L’Oréal gains authorisation to test wastewater recycling and reuse
The L’Oréal campus in Chevilly-Larue, France, has just gained authorisation to test wastewater recycling and reuse systems – a first for France.
The campus has spent the last few years reducing their water usage and has done so by 25%. This has been through a variety of methods, including using rainwater harvesting for half of the water used by the toilet facilities on site.
The wastewater from the laboratories, called “activity water” is currently treated via a phyto-remediation technique, developed on campus. Specific plant species are planted in basins to accelerate degradation of harmful contaminants through microbial activity. Whilst L’Oréal wanted to reuse this water for toilet flushing alongside the rainwater, the Regional Health Agency told them the regulations did not even allow for experimentation in 2015. After launching a call for projects, one of these projects was presented in December 2019, and led to authorisation of the experiment from February 2020.
If this project is a success, the regulations could be adapted to authorise the reuse of treated industrial wastewater. It is also part of the Blue Plan of the Departmental Council, a new approach to involve the department in the preservation of water resources. As a result, the site welcomed 30 participants on Tuesday to show them around the facilities and explain the processes.
Find out more here (in French).