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  • Dear Readers!

    If truth be told, we had all been hoping that we would no longer have to talk about Covid by spring 2021. Who would have thought that we would be spending a second Easter and a second Ramadan with no end to the pandemic in sight? The longer this situation continues, the more difficult it is to maintain the public and personal discipline needed to fight the pandemic. People are weary. They are fed up with having to go from one lockdown to the next with there being no real prospects of life returning to normal. And while infection rates continue to rise no matter what restrictions are put in place, the country’s normally reliable federalist system is beginning to reveal some weaknesses. Is it really helpful that the measures taken to tackle this global threat are decided on at federal state level? On the other hand, why should public life grind to a halt in a sparsely populated region with a low two-figure infection rate just because the number of people catching the virus is rising exponentially in an area several hundred kilometres away? There are no simple answers but at least we are fortunate to have almost 27,000 ICU beds here in Germany and are better prepared for the situation than many other countries. However, being forced to focus almost entirely on treating Covid patients, hospitals are finding themselves in a difficult financial position – to say nothing of the huge and constant stress levels that the ICU healthcare professionals are having to cope with. At least the Covid measures have led to a dramatic decline in all other kinds of respiratory illnesses. Fortunately, the strict hygiene measures have meant that we have not had to deal with a flu epidemic this year.

    The world tends to view Germans as being both extremely organised and efficient. Some may be reconsidering their opinion, though, looking at the speed – or lack of speed – vaccinations are being rolled out. Which once again brings us back to the subject of using the private sector to deliver essential services. Here, too, many problems could have been prevented right from the start if politicians had taken up the help offered by the private sector to support the vaccination campaign. It can be assumed that an international online ticket seller, one able to sell millions of tickets for rock festivals or worldwide concert tours within just a few hours, would be able to organise online vaccination appointments faster and more efficiently than the overworked local health authorities with their outdated IT systems – and certainly without their website crashing or without them having to develop new software first. Such offers, however, have been taken up by just a few individual public health offices and then only belatedly.

    Are things running more smoothly in the circular economy? This latest issue of REMONDIS aktuell takes a closer look at the differences between rural districts and cities. It is, above all, the rural district authorities that turn to the private sector for help in providing a number of services – both in the circular economy as well as in the area of water and wastewater management. This approach not only promises to deliver the best services at sensible prices. It also has a major impact on how efficient their sustainability efforts actually are. With local authorities facing both an increased financial burden caused by the pandemic and an urgent need to renovate their infrastructure, it is well worth taking a closer look at the situation. 22% of local councillors believe that their local business tax revenue will be at least 10% lower in 2021 than it was in 2019. The majority of district and town councils, 64% to be precise, are planning to increase their local taxes and/or charges. There is certainly room for them to optimise their business operations in the area of cost-intensive key services, such as waste and water management, by systematically putting these services out to tender, extending their PPP arrangements or founding a new PPP company.

    We hope you enjoy reading this latest issue. Stay safe!

    Yours, Ludger Rethmann

Helping to secure high quality drinking water

  • The Wasserversorgungs- und Abwasserzweckverband Güstrow-Bützow-Sternberg (WAZ) water association recently commissioned EURAWASSER Nord to carry out two projects to safeguard the long-term supply of high quality drinking water in Mecklenburg. The first one – to reorganise water supply in the Kloster Tempzin district – has now been completed and the second project – to build a new clean water storage tank at the Laage Waterworks – is well underway.

Kloster Tempzin connected to the Kuhlen group water supply

WAZ had previously operated its own waterworks in Zahrensdorf to supply five areas of the Kloster Tempzin district (in the administrative district of Ludwigslust-Parchim) with drinking water. However, increasing levels of chloride were detected in the water recently. Caused by natural processes, the concentration levels were slowly creeping up towards the statutory limits. WAZ decided, therefore, to take action and connect the areas affected (namely Zahrensdorf, Tempzin, Langen Jarchow, Klein Jarchow and Häven) to the Kuhlen group water supply.

Well experienced in such work, REMONDIS’ subsidiary EURAWASSER Nord set about realising this plan. As the new pipes had to pass through the Schwerin Lake District, a designated EU ‘Important Bird Area’, the work was performed in line with all environmental and conservation regulations to ensure that the animals living there had all the protection they needed.

“The decommissioning of the Zahrensdorf Waterworks is one part of the water association’s strategic drinking water concept, which was developed together with EURAWASSER Nord and was agreed on in 2019.”

Katja Gödke, Managing Director of the Association of Administrations (WAZ)

Completed in just three months

  • The 4,600m drinking water pipe was successfully laid between Kuhlen and Klein Jarchow (via Holdorf) in just three months according to schedule. Most of the pipe was able to be installed using horizontal directional boring – a modern, minimal impact trenchless method of laying pipes. The result: with the network having been successfully rerouted, the areas previously supplied by the Zahrensdorf Waterworks now receive drinking water that is of an even better quality than before. Keeping the same water hardness, it has not only been possible to increase water pressure but also to reduce chloride levels by 90%. In the meantime, the decommissioned Zahrensdorf Waterworks and the wells connected to it have all been dismantled.

    The building of a new clean water storage tank at Laage Waterworks is helping to secure water supplies in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

A new clean water storage tank for Laage Waterworks

    • At the same time, EURAWASSER Nord has been doing the necessary planning work to build a new 500m³ clean water storage tank at Laage Waterworks. This plant supplies water to around 6,000 local inhabitants living in twenty villages and towns in the administrative district of Rostock as well as to the many commercial and industrial businesses located there.

    The new tank will replace the single chamber tank that had been installed in 1980 and needed to undergo repair work. The existing plant is also to be expanded. A 300m² extension is to be built, equipped with the relevant technology and then connected to the current facility. At the same time, 146 metres of underground supply and discharge pipes, 104 metres of gravity wastewater pipes (including the shafts) and the bordering street lights are to be replaced. This work is due to be completed by August 2021.

Less renovation work required

“The decommissioning of the Zahrensdorf Waterworks is one part of the water association’s strategic drinking water concept, which was developed together with EURAWASSER Nord and was agreed on in 2019. A further nine waterworks are to be decommissioned and their water supply network rerouted by 2024. The long-term goal here is to save money by not having to carry out costly renovation work – which will also benefit our customers,” explained Katja Gödke, managing director of the association of administrations (WAZ).

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