Water purification on office boat

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Famous Antwerp Badboot
The first office boat on the Napoleonkaai in Antwerp was developed on the remains of the city’s popular floating swimming pool, the Badboot. The Badboot was used as a public swimming pool up until 2015. When the swimming pool, which was located on the upper deck, sank it was no longer possible for the Badboot to continue as it had. An Antwerp advertising agency decided to buy the restaurant and bar section of the boat and turn it into the first floating office in Flanders. And with great success.

Our colleagues from Wegrosan/HMVT in Belgium had never before carried out a water purification project on a boat. And just like with almost every other project they were faced with numerous challenges during this one. First of all, the water had to be purified in accordance with Flemish standards. This meant that the wastewater of the floating office had to meet certain requirements before being discharged. In addition, on the boat there was only a small area available for the installation. What’s more, the equilibrium and balance of the boat played an important role. And what made the project even more complex is that account had to be taken of variable loads. On work days there would be a peak in wastewater, whilst at the weekends there would be none at all.

After a thorough preliminary survey, a wastewater recovery system was installed based on forced bed aeration and activated carbon filtration. This is similar to the Constructed Wetlands concept that we already actively deploy in the Netherlands in water purification projects. It is a filter that can be fitted into existing watercourses. Both oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor zones are formed in this, allowing the contamination to be degraded in a biological manner. The advantage of this is that there is no purification system above ground, and little energy is required to purify the water. The activated carbon filtration was installed as an extra purification step so that some of the purified water could be used to flush the toilets.

Unexpected situations and problems will invariably arise in any project. With the boat purification project these involved the building structure of the boat and the limited space available. For the water purification installation, pipes were laid from the foredeck to the aft deck. These pipes were installed straight through the boat’s compartments, a challenging task for our Belgian colleagues. The stability was ultimately retained and the office is still afloat.

This project is a good example of the way in which we work. We always look for the best solution that meets the customer’s wishes and fits the environmental factors of the situation. If you are curious as to what we can do for you, please feel free to contact us!