The cooperation laboratory

The quality of discharge from sewage treatment plants as well as water quality in rivers, impounding lakes, and reservoirs is constantly controlled by a laboratory run by the Ruhrverband in cooperation with the Emscher Cooperative ("Emscher-genossenschaft") and the Lippe Association ("Lippeverband"). Every year, the laboratory specifies close to 250,000 physical and chemical characteristics from around 11,000 samples taken. On top of that, the quality of Ruhr water is monitored online in eight water quality stations. The Ruhrverband laboratory acts as a controlling and consulting body to both commercial and industrial dischargers and analyses the ecological connection between water quality and aquatic life. 

The main focus of the laboratory’s work is on sewage treatment plant monitoring, water monitoring and instrumental analysis. The monitoring activities help identify disturbances in sewage treatment and temporary water pollution from diffuse sources on time and allow taking remedial action. Moreover, they help to establish long-term trends detailing the results of all purification efforts and indicating the need for action where necessary. This allows balancing the human need for water with the imperative to protect water as part of our ecosystem.

For more than 35 years now, the Ruhrverband has published the results of these comprehensive tests and analyses in its annual Ruhr quality report which makes the data available to the public in a detailed and transparent manner and indicates trends and developments using long-term studies.

The laboratory in figures
Employees (Ruhrverband): ca. 65
Sampling vehicles with lab equipment: 4
Sample parameters (physical, chemical, biological): ca. 600
Number of samples taken: ca. 10,000 per year
Number of characteristics specified: ca. 200,000 per year