Orientation Study Program at TU Hamburg: Applications are open until August 31st.

Hamburg Wasser

Concept for restarting the wastewater treatment plant after a blackout

Description of the company

HAMBURG WASSER closes the water cycle from drinking water supply to wastewater disposal under one roof. With over 2,000 employees and more than 20 locations, we ensure that everything runs smoothly in Hamburg every day. We are resolutely committed to conserving resources and preserving the basis of life for future generations in Hamburg. Together with our subsidiaries, we invest our experience in pioneering water and environmental protection projects.

HAMBURG WASSER brings together all the expertise of our various specialist teams. In the technical field, this primarily includes our expertise in water and wastewater treatment plant operation, drinking water and wastewater networks, infrastructure development and our in-house engineering team for planning and construction services.


In the event of a widespread blackout, the Hamburg wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is likely to go black. A restart concept is necessary so that the WWTP can start up again. Both process engineering requirements and the energy requirements of the individual process stages have to be taken into account. The energy requirements differ depending on the process stage and operating status and are also dependent on parameters such as the inflow volume. In addition, this knowledge is also required to identify suitable adjusting screws for load management during regular operation.


During a blackout, it can be assumed that the WWTP operation will come to a standstill. To restart the process and to be able to carry out sensible load management in regular operation, knowledge of the individual process stages is required with regard to the number of parallel units, their influence on each other and their electrical energy requirements. This knowledge is currently not available and has to be acquired by analysing the existing process technology and suitable evaluations.

Aims of the project

After consultation with the project team, a suitable part of the Hamburg WWTP will be selected for consideration.

•    Basic determination of the existing process technology: Which process steps are there, how many parallel units can be operated in each case and what is the energy requirement for 1,2, ...n units operated in parallel? Evaluation and determination of the energy consumption of the individual process stages at the Hamburg WWTP for the various load cases of commissioning and regular operation.

Standardisation of the values 1 m³ wastewater.
The following points have to be considered for commissioning after blackout:
•    Determination of the process-engineering boundary conditions for the commissioning of the individual process stages.  
•    Development of a suitable start-up and switch-on strategy: Creation of a switching concept/schedule based on the analysis results to restart the WWTP after a blackout.

•    A data-based evaluation is used to record start-up currents and consumption during regular operation and compare them with the generation capacity.
•    Obtaining information both for a black start-capable stand-alone grid and for load management.

This task focuses on a part of the Hamburg WWTP. The WWTP includes the three properties Köhlbrandhöft WWTP, Dradenau WWTP and pumping station Hafenstraße. Although the results to be determined are plant-specific, the basic analytical procedure can also be transferred to other parts of the Hamburg WWTP and to other WWTPs.

Target group (students)

  • Environmental engineering
  • Process engineering
  • Electrical engineering

Please save these dates: Fishing for Experience Termine

You can apply for Fishing for Experience online.