Home | Sitemap | Imprint | Privacy Statement | Deutsch
Technology

2.5.02 2008 Olympics in Beijing – a water use concept

Having won the honour of hosting the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, the Chinese government was anxious to improve the environmental situation in the region around the capital and host city, Beijing. A Sino-German research project was therefore tasked with devising an exemplary water concept for the 550 hectare Olympic Park constructed in the north of the metropolis. The concept was built around a large artificial lake as well as an artificial river within the park.

The environmental situation in the Beijing megalopolis is extremely challenging. In addition to air pollution, the city is also encountering problems with its water supply: water requirements are rising constantly while groundwater levels are falling by one to two metres per year and water quality is also declining. For the 2008 Olympic Games – dubbed the “Green Olympics” by the organisers – a functional and reliable water management system was required for the Olympic Park, which was home to some 18,000 athletes and officials. After the Games, the park became a green recreation area between the city and its surroundings. In addition to extensive forestation measures, an approx. 60 hectare lake was created in the north of the park. A small river was also formed in the central area of the Olympic Park. The latter was filled with water of the highest quality (reverse osmosis) and the lake to the north with municipal wastewater treated with microfiltration .

Public and private partners

The bilateral joint venture “Development of a sustainable water concept for the Olympic Park in Beijing, 2008” was to contribute to the sustainable management of the limited water resource for 2008 and beyond – with the additional aim of transferring findings and experiences to other regions of the country as well as different states. Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People’s Republic of China as well as the BMBF, the project involved both the University of Duisburg- Essen and the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB – Berlin Technical University) as well as a number of midsized companies: WASY Gesellschaft für wasserwirtschaftliche Planung und Systemforschung mbH from Berlin (now known as DHI-Wasy GmbH), Institut für angewandte Gewässerökologie GmbH, GeoTerra GmbH and the consulting firm Obermeyer from Munich. The Chinese project participants were the Tsinghua University of Beijing and the Beijing Water Authority. As well as performing a detailed appraisal of the planning basis, the project examined the use of domestic water-saving technology in the Olympic Village, modern techniques for wastewater and stormwater treatment as well as the waterway construction in the Olympic Park. One of the outcomes of the project was the creation of a decision maker’s handbook for sustainable water management in cities.

OWIS – Olympic Water Information System

OWIS – Olympic Water Information System
OWIS – Olympic Water Information System
 enlargezoom

Among other things, the research project focussed on the selection of suitable technologies for the treatment and reuse of wastewater in the Olympic Park, particularly for the water bodies. The recycling concept involved the management of hygiene, algae and odour problems through regulated nutrient concentrations. Hygiene was ensured by means of a multi-barrier system (dual low-pressure membrane procedure, soil filtration), which allowed the treated water to be used as process water for toilet flushing, fountains and street cleaning.

Combined process technology

Part of the pilot system at the BeiXiaoHe purification plant

Part of the pilot system at the BeiXiaoHe purification plant
Part of the pilot system at the BeiXiaoHe purification plant
 enlargezoom

On the grounds of the Beixiaohe purification plant in the north of Beijing, water specialists from the Technische Universität Berlin worked with representatives of Tsinghua University and the Beijing Drainage Group (BDG) to construct a pilot system for all planned water recycling procedures. Combined, modern process technologies were used: membrane bioreactors (MBR), fixed beds, phosphate adsorption materials and ultrafiltration with near-natural treatment processes such as artificial bank filtration. The MBRs separated the biomass and germs, thus ensuring particle-free water flow. Since orthophosphate serves as a fertiliser for algae and plants in the lake, thus potentially upsetting the ecological balance of the water, the orthophosphate was removed in an adsorptive stage. The suitability of the systems with regard to the required water quality was successfully verified during prior testing (2005). In the test lake of the purification plant, mesotrophic conditions were maintained throughout, while excellent process water quality was achieved following artificial bank filtration in the test lake and subsequent processing with ultra-filtration membranes. The results from the pilot system and test lake were established during the first phase of the project (2004 – 2008). However, the recommendations of the project partners BDG and TUB were only partially implemented in the Olympic Park as the authorities only wanted to use reverse osmosis water in the central area. Here the partners had recommended a combination of bio- and ultra-filtration.

Map of the Olympic Park (source: www.strategy4.china.com)

Map of the Olympic Park (source: www.strategy4.china.com)
Map of the Olympic Park (source: www.strategy4.china.com)
 enlargezoom

Electronic information and monitoring system

In conjunction with Tsinghua University, employees of WASY GmbH developed the “Olympic Water Information System” (OWIS) for the planners, organisers and operators of the Olympic Park. This database included new information and research results established over the course of the project as well as existing data provided by the Chinese project partners. OWIS enables continuous monitoring of the water system in the Olympic Park and features an integrated alarm module. OWIS can also be used to assess the consequences of potential decisions or events for the water system and compare different courses of action – for example, which measures would need to be taken in the case of a sudden dramatic worsening of the water quality in the Olympic lake.

 
 

 
 

DHI-WASY GmbH
Prof. Dr. Stefan Kaden (Geschäftsführer)
Waltersdorfer Straße 105
12526 Berlin
Tel.: +49(0) 30/67 99 98-0
Fax: +49(0) 30/67 99 98-99
E-mail: s.kaden@dhi-wasy.de
Internet: www.dhi-wasy.de
Funding reference: 02WA0526
Ressource Wasser
Quick view