Safe bathing in rivers

River bathing is becoming more and more popular, also thanks to the water quality having significantly improved in recent years. Nevertheless, there may be health risks if, for example, combined sewer overflows get into the water after heavy rainfall. For several years already, KWB has been working on practical solutions to minimise the risks of river bathing.

The joint research project FLUSSHYGIENE scrutinised the causes of sanitary risks at river bathing sites. By means of a numerical model which is fed with open data such as rain quantity and water flow rate, the sanitary load at vulnerable bathing sites in Berlin can be predicted. Already serving the third bathing season, this is a perfect example of open data use for the common good: ““ can now be used also from all German federal states. A web platform supports the authorities responsible for bathing water quality to independently create their own prediction models. In the iBathWater and Digital-Water.City projects, this solution is supplemented with other machine learning algorithms and is further developed for use at the European level.

In the EU Life project iBathWater, KWB is investigating together with partners in Barcelona to what extent the data situation on water pollution can be improved in real time through new measuring devices. Two of these monitoring systems are located on the pilot system for surface water treatment at the “Flussbad Berlin”, where the early warning system is tested in terms of its transferability to the particular requirements of the inner urban area of Berlin. (By the way, the picture shows the descent of our scientist into the hull of the “test filter barge” – more pictures can be found in the slideshow of our project iBathWater.) Furthermore, pollution by combined sewer overflows will be reduced by real-time control of wastewater flows or removal of coarse matter by mobile screens.

In the Digital-Water.City project, a “water drone” is used as a measuring device to detect the E. coli faecal germ. In addition, studies are underway on the Seine and Marne rivers in France in preparation for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

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