Martens Brewery and Waterleau sign long-term partnership.


Martens Brewery and Waterleau sign long-term partnership.

Despite the pandemic, Martens Brewery has gone from strength to strength. With an annual production of 4 million hectolitres, the brewery is now Belgium’s second largest brewery.

The automated main brewery in Kaulille started beer production in 2007 but has seen expanding its brewing capacity considerably. With the existing wastewater treatment system underperforming, its structural adjustment was called for. The outline of the new treatment strategy resulted in an out-of-the-box approach with Waterleau and Martens Brewery committing into a long-term partnership.

Martens Brewery brews. Waterleau purifies

The brewery wanted to keep focusing on value creation and investing in production capacity leaving water management to a specialist at an agreed price. Martens Brewery and Waterleau agreed on a clever approach allowing each party to focus on its core business.  

A technological challenge

“Martens Brewery was facing quite a complex technical dilemma", says Jan Martens, Managing Director Martens Brewery. “The project required a simultaneous solution for facing three intertwined challenges: improved water management, energy management and heat management. First, we opted for Waterleau's innovative ultra-compact anaerobic tower reactor. The recovered biogas is used for energy and heat production. We also decided to upgrade our existing aerobic purification by integration of a membrane bioreactor. To curb our water footprint, we want to reuse more than 90% of the purified water”. To make the heat cycle even more complex, the brewery asked the reused water to be cooled upon delivery.


In addition to the technical challenges, the Martens Brewery water treatment business case required a CAPEX-free solution. Waterleau will implement the project as a 10-year Water-as-a-Service model. The treatment plant upgrade design consists of a modular plug-and-play solution, integrating mobile and containerized units rent out as a Water-as-a-Service model. “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 capex free solutions such as DBFO, WaaS, long- and short-term rentals. For Waterleau, the Martens Brewery case is a key reference”.

Digitalisation of the company

Part of the 10-year Water-as-a-Service agreement, Waterleau is responsible for the plant operation. Martens Brewery will provide the operators, but the water treatment plant will be connected to Waterleau’s cloud-based digital platform SmartLab. From the Waterleau control room, specialist will monitor and manage the wastewater treatment and water reuse installations, making sure the installation keeps operating at optimal performance, combining maximum efficiency, minimum costs and total peace of mind for Martens Brewery.

© Waterleau T +32 16 65 06 57