Landscape integration of wastewater pumping stations of the Arcachon Basin

Logo Bassin d'Arcachon

The 10 municipalities of the « Bassin d’Arcachon » have joined together in an Intercommunal Syndicate of the Bassin d’Arcachon (SIBA) to pool the means of operating their collective sanitation service. Today, the effluents of the Bassin d’Arcachon are treated by 3 treatment plants for a total capacity of 290 000 inhabitants, and a common discharge of treated water 800 metres into the sea at the Salie wharf through a general collector built in 1974.


Mission Objectives

Due to the flat topography of the Arcachon Basin, the sewerage network is raised in more than 400 spots via pressure stations in order to convey the effluents to the treatment plants and finally to the open sea outlet. More precisely, a total of 412 pumping stations are in operation throughout the SIBA. These stations have varying pumping capacities, are located in different environments, both densely populated and in the countryside, and are integrated into technical buildings with ancillary equipment or simply consist of a pumping tank and an adjoining control cabinet without fencing or signalling.

The Bay of Arcachon being a highly touristic territory, punctuated by listed sites or even sites classified as “the Dune of the Pyla and the Usage Forest”, some discharge stations needed to be correctly inserted in the landscape with a new architectural dressing specific to the constraints of each site.

The objective of this study is to carry out the landscaping to make the best use of the sites by integrating into the landscape identity of the pumping stations and an identity signature of the SIBA while respecting:

  • The requirements of the municipalities, the area in which the stations are located
  • ELOA’s  (brand that manages the operation of the public service of collective sanitation in the Arcachon Basin) Operating Constraints

Examples of installations designed

Tank Station, Lège Cap Ferret

This project uses the palisades of the houses of the district to camouflage 100% the station and its cupboards at the entrance of the car park of the natural reserve of Lège Cap Ferret. The access gate is merged with the rest of the oyster fence and the control box has been painted in bottle glass, a colour that goes unnoticed in the shade of the trees.

Poste reservoirs - Lege Cap Ferret
Poste reservoirs - Lege Cap Ferret

Port Ostréicole, Arès

A small structure in appearance, which hides large pumps that the operator lifts during routine maintenance operations by parking his semi-trailer along the concrete pads. “There is no question of closing the site with a long palisade; too impractical and unsafe” (the field must be free between the truck and the electrical box). A short palisade was therefore installed to the right of the box, which was painted in bottle glass like the trapdoors on the ground. The pignots are made of uncalibrated acacia (robinia) to be as close as possible to the oyster farming spirit. The logo is this time engraved on wood and the letters painted white.

Port Ostreicole - Ares
Port Ostreicole - Ares

The concept of this integration device is to take advantage of the vegetation around the substation to perfect its integration.

Two distinct fences are erected. One is located along the oyster port road in the extension of the existing vegetation and the other is perpendicular to the road towards the ponds just to the north. Between these 2 structures, a 3.5 m clear space provides access to the pumping station. One of the concrete pads has been removed and replaced by a retractable bollard with key to control vehicle access.

Port Ostreicole - Ares