Good Practices on Leakage Management - German Case Study: Munich

Good Practices on Leakage Management - German Case Study: Munich

1. Details Stadtwerke München GmbH (SWM) 

Leakage control has a long history in German water supply, starting with first rules of the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) in 1986. This rules have been revised several times, the last update is still under revision right now. These rules are briefly summarised in Section 11.8 at the end of this Case Study.

The city of Munich is the capital of the state of Bavaria. It is situated at the river Isar, a tributary of the Danube river. With a resident population of 1,5 Mio it is the third largest city in Germany. Population growth is proposed to about 1% per annum. Stadtwerke München GmbH (SWM) is the utility of the City of Munich for energy and water supply, urban transport und telecommunication. 

Drinking water (ground water) is collected at the foot of the Bavarian alps, about 50 km south of Munich. To meet the requirements of 1,5 million people in an environmentally responsible way, the city and SWM have developed three supply catchment areas over the years:

1. TheMangfalltalvalley.

2. TheSchotterebene.

3. TheLoisachtalregion. 

These ground water catchment areas complement one another perfectly and provide Munich with some of the best drinking water in Europe from the alpine uplands. 

Water quality is very good, so no treatment of raw water is necessary. The water may directly be fed into the transport pipelines towards Munich. Large pipelines transport the drinking water towards large undergrounds reservoirs south of the city. Water is stored in three large underground reservoirs with a total capacity of some 200.000 m3. These reservoirs are connected by pipelines, so water may be exchanged. From the reservoirs drinking water is supplied to the urban distribution network via several large main pipelines.

The three catchment areas provide abundant amount of fresh water to serve the cities need. If one of the catchment areas cannot provide water, i.e. due to technical problems, the two remaining catchment areas are able to meet the demand. 

In case of failure of one of the reservoirs or of one of the main pipelines, water supply may be kept up by two of the three catchment areas or reservoirs.

The topographical level of the catchment areas and the reservoirs is high above the level of the customer base, so pumping stations are not necessary. Water is running by gravity from the catchment area via the reservoirs to the customers. New large pipelines have been constructed during the recent period to bring the water to the city by gravity and save the water quality during the transport. Energy support is only needed for the well pumps in the Loisachtal and Schotterebene catchment areas. 

Contact Details:

Thomas Prein; prein.thomas@swm.de

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