IKT and KomNet Abwassser Knowledge Sharing on sewer operation in the current crisis

IKTThe recent embracing of online communication by the water sector in the UK and internationally has substantially changed the way we are all able engage with colleagues, collaborators and water companies. At IKT – Institute for Underground Infrastructure, which is based in Gelsenkirchen Germany with offices in The Netherlands and UK, we moved our training online, have replaced meetings with online events and have been sharing information on sewer operation in the current crisis.
We co-ordinate KomNet ABWASSER, or Community Network IKTWastewater, which is a group of 60 German and some Dutch sewer network owners who work together on issues of common interest and identify and share solutions. Coronavirus was first raised in the Group at the end of February with a question about transmission in sewage and risks to staff. Because of the criticality of the issue the members decided to make their resources about dealing with sewer operation available to all online, including presenting webinars in German and English. Members have shared their approaches and documents on the KomNet Abwasser website and IKT provided a hotline, and also reviewed and published links to online information available in other countries.
IKTSince then we have held three English language webinars on approaches being taken by KomNet Abwasser members and sewer network owners in other countries and signposting where to find information online, and we are working with partners to deliver update webinars in other languages.
Following the initial intense activity to prepare for and initially react to IKTthe pandemic, sewer network owners are now starting to review the lessons they have learned so far, and going forward must continue to adapt their plans and strategies in reaction to events as the pandemic progresses. There will eventually be a recovery phase, after the pandemic ends, when the industry will be able to fully assess the lessons learned to inform their planning and preparation for dealing with future pandemics. In the meantime, IKT and KomNet Abwasser are continuing to assess and share relevant information.



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