30,000 m³/month.

Extent of the agricultural beneficiaries

49 farmers are involved, covering an agricultural area of 500 hectares.


The cost price for the infrastructure represents 3.5 million euro. All the works were realised within the F2Agri Interreg project. Ardo paid the storage basin, while the farmer cooperative paid the pumping station and the pipe distribution network. Each farmer pays the water according to their consumption, which varies between 0.73 and 0.90€/m³.

Type of agreement

A cooperative organisation called 'Inero' with all 47 participating farmers was set up. This cooperative is the basis for the day to day business of the irrigation network and is responsible for investments and maintenance in the pumps and hydrant networks. Farmers can reserve online a timeslot and volume for irrigation.

Scientific results

Additional information

Ardo has the ambition to install floatable solar panels on the surface of the buffer basin. Beside power production, this would also reduce water evaporation and algae growth.




Type of initiative
Private initiative, Research initiative, Other
Waste water source
Food processing Industry
Waste water treatment
Nutrient removal, Suspended solids removal
Farming system
Arable land
Application use
Irrigation of processed food crops
Irrigation method
Sprinkler irrigation
Implementation stage
Initial implementation