Where does our tap water come from?
A large part of Waternet’s tap water comes from natural sources. The water comes from the ‘Lekkanaal’ (Lek-channel), located to the east of Nieuwegein, and the ‘Bethunepolder’ near Maarssen. Then we pre-treat the water in a natural way in the ‘Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen’ and in the ‘Loenderveense Plas’. These are nature reserves. Rules against pollution help ensure that the water is protected and remains clean. This allows us to continue to use these areas as a source for our tap water.
The ‘Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen’ (AWD) are located between Zandvoort and Noordwijk. We pump pre-treated water from the Lekkanaal into these dunes. The sand in the dunes acts as a natural filter for the water. Later, we turn it into tap water. This is done in our facility at Leiduin.
Loenderveense Plas and Bethunepolder
The Loenderveense Plas is a beautiful nature reserve near Loenen aan de Vecht. We use part of the lake (‘de Waterleidingplas’) to pre-treat water. This water is collected from the Bethunepolder where fresh groundwater seeps out of the ground. After the water is naturally purified in the lake, we turn it into tap water. This is done in Weesperkarspel near the Gaasperplas.
The Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen and the Waterleidingplas are classified as ‘water extraction areas’. In such areas, water is extracted from the ground or from a lake and turned into tap water. Therefore, it is important that this water remains clean. That is why strict rules have been put in place in water extraction areas and near water reservoirs. Certain activities are restricted. For example, you may not drill, dig or undertake actions which could possibly pollute the water. To ensure that everyone recognises these areas, blue signs with the text ‘waterwingebied’ have been placed in these sites.
Often, a ‘groundwater protection area’ is located around water extraction areas and/or water reservoirs, such as the AWD and the Bethunepolder. Rules also apply in these areas. However, these are less strict than the rules which apply for the water extraction areas. For example, you are allowed to drill and dig, as long as it’s not too deep. Agricultural pesticides are not always permitted. Are you planning on visiting a ‘groundwater protection area’? Please keep in mind that certain parking restrictions may apply. These rules against pollution help ensure that the ground water remains clean. You will recognise a groundwater protection area by the blue signs with white waves and the text ‘grondwaterbeschermingsgebied’.
The Bethunepolder is a water extraction area. The groundwater protection rules and some extra rules apply here. For example, rules against pesticide use and certain parking restrictions.
What do these rules mean for you?
Would you like to know more about the rules in the water extraction areas, near water reservoirs or groundwater protection areas? And the rules you must take into account, when you live in the area, are carrying out work or are visiting the area? The rules are specified in the provincial environmental regulations. You can find more information on the websites of the provinces of Utrecht (Nieuwegein and Bethunepolder) and Noord-Holland (Waterleidingplas and Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen).