The Amstel Water Board, Gooi en Vecht decided on Thursday November 25 where a new wastewater treatment plant (STEP) can be built which can purify the wastewater of the municipality of Huizen, Blaricum, Eemnes and Laren . The Water Board has decided that the location of the current treatment plant in Huizen is the most suitable for the construction of a new plant. This will combine the Blaricum and Huizen wastewater treatment plants and save energy, costs and space.
The Huizen and Blaricum WWTPs purify the wastewater from Huizen, Blaricum, Eemnes and Laren. Both installations require major maintenance or renewal. Research has shown that it is more sustainable and cheaper to build a new facility instead of renovating or building new wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater can be treated even better with a new wastewater treatment plant. It is also possible to apply innovations such as the reuse of residual materials, heat and treated wastewater.
The merger of the treatment plants is part of the ambition of the Office de l’eau to move towards a reduced number of efficient treatment plants equipped with the most modern techniques. The Water Office therefore sought last year, in collaboration with the municipalities, the most appropriate location for a new treatment plant.
Location of the wastewater treatment plant Most suitable houses
Decisive for the decision are the effect on the water quality of the surrounding waters, the reduced risk of flooding at the Gooyergracht in Blaricum and the current zoning plan for the Huizen site, which provides space for a new station. of combined treatment:
- The water quality of the Eemmeer and the Gooimeer is under pressure. A wastewater treatment plant removes much of the waste from wastewater, but not all. By merging at the Huizen site, the Eemmeer will be spared in the future, which will lead to improved water quality. Additionally, the location of the new facility at Huizen has little or no effect on the current water quality of the Gooimeer, as it is located downstream.
- Climate change increases the risk of peak showers and therefore flooding. If the Blaricum wastewater treatment plant discharged more treated wastewater into the Gooyergracht, the water level would rise and the risk of flooding around the Gooyergracht would also increase.
- The zoning plan for the Huizen site provides enough space to allow for the merger. A zoning plan change would be required for the Blaricum site.
Research on Resident Concerns
In view of this decision, the Water Board organized participation meetings with local residents. This showed that local residents are concerned about odors, noise and transportation. The Water Board takes these concerns seriously and is examining how they can be removed or alleviated. The odors and noise that a wastewater treatment plant can emit are subject to environmental rules and these rules ensure that the effects on the environment are limited. Since better techniques can be applied with the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, it is expected that the future treatment plant will cause less odor and noise pollution than the current one.
The residents of Huizen report that they experience nuisance caused by the traffic of cars and goods in and around the IJsselmeerstraat. This concerns the traffic of the WWTP, other companies, residents and holidaymakers. Residents are worried about the increase in freight traffic due to a new wastewater treatment plant. The Water Office is studying the possibilities of limiting the nuisance for residents due to the traffic of goods to and from the wastewater treatment plant.
In Blaricum, it is not yet clear what will be the use of the space that will become available if the purification there disappears. What ultimately happens to this space depends in part on the wishes of the municipality and the inhabitants. The Environmental Vision that will be developed in 2022/2023 will serve as a guideline for this.
What happens after the decision
Now that the decision has been made by the general council, the water council determines exactly what requirements the sewage treatment plant must meet, such as connection to the environment and to Coastal Vision, which design is best suited, where the pressure line may be best laid. And the necessary procedures for permits and tenders are launched. Collaboration with municipalities, other authorities, stakeholders and discussion with residents will be continued.
Once the construction plans for the new processing plant have been developed, a decision will follow in 2024 regarding construction at the chosen location.
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