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75 million

liters of wastewater treated


lower energy consumption


as much removal of nitrogen and phosphates

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The challenge

Clean, safe and healthy water is a basic requirement for life. Thorough sewage treatment is essential, and the systems used require ongoing maintenance — and this was the case in the municipality of Utrecht, where the sewage treatment plant was due for replacement. Working with partners including Arcadis, the municipality opted for a highly advanced solution.


The solution

The new sewage treatment plant operated by the Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden (HDSR) Water Board has replaced the old sewage plant completely, purifying 75 million liters of water daily. The system is equipped with Nereda® technology, a Dutch invention that uses sludge granules to purify the water. All of the biological purification processes take place within these granules. The new sewage treatment system is smaller, but removes twice as much nitrogen and phosphates from the water and consumes 30% less energy than a conventional wastewater treatment plant. In addition, the new installation reduces the amount of odor and noise for people living in the surrounding area. With all of these advantages, the sewage treatment plant satisfies all environmental requirements.



    The Stichtse Rijnlanden Water Board selected Arcadis as a partner because of our experience with the environmental aspects of the project, innovative technologies and the extraction of raw materials. The challenge of this project was that five disciplines were involved: electrical and mechanical engineering, process automation, civil engineering and process technology. The time frame and the urban environment also created a unique set of conditions for the construction of the sewage treatment plant in Utrecht. In addition to project preparation, Arcadis also provided a full project management service, technical management and technical support, permit management and contract management. We also provided support during the start-up process of the new treatment plant and the decommissioning of the old plant. Finally, we provided consultation services on road traffic for the purpose of obtaining approval to develop the site.

The impact

Thanks to the new sewage treatment plant, the wastewater of the inhabitants and companies of Utrecht is once again being cleaned thoroughly before being discharged back into the surface water. The new plant uses less energy, takes up less space and can purify larger volumes of water more effectively. The environment, flora and fauna around the system have also been taken into account. Examples include the purification tanks’ air gap where bat houses and space for four insect hotels have been constructed, and a large variety of herbs and flowers are planted at the back of the gate building. The new sewage treatment plant creates a healthier living environment in the city of Utrecht in every way.


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