Flanders’ largest lake to be drained of polluted water

Summary

The filthy water in the Vinne lake is being drained and refilled with fresh water to save plants and wildlife

Out with the old

The water quality in Flanders’ largest natural lake is so poor, authorities are going to pump it dry and replace the water. Preparations have already begun to pump the lake.

The water in the Vinne lake in Zoutleeuw, Flemish Brabant, is causing damage to the plants and animals that live in and around it. The province will pump all of the water out, clean up toxic material on the bottom of the lake and pump clean water back in.

The entire process should be complete by next spring. “We even have a place to keep the fish,” said An Schevenels of the provincial council. “And when the water is low enough, we’re going to remove all of the plants and other organic material, then refill it. We have arrangements with fish association who will house them temporarily.”

The Vinne lake is some 100 hectares in a nature reserve of about 130 hectares. It is a bird sanctuary and home to many migrating birds. It is popular with birdwatchers and walkers and is home to a visitors’ centre, playground, herbal garden and restaurant.

Photo courtesy Den Dolaard