The entire volume of water on earth is an estimated 1.4 billion cubic kilometres. This unimaginable amount can easily lead to the impression that we have an abundance of water at our disposal. However, only three per cent of this water is fresh water, most of which is frozen in the Antarctic. Only a small proportion of the water in the world is available for use by humans.
In Germany drinking water has the legal status of foodstuff, its quality is strictly regulated by the German Drinking Water Ordinance. In order to secure the standard of supply and to preserve water resources for the coming generations, we continuously research and develop innovative technologies and processes.
In close collaboration with renowned scientific experts, innogy’s engineers and technicians work on new ways to continuously improve the treatment and distribution of drinking water as well as the disposal and treatment of waste water.
Drinking water procurement and water treatment
In order to maintain the high quality standards of the German water supply sector into the future, innogy engineers work on developing protection concepts and improving treatment processes for drinking water.
In this context innogy is a driver of innovation: RWW Rheinisch-Westfälische Wasserwerksgesellschaft mbH, a subsidiary of innogy, has developed the "Mülheim process", a globally recognised method for drinking water purification. The Mülheim process uses activated carbon, ozone and UV light instead of chlorine for treating the water.
Water distribution system
In order not to lose a drop of this valuable resource along its way through the mains, the pipes need to be continuously monitored and checked for leakages.
The German water supply has made significant investments into the pipe infrastructure in recent years. The result: only 7 per cent of the water is lost along its way through the pipes. This is one of the best values worldwide.
In order to stay at the top, innogy uses a state-of-the-art management system to continuously check the mains. New technologies and materials are being developed and tested on an ongoing basis. In this way any problems in the pipe system can be detected early and eliminated or prevented altogether.
For innogy the distribution system is a valuable asset – therefore investing in research and development is paramount.
Waste water disposal
Domestic waste water reaches the treatment plants via the sewerage system. In order to ensure a smooth operation, the sewerage network must be continuously monitored, serviced and improved.
Research and development in systematic waste water disposal has made remarkable progress over the past few years. Innovative processes enable innogy as the system operator to accurately check and document the status of the sewerage system. The results from these tests are used to develop a repair and modernisation concept. Here, the company relies on new methods and materials that will be able to meet economic and ecological requirements in the long term.
Waste water treatment
In sewage plants waste water is treated to such a standard that it can be fed back into the water cycle. In its state-of-the-art treatment plants innogy purifies the water in compliance with all legal specifications in this regard and is continuously improving all treatment processes.
Modern management systems are used to identify and realise potentials for optimisation of waste water treatment. Innovative methods help to reduce the operating costs of the plants and to increase the amount of electricity that is generated there.
Sewage sludge can also be disposed of in a very cost-effient manner by using it for co-firing in power stations.