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Water concept

In the course of the International Building Exhibition Emscher Park (IBA), a subject of debate was not only the conversion of some of the halls, but also the ecological concept of the future Landscape Park Duisburg Nord, and water was to play a major role in this concept. The architects Latz + Partner developed the water park which now consists of the old River Emscher, subdivided into five main sections: Klarwasserkanal (Clear Water Canal), the Emschergraben (Dyke), the Emscherrinne (Channel), the Emscherschlucht (Gorge) and the Emscherbach (Stream). In an ingenious system of water collection, rain water is fed into the Old Emscher: by means of the interplay of barrages and water shoots it’s possible to collect rainwater and feed it in after a time delay so that, even in lengthy dry spells, water can be supplied to the Old Emscher to replenish the oxygen levels.

The Old Emscher flows through the Landscape Park Duisburg Nord over a length of more than three kilometres. For a long time the Old Emscher, as an above-ground waste disposer with a very straight course, took away the domestic and industrial wastewater in the whole of the Ruhr District.

Today the wastewater flows through an underground pipe and the channel of the Old Emscher, the Clear Water Canal, has since been filled exclusively with rain water. The profile of the Old Emscher has been re-shaped in recent years in order to raise its recreational value. The newly created sections of the Old Emscher are fed with rain water from sealed areas and roofs in the Landscape Park.

The Wind Turbine Tower on the Sinter Plaza helps improve the water quality of the Clear Water Canal. The central feature of the tower is a wind turbine which is very efficient even in low winds.

Its many blades drive an Archimedes’ screw in the lower part of the tower which raises on average 15 to 27 litres of water from the Clear Water Canal into a container on the tower. From there the water flows via pipes along the high promenade to the Bunker Gardens so that, in dry spells, the plants in the Bunker Gardens can be watered. When this isn’t necessary, the water flows back via a catchment basin to a water shoot where it falls from a great height, clearly audible and visible, into the Clear Water Canal enriching it with oxygen. A fact worth knowing: for safety reasons, when the wind speed reaches 5 (fresh breeze), the wind turbine turns independently out of the wind.

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