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‘Waterballet’ converts condensate into process water
Iv-Water Costs Installations Responsibility

Choreographer of the ‘waterballet’

The FrieslandCampina site in Borculo has expanded significantly in recent years. However, the company wants to reduce its water footprint for the surrounding area. The company’s experts figured out that it would be relatively easy to reprocess condensate from the steam plants into process water, instead of discharging it. Iv-Water was selected as choreographer of the ‘waterballet’, as the project became known, and supervised the process from tender to delivery.

The growth of FrieslandCampina appears to be unstoppable. The cooperative’s production location in Borculo has also expanded significantly in recent years. A downside of the company’s success is the dramatic increase in its local water footprint. The water intake became so high that, in a strategic and social sense, it was desirable to introduce methods to reduce water intake. At that time, the company was discharging part of its return condensate water onto the surface water. The idea of reprocessing this water as process water evolved gradually.

Black box

Sjoerd Hofstee, Senior Project Manager at FrieslandCampina explained: “The starting point in our search for the best technology for reprocessing our process water was the conductivity of the returned water. We knew the quality of the water we had and the quality we needed for our processes. In our view, what was needed to get from quality A to B was a black box. Integrating a new system in a site that is under development was the most complex part. That’s why we looked for an engineering agency that could manage the process from start to finish. Many of the well-known hydraulic engineering agencies develop their own water purification technologies and concepts. This means that you run the risk of them selecting their own technology, without evidence of this being the best choice. We wanted to work with a party that could work independent of technology to find the best solution for our specific requirements, that could arrange the technical integration within our existing process and could supervise the tender and construction process. Iv-Water met these requirements.”


Ronny Faasen is Project Manager at Iv-Water and is responsible for the project that came to be known as ‘Waterballet’. “We put FrieslandCampina’s requirements to the market and assessed submissions according to various quality criteria, although price was equally important”, stated Faasen. “We needed a good balance between price and quality. This didn’t mean making savings on the technology, but saving money by piggybacking on a number of other projects that were being implemented at the same time.”

In the end, in consultation with FrieslandCampina, Iv-Water selected the RWB Water submission. This proposed first channelling the water through a biological slurry to remove any organic contaminants. Any remaining organic contaminants will then be captured by a microfiltration system with ceramic membranes. These are easier to clean chemically than the polymer versions, without impairing their functioning, and they have a longer service life than polymer membranes. Finally, a reverse osmosis step removes the salts, which reduces the conductivity. As the water is now of the required quality, it can be supplied to FrieslandCampina’s pipe system.

Multifunctional use of space

Ronny Faasen: “Iv-Water started integrating the purification system on the FrieslandCampina site immediately. For instance, the return pipes were diverted and other pipes were laid or rerouted. From our EPC role, we also supervised civil engineering works for the system, including the foundation and construction works. Another fantastic example of sustainability and cost-savings going hand-in-hand is our reuse of a building released from another project as new accommodation for the microfiltration system.” The reverse osmosis system is located in another building, which FrieslandCampina had previously constructed for similar systems. “This multifunctional use of space also reduces project costs”, stated Faasen.


The purification system is now in operation. Ronny concluded proudly: “We handed over the system to the FrieslandCampina operators in March, successfully concluding a project that took two years to the very day. This two years was from idea to handover; the actual construction time was much shorter.”

Would you like to know more about this project? Paul will be pleased to share ideas with you about this matter. Contact him via 088 943 3900 or send an email.
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