23 November 2015

Disposal of saline waste water

Assessment of injection application continues

  • Processing of injection application by the authority to last beyond 30 November 2015
  • Kassel Regional Council is examining transitional regulation
  • Disposal and discharge of saline waste water dependent on Werra river water flow

According to the Kassel Regional Council, further assessments need to be carried out before deciding on the application submitted by K+S in April of this year concerning the further injection of saline waste water. As this process goes beyond 30 November 2015 from today’s point of view, the authority is examining transitional regulation until a final decision is made.

As of December 2015, for the disposal of saline waste water, K+S will initially only have discharge into the Werra river available as its means of disposal. “Depending on the water flow of the Werra river potash production in Hesse and Thuringia might therefore only be ensured to a limited extent in a few days’ time” says Dr. Ralf Diekmann, managing director of K+S KALI GmbH.

With regard to the outstanding decision on the injection application, the transitional regulation which is being examined is of decisive importance for the continuation of potash production. It will not, however, replace the injection applied for until 2021, because K+S cannot resign from that means of disposal until the supplementary long-distance pipeline leading to the Upper Weser is completed. “What is important is that injection has not been fundamentally called into question,” says Diekmann. “That’s a clear signal to our employees as well as to the entire region of the Hesse-Thuringia potash district.”

3D groundwater model

An element of the application to continue injection is a three-dimensional groundwater model developed by K+S in cooperation with well-known external experts (the so-called 3D model). This is an additional and extensive instrument for a further development of the monitoring and control system for groundwater and drinking water protection employed over a period of many years. Covering an area of about 1,200 square kilometers, it shows the development and condition of groundwater to a depth of about 1,300 meters.

The authority’s experts are examining the 3D model’s prognosis capability

The 3D model’s operability must be finally examined by the authority and its appointed experts with the required diligence. The objective is to be able to make statements for various periods of time concerning the saline water remaining in the subsoil, as well as precise forecasts of future trends, in order to exclude negative effects of injection on the safety of the drinking water. K+S will support this scientific assessment process as best as possible.

Extensive documentation to support application

In April of this year, K+S had applied to be able to inject an average of up to two million cubic meters per year (previously 4.5 million cubic meters per year) until the end of 2021, submitting documents containing over 3,000 pages. The application included extensive expert opinions and external position papers on topics such as protecting groundwater and drinking water as well as environmental monitoring. In future, only the drilling at the Hattorf site is to be utilized for injection.  

About K+S KALI GmbH

K+S KALI GmbH with its headquarters in Kassel mines crude salts containing potassium, magnesium and sulfur in six mines in Germany. A wide range of fertilizer specialties and intermediate products for many different technical, industrial and pharmaceutical applications is produced from them. K+S KALI GmbH is one of the leading suppliers of potash and magnesium products worldwide. The company, which belongs to the K+S Group, employs more than 8,000 people, 4,400 of which work at the Werra plant with its sites in Hesse and Thuringia.

More information about K+S KALI GmbH can be found on the company’s website at www.kali-gmbh.com.

Ulrich Göbel

Spokesman German Sites/Group Companies

Phone: +49 561 9301 1722

Ulrich Göbel
Spokesman German Sites/Group Companies

Bertha-von-Suttner Str. 7
34131 Kassel

Phone: +49 561 9301 1722
Fax: +49 561 9301 1666

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