Water-Link is in charge of the supply of drinking water in northern Belgium, drawing on natural water reserves in the Lier and Duffel areas to produce potable water for the wider Antwerp region.
Each year, the large buffer basins are made to deal with problems to do with the excess growth of blue-green algae. The toxic blue-green algae are completely neutralised during the drinking water process, but because of the sudden and very copious rush in the growth of the algae inside the basins, the algae are causing problems with the filtering at the process inlet.
The algae are released during summer, after we have had a longer period of high outside temperatures followed by sudden cooling, and go on to make up a green blueish slimy layer that sits on the water surface of the water buffers. To prevent this slimy layer from ending up in the inflow of the drinking water process, a 175-metre length floating boom was put in place in the summer of 2020. Ecocoast’s ESFB boom is 1020 mm in height, 700 mm in depth with an upstanding freeboard of 320 mm, so it continues to remain effective in the event there are waves.
Ecocoast’s Oil Boom consists of a closed PVC membrane with inbuilt floats and was set up in a triangular shape around the inlet using 7 Danforth anchors. In theory, the boom is only needed from June through September, although it is entirely suited to be deployed on a permanent basis.
Depending on the direction of the wind, blue-green algae gather to the left or to the right of the boom, after which they can be drawn off and removed from the basin by way of a surface capturing system. Courtesy of the new Ecocoast boom, blue-green algae have been unable to compromise the production of drinking water, with the water supply remaining unaffected throughout the summer of 2020.