“Impulse pro Kanal” – Update on the condition of the
German sewage system

Hygiene, groundwater protection and flood control are the foundations of our healthy lives and our wealth. This is not a given in all parts of the world. Because these things work well in Germany, there is frequently no awareness of the effort and work required to ensure both the availability of fresh and clean drinking water and the related wastewater disposal.

The expertise and commitment of some 300,000 people in water resource management are called upon every day to keep this valuable infrastructure up and “running”
in the true sense of the word.

With a total length of approx.  594,334 km, public sewer networks generally represent the highest asset values of cities and municipalities. The value of private property development facilities  can probably be assessed at a similar level. Creating the necessary awareness of this fact extends far beyond local political decision makers; the public must also be informed about the size of “their” underground assets. At the same time, these assets – similar to real estate – must be maintained and brought up to the latest technical standards.

The most recent survey by the Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) on the condition of the sewage system in Germany has shown that, despite all efforts, one fifth of all public sewers will have to be refurbished in the short to medium term, and 14.3 % have not been assessed at all.

There is still a lot to do. The “Impulse pro Kanal” action committee
comprising twenty-two associations and organizations has therefore
set out demands in support of a functioning water and wastewater infrastructure that are more important than ever especially in times of increasing budget restrictions.

Retain value and functionality

Operating safety through verification

Include sustainability aspects: environmental, economic and

    social considerations

Groundwater safety

Sewage master plan

Inform and provide advice to the public

Increase inspection intervals

Individual refurbishment and reconstruction concepts

Quality assurance measures


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