VEOLIA’s photo library - Olivier Guerrin

Ovilléo: zero pollution treatment plant

Posted on 17 December 2015.

Veolia has completed a latest generation wastewater treatment plant in Marquette-lez-Lille – and it meets the sustainable development criteria.

The challenge was to bring an existing wastewater treatment site up to modern standards by adding a technological, environmental and sustainable dimension.

Five years of intense work were necessary to bring Ovilléo, the new wastewater treatment plant in the European metropolis of Lille, to life. A latest generation wastewater treatment site which extends over 7 hectares, it was designed by OTV, a subsidiary of Veolia Water Technologies. It is the largest wastewater treatment plant in northern France: it covers 37 municipalities and each day treats wastewater from 620,000 inhabitants. Started in 2010, the rehabilitation, extension and modernization works were carried out on the existing site but it was business as usual - a real technical feat! Respect for the environment was extensively incorporated into the specifications. The banks of the river Marque and the surrounding forest were redeveloped. The building typology was revised to meet low consumption criteria: solar panels and heat recovery systems to reduce CO2 emissions. Walls and roofs were planted by the inventor of the vertical garden, French botanist Patrick Blanc.

A zero pollution treatment plant

Technologically speaking, the resort combines several advantages. It has two separate tracks for treating wastewater and storm water. Wastewater is treated using a biological process called Hybas™, unique in France on this scale, which limits the amount of sludge produced by between 20 and 40%. Some of this sludge then goes into a digester to produce biogas, which covers 94% of the plant’s thermal energy requirements. Half of the remaining sludge is reused by local agriculture and the other half by a cement plant.
Finally, Ovilléo adopts an electronic “nose” that checks the efficiency of the deodorization process.

A technological and sustainable public showcase

For Veolia, this technological showcase should also act as an educational showcase for raising awareness about protecting the environment. A tour is organized for schoolkids and gateways have been established with various university centers. A 7-hectare garden planted with local species has both wet and dry areas for collecting rainwater.