Technical Tours

Tour #1 - Pilsner Urquell Brewery

One may ask a basic question - how is the production of famous Pilsner Urquell related to urban drainage? This relationship is surprisingly positive as you will hear from the Chief Technologist of the Pilsen municipal WWTP, which is thanks to the brewery wastewater, one of few plants with a positive energy balance. During the Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour you will also learn how water is transformed into the most famous Czech beer. You will see a model of the brewery from the 19th century, the brew house from the 1930s, and the historical cellars, where Pilsner Urquell beer is still produced today using the same traditional method as during the era of the first brew master. Of course the unique method of brewing Pilsner Urquell beer, which is identical to the method introduced in 1842 by Josef Groll, will be explained. You will also have the opportunity to visit the new bottling facility, which can handle 120,000 bottles per hour, and the “heart of the brewery”, a modern brewing facility from 2004. Finally, in the Pilsner brewery you will have a unique opportunity to test “source controls” and compare them to the traditional “end-of-pipe” approach.

Duration: 6 hours
Capacity: 100 pax
Ticket: 540 CZK (20 EUR) not included in the registration fee


Tour #2 - Prague's Flood Protection Measures

In 2002, Prague experienced severe flooding with total damage of 1 billion EUR. This event was recognized as one of the most expensive weather-related disasters in the history of the city, with heavy damages of the infrastructure, housing and environment. Therefore, a modern and complex flood protection system was implemented by the Prague municipality.

After a short introduction, the tour takes you to Kampa Island in close vicinity of Charles Bridge, where a flood protection gate will be operated and dismantable flood barriers demonstrated to show how the historic part of the city is protected. After a short transfer to the Karlin district that was harshly impacted during the 2002 flood, you will take a short walk along the Vltava River to see how is the district protected today. The tour will end at the mouth of Rokytka Creek discharging into the Vltava River, where you will see measures protecting Rokytka against backflow from the Vltava.

Duration: 4-5 hours
Capacity: 50 pax

Tour #3 - Prague Central Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Prague Central Wastewater Treatment Plant (PCWWTP) is a principal wastewater treatment facility of the Czech capital, Prague. In time of its construction (1966) it was one of the largest and most modern wastewater treatment plants in Europe. Over the years, PCWWTP has been enlarged and modernised several times (1980, 1995, 2011). To meet the current environmental standards given by the EU directive, a “New Water Line” is being built as a supplement of the existing PCWWTP. Therefore, during this tour you will have a great opportunity to see, and learn about, one of the biggest construction sites of municipal WWTPs in Europe. During this visit, one can also learn the design and technology details of this new facility. Since the project will be in the final phase in September 2017, we cannot guarantee that it will be possible to visit the construction site. During the tour, you will also see the whole complex of wastewater treatment technologies of the existing mechanical-chemical-biological WWTP, including a highly effective sludge treatment enabling almost 90% energy self-sufficiency.

Duration: 3-4 hours
Capacity: 100 pax

Tour #4 - Old Prague's Wastewater Treatment Plant

Prague is one the European cities where the excellent work of father and son Lindleys, the renowned British engineers, left for us an amazing historical wastewater infrastructure. The old wastewater treatment plant in Prague was built between 1901 and 1906 based on the design of William Heerlein Lindley, the son. Most of Prague´s wastewaters were treated here until 1967. Today the building is a part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage, serving as an anchor point. During the tour you will see the original interior of one of the first wastewater treatment plants in Europe with many pieces of the original machinery. The tour will also include a walk through an original main sewer, no longer in use. Copies of the original design drawings and historical photographs from the construction of the plant are on display and you can watch a short documentary film about the plant from 1943.

Duration: 3-4 hours
Capacity: 50 pax

Tour #5 - Restoration of Prague's Urban Creeks and Polders

In the city of Prague we can find about 100 creeks with a total length of 357 kilometers. In many of them the water quality, aquatic habitat, public access and stream health are significantly degraded due to channelization and burial serving flood control, stormwater discharges and combined sewer overflows, highway runoff, and illicit litter and garbage disposal.

Since 2005, the City of Prague is running a restoration project “Creeks for Life”, with focus on re-naturalization of urbanized creeks. The guided field trip will introduce you to the project itself and several interesting sites with completed or on-going restoration.

Duration: 4-5 hours
Capacity: 50 pax

Tour #6 - The Spirit of Old Town Sewers

A recent urban drainage concept of the inner city of Prague is based on the original work of William Heerlein Lindley, the renowned British engineer, who designed the combined sewer network of Prague more than 100 years ago. Why this British engineer was invited to Prague at the end of the 19th century and won this prestigious job? The Prague council received two competitive proposals for a new urban drainage system from groups of German and Czech engineers. To select the winner, the council had hired W.H. Lindley, who reported that both proposals were poor and surprisingly, he came up with his own design and won the competition.

During the tour of the sewer system under the Old Town you can admire Lindley’s genial engineering skills. The system has been operating more than 100 years.

Duration: 3-4 hours
Capacity: 50 pax

Tour #7 - Water Supply and Architecture

Not far from the Prague Congress Centre (PCC), the visitors of Prague can find on the right bank of the Vltava River one of the architectural dominant of the southern part of Prague. It is not a palace, but a drinking water treatment plant built in the monumental neoclassicism style by Czech architect Antonín Engel (1897 - 1958) in the mid-twenties of the 20th century. Antonin Engel was also professor at the Czech Technical University (CTU) and designed the first part of the more recently completed CTU campus in Prague’s district of Dejvice.

For decades, Podoli treatment plant was a main source of drinking water for the City of Prague, withdrawing water from the Vltava River. Today the plant serves only as an emergency source of water supply, which is in operation once a year.

However, in this tour the main point of interest is the architecture and history. Therefore, the tour will be guided by prof. arch. Arnost Navratil from CTU, who worked on the team of architects Navratil - Pav – Frydecky on restoration of the treatment plant in the 1990s. Thanks to their work, we can see ‘genius loci’ of that place again.

History of water supply of the City of Prague can be studied in the museum located in the Podoli treatment plant and the history of Czech governance will be presented during the walking tour from PCC to the treatment plant, passing through a nearby castle Vysehrad (10 min walk). This place served as the first headquarters of Czech princes in the Prague region founded in about the 7th century. The visitors of the Vysehrad castle can also visit the Slavin cemetery, which is a resting place of many greats of the Czech culture, including Bedrich Smetana, Antonín Dvorak, Alfons Mucha, Karel Capek and many others.

Duration: 3-4 hours
Capacity: 100 pax


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