Stuttgart 21 IV: Lamella Separators at Groundwater Management Department
Stuttgart 21 is one of the biggest construction projects in Germany. It includes the underground construction of a new central station for the city of Stuttgart as well as the creation of a new network of tracks and tunnels that allows high speed trains to pass in the area, possibly reduces travelling times and connects Stuttgart to international transport networks. It is conducted by Deutsche Bahn and co-financed by public money.
However, despite enthusiasm from its founders and the industry, the project has been heavily criticised. Not only has it become much more expensive than expected, but there are also doubts about the efficiency and safety of the new central station as well as about the actual benefit of the high speed tracks. Moreover, the construction fuelled protests and many discussions on protected buildings and nature reserves within the city such as historic parks.
When it comes to underground construction work groundwater is a difficult issue. This recording was made at the groundwater management department of Stuttgart 21. Here the groundwater from all construction sites of the project is filtered before it is distributed over the city to seep back into the ground. The first filters in the process are lamella separators. The water is pumped upwards over the lamellas whereas the heavier particles such as sand and other sediments float down and can be collected. You can hear the gurgling sounds of the water running through the lamellas among the general buzz of pumps and other filters of the department.
Sound: Konrad Gutkowski
Photo: Kathinka Engels