Statement on the poor water quality in the Schwarze Elster river

Planning approval covers all water discharges – GASCADE welcomes water discharges

Kassel. GASCADE regrets the current water quality of the Schwarze Elster river. We do not, however, see any connection between the construction of the EUGAL pipeline and the current poor quality of the water in the Schwarze Elster river. All the approved discharge points are located around 20 kilometers from the inspected sections of the Schwarze Elster near Bad Liebenwerda.

GASCADE attributes the current water quality of the Schwarze Elster to existing pollution from former open-cast mining in the region and the current dryness. The pH values of the water in the soil, lakes and disused mining pits, as well as in the receiving waters in the mining region are already highly polluted due to their past history. Very low pH values were already measured there in 2017 – long before the construction of the EUGAL pipeline.*

GASCADE was given approval for 27 discharge points in the Schwarze Elster region. We are currently still discharging ground water into the existing trench systems at three points. The pH value of the water discharged by us is between 6 and 6.9 – and hence significantly higher than the values for the water in the existing trench system. With the permission of the owners, additional water will be drained onto fields and thus make its way back into the ground water.

The background

Our water discharges have all been approved via the completed planning approval process. Each discharge is additionally presented to the higher water authority in an implementation plan; if necessary, the higher water authority can issue further provisions for each discharge.

When building a pipeline, ground water is extracted to keep the pipe trench dry during construction. A well is drilled next to the pipe trench for this purpose. Once the pipe trench has been backfilled, this dewatering is discontinued. Nothing is added to the ground water extracted in this way. The water is discharged via sedimentation tanks, which filter out sand and clay, either into trenches, or spread extensively over farmland where it drains away again.

* Source: https://mlul.brandenburg.de/media_fast/4055/SE-pH-Wert-2017.pdf