Supporting the SDG: Clean water and sanitation
Access to clean water is essential to life and to improving health, reducing inequality and ending poverty. It is considered a human right, yet currently 2,8 billion people live in water-scarce environments. The availability of water is even becoming more scarce because of rapid population growth and climate changes. According to studies from the UN, a rise in global temperatures by 3-4° C by 2080 could place an additional 1.8 billion people in areas of high water-stress.
The 6th UN Sustainable Development Goal focuses on clean water and water sanitation. The goals are to achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, and improve water quality by reducing pollution and minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals and materials in the water. A first important step is to develop a company water strategy.
At Q8Oils, a major part of the water strategy focuses on the purification of the rain. With 43500 m² of surface, a lot of rain is collected in a year. At our Blending Plant in Antwerp, we have different circuits of water collection, one of them is all the rain that falls on the concrete floors of our plant. This rain needs to be collected and treated before we can give it back to nature.
The rain is first collected in buffer tanks, after which the water is separated from the oil in an oil separator. The oil is always floating on the water, so it can be skimmed and treated separately. The water is then pumped into several other basins, where it is pumped through several different purification techniques:
- Sand filter: particles and impurities are removed
- Aeration treatment: releases the dissolved gases and volatile compounds and oxygen is added to water
- Activated carbon filtering: final purificationNow that the water has undergone the necessary treatments, the pure water is released into the river Schelde. The water purification installation is also equipped with the necessary alarms, so the different purification components can never be flooded. These necessary safety measures guarantee that we can also process the rain during periods of heavy rain fall.
The released water is being monitored by an independent controlling organisation, and reports are sent to the government to prove that the released water have undergone the necessary treatments so the pure water can be given back to nature. Q8Oils is proud to say that we help to achieve the 6th UN Sustainable Development Goal.