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07.09.2011 Pressemeldungen

An industrial tank as a biofilter


WERIT provided advice and support to pupils at the Thomas-Mann-Gymnasium in Munich who wanted to take part in the renowned "Jugend forscht (Young Scientist)" competition in November. This was all part of an environmental project which had an industrial tank from WERIT as the focal point.

The Sales team at WERIT received an unusual request in the middle of April 2011. The Head of "Jugend forscht" projects at the Munich-based Thomas-Mann-Gymnasium, Florian Kretzler, was interested in one of WERIT special industrial tanks. The intention was to use it as a biofilter as part of a larger behavioural biology and water ecology student project. Given that the tank was, according to the school, "going to be the backbone of our entire project", and that the school only had limited funds available, this was reason enough for Mr Kretzler to agree to assist here.

Committed to the environment
The Munich-based Thomas-Mann-Gymnasium has existed for more than ten years as a so-called environmental school in which special emphasis is placed on environmental, nature and conservation issues, especially in science classes. issues such as water quality , the preservation of biodiversity or the sustainable management of agricultural and forest land are dealt with in lessons. After receiving an award from the Bavarian Ministry for Environment, Health and Consumer Protection the year before, pupils plucked up the courage and decided that they wanted to take part in the next "Jugend forscht" competition that is due to start again in November this year.

Experiments regarding the endangered swan mussel
As part of the project, several behavioral biology experiments regarding the swan mussel are due to be carried out, a species which is threatened with extinction and has survived in only a few places in Bavaria. Given that very little is known about this species and how it lives, the ambitious aim set by the 20 pupils involved in the project from Years 9 and 10 was to find out more about the ecology and biology of swan mussels during the course of five sub-projects. In order to do this, several small aquariums were built in early summer, each of which represented a small eco-system that was linked to the other eco-systems. The plan was to use the WERIT industrial tank as a biological filter tank in this circulatory system; something which would be large enough to house a layer of sand and porous rock, offer space for small organisms such as bacteria, single-cell organisms and algae, and allow water plants to grow, all of which should take over the cleaning of the circulating water for the aquariums.

Energetic support by WERIT
The response by Marco Reifenrath, Industrial Tank Sales, to the request from the Munich-based school was prompt. "After speaking to the Management Board and our Marketing department, it was clear that we would like to help out here". He then notified the Head of "Jugend forscht" projects a couple of days later. "Our contact at WERIT was extremely kind and accommodating", said Florian Kretzler.  In addition to the promise to make a suitable tank ??available, WERIT also provided its full support to the project leaders. In order to be able to carry out work in the pool, the tank's height would need to be reduced and left open on top. "That was no problem whatsoever for WERIT", said Florian Kretzler about his cooperative partner. "They also used their own cross bracing in order to ensure the stability of the side walls."

Short and long-term aims
Suitably equipped, the young researchers at the Munich-based school will now be able to successfully carry out their experiments until November so as to be able to present their results during the course of the next "Jugend forscht" competition. Interim results need to be added correctly, as it is their long-term aim to be able to continue carrying out the various experiments for two to three years until the mussels start to breed. Until then, the industrial tank from WERIT will unquestionably continue to be of great use to the pupils.

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