Wetskills Netherlands 2020-
by Ron Wolthuis
The second day of the event was all about the excursion. First by bus to the Afsluitdijk to see how the IJsselmeer is separated from the Wadden Sea by a dam of 32 kilometres. This 32 kilometres of basalt blocks, earth and gravel were made largely by hand in the beginning of the last century, quite impressive. In the exhibition of the information centre you can get acquainted with the history of the mudflats and the IJsselmeer in an interactive way. You will learn why the Afsluitdijk was made, what it is made of and how the dyke can be used for Blue energy and tourism in the region. You learn in a playful way what the Afsluitdijk is all about.
The second stop was at a water treatment plant. One of the largest in the province of Friesland. There is room for more than 200,000 households. The water is purified by means of micro bacteria that purify the water in several steps. The quality at which this happens depends on the amount of rainwater that enters the facility. More rainwater means that the micro-organisms work less well and the quality of the purification decreases.
The special thing about this sewage treatment plant is that a separate room next to the site has been set up for experiments with sewage water. Here, the water board makes space available for companies to get more out of the water than just the phosphorus that is filtered with the bacteria. For example, experiments are currently underway with filtering medicines and making cardboard from toilet paper. The aim of the water board is to be circular in water waste flows by 2050.
The last part of the excursion was a scavenger hunt in Leeuwarden. The intention was to guess the end location on the basis of questions related to a couple of geolocation. This turned out to be a major challenge. Especially when you think you have the answers right to end up with a negative coordinate. It was no longer possible to quickly find out where the error was because the first team had just guessed the location, unfortunately. Fortunately, the search was rewarded with a tasty BBQ.