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Emscher pumping station, Oberhausen

Facts and Figures
Company PORR GmbH & Co. KGaA
Principal Emschergenossenschaft
Location Oberhausen - Germany
Type Supply and disposal facilities
Runtime 03.2018 - 08.2021

New pumping station as part of a sustainable master plan

The Emscher wastewater canal winds its way through the Ruhr region over 51km. By the end of the 20th century, the Emscher was still regarded as the dirtiest river in Europe. Water protection took a back seat for decades. The comprehensive generation project known as “Emscher Conversion”, headed by the Emschergenossenschaft, is changing all that: as Europe’s largest wastewater project, the Emscher is being transformed from an open wastewater canal into a natural watercourse. As part of this sustainable master plan, the Emschergenossenschaft commissioned the Berlin branch of PORR Civil Engineering with the sub-project BA 60.3 – structural engineering for the Oberhausen pumping station on the Emscher wastewater canal. Work began in March 2017 and comprised the realisation of the structural engineering for the Oberhausen pumping station, the neighbouring Oberhausen-Handbach pumping station and the outdoor facilities inside the roundabout, including the access road.

PORR builds behemoth at a depth of 46m to achieve zero wastewater
The new Oberhausen pumping station will discharge the wastewater from the sunken wastewater canal to the Emscher-Mündung wastewater treatment plant in Dinslaken via an above-ground gravity sewer. The Oberhausen-Handbach pumping station pumps wastewater from the Handbach sewer into the elevated double-pipe sewer, which also leads to the Emscher-Mündung wastewater treatment plant. The construction pits required for both pumping stations were installed by other companies in a separate construction phase using diaphragm walls and bored piles. The Oberhausen pumping station consists of a cylindrical underground structure with a diameter of 46m and a foundation depth of 44m below ground level. The Oberhausen-Handbach pumping station has a diameter of 7m and a depth of 12m. In addition to the realisation of the pumping stations, a number of other engineering services were part of the construction project, including the construction of the 220m long pipe jacking, 2 relief shafts which included the enclosure for the photo-oxidation plants, the service building with a mono pitch roof, the feed station including an observation tower, the frame sewer and the shafts, the construction of the pipelines and the realisation of the outdoor facilities.

PORR expertise under a single roof: for cost-effective and safe realisation

PORR unites a wide range of expertise under a single roof, and this was essential for realising the complex Emscher Conversion construction scheme. Digital tools are needed to ensure that a monumental project of this kind can be completed safely and cost-effectively: BIM was used for the documentation, reinforcement testing and approval, monitoring the concrete and documenting the fresh concrete tests. The Civil Engineering division also received planning support from its sister company pde Integrale Planung GmbH, which played a key role in schedule control and ensured that all contractual interim deadlines were met. Nor was the PORR Civil Engineering division the only one to be involved in the overall project: construction sections 20 and 40 of the Emscher wastewater canal – sections consisting of 2 parallel tunnel tubes – were realised by PORR Bau GmbH, PORR Civil Engineering and Tunnelling.

Commissioning of the Oberhausen pumping station marks the most important step in the Emscher Conversion project
The commissioning of the pumping station in Oberhausen represents the primary precondition for the cities of Dortmund, Castrop-Rauxel, Recklinghausen, Herne, Herten, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Gladbeck, Bottrop, Essen, Oberhausen, Duisburg and Dinslaken to be free of wastewater. For the Emscher River, this means that it will be free of its pollutant load for the first time in more than 170 years by the end of 2021. Now that the pumping station is active, all the remaining wastewater discharges into the Emscher can be progressively integrated into the underground sewer. In the future, clean river water and rainwater will flow freely in the Emscher, while the wastewater will be transported to the treatment plant via the underground sewers.