Touching Everyday Lives – Emscher renaturation project, Germany

One of the world's most advanced sewage systems benefitting 2.2 million residents, Emschergenossenschaft, Germany


Project facts

Client: Emschergenossenschaft

Country: Germany

Project: Renovation and development of sewage systems

Changing the face of Europe's biggest industrial area...

The renovation of the Emscher river system is a project of enormous proportions that will extend across generations. To reduce the risk of flooding and disease, at the beginning of the 20th century the river was straightened, dammed, and used as an aboveground wastewater stream. Since 1992, the Emschergenossenschaft (Emscher Cooperative, or EC) has been rebuilding the Emscher system and allowing the Emscher to return to its natural course.

The renovation of the system consists of the development of a central wastewater sewage treatment system in the Ruhr region, the construction of underground wastewater conduits, and the restoration of the Emscher and its tributaries. Pöyry has been supporting this major project from planning to implementation since 2006, and will see it through until its completion in 2019 – a work that is giving over two million people in the region their river back, and thus presenting them with a new life.