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Manneken Pis stops wasting drinking water
Manneken Pis has been wasting up to 1,500 litres of fresh drinking water per day - while Brussels authorities wrongly believed that the boy was urinating recycled water.
An audit of the city's water consumption found the famous statue of a peeing boy used as much water as four households. The mains water that passed through Manneken Pis went straight into the sewers instead of being reused.
"We thought it was a closed circuit and that it did not consume anything," said Régis Callens, the City of Brussels technician who spotted the problem. "As the Manneken Pis water meter is one of about 400 that we have, we did not pay much attention."
A temporary fix has been made to recover the boy's pee and send it back to the water tank. A more permanent fix is now being worked on.
"For the first time in 400 years, Manneken Pis is no longer peeing drinking water," said Ecolo city councillor Benoît Hellings. "We must set an example and encourage all inhabitants of Brussels to pay attention to their water consumption."
Further audits will now be carried out on other public fountains to ensure water is not being wasted elsewhere.