Visiting the wastewater treatment plant Dresden-Kaditz

By Liu Haibo, China

Today we visited the wastewater treatment plant Dresden-Kaditz. Although the weather conditions were not beautiful with wind and rain, the EM40 course participants still happily visited the unit. This unit, as the only municipal sewage treatment plant in the area, has a long history but is maintained well and orderly. Although conventional sewage treatment technology is used, the plant is unique in its design / operation and management. Moreover the processing indicators can meet the management requirements.

Photos: T. Karp / Liu Haibo

Mr. Lucke, the head of the environmental analysis laboratory at the wastewater treatment plant, guided us along the treatment process, and explained the different treatment steps from inflow to coarse and fine screens to the different clarification tanks and sludge treatment. Seeing the huge groundwater pipes, we could feel our gap with Germany not only on the ground, more perhaps we can not see the place. During the visit, the participants were able to ask questions about the treatment process, the rainwater impact,and so on.

Excursion to the Ecological Station Neunzehnhain

By Louisa Chinyavu Mwenda (Kenya)

Reservoir at the TUD Ecological Station Neunzehnhain

On 15th September 2016, the participants of the 68th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Integrated Water Resources Management and Health set out for the ecological station in Neunzehnhain.  Along the way from Dresden to the station, I observed that land is mainly characterized as large farms, and as we approached Neunzehnhain, the area becomes hilly and forests are abundant! When we arrived at the station, we were welcomed with breath taking views of the dam with an amazing forest backdrop (I shared the above picture with my friends back home and two suggested that area looks like a good “honeymoon” location!).
We were lucky to have a chance to get in deep within the dam, 30 meters deep to be precise, where we experienced a cool 6 degrees! Unfortunately for security reasons, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the dam. When we were done with the dam, we headed back to our new “home” to settle and rest… or preferably described as catching up! At the center there is no mobile network coverage and also no wifi, which I think worked okay as it promoted group dynamics and the participants bonded more with each other, discussing various cultural differences majorly on song and dance! The area is tranquil and serene, which is good for relaxing! Dr. Paul welcomed us heartily, such a charming man he is, and an expert too in water! We had a tantalizing meal with fresh fish (my favorite!) among other varieties. We also learned that one of the participants is a talented pianist and he entertained us with one piece before we left for bed. The next morning we had an interactive session on microbiology and we had the chance to actually be hands-on at the lab, which was exciting and very interesting especially to see some of the micro-organisms in the water samples. At about midday, we then set off to the Ore Mountains, at a restaurant where we had lunch facilitated by CIPSEM; and after we proceeded to other dams within the area, guided by Dr. Paul, for another session on water reservoirs before we left for Dresden.

Visit at the Junior Research Group INOWAS

The group left Dresden upstream the river Elbe to Pirna, as there is a TU Dresden outpost of the hydro-sciences department to visit the Junior Research Group INOWAS. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and runs until 2018. The research group around our host Dr. Catalin Stefan aims at providing stakeholders with a scientifically based decision support system for planning, design and management of applications in the water sector. The focus lies on the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the managed groundwater reservoirs by means of scenario analysis, prognosis and risk assessment and with regard to the influencing climatic factors. More information on the research can be found on their website:

(Photos: T. Karp)

Excursion to the DREWAG Drinking Water Purification plant at Dresden Tolkewitz

By Binh Pham Doan Thanh (Vietnam)

13 September, we had the next interesting excursion to Waterworks Tolkewitz, which was  built about one hundred years ago. It is placed on the left bank of the Elbe River and uses the river water as a source for producing drinking water. At the plant we were welcomed by the former head of the Water works Tolkewitz, a very kind and experienced man. During the following hour he explained the formation and development of the drinking water supply system of Dresden. After that, we visited the drinking water treatment area. The pipe system is completely isolated from the external environment to make sure that the water will always meet all standards and norms. It was a system worth learning. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. André Lindner for his translation work during the whole excursion.

SC68 visiting the wastewater treatment plant Dresden Kaditz

Their first excursion brought the SC68 group to the wastewater treatment plant in Kaditz.  The warm and sunny weather outside set the scene for a pleasant excursion. The downside? You can smell it in the deep of the sewage system. But the expert knowledge of Mr. Lucke more than compensated. He guided the participants through the plant while explaining all the different steps of wastewater treatment from first to last.

(Photos: T. Karp)

Excursion to the air pollution measurement station Dresden Nord

Today the EM39 course met with Dr. Kath at the Dresden-Neustadt station to learn about air pollution measurements. The measurement station Dresden Nord is one of 29 stations in the air monitoring network of the state of Saxony. This network serves both the long-term monitoring of immissions, as well as the detection of briefly occurring high loads of pollutants, so that measures for prevention or remedy can be initiated if necessary.

Pollutants such as SO2, NOX, ozone, BTX as well as particulate matter PM10, PM2,5 are monitored whereas for the determination of particulate matter two measuring methods are used: The first measuring method is the continuous recording of preliminary, exploratory data  for the legally required, daily updated information of the public, the second measurement method provides final data as a basis for the determination of PM10 exceedances and the preparation of air quality plans. The filter samples are analyzed by weighing in the lab.

(Fotos: T. Karp)

Ecological research station Neunzehnhain

About 80 km southwest of Dresden the TU is maintaining a small outpost: the ecological research station Neunzehnhain. Located in the middle of the forest nearby the Neunzehnhain dam, the station offers the possibility to facilitate skills and methods in the physical, chemical and biological investigation of water bodies. But first the group had a look at the dam. Completed in 1914, the dam’s primary purpose is the drinking water supply of the nearby located city of Chemnitz. As the quality of the reservoir is excellent, supposedly even the best water quality to be found in Saxony, the citizens of Chemnitz can really consider themselves fortunate. After passing the coping of the dam, the group entered the dam itself and learned about its functionality and about the measurements performed in the dam. The next day started with some microscoping lectures, before the group returned once more to the dam to be taught about different methods for the assessment of water quality.

(Photos: T. Karp)