It’s already been abandoned for over 20 years: The old wastewater treatment plant of a small German town. It was also the former water-processing unit of a huge power station and the big tanks in the outside area of the plant are silent witnesses of the old industry. Where thousands of liters of water had flown through the pumping system in the past, now dominates complete silence... In the halls of the building complex everything was left behind. Unfortunately most of the equipment was destroyed or stolen by now but the whole place is still a sight to see. Join us for a glimpse behind the scenes of this impressive plant.
In the end nature always wins. The heritage of mankind won’t stand the test of time. Even these concrete blocks are reclaimed by nature only a few years after people abandoned them.
Only from the air it becomes apparent what this is in the first place: These are former clarifying basins which were used to reprocess water. Several big tanks are part of this facility. On a cold winter day we traveled to the small city in Eastern Germany to explore this old water treatment plant.
Really quick we realized that the site had clearly seen better days. Vandals and thieves have made sure of that. Only a small amount of devices is still inside the plant. Plenty of equipment has already been stolen. Arsonists destroyed the place by starting fires in some of the rooms. Luckily the damage caused by them is relatively small.
It’s hard to find any information about the place. Unfortunately some of it was torn down a few years ago but the main buildings are still there. This purification plant was probably part of the brown coal power station that was in immediate proximity until a few years ago. The calendars we found were supporting this theory. They suggest that the facility was abandoned at the same time when the power plant was shut down.
To clean the different kinds of sewage this plant was used to remove the unwanted components from the water. In order to do that, mechanical and biological treatments were applied. In our opinion, this part of the building belonged to the biological treatment. We think that these are trickling filters.
Till today some of them are still filled with different kinds of sediments. Bacteria which clings to these sediments were purifying the wastewater that was dripped onto the filter from biodegradable substances in the past. Due to the consumption of the substances the bacteria culture grew. If the biological films caused blockage, backwash water needed to flow in from underneath. The backwash water saturated with bacteria film was removed and fresh water was refilled. Depending on its size and weight the sediment settled down again in their previous arrangement. The entire process was initiated and controlled by with several units.
For the technophiliac crew members this place offered an in-depth look into the process of water purification. It’s a place rich in variety with lots of interesting things to discover. But it’s sad to see the plant in such a bad condition...