Germans unite to focus on increased export power of wastewater solutions

With 11 universities, partners from industry, and the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA), the cooperative project for the transfer of technology in the field of wastewater treatment gets under way...

HENNEF, Germany, Sept. 28, 2005 -- Water is a valuable commodity. Germans have for a long time been used to having available drinking water of exceptional quality and in sufficient quantities practically at all times and in all places. In Germany, the disposal of wastewater also functions at the highest level. It's well-known that, in many parts of the world, this is a different matter.

It's now to be researched in a cooperative project how the established methods of wastewater treatment can be matched to the conditions in countries without full-coverage wastewater disposal.

With this, the widely differing German experience is to be made more usable for international collaboration. The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) is promoting the cooperative project; taking part are 11 universities, partners from industry and the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA).

The idea
The objective of the cooperative project promoted by the BMBF is to adapt the technologies, which are well tried in Germany, to the constraints in other regions. The concepts and dimensioning rules for the various processes of wastewater treatment established in Germany are to be so modified that they can also be used under different circumstances, for example with different compositions of raw wastewater and under different climatic conditions.

The research work is to contribute to an improvement in the opportunities in international competition for German companies active in the field of wastewater treatment and the reuse of water.

The sub-projects are being coordinated by the chair for environmental engineering at the Ruhr University in Bochum. As one of the joint partners the DWA is taking on the task of disseminating the results of the project to the specialist public.

The project
The cooperative project "Wastewater treatment and the reuse of water" started in January 2001 with the first sub-project. In all, the cooperative project is to cover 24 sub-projects which are allocated to three core areas: the co-operative partners from science and industry tackle questions concerning wastewater treatment, investigate possibilities for disinfection and water reuse and adapt recognised simulation models for wastewater facilities to modified dimensioning rules. At the centre of all sub-projects are, in particular, the requirements on wastewater treatment in developing countries and countries in transition.

Already in 2001 the BMBF supported an analogous project on the technology of drinking water processing which has, in the meantime, been completed. Both the cooperative project on the processing of drinking water as well as that on wastewater treatment were preceded by national studies in which the constraints were investigated in important target countries.

The reports entitled "Practical experience with drinking water abstraction in other countries" and "Requirements on wastewater engineering in other countries" can be obtained from the project initiator of the BMBF:

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Projektträger (Project initiator) Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (PTKA), Bereich Wassertechnologie und Entsorgung (Water technology and disposal) (PTKA-WTE), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, D-76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen.

Further information on the project partners
• German Federal Ministry for Education and Research: www.bmbf.de
• Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH: www.fzk.de
• German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste: www.dwa.de

Additional information can be found at the European Water Association (EWA) website: www.ewaonline.de.

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