Farewell Dirty Spree! The filter should ensure good bath quality – BZ Berlin

The Spree River pool in central Berlin could become cheaper thanks to sophisticated filters. Manufacturers want to start planning as early as 2023.

By Johannes Malinowski

Since 2012, the Flussbad Berlin association has been fighting for bathing pleasure in the Spree Canal between the former Council of State building and the Museum Island. Today, the project takes a step forward.

The required water filtration system is smaller than expected. The environmental protection company Akut has been filtering and analyzing water from the Spree Canal for 4.5 years. The result: instead of a filter over the entire width of the canal (up to 20 metres), an 1800 square meter filter along the edge should be enough to obtain good or even excellent quality bathing water on the stretch of 850 meters long.

River pool manager Tim Edler (centre), environmental engineer Heribert Rustige (left) and river pool engineer Carsten Riechelmann presented the new plans on Tuesday (Photo: David Heerde)

“The water quality of the Spree is no longer as bad as many think,” says environmental engineer Heribert Rustige (62), who led the research. The biological filter comes out with less power.

Bathing in the Spree could soon become a reality (Photo: dpa)
Bathing in the Spree could soon become a reality (Photo: dpa)

The filter is not only smaller, the pipes underneath, called culverts, which would have drained flood waters, are no longer needed. In the event of heavy rain, in which the mixed water from the sewage system has so far overflowed into the Spree, an additional UV lamp would clarify the water from the Spree. As a result, costs estimated at €68.6 million could be reduced by up to 35%.


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Club boss Tim Edler (56): “It’s an overall positive result that exceeds our own expectations.” It is now up to the Senate to implement the project.

Environment Senator Bettina Jarasch (53, Greens) finds this exciting, but sees it with a critical eye. “The water quality issue is bigger than the river pool project,” she says. “Once we’re done with the topic of unitary sanitation, there are a number of places we can talk about river baths.”

The edge filter should be sufficient to achieve good to excellent bathing water quality in the 850 meter long section (Photo: Adrian König/ realitys:united)
The edge filter should be sufficient to achieve good to excellent bathing water quality in the 850 meter long section (Photo: Adrian König/ realitys:united)

If the river pool manufacturers are successful, planning could be ordered as early as 2023 – if the authorities cooperate. Then a temporary bathing program in the Spree Canal could also start. When planning approval and final implementation will follow are open.

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