Environment monitoring

Water quality monitoring in the different waterbodies all around the world is an important issue which all authorities and environmental organisations deal with. When water quality is poor, it affects not only aquatic life but the surrounding ecosystem as well. Therefore, in most countries an environmental water quality monitoring has been developed and is under operation.

Different water quality parameters can affect the quality of water in the environment depending of its type including rivers to oceans or lakes. These parameters can be related to the physical, chemical or biological factors of the water.

Physical properties of water quality might include temperature or turbidity as example. Chemical characteristics involve parameters such as pH and dissolved oxygen or in an advanced monitoring it can include parameters like COD or BOD.

The Major Biological indicator of the water quality is algae and its different classes in the water.

In many cases after measuring the different parameters it is required to test the water for absence of the different unknown toxic substance which might appear in the water because of the agricultural herbicides or human induced industrial component in the water.

The all above mentioned parameters are relevant not only to surface water studies of the ocean, lakes and rivers, but to groundwater and industrial processes too.

Water quality monitoring can help researchers and specialists to predict and learn from natural processes in the environment and determine human impacts on an ecosystem. The water quality analysers can also ensure environmental standards are being met or not.  In this page a case study of our products in Hamburg Institute for Hygiene and Environment briefly has been introduced.

An essential aspect of our Hamburg Institute for Hygiene and Environment is the collection and provision of data to fulfill reporting obligations based on EU directives. For the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, in particular, the required monitoring programs (overview, operational and for investigation purposes) are carried out. In addition, the monitoring programs agreed at state level within the framework of the Elbe River Basin Community (FGG ELBE), the International Commission for the Protection of the Elbe (ICPE) and the State Working Group on Water (LAWA).

There are 10 online water quality monitoring stations in Hamburg which ensure continuous monitoring of Hamburg's most important water bodies. For example, the Fischerhof station on the Bille protects the important drinking water production area of Curslack/Altengamme from the injection of polluted water in the event of incidents.

The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia (western half of the Czech Republic), then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 kilometers northwest of Hamburg. Its total length is 1,094 km (680 mi) . The Elbe's major tributaries include the rivers Vltava, Saale, Havel, Mulde, Schwarze Elster, and Ohře.

The Elbe River basin, comprising the Elbe and its tributaries, has a catchment area of 148,268 square kilometers (57,247 sq mi), the twelfth largest in Europe. The basin spans four countries, however it lies almost entirely just in two of them, Germany (65.5%) and the Czech Republic (33.7%, covering about two thirds of the state's territory).

Marginally, the basin stretches also to Austria (0.6%) and Poland (0.2%). The Elbe catchment area is inhabited by 24.4 million people, the biggest cities within are Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Dresden and Leipzig.

In Hamburg province of Germany at the all stations on the Elbe, Bille, Alster, Wandse, Tarpenbek and Ammersbek, the chemical-physical parameters oxygen content, pH value, conductivity, turbidity and temperature are recorded automatically and continuously 24/7.

Elbe river water quality monitoring station (Seemannshöft)

The Seemannshöft station is in operation since 1967. It is located on the left (south) bank of the Elbe below the port of Hamburg. Its counterpart is the Blankenese station on the opposite (north) bank of the Elbe.

This floating measuring station receives its sample water from centrifugal pumps that are installed on the dry pontoons. The sample water reaches the measuring stations via 4- to 6-meter-long pipes or hoses laid diagonally through the steel pontoons.

This station data with the weekly measuring data is used to record the influence of discharges from the metropolitan area of Hamburg and is the IKSE's (what is IKSE?) balancing measuring point (since 1994).

In this station, in addition to the physical and chemical parameters such as water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, electrical conductivity and turbidity, the hydrological parameter like water level and the meteorological parameters including the air temperature, radiation, wind speed, wind direction, air pressure and precipitation are measured.

In addition, there is the biological early warning system with the bbe AlgaeToximeter and bbe Daphniatoximeter at this station. This station is also equipped with an automatic water sampler too.

 

Alster river water quality monitoring station (Lombards bridge)

The Lombard Bridge station has been in operation since 1982. It is located directly under the railway crossing in Lombard Bridge.

The measuring point is therefore located exactly at the connection between the Outer Alster and Inner Alster. The usual physical and chemical parameters such as pH, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity (EC) and turbidity and the hydrological parameter like water level are measured.

In the station a bbe Online Algae Analyzer is installed, which, in addition to continuously analyzing the total chlorophyll concentration, measures the concentration of the different algae classes including blue-green algae, green algae, diatoms and cryptophyceae too.

Bille river water quality monitoring station (Fischerhof)

The Fischerhof station, is under operation since 1st August 1996. It is located in the center of Bergedorf, where the Bille on the Serrahn weir is dammed.

Fischerhof an der Bille measuring station. The physical and chemical parameters measured including the water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), turbidity, oil detection and UV absorption.

Furthermore, a biological early warning system is added to this station, which means that the station is also equipped with a bbe Algae Toximeter and Daphnia toximeter. This station is also equipped with an automatic water sampler.  Since the Curslack water catchment area draws water from the Bille, the measuring station has another important control function.. In an emergency situation, the feed into the Curslack trench system is stopped and the water is diverted via the Serrahn weir towards the Elbe.

Elbe river water quality monitoring station (Bunthaus)

The Bunthaus station has been built since 1975 and is located a little north of the point of division between the Norder- and Süderelbe (Bunthausspitze).

Since May 1, 1988, the station has been providing online data that play an important role in water quality monitoring of the Elbe River. The Bunthaus floating measuring station receives its sample water from centrifugal pumps that are installed dry on the pontoons. The sample water reaches the measuring stations via 4- to 6-meter-long pipes or hoses laid diagonally through the steel pontoons.

The Bunthaus station is located in the measuring station of the tide-affected area. The associated measuring point is Zollenspieker.

The station is also the measuring station of the IKSE measuring network. In addition to the physical and chemical parameters such as water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and turbidity, this measuring station also has a biological early warning system (BFWS).

A bbe Algae toximeter and a bbe Daphnia toximeter are under operation in this monitoring station. The station is equipped with an automatic water sampler too.

Below diagram shows the 10 years data from 2008 to 2018 of measured chlorophyll a concentration in different years. The orange line represents 2018. In total the graph shows low algae concentration in June every year and rather high levels from the end of September each year.

The online data is available in the below address: https://www.hamburg.de/hu/daten/