Credit: VdL Photothèque/Charles Soubry

In the context of World Water Day (21 March 2019) the Ville de Luxembourg (VdL) has presented its major projects and priorities in the field of drinking water management and wastewater on the territory of the capital.

With a budget of approximately €30 million, the Water Department manages the installation, operation and maintenance of drinking water supply infrastructure and controls the quality of the water distributed. As a result of its emphasis on responsible consumption and as a result, the daily average for drinking water consumption decreased between 2009 and 2018, from 225 litres of water per person per day to 178 litres in the City. This average takes into account the consumption of inhabitants, as well as industries and people working in Luxembourg City; household consumption alone in the capital was 94 litres per person daily.

This change in water consumption can be explained by different measures: investment in the drinking water network by replacing dilapidated pipes, which has reduced the loss of water, and constant improvement of the VdL system for managing and monitoring the drinking water system, enabling rapid detection of leaks. 

The quality of the water distributed is one of the priorities of the VdL which invests some €137,000 annually in analyses to ensure clean and healthy drinking water. In 2018, a total of 2,457 analyses were performed, thus exceeding than the number of mandatory analyses.  

Regarding guaranteed supply, the year 2018 saw the Water Services Department carry out 25 network projects: 7km of pipelines and 350 connections replaced, 141 new connections made and 1.3km of new lines laid. The VdL has also carried out studies and launched several projects to ensure the long-term supply of drinking water to a growing populationl For instance, in Kirchberg, a project for the construction of a new water tower has been developed: the new tower with two separate tanks will have a total capacity of 1,000m3. Approved in 2018, works on the project (estimate of approximately €8.47 million) will start at the end of 2019 and finalisation is planned for 2021.

Moreover, the project to build a drinking water reservoir in Limpertsberg foresees the replacement of the existing tank with two tanks of 900m3, with the possibility of adding a third tank in the event of higher than expected population growth, as well as the construction of a new valve chamber. Approved in March 2018, works on the project (estimate of €2,633,670 including taxes) are set to commence in the summer of 2019 and finish at the end of 2020.

In order to facilitate access to water for all citizens of the City, the Water Department has also set up 24 drinking water points in different parts of the capital, such as the Grand-Rue, the Place de la Constitution , the Merl park or near the children's playgrounds and the "Skatepark Péitruss". New terminals will also be installed in the future. In addition, with a budget of €46,294,073 for the year 2018, the Sewer Service cleaned up 13,329,000 m3 of wastewater.

Regarding the extension of the Beggen wastewater treatment plant, commissioned in 2012, the Water Management Administration plans to introduce more stringent discharge standards, leading, among other things, to the need for a micropollutant removal facility in the wastewater treatment plant. A new modernisation project aims to increase the purification capacity, whilst taking into account the more stringent release thresholds and a new phase of wastewater treatment, aimed at eliminating micropollutants. The partial completion of the new SBR biology, the first phase of the works approved in June 2018 for an amount of approximately €27 million, will begin in 2019 and will already allow an additional processing capacity of 50,000 population equivalents. The estimate of the preliminary design of the overall extension of the treatment plant amounts to €198,750,000 ttc; the procedure for obtaining a State subsidy is in progress, the remaining costs being distributed between the VdL and the other connected municipalities. The overall finalisation of the project is planned for 2027.

Meanwhile, January 2019 saw the sinking work of the new sewage and rainwater collectors in Rue de Neudorf, a project estimated to cost €19,539,396.36 ttc (subsidised by the State to the amount of €7,329,695). This year, the project will continue with the construction of inspection manholes in the sinking pits, the fixing of a wastewater collector in the rainwater collector, the connection to pit 5 of the pipes coming from Rue du Kiem and the upstream part of Rue de Neudorf, works executed in open trenches and the repositioning of deflected networks. The end of construction is scheduled for autumn 2019.