SPA - In the twentieth century

The twentieth century was to witness the fruition of decisive measures adopted to protect effectively the mineral water springs in general and the consumer in particular.

In August 1924, the protective perimeter was extended to all springs in general, that were recognized as being of public utility.  It was then extended to the Marie-Henriette spring in 1925 and then to Géronstère, Sauvenière, Barisart, Pouhon-Pia, Groesbeck, Reine, Delcor-Pouhon and Hornay springs in 1927.

..On July 1937, a new royal decree defined a very important perimeter ;  it extended over exactly 26Km502 m affording protection to 3.409,1 hectares.  All the principal springs were therefore covered by this decree.  In the perimeter thus defined, there may not be undertaken, without previous government authority, any work that might result to a reduction in the outflow from the springs, or any alteration in the quality of the water that they provide ; and in particular, no drainage, sounding, well sinking, underground work, trenching to a depth exceeding two metres, alterations affecting the flow of streams, the drainage of surface water and the natural situation of emissions of carbon dioxide.
In prolongation of the law of 1924, the Regent executed in April 1948 a decree prohibiting in the District of the three Springs (Pouhon, Arms of Austria and Prince de Condé) the erection or undertaking of non-essential work.  Only maintenance work could thereby be authorized.

In 1990, the Walloon Region established an even stricter decree related to the protection and exploitation of drinkable waters.  This decree seek two objectives :  it aims not only of strengthen the protection of drinkable waters against any pollution but, furthermore, to ensure the rational exploitation of these waters and their fair distribution among producers.
Therefore, the protection of the Spa springs were organized on the basis of three defined zones :

  1. the “water tapping zone” :  an area in which the collecting structure is installed.  Only activities related to water production are ahtorized in this area including the maintenance of water intakes ;
  2. the “prevention zone” which is subdivided into two zones.  The inner zone (generally 1 hectare around each collection point) and the outer zone which protects all of the Spa collection points (5.163 hectares).  Transport, warehousing, storage, excavation, leakage, rubbish, sewage and in general any activity which could pollute the water are governed by this strict legislation.  The rules are so strict that the surrounding roads are not salted and manure cannot be spread on he field in this area.
  3. the “surveillance zone” (13.177 hectares) comprises the area covering the whole of the hydro-geological reservoir that feeds the water collection areas       

A wide area around Spa is now protected by law !

Géronstère Spring