Ministry of Environment and Energy (BUE), City of Hamburg (FHH):
Feasibility Study for the Treatment and Retention of Polluted Stormwater

The Ministry of Environment and Energy of the City of Hamburg is composed of the directorates Environmental Protection, Pollution Control and Companies, Natural Conservation, Planning and Energy and General Tasks and Law. The Ministry is the responsible authority for environmental protection, natural conservation, protection of water resources and supply of energy in the City of Hamburg, which is also a federal state of Germany. The project is located in the Department of Wastewater Control.

Initial situation

Polluted stormwater from urban areas is responsible for the intake of significant amounts of pollutants (as for example heavy metals and PAH) into the water bodies and affects these water bodies furthermore hydraulically. One of the major sources of pollutants are roads with high traffic load. As a result of these negative impacts on the water bodies, the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive to improve the quality of water bodies cannot be achieved. In order to achieve these objectives, and to comply with national legislation, the construction and operation of stormwater treatment plants is necessary.  

There are many different possibilities for stormwater treatment. At the same time, the options are frequently limited in an urban, heavily built-up context. Possible limiting factors are for example the availability of areas, the condition of hydraulic heights and the costs for investment and operation. Therefore, feasibility studies are conducted in order to assess the feasibility as well as the advantages and disadvantages of different options under concrete circumstances and boundary conditions. These studies serve as the basis for decisions to implement treatment plants.

Aims of the project
In this project, such a feasibility study is conducted by the students, using a pre-defined template. Additionally to the results of the study, the template shall be tested and evaluated. Also the gathering of experiences and the introduction of new ideas into the process are objectives of the project.

The students will receive an area with known stormwater catchment areas as well as available data for conducting the study. The study consists mainly of the following parts:

- Description of the current situation: Describing the condition of the affected water body and its surroundings (e.g. built structures, discharges, land utilization and existing planning), including the personal inspection of the water body and its documentation.

- Determining loads and stress: Evaluating the hydraulic and material impacts on the affected water body, using applicable regulations and available data.

- Options assessment: Discussing and assessing the feasibility of different options for the reduction of material and if necessary hydraulic impacts. The options shall be compared by technical aspects, the availability of areas and costs.

Target group (students)
The project is mainly targeted at students from the following areas:
-          Environmental engineering
-          Civil engineering
-          Water engineering
-          Process engineering
-          Industrial engineering and economics
-          Informatics

Please reserve these dates:

  • 11 April: Information event with te companies, from 10am to 12pm, mainbuilding A; LuK
  • 18 April: Kick-off event, from 2pm to 6pm (obligatory attendance)
  • 21 and 28 April: Project management course, full day (obligatory attendance)