Learn More

Video Transcript

Narrator: Bruges, the capital of West Flanders in the northwest of Belgium. A UNESCO heritage site and a famous tourist destination. Just to the south of the Bruges’ city center is a former industrial site polluted with chlorinated solvents. Now a predominantly residential area next to a busy roadk this has been the site of industrial activity as far back as 1912.

Originally a textile bleaching and washing company, the site was later used a dry-cleaning facility. Active right up until closure in 1976. Spillages and leaks of solvents used in the dry cleaning process have led to a contamination of the soil and ground water under the site. The site investigation by the ABOMV showed that a chlorinated solvent plume in the ground water is migrating across the side boundary in the direction of a local stream. The contamination is deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to the environment. And over that, the government body responsible for the cleanup of public sites is funding and overseeing this remediation project.

Remediation of the contamination is complicated by the limited access available on site. Much of the area is made up of residential properties and roads. The source zone is located beneath one of the original buildings. Which is now a busy storage facility, and cannot be used for treatment activities.