Skip to main content

Structural Data: Infrastructure for water supply and sewage removal

Germany’s total infrastructure to supply water and remove sewage constitutes a material stock of approx. 2.3 billion tonnes. This material stock is rather evenly divided between the supply of water and the removal of sewage.

Infrastructure for the supply of water not only includes the “pipeline network” (DN 100 to DN 800) but also water tanks, waterworks and reservoirs. Wastewater infrastructure encompasses the network of sewage canals as well as “additional wastewater infrastructure” such as manholes, sewage plants and structures to retain rainwater.

The water supply/sewage removal infrastructure is largely composed of mineral materials, which make up approx. 99 % of the total material stock of this infrastructure. The rest is made up of metals (0.7 %) and plastics (0.2 %), particularly in the pipeline and sewage networks.

The list of materials encompasses non-metallic minerals, metals, plastics, wood and other. Non-metallic minerals are gravel, sand and rubble as well as construction materials made from mineral materials such as concrete, diverse forms of masonry and mortar. 

The determined material masses are based on studies of Germany’s anthropogenic material stock (Schiller et al. 2015). These studies were carried out on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency at the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, the Environment and Energy and the company INTECUS GmbH Dresden.

Masses, lengths and widths

Infrastructure for water supply and sewage removal – material stock

Comparison of water supply and sewage removal infrastructures