Tilia GmbH is researching innovative solutions to combat water pollution as part of the EU project WATERUN
Leipzig/Santiago de Compostela, 30 March 2023 – The Spanish pilgrimage city Santiago de Compostela is the setting for the environmental research project WATERUN, which will last several years. The Leipzig-based company specialising in energy, water and the environment is one of 14 international partners exploring innovative solutions to combat urban water pollution as part of WATERUN. After a successful launch in September 2022, Tilia is now starting the operational work. It is responsible for a technical and economic analysis of the planned environmental protection measures in the city in north-western Spain, which is home to almost 100,000 inhabitants.
“In urban areas, most ground surfaces are sealed, both in Spain and in Germany. This means, for example, that rainwater first has to flow over roads and paths before it can typically be drained away. It collects dirt on the way, which ultimately results in environmental pollution when the rainwater is eventually discharged untreated into rivers,” explains Senior Manager Stefan Böttger, who is in charge of the WATERUN project for Tilia. “Blue-green, decentralised infrastructure, i.e. near-natural infiltration and retention systems such as roof gardens, are intended to minimise or completely eliminate runoff. A positive side effect of this is that water that doesn’t drain away evaporates and thus not only guarantees less dirt in the sewer system, but also a better microclimate. It’s a win-win situation.”
Böttger continues: “In addition to the environmental benefits – improvement of water bodies, reduction of disease risk, soil protection – the economic and technical aspects must always be taken into account in the evaluation. This is where we come in at Tilia: looking at semi-decentalised and decentralised solutions in the water and wastewater sector has long been part of our proven expertise.”
Tilia’s job is to carry out a comprehensive cost calculation of these solutions. To do this, Tilia collects all relevant data, evaluates maps, for example, and compares construction prices. This way, the Leipzig-based team can ultimately determine the costs associated with a comprehensive roll-out of the measures to reduce urban water pollution.
Internationally, Tilia has already assisted several projects at a local level – from Vietnam and Mongolia to Brazil. For example, as part of the project INTECRAL, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, a team from Tilia carried out a technical and economic analysis of a municipality in the rural area of Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The same procedure was applied as that now used for WATERUN. Based on valid preliminary technical planning, the economic aspects such as construction costs, materials, operating costs and reinvestment were considered over the entire life cycle.
Overall, the Leipzig-based company has developed sustainable solutions together with its partners in over 500 projects. Tilia draws on operational experience, adding its own innovations. The multidisciplinary, international team always strives to deliver concrete and measurable results and to implement them in a way that is suitable for everyday use – all of which is dependent on success and often at the team’s own risk.
Other partners involved in the WATERUN project include TU Berlin, Aarhus University and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, with the Spanish technology and innovation centre AIMEN at the helm.
About Tilia GmbH
Tilia GmbH supports utility companies, municipalities, manufacturers and the housing industry with the changes and transformation they need to make in order to achieve greater climate protection and sustainability. We develop integrated solutions with our customers and partners in the fields of energy, water, circular economies, mobility and infrastructure, while also exploiting the benefits of digitalisation. We adopt a holistic approach, taking into consideration all key aspects that determine a company’s success: strategy and organisation, personnel and processes, technology and plants, economic and ecological factors, management, culture and communication. Our aim is to support our customers over the long term – taking them from the conception to implementation and establishing a lasting, mutually beneficial partnership.
Tilia GmbH was founded in Leipzig in 2009 and became part of the internationally operating Tilia Group in 2022. The company employs around 150 people and has already completed over 500 projects in more than 20 different countries. The corporate vision is to provide effective support to drive greater sustainability.