Brussels South filtration plant

The Brussels South filtration plant, which was opened in 2000, is undertaking major upgrades to ensure compliant treatment of nitrogen and phosphorus. The project calls for the implementation of an entirely new water, sludge, and odour treatment equipment.


In efforts to restore the Senne River’s original water quality, a filtration scheme was devised to treat wastewater. Agreements between the regions of Brussels and Flanders led to a cogent filtration scheme in early 1990 with the implementation of two filtration plants, one to south of Brussels and the other to the north.
The first plant, Brussels South, located at the border between the communes of Anderlecht and Forest, was opened in July 2000. Subsequently, we were mandated to upgrade it. This project began in 2014 and will be completed in 2017.


Upgrading the Brussels South plant requires very complex scheduling to ensure continued plant operations.
Given space restrictions at the plant, its owner, SBGE, considered various solutions. Membrane technology was selected due to its performance and compactness. Separation of treated water and sludge is carried out with the R-MES™ process and 226,000 square metres of membranes, making the Brussels South facility one of the largest membrane-filtration sites in Europe. Also included in the project is a new physical and chemical odour treatment unit with a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres per hour.
Scheduling adapted to the site’s space restrictions allows for continued plant operations during the whole life of the project (roughly four years).
Currently, R-MES™ membrane technology is the most effective process for achieving unparalleled water-filtration quality using conventional processes for clarifying water.
In addition to its complete compatibility with the most stringent discharge requirements, the R-MES™ process allows for the re-use of treated water, for certain applications (R-USE).

The Brussels South filtration plant treats wastewater from the southern parts of Brussels before discharging it into the Senne River. On average, it treats 65,160 cubic metres of water a day; at peak periods, that figure can rise to 18,000 cubic metres an hour.


The Brussels South filtration plant is located in the commune of Forest, adjacent to the commune of Anderlecht. It treats approximately 25% of the wastewater produced in and around Brussels.
The plant’s treatment capacity is 360,000 population equivalent. It removes pollutants from urban wastewater and discharges high-quality treated water into the Senne River.
The plant improves the state of the river by significantly reducing organic pollution, including nitrogen and phosphorus that can deprive the river of its oxygen content. The filtration process removes matter that would otherwise settle on the riverbed, including sand, waste products, biological waste, oil and grease, and other matter.

Project participant

Project participant
Société Bruxelloise de Gestion de l’Eau (SBGE)

Key figures

Implementation dates
Work began in January 2014

360,000 population equivalent

Peak flow in wet weather
18,000 m3/hour

Rehabilitating and expanding the drinking-water treatment plant