International implementation of the Fresh Keeper
In collaboration with the water company Vitens and engineering consultancy Arcadis, KWR starts working on a Valorius project with the aim of sharing Fresh Keeper expertise internationally. The project is being financially supported by Climate changes Spatial Planning , the Dutch national research programme.
In January 2013, an exploratory process is started at the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department in the US to find out whether the Fresh Keeper can help the water company tackle the problem it has with the salinisation of its drinking water sources.
Ate Oosterhof, a hydrologist at the water company Vitens, has contributed to the development of the Fresh Keeper. He enjoys the collaboration with KWR: “We complement each other well. We have the technical knowledge and KWR contributes its expertise in the area of chemistry and underground water quality.”
Oosterhof is “a little proud” that he has improved the Fresh Keeper design. “My contribution to the design is the second abstraction filter screen in the same well, which means that we now abstract both fresh and brackish water. The brackish water is desalted, so that it can also be of further use.”
Oosterhof understands why people in the US are interested in the concept. “Fresh Keeper has already benefited Vitens a great deal. In one well field, which we had abandoned because of salinisation, we now see new opportunities for abstracting drinking water again.” This means that Vitens does not have to put as much effort into looking for new water production areas.
But Oosterhof is also very pleased with the fresh water output. “With the Fresh Keeper design, you don’t have to abstract much brackish water in order to preserve a fresh water source. If you pump up 20 cubic meters of brackish water, you can extract 50 cubic meters of fresh water. It’s a good design with a promising future.”
© 2017 KWR Watercycle Research Institute