This little boy, standing 61 cm tall, in the centre of Brussels, and considered the best-known symbol of the people of Belgium’s capital, will also be helping the environment from now on, according to The Brussels Times.
Until now, this small bronze statue, urinating into the fountain’s basin, had been wasting between 1,000 and 2,500 litres of clean drinking water a day. This amount is equivalent to the water consumed by as many as ten households.
At the end of 2018, Régis Callens, an energy technician working for the city of Brussels, installed a meter on the little boy’s organ, thinking that the circuit was closed and that it was not consuming any water. Callens says that “Since the counter for Manneken Pis is just one out of 350 or 400, nobody paid much attention.”
After Régis had disclosed his findings, the solution was put into place last week.
The little boy will no longer urinate clean, fresh water, but the same water over and over again, from a closed circuit. For now, Brussels has placed a channel which gathers the water from the basin and feeds it back into the Manneken Pis. Further along, a more permanent circuit will be installed.
Manneken Pis had been peeing drinking water for 400 years. The city now plans to inspect the other fountains to guarantee that as little drinking water as possible is wasted.