Amsterdam is using bubbles against water pollution .. can it work elsewhere too?

The city boasts more water than Venice, more bridges than Paris and is famed for its canals.

But Amsterdam is also a route to the North Sea for rubbish including plastics despite daily attempts to clear what can be found.

Since last year a new system – The Great Bubble Barrier – has been in place firing bubbles into the water course effectively ‘trapping’ plastics for collection.

It is claimed water life is not just left unharmed, but helped by more oxygen being pumped into the areas.


Essentially a long perforated tube is slung across the canal and starts pushing air into the water to create the bubbles.

This video explains how it works.

Waternet works on behalf of the Amstel, Gooi and Vecht Water Management Board and the municipality of Amsterdam

They claim around 42 tonnes of plastics is fished out from Amsterdam’s inland waterways every year.

The three year pilot programme is hoped to enable similar schemes to be rolled out in other cities and countries.

Philip Ehrhorn, co-inventor of the technology, along Dutch amateur sailors and friends, Anne Marieke Eveleens, Francis Zoet and Saskia Studer came up with the concept over a beer and managed to secure funding to make it reality.

More information can be found at their website.

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