News | December 11, 2017

Agde At The Cutting Edge Of Sustainable Development

in 1,000 days, Cap d’Agde golf course will water lawns by reusing treated water

As they lay the first stone of the treated water tank on Monday 11 December 2017, Hérault Mediterranée Urban Community, SUEZ and Rhône Méditerranée Corse (RMC) Water Agency begin a 1,000-day countdown. In the summer of 2020, 75% of the water used for irrigation at Cap d’Agde international golf course will be water treated by ultrafiltration instead of drinking water.

In a popular tourist area, this project to reuse treated water will save 235,000 m3 of drinking water during summer. This is the first project in France to gain a prefectural order under 2014 legislation. When it launches in 2020, its success will lie in proactive planning ten years previously, through investment in cutting-edge wastewater membrane treatment.

Annual savings of 235,000 m³ drinking water
From May to September, Cap d’Agde international golf course will water at night and only when wind speed is below 15km/h. These restrictions will be largely counterbalanced by the collective benefits of an irrigation system that uses treated water instead of drinking water (for 18 of the 27 holes). Of the total 300,000 m³ of water used for irrigation every year, over 75% (235,000 m³) will come from the Posidonia water treatment plant. It will take three years to lay 2.3 km of new network to transport the treated water, build a special 1,650 m³ tank and set up the division of water flow at the plant’s outlet.

France’s 1st project to reuse treated water with a prefectural order
“In 2010, Agde invested in an ultrafiltration membrane treatment system that enabled us to release bathing quality water into the natural environment. A visionary investment that helped pave the way for today’s project, which has met all regulatory conditions at every stage in the process,” said Gilles d’Ettore, President of Hérault Méditerranée urban community and Mayor of Agde. The first stage was a change in legislation in 2014, authorising low pressure sprinklers in public green spaces, followed by prefectural authorisation in July 2017, a green light from the departmental council for the environment and health and technological risks (Coderst) and, finally, RMC Water Agency’s agreement to fund 80% of the 5.5 million euro project.

A sustainable resource even in summer
“This project to reuse treated water reflects SUEZ strategy by adopting a circular economy approach to protecting water as a resource. It offers a concrete solution to reduce the pressure on water resources, particularly in summertime when the local population increases significantly and drinking water requirements go up,” explained Bertrand Camus, CEO Water France at SUEZ.

Thanks to the project, the resort of Cap d’Agde - with its 250,000 tourists a day in peak season – will provide enough water for golf course irrigation at a time when pressure on water resources is particularly high (drought, tourist attendance). Today the project is coming to fruition thanks to cooperation between local stakeholders and a farsighted local authority, combined with priority funding from basin authorities (RMC water agency). By reusing treated water, Agde will not only save drinking water but also offer a sustainable solution to its golf course’s stringent irrigation requirements.

About SUEZ
With 90 000 people on the five continents, SUEZ is a world leader in smart and sustainable resource management. We provide water and waste management solutions that enable cities and industries optimize their resource management and strengthen their environmental and economic performances, in line with regulatory standards. To meet increasing demands to overcome resource quality and scarcity challenges, SUEZ is fully engaged in the resource revolution. With the full potential of digital technologies and innovative solutions, the Group recovers 17 million tons of waste a year, produces 3.9 million tons of secondary raw materials and 7 TWh of local renewable energy. It also secures water resources, delivering wastewater treatment services to 58 million people and reusing 882 million m3 of wastewater. SUEZ generated total revenues of 15.3 billion euros in 2016.