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In Vendée, the “Jourdain” project wants to transform our wastewater into drinking water


The Vendée Eau organization will present its innovative recycling project at the crossroads of local water management, which has been held in Rennes since Wednesday.

Our planet is warming and our water resources are diminishing.

But are we ready to change our habits and introduce wastewater into our consumption?

According to Christophe Jurado of the IdealCo collaborative platform, this is essential to "

prevent future water shortages, which will be inevitable in the coming summers


According to him, the countdown has started.

To this end, the platform brings together professionals from the sector and public actors at a crossroads of local water management, in Rennes, on 25 and 26 January.

It is here that the Vendée Eau organization will present the progress of its Jourdain project, which supports an innovative proposal: reusing wastewater to produce quality drinking water, which everyone can consume on a daily basis.

“Unlike other techniques such as


, which consumes a lot of energy, this involves developing a circular water economy

,” explains Denis Guilbert, director of Vendée Eau.

The advantage, he says, is that it “

will have little impact on the environment”


On the right track

In concrete terms, Vendée water intends to reinject the department's wastewater, usually discharged into the sea, into a new sanitation process, following this route: once filtered and disinfected twice in a refining unit located in Les Sables d'Olonne, the wastewater would then be discharged into a vegetated area and then mixed with a river in order to be reoxygenated.

They would then be taken to the Jaunay drinking water plant, located near Bretignolles-sur-Mer, to make this water drinkable.

From there, they would then be routed directly to our taps.

Construction of the Sables d'Olonne refining plant is underway.

The 27 km pipelines linking the plant and the greening area will be installed this summer.

Jourdain will therefore see the light of day in early 2024 for a one-year phase of testing and water analysis.

After validation, the treated wastewater will go directly to the inhabitants' taps.

The scale of distribution will be reduced and will concern a restricted perimeter around the factory.

If the results meet all the criteria, the final production will target 600 cubic meters per hour.

Read alsoSignificant drop in water resources in France

For Marine De Guglielmo Weber, researcher in the Climate, Energy and Security program at IRIS, this technology is good news: “

This type of recovery network is a good lead and has no major impact on the local environment.

Its generalization must continue.


"Changing the law"

Although the project is innovative, techniques for reusing wastewater, also known as “


”, are not new.

In Spain, 14% of water resources already come from recycling and 8% in Italy.

France is at the bottom of the pack with only 0.8%.

In question,

“overly restrictive regulations in this area”

, according to Christophe Jurado.

Read alsoIn France, the reuse of wastewater is still in its infancy

Work is underway to change the law.

There is currently a draft decree which will be examined by the Council of State in mid-June

", explains Jean Launay, president of the National Water Committee, who recalls that these regulations primarily meet public health standards. .

This intends to make the reuse of water more flexible in the agri-food sector.

At the same time, interministerial work carried out by Christophe Béchu intends to facilitate exchanges between the Ministry of Ecological Transition and that of Health.

Today, what is being done in countries like Spain is

reusing water

solely for agriculture or soil irrigation

,” explains Denis Guilbert.

The analysis budget is enormous and responds to 800 parameters, the health constraints are very strict


The Regional Health Agency (ARS) is in close collaboration with the project


The objective is therefore, if the project is a success, to make health organizations and consumers more reliable in order to replicate it throughout France and abroad.

“It will become the norm”

The Vendée territory has a particular geology.

Located on the Armorican base, the ground is rocky and the water supply is done by the reserves of surfaces in particular thanks to the dams.

For Emma Haziza, hydrologist, this wastewater reuse technique could be extended to other territories, as is already the case “in Singapore, the United States or Namibia”, she explains.


Jourdain project is adaptable to any type of territory, regardless of where the water comes from


In Tel Aviv, for example, purified water is reinjected into groundwater through drilling.


Read alsoHow to store water to cope with the next droughts?

The scientist goes even further: “

The treatment techniques are such that we are able to make it purer than some natural waters.

For example, we can sometimes find water containing arsenic polluted by industrial sites


Despite these efforts to preserve our water resources, Marine De Guglielmo Weber recalls that “

climate change has already begun


For her, the 2020-2030 decade is pivotal for the management of our resources.

If we cannot limit the increase in temperature, the development of technologies will not be enough to reduce the scarcity of our water resources


Source: lefigaro

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