Development and remediation of water supplies in the Canton of Freiburg
Preliminary hydrogeological investigations and site management for the capture and remediation of spring captures and protected zone designation
The hot and dry summers over the past five years have resulted in a water shortage for many Alpine operations in the Canton of Freiburg, with some now relying on water deliveries by the Swiss army.
Thus several multi-purpose cooperatives decided to redevelop their water supplies and to capture new springs to ensure a water supply for Alpine operations. Some of these projects have been in progress since 2016 and Ecosens has been involved in the hydrogeological preparatory work to determine the drinking water quality, the expected yields, suitable capture sites and capture types. In collaboration with the responsible hydraulic engineering company, recommendations for construction work on sometimes very steep Alpine terrain and the corresponding tender documentation have been put forward.
Some of these water sources may also be located in nature conservation areas. Ecosens carried out the necessary environmental studies for these locations in order to investigate any effects of well construction on habitats worth protecting, such as flatlands. Geological/hydrogeological mapping, tracer tests and chemical/physical water analyses were carried out in relation to this work.
Once all remediation and capture work had been completed, protective zones for spring captures in public use were identified. Tracer tests were used to determine the flow speeds of the groundwater in order to calculate the dimensions of the protective zones. This work was accompanied by protective zone plans and the associated protective zone regulations and hydrogeological reports on the spring water captures.
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