Basel had no drains or sewers up to the 19th century. Waste water flowed freely into the rivers Birsig and Rhine, leading to contaminated groundwater and epidemics including cholera and typhoid. A Sewer Law was passed in 1896, which prescribed that every house was to be connected to the sewer system. ProRheno AG was founded in 1974 – planning and construction of the sewage treatment plant could get underway. ProRheno AG has operated as the waste water treatment plant for the canton of Basel-City and the surrounding rural communities – both municipal and industrial – since 1982. The two cantons – Basel City and Basel Rural – together own 51 per cent of ProRheno AG’s share capital, with chemical and pharmaceutical companies holding the remaining 49 per cent.
// PRORHENO SEEKS DIALOGUE WITH THE PUBLIC
ProRheno is very happy to showcase its plant – it has always organised free guided tours and visits to its sewage works. School classes are very keen to take up this offer. The sewage treatment plant is also a popular destination for senior citizens. Representatives from chemical companies, environmental officers and managers from other sewage works also take advantage of the offer to share knowledge and information.
New directives, limits and regulations now necessitate the construction of a new plant. The groundbreaking ceremony for a new state-of-the-art plant was held in January 2019 (including a micro-contamination elimination stage), which will be constructed during ongoing operation and is set to be completed by 2024. On average, the company organises at least one guided tour lasting 1.5 hours every week, during which visitors are introduced to the detailed operation of the plant.
You have to be honest: more functionality for less money. The dialogue function is a useful feature, particularly for school classes.
Sandra Henneberger, Laboratory/Ecology and Visitor Manager, is usually responsible for guided tours. “Sometimes I might have to take two guided tours a day. That puts a real strain on my voice.” She therefore set out to find a tour guide system in autumn 2018. After some online research, she came across our TOM-Audio TG-101 with dialogue function. “You were the first hit in my search. I didn’t know that a tour guide system with dialogue function existed. I thought it was really great.” Following an enquiry through our live chat facility, we arranged a presentation on site some three weeks later. The system was extensively tested, immediately ordered and has been in use at ProRheno ever since.
The tour guide system is primarily used with groups of schoolchildren as it is not always possible to keep groups of younger children together as a group. “Of course the schoolchildren love to play around with the dialogue function. But then I simply switch it off,” explains Sandra Henneberger with a twinkle in her eye. Teachers are also keen for their students to ask as many questions as possible and so the dialogue function not only promotes discussion amongst the schoolchildren. The option for visitors to connect their own headphones is also very popular.
This tour guide system was the right solution as the building site will be generating a lot of noise in the coming years.
We are pleased that our tour guide system is also being used at these somewhat unusual places and wish everyone continued enjoyment.