Frisian consortium starts innovation project ‘Emission-free washing area for agricultural vehicles’

At the initiative of Loonbedrijf Van Gunst in Hallum, a consortium of five Frisian parties has started to realise and demonstrate an emission-free washing area for cleaning and disinfecting trucks and machines for arable farming and livestock farming. In addition to Loonbedrijf van Gunst, the consortium includes Maatschap Jensma en De Vries, HZPC, Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences and the Centre of Expertise Water Technology (CEW). The project is financed by the partners themselves, Wetterskip Fryslân, a POP3 subsidy and a contribution from the TKI Water Technology. In September 2020, a preliminary investigation will start and in April 2022 the washing site must be running. The project is in line with the ambitions of the Delta Plan for Agricultural Water Management (DAW), an initiative of LTO, supported by the province and Wetterskip Fryslân. The Delta Plan was an important catalyst in the development of this plan and the consortium.

The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires that by 2027 there is good chemical and ecological surface water quality in European member states. Farmyard runoff can be a source of surface water contamination. That is why various parties in the DAW are working on measures to reduce the runoff of the yard. An emission-free washing area can make an important contribution to this.

100% Circular

The realisation and demonstration of a central washing place with zero discharge is an important innovation for clean surface water, without crop protection and disinfection agents. The result is an emission-free washing area for cleaning agricultural machines, transport and storage equipment for agricultural products. The aim is to develop a 100% circular washing area, in which the used rinse water is cleaned in such a way that it is free of disease carriers and particles that can damage the technical installation. Zero-discharge central cleaning facilities are expected to be more attractive than individual ones. Both from an economic point of view and from an environmental point of view.


In order to develop such an establishment, Loonbedrijf van Gunst has sought cooperation with other parties, including the Centre of Expertise Water Technology (CEW), part of WaterCampus Leeuwarden. Through applied research, the CEW will search for answers to the question, among other things: “What are the optimal design principles for an integrated purification system for rinsing water for zero emissions?” The research will be carried out by lecturers-researchers, students and lecturers of Van Hall Larenstein university of applied sciences, together with researchers from the CEW. Wetterskip Fryslân plays a directing role in the research part of the project. The technical design, realisation and commissioning of the rinsing place are in the hands of Van Gunst.


In addition to a substantial personal contribution from the partners, a POP3 subsidy has been obtained for the innovation project and a contribution from TKI Water Technology. In addition, Wetterskip Fryslân makes a contribution from its innovation budget. “We are happy to support innovations that can contribute to better water quality or other water management goals. This project fits in seamlessly with the goals of Wetterskip Fryslân to prevent runoff from, among other things, plant protection products in surface water, ”says Annet van der Hoek, daily director at Wetterskip Fryslân.

Example function

25 Arable farmers have now signed a letter of intent. Initially, the project focuses on these 25 arable farmers, but in the final phase it also wants to be able to serve other arable farmers in Fryslân.
The consortium expects to play an important exemplary role with the washing place in achieving zero emissions for clean surface water.