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Water Quality & Technology

Ensuring the sustainable management of the watercycle is one of Waternet’s top priorities. An excellent supply of drinking water, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment and water system management represent the pillars of Waternet’s activities. However, water quality and biodiversity are under threat: new substances, such as pharmaceutical residues and plastics, wellknown substances, such as nutrients and pesticides, industrial discharges and sewer overflows threaten the ecological quality of surface water. Measures for water management as well as applications of new water technologies are needed in order to safeguard the provision of clean water for humans, animals and the environment.


  • Create a sustainable approach to water cycle management.
  • Protect sources of drinking water and water quality to provide healthy habitats for plants, humans and animals, through excellent wastewater processes and drinking water supplies and effective water system management.


Knowledge Agenda

To further improve water quality and technology, Waternet will do more research on:

  • Improvement of water quality measures for surface water
  • Better understanding of the state and functioning of water quality and biodiversity (e.g. through the automation of analyses, eDNA, open data)
  • Exploitation of brackish seepage in the water cycle
  • Reuse of effluent from wastewater treatment plants as a source for industrial water application
  • More sustainable and efficient water technology and infratsructure
  • Phosphorus removal from surface water using pilot research installations
  • Combine phosphate recovery with hydrothermal energy in deep lakes


Current projects

An overview of the projects in the field of water quality and technology can be found on (). Some examples of projects are:

  • Taming brackish seepage: In the Horstermeerpolder, Waternet is investigating whether it is possible to pump up the brackish groundwater from the polder before it comes to the surface as seepage water. It is also being examined whether the pumped water can be purified into drinking water. More information ().
  • Removing medicine residues from wastewater: The pilot study O3-STEP® was started at the sewage treatment plant (WWTP) Horstermeer. It is a study into the removal of medicine residues from wastewater. More information ().
  • PathoCERT: Measurement methods and (attack) strategies are therefore being developed within the EU project Pathocert for pathogen-related risks faced by first responders. More information ().
  • Bubble barrier against plastic: The bubble barrier is created by placing a tube at the bottom of the watercourse and pumping air through it. Both ships and fish can pass through a screen of air, but plastic is stopped. More information ()
  • Slow sand filtrationSlow sand filtration is used as the last step in the drinking water purification process. It provides hygienically reliable and biologically stable drinking water. More information ().