Jourdain: an experimental demonstrator for an IPR solution in Vendée (France)

Jourdain: an experimental demonstrator for an IPR solution in Vendée (France)

20th November 2018 newsletter reuse scheme focus 0

Vendée Eau is the French public body in charge of the production and distribution of drinking water for 650 000 inhabitants on the west coast of France. As a result of climate change and demographic pressure, there is an ever-increasing risk of water scarcity in the region in the future and so Vendée Eau is committed to developing different solutions to this risk. Among these solutions, indirect potable reuse (IPR) is being explored. Currently, large volumes of treated wastewater are discharged directly into the ocean from the large, coastal, touristic zones during the summer period. Freshwater reservoirs used for drinking water can already reach very low storage levels during dry years.

The intended reuse scheme in Vendée aims to partly refill the Jaunay reservoir with reclaimed water from the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of Les Sables d’Olonne, located 20 km away. This indirect potable reuse (IPR) project is an innovative approach towards integrated water resource management.

Through the European project DEMOWARE, the feasibility of such a solution has been established in terms of technological options, regulation framework, social acceptance and risk assessment. In France, indirect potable reuse (IPR) has not been realised in practice so far, and there are no specific regulations in place. Additionally, the very complex phenomenons that follow the discharge of reused water in a natural freshwater reservoir makes it difficult to assess the impacts. Therefore, the elected representatives of Vendée Eau have decided to implement a complete ¼ scale demonstrator (150 m3/h) in order to assess in-situ the reuse scheme and evaluate real impacts during an intensive 5-year monitoring programme. This demonstrator of an experimental planned IPR scheme has been named “JOURDAIN”. It will include:

  • A tertiary treatment unit (to remove, in particular : chlorides, micropollutants and microbiology);
  • A 20 km (12.5 mile) recycled water pipeline;
  • An artificial wetland prior to discharge in the river or reservoir.
vendee plant overview diagram
Figure 1: Jourdain desmonstrator of an IPR scheme in Vendée

Since the end of the DEMOWARE programme (end of 2016), the JOURDAIN project receive the support of the French competitiveness cluster “Dream” dedicated to water and natural environments. Vendée Eau has launched the first steering committee of the project in May 2018. Additional studies are currently underway to prepare the construction of the demonstrator in 2021.

A small pilot process is in place in the WWTP for six months to test and evaluate the efficiency of an electrodialysis unit for desalination purposes coupled to an activated carbon reactor for micropollutant removal.

artboard from treatment facility
Figure 2: Pilot treatment unit (electrodialysis module)

For the next months, Vendée Eau will focus on conducting large analytical campains in the Jaunay reservoir to reinforce the description of the initial state of the system and will start the first consultation processes.


About Vendée Eau:

Vendée Eau have been members of Water Reuse Europe since its beginnings in 2016 and regulates the production and distribution of drinking water in the Vendée region of France. 

Find out more:

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Julien Orsoni Project Manager of Urban Hydraulics at Vendée Eau, France

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