Well do sewage
The nightmare of many waterworkers is that operators of private wells or rainwater harvesting systems could contaminate the public pipeline network with germs. If wells or rainwater systems are connected to the drinking water pipe in violation of the regulations, microbially contaminated wells or rainwater can be pumped into the public network. The online edition of the Märkische Oderzeitung reported on such a case on July 5, 2011.
"At the end of November, as part of regular examinations, we found that there are significant amounts of germs in the drinking water of Dahmsdorf,"
the managing director of the water association, KERSTIN MENGE, was quoted in the Oder newspaper. As a result, extensive samples were taken in consultation with the health department. Microbial abnormalities could only be found in the Dahmsdorf supply network. In contrast, in Wendisch Rietz and Bad Saarow, which are also supplied by the association, all the findings were okay.
"Therefore we could assume that the focus of these germs lies directly in Dahmsdorf",
explained KERSTIN MENGE to the MOZ. The pipes in Dahmsdorf were then thoroughly flushed. Furthermore, on the instructions of the health department, chlorine was added to the drinking water for disinfection. Among other things, with the help of pressure tests in the drinking water network of the small Reichenwald district, the polluter was finally tracked down on December 20, 2010:
A property owner used a well to supply, among other things, the toilet flush, the washing machine and probably also a holiday apartment and the chicken coop with well water. That was lucrative for the well operator because he not only saved drinking water fees, but also massive wastewater fees. Because the association only bills the wastewater that was consumed in the form of drinking water on the property. The mishap: the microbiologically imperfect well system had been connected to the pipe network contrary to the provisions of the Drinking Water Ordinance. According to KERSTIN MENGE, the following happened when operating the well:
"Every time someone in Dahmsdorf opened the tap vigorously, there was a small pressure drop in the network. As a result, the pump for the private water supply started up and pushed the water into the public pipes, so that the water meter almost ran backwards. "
As a result of the research, the association incurred costs of 15,000 euros, which are now being billed to the well owner. On top of that, the association creates a fine, which, according to legal requirements, could amount to up to 50,000 euros. When determining the amount of the notice of fines, the fact that the holiday home was apparently only supplied with well water is made more difficult. On top of that, the association will estimate the actual water consumption for the past four years and calculate the difference for water and, above all, wastewater, reported the MOZ. It would have been even worse for those affected if someone in the holiday home had fallen ill. Then lawsuits for damages and charges for bodily harm would have to be expected.
The case made it clear to the association what problems the illegal operation of wells could lead to. The association is now planning to carry out more pressure tests in all local networks in the near future in order to possibly track down further illegal pipe network connections. (The MOZ did not reveal why the December 2010 incident was only now made public.)
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