The right channels

Flooding in Germany, flooding in France. Heavy rainfalls have flooded entire regions and many cities in the two European countries. The rainfall rates were so heavy in many places that the sewers were unable to drain off the surface water quickly enough.

Climate researchers have been warning for some time that such strong rain events will increase in western and central Europe. Accordingly, the sewer systems would with increasing frequency be required to handle large amounts of surface water within very short periods of time. It is therefore all the more surprising that sufficient investments have not been made in the construction and maintenance of underground channels.

In Germany, for example, investments in the entire underground construction segment have decreased considerably since the 1990s. In 2012, the German Federal Office of Statistics reported that a share of only 14.6 % of all construction investment in Germany went to this area. And only a portion of that goes toward sewer construction – while experts in the field draw attention to the fact that around 20 % of the German sewer network is more than 75 years old. We must ask whether the capacities of these sewer sections dating from the 1940s (!) will be able to handle the strong rain events, such as our most recent deluges.

In September, Germany will vote for its representatives in the Bundestag, the parliament, which will determine the coming government. The recent floods are a good argument for reminding party candidates of the urgency of investments in the sewer system. At least part of possible election gifts to the citizens might then actually go into the right channels.


Related articles:

Issue 06/2021 BERDING BETON

Berding Beton stormwater management system prevents flooding

This major project will take some more years to completion: Right in the city center of Oldenburg in Northern Germany, EWE, the regional utility group, plans to develop a completely new urban...

Issue 09/2022 ADOLF BLATT

Stuttgart Sickerstein pavers for the “sponge city”

At the very latest, the heavy rain events that occurred at the end of the summer made it evident that an increasing number of the municipal sewerage systems was no longer able to drain the resulting...

Issue 11/2012 Berding Beton GmbH

Egg-shaped pipes for combined sewer

A combined sewer has recently been rebuilt in the German city of Oldenburg. Egg-shaped reinforced-concrete pipes manufactured by Berding Beton GmbH in compliance with the quality guidelines of the FBS...

Issue 06/2012

22 kilometers of Hauraton channels drain Polish EURO 2012 stadiums

Ready for kickoff: The Polish stadiums are fit for Europe’s biggest soccer event of the year. State-of-the-art drainage channels from Hauraton, a company with a long tradition based in...

Issue 04/2015 Reiff Beton

Separation system of high quality

On an area measuring about 7 hectares, the new industrial estate “In der Langfuhr” has been developed in the German town of Bendorf in the district of Mayen-Koblenz since the beginning of 2014. Kay...