Is my property in danger of drowning?

Heavy rain – Photo: Diana Mohr /

Author: Ruth Stueckle

Even if the weather is nice right now, another heavy rain is sure to come. But where can a homeowner see if running water will affect his property and submerge if the worst happens? And what structural protective measures should be taken to prevent this? As the first major city in Bavaria, the city of Ingolstadt now has a flash flood risk management concept, including a heavy rain hazard map. The management of the project was entrusted to the Ingolstadt municipal services. The threat map is expected to be published by the end of the year.

Four heavy rains since 2011
A general overview map showing the direction of the water flow will be available on the Internet. Anyone wishing to view their parcel can request a detailed view from the municipal services. For data protection reasons, he must identify himself as the owner of the property.

According to Thomas Schwaiger, director of municipal services in Ingolstadt, there have been four heavy rains in Ingolstadt since 2011. The last one took place at the end of May 2018. As a result, the city decided to implement flash flood risk management. It analyzes the hazards of heavy rainfall across the city and determines appropriate conservation measures for the future, Schwaiger explained. The goal is to create regulations for heavy rainfall to avoid damage. Because it concerns, inter alia, for urban planning and disaster control, different city departments work together in the project management of city services.

In the last two years from the start of the project, site conditions have been analyzed in order to be able to identify and assess the dangers of what can happen during different rainfalls. For this purpose, the commissioned engineering office has created various models with which it is possible to calculate the depths, directions and velocities of the flowing water in the event of heavy rain of varying intensity. The results are recorded on the heavy rain hazard map.

become aware of the threat
The city companies are currently preparing to publish the information they have collected. At the same time, one of the goals of the project is to make the public aware of the risk of heavy rain, continued Schwaiger. The information and conclusions from heavy rain management are intended to help property owners protect their properties in a targeted manner. In any case, it must prevent backflow from the sewage system and, if necessary, by structural measures, prevent water from running off the surface.

On the other hand, the findings will be incorporated into urban planning or disaster control preparation in the future. You can, among others analyze where drainage and collection sites are to be implemented. In the event of heavy rainfall, it is also possible to calculate which underground passages may become flooded, depending on the intensity of the rainfall. Therefore, they could be blocked in time by the fire brigade. In the case of sewerage, the municipal companies will include the information in the overall drainage plan for Ingolstadt.

The project started after approval at the board meeting of the municipal enterprise at the end of April 2019. In the first stage, the municipal enterprises submitted an application for funding to the Bavarian Ministry of Environment and Consumer Protection. Establishing a flash flood risk management system for Ingolstadt costs a total of 250,000 euros. The city receives the full amount of 150,000 euros. The remaining costs are borne by the municipal companies and the city’s civil engineering department.

The other partners are the city planning office, the fire and disaster protection office, the civil engineering office, the environmental protection office, the traffic management and geoinformation office, the construction office, the building management office and the gardening office. The Water Management Office approves the grant amounts and is regularly informed by the municipal companies about the progress of the project. The municipal companies commissioned Spekter as a provider of engineering services.

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