Constructed wetlands (reedbeds) are very efficient, robust and ‘green’ wastewater treatment systems with very low operation and maintenance costs (only once per year) and very low energy demand. The wastewater of Novotel Antwerp is treated with a combination of 3 technologies: the Forced Bed Aeration (FBA®) technology, distribution of the pre-treated wastewater over a vertical flow stage and then to a second, horizontal flow stage. Through the FBA technology, the blown oxygen activates the micro-organisms living on the roots of the reedplants, cleaning the wastewater very efficiently. By aerating a constructed wetland, the system is more efficient than non-aerated traditional wetlands. It requires 4 – 10 times less space, the total surface area needed is 250 m². The FBA system requires only 25-30% of the energy that traditional treatment requires.
The treatment is very good and efficient, pathogens and many pharmaceuticals being also removed. It is also versatile in terms of varying seasonal loads. The system has an average capacity for wastewater treatment of 320 guests and can be peak loaded with the wastewater of 480 guests. This application of two stages with different flow directions and combination with FBA technology with intelligent blower control, is unique in the world, is the most advanced form of constructed wetlands on the market today, securing optimal treatment results.