Our first field trip for the program included several different tours. It was a long day filled with traveling on buses and bicycles, climbing up and down stairs, and plenty of walking. Our first tour guide was from De Watergroep Company, which is the source for drinking water for the Flemish speaking part of Belgium. The two main stops we made were at different water catchments that included both a horizontal and vertical well.
This picture corresponds to the horizontal well. Drinking water of very good quality is supplied to consumers using this well, which functions completely by gravitational forces. It was cold inside this gallery, and as you can see, we walked on a narrow ledge to get a good view of the flowing water and the ‘barbacanes’ or pipes that allow the groundwater to enter. We then made a trip down into a chalk cave, also chilly down there. This water is also of great drinking quality. In the picture below, the gallery behind me is flooded. The top of the water shows the reflection of the ceiling of the cave.
We then hopped onto the bus back to the campus and had a quick lunch. And then grabbed our bikes and headed towards Ecowerf. Ecowerf is a garbage collection facility with a large green waste composting process. It is incredible to see how much trash is prevented, recycled, and composted rather than thrown into landfills.
But, wait… there’s more. With the trace of compost all over our clothes and hair, we jumped on our bikes to our final tour. Yes, we made our final stop at the Stella Artois Brewery. It was interesting to see the facility from the ‘cooking steps’ to the production lines. There was a complimentary beverage at the end of this tour. I wish I could tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the drink, but I’m not much of a beer person. So after a very long day, I stuck with some good quality drinking water.