Just a few hundred metres from the North Sea, Dunea Duin & Water at Scheveningen is located within an oasis of dunes and grasses in an otherwise densely populated area of The Netherlands. These dunes are not just beautiful, they have been acting as a natural water filter for decades. When water is pumped from a tributary of the Maas River to several dune ponds it slowly sinks into the dune sand and stays there for around two months, leaving it filtered of bacteria and viruses. It is a unique and natural purification process that other water facilities, less blessed with such natural resources, would need chemicals to achieve the same purification process.
It is this natural, efficient working method that seems to underpin the operational philosophy at Dunea: robust, smart, efficient and reliable. One of the electrical engineers at Dunea, Cees van de Noort, forms part of a dedicated process automation team responsible for the constant supply of fresh drinking water to over 1.3 million people throughout
The Hague city and surrounds. Electrical engineering has been a central focus of Cees’ professional life since graduating from high school in Leiden - and he has since built up decades of hands-on experience gained working in various facilities from water plants in Sumatra to petrochemical plants in Europe - all the while installing hardware and electrical systems to enhance profitability and reliability. This has led to his specialisation, and passion, for PROFIBUS systems - a particular technology utilised by Dunea Duin & Water to enhance their operational efficiency.
As population levels in the area have increased, so to has the level of water usage. “On any given workday at 6am we will be supplying drinking water at a rate of 214,000 litres per minute, just an hour later it will have doubled” says Cees. However, demand can be unpredictable, as evidenced by water usage caused by flushing toilets during half-time of a World Cup football match. The task will also become more complicated over time, says Cees. “For example our readings show an increased usage of Ibuprofen in society, these trace amounts of pharmaceuticals are steadily increasing and will require advanced oxidation to remove them from the water chain - it won’t go away by itself.”