Closed-loop Wastewater management

The HAMBURG WATER Cycle® (HWC) offers a new approach to wastewater management, which does not have much in common with the principles of conventional sewer systems.

The pioneering and innovative concept of the HAMBURG WATER Cycle® entails the separation of the material flows of wastewater. While in a conventional system all domestic wastewater streams are combined and discharged together into the sewer system, the HWC decouples the wastewater flows. Thus, the blackwater, which is generated from toilet use, is separated from the greywater (kitchen, bathroom and washing machine wastewater). Even the rain water is collected and separately treated in the HAMBURG WATER Cycle®.

Closing Cycles, Recycling Nutrients

The overall objective of this new drainage and sewer system concept is not only intended to increase the drainage capacity, but also to increase the water utilization. The utilization of the wastewater is therefore adapted to the specific properties of black-, grey- and rain- water to achieve results which are the most efficient and ecological.

The high concentration of organic substances in blackwater makes it ideal for the production of biogas through fermentation. Through the addition of other sources of biomass to the blackwater, energy can be generated in the form of heat and electricity instead of energy being consumed as in the standard, energy-intensive wastewater treatment. After the anaerobic treatment of this material, this material can then be further utilized to improve the soil quality or to create fertilizer. When greywater is not combined with blackwater, it can be cleaned easily with minimal energy requirements and then can be used as process water or returned back to the environment. The HAMBURG WATER Cycle® stormwater management provides that the water is managed naturally and locally. The seepage of the rainwater is facilitated by the soil and vegetation which work to speed up the evaporation and absorption of the water. Additionally, the water can be incorporated as a design element in landscape architecture. 

From Karlshöhe to Jenfeld and out to the whole world - The HWC in Practice

The HAMBURG WATER Cycle® will be implemented in Hamburg in two locations – one on a small scale and another on a larger scale.
The “Gut Karlshöhe” is a 9-acre environmental theme park, created by the Hamburg Climate Protection Foundation for educational purposes. After the complete renovation of the barns on the premise, Karlshöhe promises to offer a comprehensive program of environmental education for up to 140,000 people per year in the future. Don’t miss the HAMBURG WATER Cycle® while you are there! Karlshöhe serves as a HWC exhibition site to demonstrate both in theory and practice how new approaches to handling water can be developed. Of particular interest is the wetland for greywater purification, the wetland is located on the premises. The grounds are also capable of handling rainwater to generate a water source for domestic needs.
More information on the Environmental Karlshöhe Exploration Centre can be found here

The HAMBURG WATER Cycle® will be implemented for the first time on a large scale in Hamburg-Jenfeld, as part of the project "Jenfelder Au".
Jenfelder Au is a residential area of approximately 35 acres built on the site of former barracks for approximately 2,000 new residents. The HWC made it possible to achieve sustainable drainage and climate-neutral housing in this neighbourhood. This project, which is currently still under construction, is unique in its size as a larger manifestation of the technology which can already been seen and visited on a smaller-scale at Karlshöhe.

The HAMBURG WATER Cycle® is not only a good solution for the city Hamburg, but it can also be adapted and implemented anywhere where a more efficient use of resources, water, energy and nutrients is required.