Modern civilisation is no longer conceivable without functional sewage installations, e.g. installations for collecting, discharging, treating or disposal of sewage.
In the interests of environmental protection and especially in the protection of water, the main activities of the past decades in Europe and especially here in the Federal Republic of Germany were in building of plants for the treatment or disposal of sewage and their continual improvement. The results of these activities have been impressively documented by the fourth generation of sewage treatment plants in operation today.
In contrast, the installations for sewage collecting and discharge, i.e. sewer system, have not always been given the necessary attention. The results are that, on the one hand, many communities there still in operate old drains and sewers of the first generation that do not meet modern requirements, and, on the other hand, these have a not inconsiderable percentage of defects, damage or other inadequacies. In certain circumstances this strongly inhibits functionality and, in extreme cases, leads to raised proportion of extraneous water due to infiltrating groundwater, to contamination of the groundwater and the soil due to exfiltrating sewage as well as to the collapse of the sewers combined with street subsidence and danger to traffic, the structures above and vegetation.
In the course of the increasing environmental-political thinking and also in the interests of ensuring and improving the competitiveness of the national economy, safe sewage collection and discharge and thus the rehabilitation and maintenance of sewers, e.g. the measures for protecting and restoring the original conditions as well as the determination of the current condition of sewers is becoming of greater importance. This is a huge market that, in the Federal Republic of Germany alone, represents a volume of finance of approximately 60 billion Euros.
This results in a desire for a comprehensive presentation of these methods in which all important aspects such as operation and maintenance, inspection and rehabilitation are properly taken into account from a planning, design, commercial and ecological point of view.
The making up of the deficit of information in this regard is the aim of this web-based technical information system.
It is based on the technical information system Stein, D.; Stein, R.: `Rehabilitation and Maintenance of Drains and Sewers', CD-Rom, Ernst & Sohn Verlag, Berlin 2001, and will be regular updated.
In the technical information system deliberatively new media are utilized for processing the information to enable for the first time net-based teaching, learning and working in this special field without breaks in media.
On over 1,700 pages (views) with more than 1,500 pictures, 200 graphics most of them 3-dimensional and over 350 MB of video files, everything that is known on the rehabilitation and maintenance of sewer systems is made tangible in word, image and sound. 75 interactive, 3D animated process deciptions as well as 15 virtual construction sites display the various processes and working sequences with a high degree of detail.
The possibility for extending information concerning special questions is offered by a comprehensive bibliography.
The application of the procedures described here, however, does not in any way absolve anybody from responsibility of their own decisions or from the correct application in a concrete instance.
Advice and ideas for improvements of the technical information system, as well as applications for assistance in the solution of problems, would be gladly accepted.
Bochum, summer 2004