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A capex-free upgrade for Martens Brewery


Kaulille, Belgium

In service date


Refit of Belgian's second largest brewery's wastewater infrastructure

Martens main brewery has been expanding its brewing capacity considerably since 2007. With the existing wastewater treatment system under-performing, its structural adjustment was called for. The new treatment strategy materialized in an out-of-the-box approach for a long-term partnership.

Martens Brewery brews. Waterleau purifies

The brewery wanted to keep focusing on expansion, leaving water management to a specialist at a set price, allowing each party to focus on its core business.

Reducing the water and energy footprint

The project required a solution for three intertwined challenges: improved water management, energy management and heat management. To start recovering the energy potential of the wastewater, an ultra-compact BIOTIM® Anaerobic Tower reactor was integrated into the existing aerobic infrastructure. The recovered biogas is used for energy and heat production. To produce a high-quality bio-effluent, the existing aerobic purification was upgraded with a LUCAS® membrane bioreactor. To curb the water footprint, Martens brewery wants to reuse more than 90% of the purified water. To make the heat cycle even more complex, the brewery asked for the reused water to be cooled upon delivery.

To curb our water footprint, we want to reuse more than 90% of the purified water

Managing Director Brewery Martens Jan Martens

WaterLease: Water-as-a-Service

In addition to the technical challenges, the Martens Brewery water treatment business case required a CAPEX-free solution.

The most appropriate financing solution revealed to be a 10-year Water-as-a-Service model: WaterLease®. Keeping its financial assets for value creation, the brewery makes use of the state-of-the art wastewater treatment infrastructure on a rental bases.

Containerized treatment technology, plug & play

The treatment plant upgrade design consists of a modular plug-and-play solution, integrating mobile, containerized units. With every wastewater and water treatment step available in a box, it becomes easy for existing wastewater treatment infrastructures to turn into water resource factories. By integrating WaterleauBox energy and water recovery units, Martens will significantly reduce its water, energy and carbon footprint.

“This approach fits in perfectly with our international strategy", says Jeroen De Lathouwer. "We will market high-performance technology in modular units covering the complete water cycle and in our WaterLease capex-free solutions such as DBFO, WaaS, long- and short-term rentals.

WaterLease® unlocks assets to expand the production capacity

VP business development Waterleau Jeroen De Lathouwer

Digitalisation of the wastewater treatment facility

Within the framework of the 10-year Water-as-a-Service agreement, Waterleau will operate the treatment facility.

Martens Brewery provides the operators, but the water treatment plant will be connected to Waterleau’s cloud-based digital platform SmartLab®: from the Waterleau control room, specialists will monitor and manage the wastewater treatment and water reuse equipment, making sure the plant keeps operating at optimal performance i.e., maximum efficiency, minimal costs and total peace of mind for Martens Brewery.

How to benefit from WaterLease?

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