"Everything under control" says Environment Minister

The Francophone public broadcaster RTBF reports that the waste water from a brand new building tower which is part of the UP-site building project, will be dumped directly in the local river Zenne without being treated first. The tower is being erected along the Tour & Taxis site in Brussels. However, the Brussels Environment Minister Evelyne Huytebroeck (Francophone greens) says that the problem will be solved before the people move in.

UP-site boasts the tallest building in Brussels where citizens can take up residence. When it's finished, the 42-floor tower will point 140 metres in the sky. The whole building complex also includes four other residential buildings, four office blocks and a couple of stores.

Up to 2,500 people will live in the building complex. The waste water that they produce, will not go to a water treatment station, but will be dumped directly in the Zenne river, if things remain as they are. This would mean that the Zenne will be used as a sewage system.

Evelyne Huytebroeck: "Things will be ready in time"

The Brussels Environment Minister Evelyne Huytebroeck (photo) organised a press conference to counter the rumours. She said that "everything is under control", as the works for a separate sewage system will be ready by 2014, when the first people are taking up residence in the building.

Ms Huytebroeck reassured environmentalists that the waste water will not enter the river Zenne without being treated first. She admits that Brussels still has a lot of work to do to update sewage networks to modern standards, but says that all this should be finished in 20 years' time. However, she claims that water of the Zenne is cleaner when it leaves the city of Brussels than when it enters the city.