Water reuse project of OOWV and PKV at the Varel wastewater treatment plant:
Lack of rain, steadily increasing water demand, falling groundwater levels and climatic changes: New ways in water treatment are needed to provide answers to these challenges. One of these paths leads to the wastewater treatment plant in Varel. There, treated wastewater is to be processed specifically for industrial purposes in the future. The Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesische Wasserverband (OOWV) and the Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel (PKV) are involved as cooperation partners in this project called “Water ReUse”.
“We are still in the pilot phase. But the goal is clear: after research, we want to get into practice here. But it is already a pioneering example for the conservation of resources, for sustainability and for environmental protection,” emphasised District Administrator Sven Ambrosy, who is also OOWV chairman, at a press event at the Varel wastewater treatment plant. The paper and board mill is “an outstanding partner for this – an important employer for the region, which is already committed to resource protection”, added the District Administrator.
“The treatment and reuse of wastewater as well as process water recycling are an important building block in order to be able to meet the demands on the water supply in the future,” said OOWV Managing Director Karsten Specht. The goal is to treat treated wastewater at this site so that it can be used for the PKV. About one million cubic metres of drinking water can be saved annually in this way.
Karsten Specht thanked those responsible at PKV for their “forward-looking willingness to cooperate” and made it clear: “Water reuse can only work where there are partners who go along with it.” For PKV Managing Director Ulrich Lange, participation in this project is a “consistent continuation” of his company’s efforts to protect resources. “We want to reuse water as often as possible in our cycles. We already manage to treat and reuse one litre of water up to thirty times in different stages,” said Ulrich Lange.
In his welcoming speech, Varel’s mayor Gerd-Christian Wagner emphasised the willingness of PKV and OOWV to innovate. “In these weeks and months, we talk a lot about the climate crisis and the energy transition. What is now being tested at this sewage treatment plant in our city and hopefully implemented afterwards is nothing less than an answer to the pressing problems of our time,” he praised.
“Treated wastewater received little attention as a resource in Germany for many years,” said the OOWV project engineer in charge, Kerstin Krömer. “Yet sewage treatment plants are located close to potential users such as industrial companies. In addition, treated wastewater is well suited for further treatment due to its properties, as the salt content is moderate, the nutrient content largely reduced, the solids content low and the quality reliable,” Kerstin Krömer explained the concept.