The nightmare: groundwater entering through a window in the basement of a house in Forstinning. The photo is from 2013 and was taken by the Forstinning fire department. © Forstinning Fire Brigade
That was a nightmare in June 2013 in Forstinning. In a short time, numerous cellars drowned. After that, a groundwater level was installed. It is still privately managed.
Forstinning – June 2, 2013 will not soon be forgotten by some Forstinningers. Within a short time, numerous cellars in the north of the municipality drowned after heavy rain. Most citizens had never experienced anything like this before. All of this was almost ten years ago to the day. Subsequently, as immediately announced at the time, a local groundwater early warning system was launched.
It still exists today, although it has been largely forgotten by those affected at the time or may not have been known to new citizens. One possible reason is that there were virtually no rain events comparable to those of ten years ago, although the flood risks have generally not decreased, as Karl-Heinz Fischbach, a person directly affected at the time, warns.
Strictly speaking, it is not even about flooding, but about extremely increased groundwater. In June 2013, it had risen by about 1.5 meters in a very short time. No problem for most buildings, according to the homepage operated by Fischbach. However, quote, the groundwater level in Forstinning in the northwestern part (towards the motorway) is higher than in most other parts of the municipality. Large parts of moss are also severely affected. Appropriate technical measures can be taken to prevent the penetration of groundwater through the floor slab or the joints of the floor slab or basement walls. "In 2013, even that didn't help for some houses. The groundwater has risen to such an extent that, for example, it was about one meter below the top of the ground in Heiglstraße and thus ran into the building through the basement windows. Even elderly citizens of Forstinningen could not remember such increased groundwater in the past," it says online.
Nobody in Forstinning had expected this
The now 66-year-old was even one of the main victims in 2013. The IT specialist from Heiglstraße 4 watched the force of nature helplessly, wrote the EZ at the time. First. Shortly after the day of the disaster, however, the computer expert took the initiative and contacted the community. Together, they considered whether and how an early warning system could be installed. For this purpose, long pipes were embedded in the ground at previously precisely calculated points and equipped with level meters. They can, as the local newspaper wrote at the time, "transmit data via an ordinary mobile phone line, for example to the town hall, the fire brigade or the integrated control centre". The installation of the level meters was finally carried out in 2014 by the municipality in cooperation with the wastewater association. Since then, the data has been regularly tapped by Fischbach, as a private individual, with the permission of the municipality and presented on a website (www.gwfwsfi.de or www.averlon.de). However, the provision of the data is not completely error-free. Sometimes they were missing altogether.
Data can still be viewed online
It is only since this year that there have been talks with the political community to place the presentation and the resulting alerting in the hands of the administration if threshold values are exceeded. "At the end of the day, as a private individual, I can't guarantee the operation in the long term," Fischbach told EZ. In his opinion, the municipality is not averse to a takeover in principle. However, there may be a lack of the necessary resources: both personnel (time for the project) and infrastructure are meant.
In any case, the first talks with the operator of the municipality's website have failed, says Fischbach. Other solutions are rather costly and still need to be examined. "Whether there will be a takeover is still completely open - unfortunately". In any case, Fischbach would be very happy if someone could be found as soon as possible to take over his job and pass on the important groundwater data for the area of the municipality online to citizens who are interested in a timely early warning; for whatever reason.
Management of the homepage is to be handed over to public hands
According to Fischbach, a connection to the situation center of the Ebersberg district was also discussed, so that in the event of an emergency, an alarm of the necessary forces can be triggered around the clock. From his point of view, however, this would be a second step.
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"Whether it ever comes," he adds, "is also completely open - unfortunately!"
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