To protect the groundwater reserves, the catchment areas of the container systems are designated as water protection areas. The protection areas here are divided into three zones. The outer protection zone should cover the entire catchment area of the drinking water springs. From the edge of the inner protection zone, the flow time to the springs should be at least 50 days. The container area delimits the direct surroundings of the extraction plants.
Different legal requirements apply for the individual protection zone areas with respect to construction, agricultural and other use. Whereas most uses are possible with certain restrictions in the outer water protection zone, construction for example is not permitted in the inner protection zone. Agricultural land use is permitted here only with strict
conditions. In general, any use of the container area is excluded. The water protection areas are monitored regularly to check the various requirements.
Because of the particular geological conditions in the Swabian Alb region, the heavily karstified subsurface and the resulting very high flow speeds at some times and in some areas, large areas of the high plateau of Swabian Alb are designated as water protection areas. With a total area of around 800 square kilometres, the protection areas for the extraction plants of the state water supply, the waterworks at Langenau, at Dischingen and at Burgberg are among the largest contiguous water protection areas in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Groundwater – A treasure needs to be guarded