Water pipes: regional lifelines
Open the tap, put the glass underneath, enjoy tap water. Germany’s best supervised food item is available 24/7. A lot of work is required to make this quality water available for everybody. To illustrate this, Jörg Pfaff, plant manager of the waterworks in Westerburg, speaks about the various tasks regarding water supply.
The water supply division is responsible for the entire drinking water supply. This means that the water is pumped from the wells, springs or tunnels, treated and sterilized in the extraction plant and finally fed from the elevated tanks into the drinking water network and supplied to households. Another task is to maintain the buildings, such as the elevated tanks. In addition, the pipes and technical equipment must be constantly maintained and cleaned. The water supply network covers a total of 314 kilometers (including the interconnected network), which also have to be maintained. In Westerburg and its associated municipalities, 8220 households are connected to this network. The municipal utilities are responsible for the water supply up to the water meters in the residential buildings. In addition to the annual road construction measures, which include the renovation of sewers or water pipes if necessary, the municipal utilities are constantly working on maintaining and renewing the pipeline system. In addition to the planned measures, there are also the emergencies in everyday life. In addition to obvious pipe bursts where the water runs over the street, there are also cases, for example, where the water seeps into the ground.
The term remote control technology refers to remote access and the process of remote maintenance in which electrical consumers such as pumps, gate valves or measurements are switched, controlled or regulated remotely via data and telecommunications networks such as the Internet and mobile communications. The employees can see on the laptop or at the control station, for example, how much water is in an elevated tank or whether the collective sewage treatment plant is operating trouble-free. Without having to travel to the site immediately, as was previously the case, they can also check sewer reservoirs and open and close water and wastewater inlets remotely.
The employees can control the plants better, detect faults more quickly and react accordingly. Daily manual maintenance trips are also reduced. With one click, the corresponding maintenance information can be retrieved from all aggregates. Whereas this data used to be entered manually in lists, it is now recorded automatically. All messages flow into logs, which can also be called up at any time.