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Emscher Sewer

The Emscher sewer is the core element for revamping the Emscher system. Up until 2017, a 51 km long sewer system is to be set up at depths extending down to 40 m and with an internal diameter of up to 2.80 m. The Emscher sewer runs from Dortmund to Dinslaken. The construction of the sewer represents the prerequisite for improving the Emscher is ecological terms. The sewer's gradient mainly runs within the marls and marl stones belonging to the cretaceous age. In addition non-cohesive and cohesive quaternary and tertiary sediments are penetrated. Depending on the bedding up to 4 groundwater levels of varying thicknesses and different pressure heads are encountered. The deeper levels contain artesian groundwater. The maximum pressure head amounts to around 40 m above the sewer floor. The sewer is largely produced by pipe jacking. The large cross-sections at the western end of the route are driven with a segmental lining. Depending on the geological and geometrical conditions fluid-supported or EPB supported driving methods are applied. Compressed air drives are also intended for certain sections. Along the route, shafts are to be set up at 600 to 1.200 m gaps at depths of down to 40 m below the surface of up to 22 m diameter. The excavation pits are to be produced with tight diaphragm walls or bare piling walls. In some cases the shafts are to be created by the vertical shaft sinking method. The penetration zones between the shaft walls are provided with GFK reinforcement, which enables the construction pit wall to be accessed so that there is no need for an external sealing zone. Towards this end the shafts also serve to carry the sewage from the many creeks to be found along the Emscher. The infeeds are also produced by means of pipe jacking, with both accessible and non-accessible cross-sections being created. Numerous underpasses for buildings, lines, transport arteries, creeks as well as the main course of the Emscher have to be taken into account in addition to the geological marginal conditions for the Emscher sewer as well as for the side connections. The sewer is due to be completed in 2017.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Ruhr District between Dortmund and Dinslaken
  • Tunnel utilization: Utilities
  • Type of utilization: RemovaI of sewage from the Emscher region
  • Client: Emschergenossenschaft
  • Consulting Engineer: • Dahlem Beratende Ingenieure, Essen • Dorsch Consult, Essen • Emscher Wassertechnik- Lippe Wassertechnik, Essen • Grontmij/AEW Plan, Essen • Hydro Ingenieure, Düsseldorf • Stein & Partner, Bochum • Spiekermann Beratende Ingenieure, Düsseldorf • Weber Ingenieure, Pforzheim
  • Geotechnical Consulting: • ELE Beratende Ingenieure, Essen • Ahlenberg Ingenieure, Herdecke
  • Test engineer: Prof. Duddeck und Partner/Dr.-Ing. Erdmann
  • Contractor: Currently at the planning stage or approval proceedings
  • Main construction method: ?
  • Type of excavation: ?
  • Lining: ?
  • No. of tubes:?
  • Tunnel total length: 51 km
  • Cross-section: DN 1600 to DN 2800
  • Construction start/end: 2009 till 2017